Official launch of Biodiversity Internship programme and Inauguration of CitSci Club

The Centre for Citizen Science and Biodiversity Informatics firmly believes in nurturing students' interest in exploring and preserving our environment and its diverse biodiversity. This is considered crucial for the long-term preservation of natural habitats. Citizen science emerges as one of the most effective and accessible approaches to achieve this objective. By actively involving students in citizen science initiatives, they can become instrumental in driving these endeavours. Encouraging their participation not only cultivates a positive attitude towards biodiversity conservation but also shapes them into responsible and conscientious future citizens.

Dr. Gafoor Memorial MES Mampad College, a prestigious autonomous institution in Kerala, hosted a workshop on citizen science, which was followed by the official launch of the Biodiversity Internship Program and the inauguration of the Citizen Science Club. The workshop on citizen science for biodiversity was led by Dr. Balakrishnan Peroth, Head of the Department of Wildlife Biology at KFRI and coordinator of the Centre for Citizen Science and Biodiversity Informatics. The event attracted a significant number of students. During the workshop, Dr. Balakrishnan emphasised the importance of conserving endangered and lesser-known species, highlighting the crucial role that citizen science plays in gathering local biodiversity-related information.

The event saw the participation of faculty members and dignitaries from various departments, with Dr. Anoop Das, Head of the Department of Zoology at MES Mampad College, acting as the facilitator. Dr. Manzur Ali P P, Principal of the institute, inaugurated the biodiversity internship program organised by KFRI-Centre for Citizen Science and Biodiversity Informatics. In his address, Dr. Ali emphasised the significance of understanding local biodiversity and the urgent need for conservation, emphasising how citizen science serves as a valuable tool to achieve these goals. Mampad's unique biogeography, influenced by its strategic location at the confluence of the Western Ghats and the Malabar Coast, is home to a wide array of plant and animal species, including rare and endangered ones. The region is also known for several significant wetlands that provide habitats for various waterbirds.

In order to further promote student engagement and exploration, a citizen science club has been established. These clubs operate autonomously, focusing on local biodiversity. Students are encouraged to develop and implement citizen science projects under the guidance and support of CCSBI. The citizen science club at MES Mampad College was inaugurated by Dr. Muhammed Abdul Rafeeq K U, Assistant Professor in the Department of Zoology. Dr. Rafeeq acknowledged the immense potential of citizen science as a means to study and appreciate the pristine biodiversity found in Mampad.