Professors to study freshwater conservation
IMPHAL, Jan 2: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has re-named Manipur University’s Prof Waikhom Vishwanath along with a senior researcher Dr. Rajeev Raghavan of Kerala as Regional Chair for South Asia of Freshwater Fish Specialist Group (FFSG) to study south Asia freshwater region of the world.
“I am writing to you inviting to continue in your role as the Regional co-chair for the Southern Asia, with Dr. Rajeev Raghavan,” says Global Chair Richard Sneider of IUCN-SSC/Wetlands International Freshwater Fish Specialist Group in a letter to Prof. Vishwanath. “The re-appointment as a Regional Chair also places you on the FFSG Steering Committee.”Prof. Vishwanath and Dr. Rajeev were the first Indians to serve as the Co-chairs for the South Asia region to assess the new fish species as per IUCN’s red list, identify research, management and conservation priorities for fresh water fishes and their habitats, related advocacy activities by promoting and carrying out conservation and research actions and communication by providing two annual updates of regional activities for FFSG website etc to create awareness about fresh water fish species for four years since November 2012.
Prof. Vishwanath and Dr. Rajeev of Conversation Research Group of St. Albert’s College, Kochi, were appointed as the Regional chair or Co-chairs for the South Asia region unlike other regions which have only one Regional chair each from November 2012 to September 2016.
The appointed Regional chairs and co-chairs will be involved with freshwater conservation and management over the coming four years and participate in IUCN’s annual and biennial meeting.
Vishwanath, who obtained Ph.D Degree from Manipur University in 1984, has been actively engaged in the taxonomy and systematics of the freshwater fishes of the Eastern Himalaya with financial assistance from different funding agencies of India. Besides, Prof. Vishwanath’s team has so far discovered more than 60 freshwater fish species adding to the 220 plus fish species in Manipur since the discovery of Puntius jayaremi locally known as Heikak Nga in 1986. Altogether 368 fish species were reported discovered across the globe in 2012. According to KC Jayaram’s ‘The fresh water fish of the Indian region,’ there are 8,411 fresh water fish species in the world.