Day 2 :
The Sanberg Group, Inc, USA
Time : 09:30-09:55
Bruce D Eilerts is the Biological Resources Manager for The Sanberg Group, Inc. and heads the company’s Las Vegas, Nevada offi ce. He is a natural resources manager/wildlife biologist/environmental planner with over 31 years of experience as an environmental professional and is the company’s Lead Biologist. Mr. Eilerts experience includes Arizona Department of Transportation, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Center for Biodiversity, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game. He has an extensive experience working with: wildlife research and management; endangered species; resident, tropical and neo-tropical migratory birds; desert, montane, wetland, marine and island ecosystems; alien and invasive species; biodiversity; land management; wetlands identifi cation, delineation and restoration (COE certifi ed); wildlife connectivity; unique flora, fauna and habitats in diverse geographic locations. Additionally, Mr. Eilerts has served as: the co-chair of the Arizona Wildlife Linkages Steering Committee; co-chair of the Western Governors Association, Transportation Committee; and has been a speaker, provided classes, briefings and presentations at various conferences, symposiums, and academic institutions. He has advised elements at the Pentagon, Office of the Secretary of the Interior, the Governor of Arizona, and the Republic of Mexico’s Minister of Interior. He is also the co-discoverer and co-author of a recent paper describing the Bryan’s Shearwater, a new species of seabird.
Biodiversity and the current extinction crisis seem to be little recognized and publicized outside of academic circles and the biological community. Th ere is a larger awareness of climate change, pollution, over-population, and environmental compliance; however, all of these things are the root causes of the greater threat facing the Earth and humanity, which is global mass extinction. Th e reasons for this are many, but the pervadingignorance of the severity of the situation, political denial and the general feeling of hopelessness as individuals in terms of what can be done to help or reverse the current global extinction crises are what I believe to be the main contributing factors. Th is must, and can be, reversed. As biologists, professionals in related environmental professions, we live with this knowledge on a daily basis, and it does negatively affect us. There are disorders published in psychological journals that have been identifi ed as unique to environmental professionals. Because of the higher awareness, and “front-line” experiences we face daily while doing our jobs, many, if not most of us, have developed a sense of fatalism and hopelessness. Even if we are not fully aware that we carry this burden, many biologists suff er from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, anger, and a sense ofh opelessness. Yet we rise every day and continue with our calling, which is to protect, conserve and seek solutions to preserve the flora, fauna, and habitats of our dying planet. Despite the sense of doom and gloom, there is some good news and simple things that each of us, including the vast majority of the world’s population, can do to reverse the dire situation facing us and future generation.
First of all, each and every one of us who are environmental professionals, must project more of a positive image of ourselves, our work and the reasons we do what we do. Secondly, each of us must become ambassadors and educate people we encounter whether they be construction workers, politicians, neighbours, school children, and any other member of the general public that do not share our awareness and concern about the importance of Biodiversity and the ongoing crisis of global extinctions. We must explain in simple terms what Biodiversity is, and its importance, We need to share stories and give statistics and examples. Th irdly, we must convince everyone, that each individual can contribute and signifi cantly do something about the situation. We must educate people that every life form is a rivet in the airplane on which we are passengers. As more and more rivets are removed (species going extinct), eventually the plane is going to crash and take everyone on board to their deaths (Paul Ehrlich, Population Biology).
Haryana Agricultural University, India
Time : 09:55-10:20
Mahendra P Srivastava, formerly Director Planning and Professor & Head Plant Pathology, Haryana Agricultural University is known for his contribution in extension plant pathology and innovative periodicals - Plant Disease Warning and Plant Pathology Courier. He is credited with popularization of plant health clinic by delivering special lectures in India and abroad. In recognition of his outstanding contribution in extension, he was invited to speak on Technology fl ow in 7th International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP) at Edinburgh 1998, deliver Keynote address in 8th ICPP 2003, New Zealand besides invited lectures in China. He has won several awards which include Fellowship of National Academy of Sciences 1988, Best Extension Scientist Award 1996, Man of the Year 1998 Award USA, Dr. Radhakrishnan Gold Medal 2013, International Technological Achievement Award 2013 and Lifetime Achievement Award “National Pride Award” 2014 amongst others. Plant Clinic, Food Security & IPM are his key areas of interest. Currently he is rendering online advice on establishment of Plant Clinic and diagnosis and advisory free of cost through his web portal.
Biodiversity is the law of nature and that will stay to keep a balance in the ecosystem. But why not every child, man and woman should have access to nutritious food in sufficient quantity to satisfy their hunger? Th e entire world is concerned about food security and UNO and various international and national organizations are seriously concerned providing adequate food to present and future generation. In fact food security has become a matter of concern due to several challenges viz., ever-growing population, consequent urbanization leading to land crunch, changing climate, frequent price increase in commodities and over and above unprecedented losses due to plant pests and disorders causing 40% reduction in yield. Therefore, the responsibility of agricultural scientists get increased towards increasing productivity from limited or ever reducing land thereby producing more food to sustain the requirement of growing population and bringing price down, timely monitoring of pests, advising growers to take preventive measures. In most of the cases due to lack of timely diagnosis and preventive measures losses go unchecked. Therefore to remove anomaly and ensure rational food distribution, I propose multipronged action aimed at increasing productivity, 1) By adopting good and innovative agricultural practices to produce more facilitating reduction in prices, 2) Strengthening plant healthcare by commissioning of more ‘plant health clinic’ in rural and urban areas, providing free diagnostic and advisory support to reduce losses, by providing latest integrated crop management/integrated pest management technology and uninterrupted communication with grower using print and information technology - SMS, internet etc - more specifically forecasting/issuing Plant Disease Warning and relaying the message through local radio station and satellite channel so that farmers may take speedy action in protecting the crop, which the author has practiced with great success. Similar alerts may also be issued for insect and other pests. Additionally we need to bring more printed material from time to time to empower growers and field functionaries in diversified publications in simple language in the form of leaflets, pamphlets, handbook, bulletin providing tips on seed treatment, improved cultural practices, preventive measures for pest and diseases emphasizing integrated pest management, shedding total reliance on pesticides until necessary and recommended by plant doctor. Pest control warning. Informative bulletins like Plant Pathology Courier aimed at providing latest know-how and development in plant disease control brought out by the author may also be brought out. Diagnostic role of plant health clinic should not be confined to diagnosis of diseases only; rather it should be multidisciplinary plant hospital to cover insect-pests, weeds, and various disorders, for which world class labs need to be provided for facilitating diverse pests. Therefore under one roof, farmers may seek advice on all fronts. Since diagnosis is experience-driven process, the diagnosticians should be experienced and familiar with wide range of problem in all disciplines, with adequate knowledge on pesticides, pesticide resistance, integrated crop and integrated pest management, including pesticides. And finally art of writing prescription and dealing farmers with utmost patience. Bumper productivity and ensuring crop protection would be the key to sustained production with reasonable affordable price.