About the conference
Aquatic habitats, both marine and freshwater, are a home to a vast diversity of life forms, provide valuable ecosystem services and are source of livelihood for millions of Indian households. However, Indian aquatic environments are under stress due to several anthropogenic activities that can lead to severe ecosystem collapse in the near future. The aim of this conference is to provide a common platform for researchers and young investigators in the field of aquatic diversity, ecology, conservation biology and socio-economics to share their experiences and knowledge for a collective effort towards building science based conservation policies and sustaining livelihoods of the future.
Sustainability and conservation of aquatic living resources
Aquatic environments provide essential ecosystem functions, valuable resources and livelihood for millions of households. As a result, sustainability and conservation of aquatic living resources is not only a priority, but also a complex issue involving various stakeholders. Understanding conservation issues at multiple levels and focusing on the socio-economic factors to resolve possible conflicts among stakeholders is essential for designing and implementing policies for sustainability and conservation of aquatic living resources. Under this theme, invited speakers will highlight conservation issues, need for sustainability and socio-economic aspects for aquatic ecosystems to initiate discussions on science based conservation policies.
Diversity of aquatic organisms
Aquatic ecosystems, both marine and freshwater, are rich in biodiversity. Understanding the nature of this diversity, its evolution and cause and consequences of its depletion is the first step towards realization of conservation needs. Despite of a long history of scientific research and documentation of aquatic diversity in India, our understanding of biodiversity at multiple taxonomic levels is far from being complete. There is a need to realize the knowledge gaps in current understanding of aquatic diversity to focus future research in this area. Under this theme, invited speakers will provide current understanding of marine and freshwater biodiversity and the knowledge gaps to illuminate a path for future research.
Aquatic ecology and functioning
Physiochemical factors, climate and interferences because of anthropogenic activities influence both the diversity and ecosystem functioning of aquatic organisms. Understanding how the physical, chemical and biotic factors govern the ecosystem functioning in the aquatic environments is a key towards conservation of aquatic biodiversity and its functioning. Although an important aspect of conservation biology, studies on aquatic ecology and functioning are relatively limited and there is a need to facilitate such investigations through capacity building involving young investigators. Under this theme, invited speakers will provide methods for studying aquatic ecology and its functioning and share their insights on functional ecology of Indian waters.
Maharashtra Gene Bank Program: model system for aquatic conservation in India
Maharashtra Gene Bank (MGB) Program, funded by Rajiv Gandhi Science & Technology Commission (RGSTC), Government of Maharashtra, is aimed at understanding comprehensive view of biodiversity, covering the marine, freshwater and terrestrial realms, wild as well domesticated species and employing sophisticated technologies including genetic analysis for the entire state of Maharashtra and associated coastal resources. Two of the component in MGB are focused on aquatic ecosystems, covering both marine and freshwaters. Main objective of this theme is to introduce this program to the scientific community and highlight it as a model system that can be implemented in other states of India.