An application launching ceremony of the Biotik application of Western Ghats of India was held on 20th December, 2007 at The Grand Ashok, Bangalore. Dr. Jean-Pierre MULLER, Director, IFP welcomed the gathering of eminent scientists in forestry, ecology and taxonomy and outlined the initiatives of the IFP in biodiversity conservation. He also highlighted the joint ventures of IFP with various Indian and foreign agencies in implementing tools for biodiversity conservation with the help of information and communication technologies.
Mr. Bruno ROUOT, Attaché for Science and Technology - Bangalore, French Embassy in India delivered the presidential address of the event and gave a presentation on the scientific programs of the French Embassy in India. He emphasized the significance of the collaborations between European and Indian institutions, their scope and opportunities within the ambit of the European Union.
Dr. Pierre GRARD, Project Manager of Biotik and Dr.B.R.Ramesh, Project Leader at IFP presented the activities of the action at the event. They explained in detail the activities undertaken by the action in the collection of botanical information on field, formulation process of the ICT tool and its significance. Dr. B.R.Ramesh presented the windows version of the Biotik application to the gathering. He elucidated on the features of the application with a practical demonstration of the process of identification of tree species. Images of character states for each species after the identification of a particular species and their botanical description was well received by the participants. He emphasized on the implication of the Biotik application that would be available for a portable/handheld computer like the Ultra Mobile PC.
The presentation was followed by a detailed discussion among the participants which included specific points like including spatial data in the application. Dr. Ayyappan, Dr. Claude Edelin and Mr. Balasubramanian answered specific queries during the discussion and coordinated the post event demonstrations of the application to the participants.
Dr. A.K. Verma, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Karnataka Forest Department, the chief guest of the ceremony recollected the historical cooperation between IFP and his department in various initiatives including the compilation of different maps for Western Ghats. He noted that such initiatives like Biotik would go a long way in helping the para taxonomic community and foresters in biodiversity conservation.
Dr. Raphael Pelissier, Head of Ecology of IFP tendered a vote of thanks to all those who attended the event and avowed to continue working on the project to fulfill its commitment to conservation efforts in Western Ghats.