This is most certainly a first for an Indian city. Kochi, in Kerala has chalked out the first biodiversity map.
It is a natural assets map but shows details of plants, animals, insects and natural features. For the first time ever a map has marked marshlands, mangroves, backwaters and ponds, playgrounds, open spaces, and wetlands used for prawn culture.
The mapping was taken up by the Kochi Corporation’s Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development and ICLEI-South Asia as part of a German-funded project, Integrated Subnational Action for Biodiversity (Interact-Bio), being implemented in India, Brazil and Tanzania. The four-year project launched in 2017 is targeted at implementing biodiversity strategies and action plans in three Indian cities – Kochi, Mangaluru and Panaji.
This is an extremely crucial map as it helps a city plan while keeping biodiversity elements intact, protecting “blue” and “green” infrastructure rather than concretising everything. Maybe cities like Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai are way beyond any form of conservative urban planning.