Biodiversity conservation and management in Sri Lanka [fr]
Our FOCUS event this year gave us the opportunity to talk about biodiversity conservation and management with Professor B.R. Ramesh, from the French Institute of Pondicherry, in India.
On the occasion of the FOCUS conference dedicated to biodiversity and human conflicts, on May 23rd, Professor B.R. Ramesh, Associated researcher at the French Institute of Pondicherry  in India, discussed biodiversity conservation and management through a comprehensive ecological information system.
His research consists of phytogeography and forests dynamics in India and Sri Lanka. He explained the ecological concepts and criteria used to define vegetation classes worldwide, objectively assessing the status of vegetation and distribution of endemic tree species. In order to have prudent forest management and conservation practices, there is a need for a scientific and objective approach with a comprehensive information system, and more particularly climate referenced biodiversity information, which allows understanding the impact of climate change on species distribution and forests. Although Prof. Ramesh’s research focuses mainly on the Western Ghats in India, collaboration with Sri Lankan counterparts is ongoing or foreseen: updating the vegetation maps of Sri Lanka and tracing the biogeographical history, constructing an online computer-aided species identification tool and developing joint Sri Lanka/Western Ghats Biodiversity portal similar to the existing Western Ghats/India Biodiversity Portal.
 The French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) is a research institution under the joint supervision of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). The Institute was established in 1955 subsequent to the Treaty of Cession of French Territories in India that was signed in October 1954. In the 1960s, a Department of Ecology was created to collect information on the conditions and evolution of the environment in South India (vegetation, soil, climate change, etc.) with its focus on the Western Ghats, one of the world’s 34 hotspots for biodiversity.