A national biodiversity garden, exhibiting rare flora and fauna of Western Ghats, will soon come up in the hill station of Munnar, a busy tourist centre located in Idukki district.
The Kerala State Biodiversity Board has drawn up the plan to set up a 200-acre garden and a traditional knowledge centre at the hill town to conserve the rich biodiversity of the region and create an awareness about them among common people.
A team of biodiversity experts recently visited various areas of Munnar to identify a suitable location for the project, a top KSBB official said.
"The garden will have a large collection of tree species, orchids and other flowering plants, endemic to Western Ghats.A good number of fauna species like honeybee, butterflies and so on, endemic to the region, will also be an attraction for visitors," KSBB Chairman Ommen V Ommen said.
Due to the difficulty in getting 200 acres of land in one area, the board plans to set up up the garden in four or five different locations in and around the town, he said.
As part of the garden project, the board has also plans to prepare a 'red data book' on the endangered plants of the region and establish a centre to conserve the traditional knowledge of native people and promote environmental education, he said.
The major highlight of the garden would be the thematic displays on Kerala's rich biodiversity, heritage sites and other protected areas, he said.
A proposal for the land had been submitted to the district administration and more than Rs 25 crore was expected as total estimate for the project, the official said.