PANAJI: G20 delegates attending the 4th Tourism Working Group Meeting at the Aguad which is housed at the Aguada Jail complex were treated to the splendour of Goa’s rich biodiversity during their recent official engagement at the newly renovated 17th-century fort.
A captivating display of Goa’s thriving biodiversity was expertly curated by the team at Agaud in collaboration with National Institute of Design (NID) alumnus Kritika Malhotra. This immersive experience themed ‘Goan Monsoon Forest’ was brought to life by the contributions of noted naturalists Parag Rangnekar, Omkar Dharwadkar and Puja Mitra.
“The theme chosen for the G20 meet required showcasing of the abundant biodiversity that Goa has to offer. There are 480 species of birds and animals presently found in Goa and it was necessary to champion this rich biodiversity,” says Puja Mitra, founder and director of Terra Conscious.
The event celebrated the natural bounty of Goa, particularly its rich natural heritage in the Western Ghats — a UNESCO World Heritage site — through video projections of the region’s natural bounty and sounds of the rain, birds chirping, forest sounds and gushing waterfalls, to vividly encapsulate the monsoon experience with the company of Goan cuisine, beverages and Konkani music.
Malhotra, who curated and designed the theme along with the in-house team at Aguad, said that it was important to bring Goa’s natural heritage to the forefront. “And with the monsoons around the corner, we thought that this would be a lovely thing to represent. So, that’s why we thought of recreating the forests of Goa inside the gallery… People are passionate about conservation and wildlife, therefore we put up photographs of the different species of wildlife that are only found in Goa.”
According to naturalist Parag Rangnekar, G20 delegates were also presented with a visual treat in the form of a biodiversity map of Goa.
“The team thought a biodiversity map would serve as a perfect display at the venue because it is visually attractive and would give the delegates an opportunity to engage with the wildlife and biodiversity of the state,” Rangnekar said.
Goa is a region of immense importance, home to at least 1,136 rare and endangered mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, spiders, butterfly and dragonfly, as well as 1,750 plant species, which were represented in spirit to the visiting G20 delegates.
The food and snacks presented to the delegates during the tea session were curated by Black Sheep Bistro, The Goan Kitchen and Motley Brew.
“It was a privilege to showcase Goa’s biodiversity to the world. We were honoured to host the G-20 delegates at Aguad, where we crafted a celebration of Goa’s natural heritage. We curated immersive installations, recreated the lush forests, and collaborated with a team of naturalists to speak about the importance of protecting the flora and fauna,” stated Naveen Chopra, Group CEO of Waterfront Experiences.
A land of rich culture and unique biodiversity, Goa’s forests are part of the Western Ghats, recognised as one of the world’s significant biodiversity hotspots, even older than the Himalayas.