The Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society (AEHMS) is very pleased to announce that our President, Dr. Mohiuddin Munawar, has recently been awarded the 2013 Honorary Fellowship by the Inland Fisheries Society of India (IFSI). Dr. A.P. Sharma, President of IFSI and Director of Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI) announced that, “This award is in recognition of the scientific activities of Dr. Munawar on behalf of AEHMS that have been held in India or focussed on India” (award letter included below):

AEHMS’ first steps in India were a collaboration in 1999 with the National Institute of Ecology (NIE), India, to co-sponsor a conference entitled ‘Aquatic Ecosystem Health of Tropical and Temperate Regions: Health & Management,’ recognizing that India itself has ecosystems ranging from tropical to temperate. A special issue of Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management (AEHM) was published in 2001 based on the papers originating from that conference.

In 2006, another symposium was co-organized by AEHMS, this time with Patna University, India, on “The Majestic River Ganga: Health, Integrity and Management.” This symposium attracted a large number of researchers from across India to focus for the first time on the past, present, and future research on River Ganges.

The scientific cooperation with Indian research organizations continued with the convening of a special session on climate change as part of the International Tropical Ecology Congress (Dehra Dun, India, 2007) with H.N.B. Garhwal University, and a special symposium focusing on “Ecosystem Health of Indian River Systems” at the 8th Indian Fisheries Forum in Kolkata (2008), co-sponsored by CIFRI and AEHMS. This meeting resulted in the establishment of a working group for the publication of a compendium of 5 research articles (AEHMS, 2010).

AEHMS’ collaboration with CIFRI for the Indian environment experienced a boost with the arrival of its new director, Dr. A. P. Sharma. Subsequent researchers from across India were invited to present their research at a workshop (April 2012) in Barrackpore entitled ‘Ecosystem Health of Major Rivers of India.’ Based on its success, a symposium was organized in conjunction with centenary celebrations of the Indian Science Congress at Kolkata in 2013, at which approximately 40 papers were presented dealing with the ‘Health and fisheries of the major river ecosystems of India with emphasis on River Ganga’. The above events have produced high quality papers on Indian rivers which have been divided into two publications:

  • “Ecology of the Mighty Ganges: Health, Fisheries and Management”: special issue of AEHM (this issue).

  • “Health and Fisheries of the Major River Ecosystem of India”: a peer reviewed book to be published under the Ecovision World Monograph Series of the AEHMS in 2014.

This history carried out during the past 15 years provides a record of the remarkable vision, energy, and long term dedication of Dr. Munawar to the international presence and impact of AEHMS in India, with the support of his highly committed AEHMS staff, and scientific colleagues. Yet the reach of the AEHMS' influence, with its aquatic ecosystem health and science-based management, extends not only to India but also to include Africa, China, Malaysia, the Middle East, Europe, North and South America, and other regions of the world. It is therefore gratifying that the AEHMS has been invited by CIFRI to convene its upcoming 12th biennial conference in Kolkata, India.

Dr. Diane F. Malley

AEHMS Treasurer and Managing Advisor

PDK Projects, Nainamo, British Columbia