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International Biodiversity Day

The International Biodiversity Day (May 22) ,reminder of the pivotal role our natural world plays in resolving the climate change crisis, ....

Context :Biodiversity is us and we are Biodiversity.” The International Biodiversity Day (May 22), reminder of the pivotal role our natural world plays in resolving the climate change crisis, along with the decline of biodiversity, poses an existential threat to our future.

What is Biodiversity?
  • Biodiversity, the rich variety of life forms and their interconnections with each other and the environment.
    • Inside our bodies as ubiquitous microbiomes, and in remote wild places as well-organised ecological communities and ecosystems.
    • Maintaining and enhancing biodiversity on land and in oceans is perhaps the least expensive mechanism to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to cool our land and oceans.
  • India’s biodiversity is not only on land but also in waterbodies, rivers, deltas, and oceans.
  • Rich array of our ecosystems is in the form of grasslands, savannas, alpine pastures, deserts, and other types of ecological communities.
What are the significance of Biodiversity?
  • Mitigation of climate change is derive from biodiversity.
  • It also fulfils basic needs for food, shelter, medicines, mental health, recreation, and spiritual enrichment.
  • It restore our degraded lands and polluted rivers and oceans and sustain our agriculture in the face of climate change.
  • It helps to form the basis of a new sustainable green economy.
  • It inspire our children to opt for a more humane, just, and hopeful future, which accords primacy to the living world.
Indian Forest Service:
* The main custodian of the natural world is the Indian Forest Service.
* In the 20th century, ecosystem services in multifunctional landscapes dominated by humans.
* In the 21st century, the basic terms “forests” and “wildlife” have limited meaning or usefulness
What are the Advantages of biodiversity conservation?
  • Conservation of biological diversity leads to conservation of essential ecological diversity to preserve the continuity of food chains.
  • The genetic diversity of plants and animals is preserved.
  • It ensures the sustainable utilisation of life support systems on earth.
  • It provides a vast knowledge of potential use to the scientific community.
  • A reservoir of wild animals and plants is preserved, thus enabling them to be introduced, if need be, in the nearby areas.
  • Biological diversity provides immediate benefits to the society such as recreation and tourism.
  • Biodiversity conservation serves as an insurance policy for the future.
What are the challenges to conserve Biodiversity?
  • Conservation of living natural resources is a low priority.
  • Taking advantage of living natural resources for monetary gain
  • Uncontrolled industrialisation and non-planned urbanization.
  • Insufficency to conserve and manage our precious, irreplaceable natural heritage.
  • Biodiversity is declining worldwide, and largely isolated ecosystems are degrading due to climate changes. Such as loss of species, climate stressors, and continuous human pressures.
  • In India, the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill will further weaken our resolve to sustain the remaining biodiversity.
The Forest Rights Act, 2006
  • In 2006, The Forest Rights Act was passed to increase in stake of local groups in ownership as well as management of biodiversity.
  • The Act largely remains on paper, yet to be executed on the ground.
National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Wellbeing
  • Aim: To enhance and conserve biodiversity to foster human well-being.
    • To meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to poverty alleviation, nutrition and health, and environmental protection.
  • Nature-based solutions : It helps enable our country to meet critical challenges in climate change, natural and regenerative agriculture, and ecosystem and public health using biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • To support an era of new green economy.
India’s scenario:
  • Mainstreaming biodiversity: India’s leading conservation biologists, working under the umbrella of the Biodiversity Collaborative based in Bengaluru.
    • To conceptualised the idea and developed a road map for the Mission of PM’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Council.
  • India covers 2.4% of the world’s geographical area and holds 11.4% of the planet’s plants (about 48,000 species) and 7.5% of its animal population (about 96,000 species), as per government data from 2011.
  • India has lost about one-third of its natural wetlands that are home to migratory birds and large numbers of plants and fish species–to urbanisation, agriculture and pollution over the past four decades.
  • A crowdsourced data study by the Centre for Social and Environmental Innovation (CSEI) at ATREE, India Spend reported in March 2022, found that Bengaluru has lost at least 208 of its over 1,350 lakes.
What should be done to Managing and Conserving biodiversity?
  • Mainstreaming of Biodiversity — In every development program, government department, in every public and private institution.
  • To decentralise the management of biodiversity by bringing together multiple stakeholders, especially local communities. By the means of gram sabhas and biodiversity management committees
  •  Other ways to conserve biodiversity are:
    • Government legislation
    • Nature preservation
    • Reducing invasive species
    • Habitat restoration
    • Captive breeding and seed banks
    • Research
    • Reduce climate change
    • Purchase sustainable products
    • Sustainable living
  • People’s participation in the centre of the mission of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, embed consideration of biodiversity in every development-oriented programme of the public and private sectors, and arouse curiosity about nature and a sense of responsibility for safeguarding biodiversity.
  • It is time to move beyond the Act’s steps to fundamentally alter the way to manage our biodiversity.
  • Undertaking such a pledge would be a fitting celebration of our precious and irreplaceable natural world.

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