On this day of World Environment Day, take a pledge to save our biodiversity
Tawseef A. Mir
ON JUNE 5 every year, world observes international environment day. People from more than 100 countries observe this day. Promoted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) the day is being observed since the year 1973. Above all the main purpose of observing this day is to spread awareness. The awareness about the conservation of our environment. It is our duty to protect our environment and stop all the exploitation that is destroying it. Because in the end, it is our basic need for our survival and our generations ahead.
Why do we need to observe the day?
Environment is crucial for our survival on this planet. It makes life sustainable. Without it, we cannot survive even for a day. For instance, our skin will burn, the lungs will rupture and our blood pressure will rise. We will not have food and water to survive. And this will also happen because of the imbalance of heat and atmospheric pressure. Thus it is important that we should take care of the environment. Also, abandon all the exploitation that we are causing to it. This day reminds us of our responsibilities towards that end.
What do we do on World Environment Day?
On the world environment day, we all take a day off from our work and join various campaigns to spread awareness about environment protection. Moreover, we all plant small saplings in a barren land so that it may grow and flourish in the land area after some years. Also, we take part in various processions to make people aware of this day. So that they may also take part in protecting our environment. Furthermore, in schools, the teachers teach the students the methods to plant a tree. The school provides buses to take the students to the jungles. There they come to know about the different types of plants and the types of vegetation in which they survive.
World Environment Day 2020
“Biodiversity” is chosen as theme for world environment day 2020 by United Nations (UN). Biodiversity is the variety of living organisms and their interactions with each other, i.e. life on Earth. The diversity linked to micro-organisms, different plants and animals is included in biodiversity. Bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms, bryophytes and the various plants, birds, insects, fish and humans are all the fundamental part of biodiversity. Biodiversity can occur in a very small particular area or in a very large area like the ocean. Biodiversity can be present in different ecosystems such as the desert ecosystem, the aquatic ecosystem and the terrestrial ecosystem, including the grassland ecosystem, the forest ecosystem, etc. Biodiversity is therefore present everywhere on earth.
Type of Biodiversity
There are three prime types of biodiversity viz, Genetic biodiversity, Species biodiversity and habitat / ecosystem biodiversity.
Genetic biodiversity: Genetic biodiversity is related to the genes of living organism and is the diversity within the specific species. Genes are responsible for transmission of certain factors or traits from one generation to the next within the same species, so genetic biodiversity has occurred within the same specific species. It is also called as within species diversity. Genes give unique characters or features to each individual species. Genetic biodiversity covers different varieties of a single species or a distinct population of a single species. For example, if we see animals like dogs and cats, there are thousands of different breeds available. Flower like rose, there are different varieties of roses of colours, shape and other characters available.
Species biodiversity: Species biodiversity occurs among different types of species (more than one different species) in a particular area or location. Here, the number of species is the basic unit for classification. Different organisms have different features and characters and that is why they cannot reproduce or interbred, therefore they are considered as different species. The organism that can be reproduced with each other is considered to be as single species. The diversity among the number of species and their different individual varieties that live in a particular area at a given time is called species biodiversity. Here, there may be changes in the type and numbers of species over time, period or session. So, in a particular area, there may be particular species such as horse, dogs, elephant, lion, particular birds, plants, etc and some of them may be more at particular location, then it is called as species richness.
Ecosystem biodiversity/ Habitat biodiversity: The ecosystem is the interaction and interrelation between different living organisms and its non-living environment. The species can be different in different environments from geological conditions and therefore the diversity linked to different types of ecosystem such as forest, desert, aquatic ecosystem is called ecosystem biodiversity.
Importance of biodiversity to humans
Over 8.7 million species on our planet have a specific ecosystem like a patch of wood. Healthy biodiversity ensures the stability of ecosystems by reducing the dependence of one species on another for food shelter and even the maintenance of the physical environment. One species can make a huge difference to an entire ecosystem. We would all prefer a lush green planet with lots of insect birds and flowers rather than a barren planet, but to really convince people that biodiversity is important, we need to look at its economic value.
The World Conservation Union estimates that the goods and services provided by ecosystems represent around $ 33 trillion a year, reduced by diversity. Millions, if not billions, of people face a future, as food suppliers are more vulnerable to pests and diseases, fresh water is scarce, and we have no drugs to cure life-threatening diseases.
Biodiversity protects the water resources it cleans; it controls the route to be followed and the stabilizer banks thus reducing the risk of flooding. Biodiversity has also improved the quality of the soil again reducing the risk of flooding and increased fertility, so potential crop yields. We are currently taking a hundred billion kilograms of food from the oceans. If you don’t keep these supplies, how are we going to replace food sources in the future and what about traditional and modern medicine.
Medicine biodiversity necessary for diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. So many modern medicines are derived from wild species such as some pain relievers, heart medicines, anticancer medicines and diabetes treatments. There are so many other important species that have not yet been studied or discovered that could provide us with a generally important remedy or treatment. If we do not start to prevent biodiversity loss, we may never the chance to discover and develop this potentially life-saving drug.
Loss of biodiversity increases the spread of infectious diseases. The epidemics of avian influenza with Ebola virus, malaria and corona virus Pandemic COVID-19 have all been attributed to human impacts on biodiversity. Biodiversity also help humans to generate income via tourism, Europe and Africa generates remarkable amount of income as agriculture, forestry and fishing combined, but even England has increased its animal species less and its landscapes less extreme than the value of the forest day of other countries or even estimated at around 1 billion pounds.
Conservation of biodiversity
The protection, management and preservation of genetic diversity, species and ecosystems are important and are also called biodiversity conservation. We must protect flora and fauna for the sustainable growth of individual species and of all types of ecosystems. As there is a strong interaction and relationship between the varieties of species, the ecosystem and the environment, they are interdependent. The richness of species, the ecosystem, the environment and the sustainable growth of life on earth are also called optimal conservation of biodiversity.
All over the world, biodiversity loss is observed due to habitat loss, global warming, climate change, excessive exploration of resources, illegal poaching of rear animals, deadly diseases, pollution of the environment, industrialization, urbanization, deforestation, etc.It is true that humans are the most beneficial species that benefit from almost all the benefits of biodiversity. Therefore, it is his primary responsibility to take corrective action against the damage caused by it and to improve biodiversity through scientific management.
The main objective of conserving biodiversity is to save life on earth, preserve all species, maintain the ecosystem and a healthy environment forever so that it remains healthy for the next generation as well. Conserving biodiversity is very important for maintaining the food chain, providing a healthy environment for varieties of species, including humans, and gaining support for our sustainable development.
Here are the main objectives of biodiversity conservation
1. Protect and maintain the important ecosystem from destruction by preserving natural resources, maintaining the crucial ecosystem process, minimizing use, optimizing consumption, avoiding waste and maintaining aids and survival systems.
2. Since humans are part of the biodiversity of the ecosystem, it is ethical to conserve biodiversity.
3. Protect and preserve the extinction of varieties of plants and animal species.
4. Promote the development of rear species, ensure the exploration of new species with their importance and their ecosystem for sustainable biodiversity.
5. Maintain the aesthetics of the Earth.
6. Since man is the main consumer of resources, the conservation of biodiversity requires economic and scientific advantages.
Biodiversity conservation challenges
1. There are still several species which are not yet discovered, the habitat of the servals and the landscapes are still not explored and therefore their effect on each other, ecosystem and species, is still unknown. In such circumstances, it is very difficult to develop indicators for measuring and monitoring the parameters of biodiversity.
2. Although the conservation of biodiversity in certain areas is regulated by legislation by declaring the area as a national park, sanctuaries, botanical garden,inclusion in all the relevant laws remains difficult.
3. Maintaining Ex-Situ conservation of biodiversity is costly economically.
- Author is a research scholar of Botany at Jiwaji University Gwalior and a freelance writer and can be reached at [email protected]
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