INDIA CAN BECOME A BIODIVERSITY CHAMPION:
- The whole of our biological resources, or biodiversity, is essential for global survival. The importance of our planet’s biodiversity was made abundantly obvious at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (CBD) in Montreal, Canada. The 3030 pledge, which 188 national delegates adopted in December 2022, calls for the conservation of 30% of the world’s land area and 30% of its oceans by 2030 in order to “halt and reverse” biodiversity loss.
India works to preserve biodiversity:
- With 17% of the world’s population and 17% of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, India is in a unique position to lead the world in becoming biodiversity champions.
- In response to this need, one of the seven goals, or Saptarishis, that will guide the country in its “Amrit kaal” during the ensuing 25 years was “Green Growth” in the Union Budget 2023. India is losing a lot of its natural resources, including its soils, land, water, and biodiversity, therefore the emphasis on sustainable development is fantastic for the nation’s biological diversity.
- The National Mission for a Green India, also known as the Green India Mission (GIM), is one of the eight objectives set forth in the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). It aims to preserve existing forests and increase the amount of forest cover on degraded lands.
- The Green Credit Program’s mission is to “incentivize environmentally conscious and proactive actions by businesses, individuals, and governmental organisations.”
- The Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) is extremely vital due to the importance of mangroves and coastal ecosystems in preventing climate change.
- The Prime Minister Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother Earth (PM-PRANAM), which attempts to limit inputs of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, is essential to our agriculture sector.
- The Amrit Dharohar initiative, which aims to “promote optimal use of wetlands, and improve biodiversity, carbon stock, eco-tourism potential, and income production for local residents,” expressly mentions our biological richness.
- It is encouraging that the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change has stepped in to stop the drainage of Haiderpur, a Ramsar wetland in Uttar Pradesh, in order to safeguard migrating ducks. The Indian government has informed up to 75 Ramsar sites—wetlands of international significance—for the end of 2022
Methods that are supported by science for preserving biodiversity:
- Science-based and inclusive monitoring programmes are necessary for these projects to succeed in order to document and distil lessons learnt for replication on a national and international level.
- The ecological, cultural, and social aspects of our biological diversity should be successfully merged into new goals and programmes using contemporary conceptions of sustainability and ecosystem value.
- Because they feature distinct system limits, an emphasis on benefits for “resource people,” and fund-services (rather than stock-flows) as the economic basis for creating value, many sustainable bio-economies have a lot of potential.
- The future of our wetland ecosystems will depend on our capacity to preserve natural flows. If we want to achieve this, we need to utilise less water in crucial industries like agriculture and encourage the use of less water-demanding plants like millets.
- In urban areas, it is advised to invest in water recycling using a combination of grey and blue-green infrastructure.
- The Green India Mission should prioritise ecological restoration above tree planting and concentrate on areas that can support biological connectivity in landscapes that have been impacted by linear infrastructure.
- The project’s location needs to be carefully selected, with an emphasis on the variety of mangrove species while preserving the health of the salt pans and coastal mudflats, which are equally crucial for biodiversity.
- Local community involvement Not least of all, the local and nomadic people where the programmes will be implemented must be included in each of these projects. The customs and knowledge of these communities should be considered while developing implementation strategies.
- Each programme should entail a significant investment in education and research in order to analyse India’s biological resources critically and increase knowledge of them.
- The Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council will assist the government’s launch of the National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Health (PM-STIAC). This mission aspires to fully utilise the potential of transdisciplinary knowledge in order to green India and its economy, repair and enhance our natural capital for the benefit of our people, and position India as a global leader in applied biodiversity science.
Source The Hindu