The creation of the earth is still shrouded in mystery. If we consider this world as a specially created wisdom, then this world belongs to nature who has created it with great care for sake of human beings and decorated it with colorful plants and different kinds of animals, so that human beings can avail various benefits from it. These colorful plants and all kinds of animals are called biodiversity in modern terminology. If it is said that modern biodiversity is the fruit of an evolutionary story of millions of years, but now we are destroying this fruit in a matter of minutes or say in hours. We have destroyed these plants and animals 1,000 times faster than the speed at which they were planted or raised. To an estimate in just one hundred years, 45 per cent of world’s forests have been destroyed since creation of the earth and 12 million hectares of forests are being cleared every year. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), environmental pollution indicates that another 35,000 plants and 5,500 animals will become extinct in next 20 to 25 years. There are an estimated 30 million living things in the world, of which only two million are described by our scientists. In India, 45,000 species of plants and 90,000 species of animals have been described. But not only in the world but also in India, the rate of extinction of these animals is extremely fast, due to which there is a danger of severe loss of biodiversity. If our all-encompassing development continues at this rate, we will once again enter age of 65 million years ago, when world’s plants and animals became extinct for various reasons and there will be no living thing on earth. That was the time when all the dinosaurs disappeared from the earth. Is that time returning again?
Thus, the presence of biodiversity in an ecological or biological system is a sign of health of that system. If species become extinct day by day due to various reasons, then it is a destruction of biodiversity which is not relatively easy to repair. These flowers, plants and animals are solely responsible for the energy flow. Therefore, the improvement in biodiversity gives us the satisfaction of getting food, clean water and air and can avoid natural disasters. If we do not pay attention to this and the trend of catastrophe in biodiversity continues with same pace, then next 10-15 years more than 50 per cent of world’s population will be begging for food and even it will be difficult for them to get a one-time meal.
Although there are many threats to biodiversity but the human selfishness in which man destroys the habitat of living beings for human settelment is the deadliest one. The growth of foreign species in the native land also destroys the native species. Sometimes living tablets become extinct with living organisms. Most of these include parasitic animals whose tablets become extinct due to unfavorable conditions and all the animals that depend on them also become extinct which creates an imbalance in biodiversity. Deforestation and the destruction of habitats is also an important issue for the survival of biodiversity. In addition, roads, railway tracks and other major factories are being built which release toxic chemical substances thereby biodiversity is being destroyed. Change of agricultural lands to residential areas is also an important reason due to which biodiversity is facing various problems. As a result, genetic diversity is declining with each passing day, leading to the extinction of a number of species whereas some others are being placed in the list of endangered category. In addition, the global warming and increasing pollution, is also posing a threat to biodiversity of today’s world. Ozone and climate change could wreak havoc on a quarter of the planet’s livelihoods in the next quarter of a century.
India is recognized as an important country in terms of biodiversity, it is educating millions of people at every turn, highlighting the importance of biodiversity, bringing moral, social and cultural values to the people through various means. Like other parts of the world, India’s Natural resources too are being degraded or depleted. There are many rivers and forests here which need to be protected to protect biodiversity In this regard a mission has been launched in recent past for a green India, which is yielding positive results. Efforts are also being made to protect India’s biodiversity in the Eastern and Western Ghats by implementing a number of conservation policies.
Thus, the conservation of biodiversity is directly linked to the protection of the ecosystem. Conservation means not only protection but also the maintenance of existing species in good condition, proper care and recovery of lost species. Security measures also include protection of forests and natural resources. Every year on May 22, ‘Biodiversity Day’ is celebrated, to aware the general public about the ever increasing trend of extinction of living things due to various reasons. We are a unit of today’s natural world, so our destinies are directly related to the flourishing of biodiversity on earth. Our well-being in this world depends on the natural resources of this world without which our lives are indigestible. The survival of biodiversity for a healthy ecosystem is in fact the survival of man and humanity. Since biodiversity is essential for human economic and social development, the issue of biodiversity survival has become universal. In short, we must think that no one else is responsible for this catastrophe, but we are. In the end we are forced to say that saving biodiversity is to save mankind.
Dr Ashaq Hussain