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Nature Conservation: Our solutions are in nature

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World Nature Conservation Day is observed every year on 28 July to recognize that a healthy environment is the foundation for a stable and productive society and future generations. Conservation of nature is the greatest virtue.

By: Satyawan Saurabh

In nature, many species function in an ecosystem. Every organism makes some useful contribution to fulfill its own needs as well as to various other organisms in the environment. World Nature Conservation Day is observed every year on 28 July to recognize that a healthy environment is a foundation for a stable and productive society and future generations.

Species store and use energy, produce and break down organic matter, are part of water and nutrient cycles throughout ecosystems, fix gases in the atmosphere and help regulate climate. Thus, they help build soil, reduce pollution, and protect land, water, and air resources. These functions of biodiversity are important for ecosystem functions and stability.

The various plants, animals, and microorganisms that make up biodiversity provide us with food like grains, fish, etc., fibers for our clothes like cotton, wool, etc., fuel wood for survival as well as medicines like neem. Also, provide products. Biodiversity regulates local as well as global climate, manages global levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other gases, maintains freshwater quality, absorbs carbon by acting as a carbon sink, etc. Biodiversity thus governs life and life.

Biodiversity helps pollination, nutrient cycling as well as recycling, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Biodiversity gives us aesthetic pleasure. Rich biodiversity encourages tourism. Many communities and cultures have co-evolved with the environment and resources provided by biologically diverse environments. Hence, it also plays an important social role. Important services provided by biodiversity are recreation and relaxation, tourism especially ecotourism, art, design, and inspiring spiritual experiences.

Biodiversity helps maintain the food web. Therefore, each species has a higher chance of survival. This results in more stable food chains and food webs. Biodiversity helps in scientific research, education, and monitoring. Biodiversity, thus, helps in understanding the functioning of life and the role it plays in maintaining each natural ecosystem of which we humans are a part.

In particular, the conversion of natural ecosystems to cropland, the development of infrastructure projects such as railways and roads, loss of habitat, and fragmentation of organisms from increased urbanization and mining activities have occurred through land use change. According to a Living Planet report, approximately 50% of tropical and subtropical forests and 45% of temperate grasslands have been converted for human use in the past 40 years. In addition to some losses, the degradation of many habitats from pollution also threatens the survival of many species.

Over-hunting or poaching of species, over-harvesting of plant products, and over-harvesting can lead to a rapid decline in biodiversity. Humans’ changing consumption patterns are often cited as the main reason for this continued exploitation of natural resources. Many species that became extinct in the last 5 centuries, such as Steller’s sea cow, and the passenger pigeon, were over-exploited by humans. Similarly, animals die from plastic pollution. Also, many bird species have died in urban areas due to air pollution from industries and vehicles.

Large areas of protected land can be national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to preserve wildlife, plant and animal resources, and the traditional life of tribals living in the area. The tribals of India have played an important role in preserving the biodiversity of the forests and the tribals have protected the flora and fauna in the sacred groves. Otherwise, these plants and animals would have disappeared from the natural ecosystem. The government should try to build trust between its agencies in the region and the people who depend on these forests,they should be treated as equal citizens like everyone else in the country.

In today’s globalized world, the conservation of wildlife and nature has assumed greater importance. Caring for the lives of others and empathy for nature can connect us mentally with our nature which can free us from the greed of consumption that has destroyed our environment. Developed nations are aware that their development cannot come at the expense of nature or other developing nations. Promoting public compassion over conservation can strengthen these efforts.

Earth’s natural resources include air, water, soil, minerals, fuels, plants, and animals. Preserving these resources and using them to a limited extent is the preservation of nature so that all living things can benefit from them in the future. Natural resources and the environment are the basis of our life and existence. Nature is life, life is man, and man is humanity. Conservation of nature is the greatest virtue. We are very fortunate that we are connected to the world in which there is life.

But due to our way of life, not only humans but all living beings have a serious crisis. We can also say that the existence of life on our most unique planet has become a threat. On World Nature Day, let us take pledge that nature conservation will be our highest priority. But this is not possible under the law, it will be possible only through our and your collective efforts.

The writer is a Research Scholar, Poet, Freelance Journalist and Columnist.

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