We have lost 97% of our wild tigers in just over a century. With as few as 3,200 remaining, action is needed to increase and strengthen their habitat and protect the species ! AjayaBajpai
AjayaBajpai Biodiversity is the distribution and number, variety and variability of living organisms over time. Biodiversity may be diversity within species (genetic diversity), between species (species diversity), and between ecosystems (ecosystem diversity).
AjayaBajpai Biodiversity includes all ecosystems—wild lands, nature preserves, or national parks, plantations, farms, croplands, aquaculture sites, and rangelands.
The biodiversity we see today is the result of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, increasingly, by the influence of humans. AjayaBajpai
Environment & Biodiversity The paradigm change Over the last century, population, market pressures and the development of new agricultural technologies have encouraged patterns of agricultural development tending towards agricultural intensification (i.e. increasing scales of monoculture production, intensive mechanical tillage, irrigation, and the use of synthetic fertilizer, pest control agents and a restricted diversity of crop and livestock varieties), often leading to natural resources degradation. AjayaBajpai
The Western Ghats of India), where 19 out of 21 regions of concentrated biodiversity ("biodiversity hot-spots") and human population in these areas is increasing faster than anywhere else). These areas of high population growth (many of which lie adjacent to protected areas) are also experiencing rapid changes towards urbanization where demand for agricultural products is expected to increase as income levels in these areas rise.
A recent news item “Climate change threatens India: study” based on a study undertaken by Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, TERI and NIO, Goa revealed that Teak and Sal forests may dry out due to higher temperatures, the production of wheat, rice and other major crops could fall and monsoon rainfall will rise, with a drastic impact of climate change in India. It said that 85 percent of India's forests will change due to climate change by 2030-2100 and that rising sea levels will impact coastal railways, roads, major river basin ecology, and rainfall. They also found that incidents of malaria could increase and climate change could introduce malaria in new areas. The NIO, Goa study clearly showed that "the southern peninsular coast will be the most vulnerable to sea level rise". AjayaBajpai
They also observed that there could be large-scale loss of biodiversity. There will be large increase in net primary productivity" but "unique forest systems could suffer irreversible damage”
Biodiversity loss is defined as the long-term or permanent qualitative or quantitative reduction in components of biodiversity and their potential to provide goods and services, to be measured at global, regional and national levels AjayaBajpai
The HIPPO EFFECT Over-extraction of resources, degradation of coastal and benthic habitats from coastal development and destructive fishing practices, pollution, and climate change are causing extensive loss of biodiversity. AjayaBajpai
Causes of recent declines in biodiversity The major causes of biodiversity decline are land use changes, pollution, changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, changes in the nitrogen cycle and acid rain, climate alterations, and the introduction of exotic species, all coincident to human population growth. For rainforests, the primary factor is land conversion. Climate will probably change least in tropical regions, and nitrogen problems are not as important because growth in rainforests is usually limited more by low phosphorus levels than by nitrogen insufficiency. The introduction of exotic species is also less of a problem than in temperate areas because there is so much diversity in tropical forests that newcomers have difficulty becoming established (Sala, et al., 2000).
a. Human population growth: The geometric rise in human population levels during the twentieth century is the fundamental cause of the loss of biodiversity. It exacerbates every other factor having an impact on rainforests (not to mention other ecosystems).
Biodiversity loss can have indirect effects on human well-being as well. By disrupting ecosystem function, biodiversity loss leads to ecosystems that are less resilient, more vulnerable to shocks and disturbances, and less able to supply humans with needed services. The damage to coastal communities from floods and storms, for example, increases dramatically following conversion of wetland habitats, as the natural protection offered by these ecosystems including regulation of water run-off is compromised. AjayaBajpai
People who rely most directly on ecosystem services, such as subsistence farmers, the rural poor, and traditional societies, face the most serious and immediate risks from biodiversity loss. First, they are the ones who rely the most on the “safety net” provided by the biodiversity of natural ecosystems in terms of food security and sustained access to medicinal products, fuel, construction materials, and protection from natural hazards such as storms and floods AjayaBajpai
In summary, the loss of biodiversity-dependent ecosystem services is likely to accentuate inequality and marginalization of the most vulnerable sectors of society, by decreasing their access to basic materials for a healthy life and by reducing their freedom of choice and action. Economic development that does not consider effects on these ecosystem services may decrease the quality of life of these vulnerable populations, even if other segments of society benefit. Biodiversity change is therefore inextricably linked to poverty, the largest threat to the future of humanity identified by the United Nations. This is a sobering conclusion for those who argue that biodiversity is simply an intellectual preoccupation of those whose basic needs and aspirations are fulfilled. AjayaBajpai