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Biodiversity - An Introspection
by Barsha Bhattacharjee



The winds swayed the branches of the tall fir trees as a tiny butterfly was witnessed sitting on one of its leaves and getting thrown away by the force of the wind. At the same time, in another far off area, an infant seal wanted to make the most out of its play time and correspondingly another place saw a  tiger enjoying the cool  feel of  the pond water on its body.

Truly, nature and its pristine beauty is something which can never be subjected to comparison. Its enormity coupled up with its chastity is way beyond the imagination of man. Every bit of our surroundings, the  variety of species: plants, animals, micro-organisms, the enormous diversity of genes in these species, the different ecosystems on the planet, such as deserts, rainforests and coral reefs, all possess those essential qualities and form a biologically diverse Earth. This diversity of the nature is commonly called “Biodiversity”.  

Such is the importance of biodiversity, that man, in all probabilities, cannot imagine life without it. In fact, it is close to impossible yet considerably far from impossible for life to exist without biodiversity. From the most miniscule species to the largest animal to the ecosystems, all play the most important role of their lives by  making the earth habitable. From  soil formation, to the  nutrients present in it, to  climate stability, each and every bit of the environment is responsible for all that has been mentioned  above  in addition to the most not mentioned. Whether believed or not, but  it is because of biodiversity, that we enjoy so many free natural ‘services’ and all at zero cost!

Then again, we humans, as always have also done our bit. In what way? Well, perceptibly in the negative way. Threats to biodiversity is one which has undoubtedly been given by man. Extinction of species, increased population,  over-hunting , invasion of not native places, destruction of the rain forests, pollution :you name it, we’ve done it all. Then there are also the domino effects, which on the whole means the effect to the environment that addition or removal of a species causes. The list goes on. in fact we have done a lot, to help ‘promote’ biodiversity.

Now, since we have done so much, we  fortunately and finally have also realized that harming the biodiversity of the world, eventually means  our loss. Therefore, conservative methods are being put to execution to save this enormous and diverse nature. Our own country, India  is one of the 12  mega biodiversity countries of the word. The government has  made many acts, few being the Forest Act of  192, wildfire protection act, 1972, and the forest conservation act of 1980. There is also a Biosphere reserve programme being implemented to save the existing ecosystems.
 
Another significant step taken  to conserve biodiversity is the increase of protected land. Most of the governments and  other organizations are doing a lot to conserve biodiversity. The work will be much easier if we, indigenous people, do a little bit from our side by keeping a check on over-hunting, reducing the pollution and also by conserving the forests. What’s to see is that whether or not the laws that have been  penned down are at all followed by the people. However, it must be unstated, that  it is high time that we all realize the importance of biodiversity and start working towards its conservation with serious efforts, because at the end of the day, it will be us, who will have bear the brunt of our harshness towards mother nature.
 

23-Jun-2013
 
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