AW Surveys

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Threats on biodiversity and its conservation:

There are many adverse effects or threats on biodiversity, some of them are listed below:
Degradation of ecosystem.
Loss of habitat.
Loss of mobility.
Reduction in the expansion of vegetation.
The following measures should be adopted for the conservation of biodiversity:
1. Over grazing in the forest and areas of vegetation should be controlled because it may destroy the useful rare plants.
2. The habitat of plants and animals should be conserved.
3. The natural condition of ecosystem should be studied and researched in time and again, then specific programs for conservation should be conducted.
4. Human activities should be done without destroying natural environment.
5. Illegal hunting and smuggling of animals and plants should be strictly avoided.
6. Effective laws and rules should be adopted for the conservation of rare animals and plants.
7. Industries are established from the raw materials. During the process of collecting raw materials, care should be taken not to destroy useful plants and habitats of animals.
8. Public awareness should be created about the importance of rare animals and plants, causes of rareness and measures for their preservation.

Biodiversity in Nepal:

Nepal is rich in term of biodiversity. There are high mountains, high hills and plain land of Terai regions where different species of plants and animals are found. And it is rich in physical diversity also. Physical diversity has created diversity in ecosystem and climatic situation. Each region has its typical topography, climate and vegetation. This diversity has helped in wholesome biodiversity. Nepal has separated18% of the total area for natural parks, conservation areas, wildlife reserve and hunting areas. Most of the ecosystem, besides desert and ocean, are found in Nepal. It is recorded that Nepal has a total of 118 types of ecosystem, 75 types of vegetation and 35 types of forests. There are different animals and plants found only in Nepal. And different animals and plants are found according to ecological region. So, Nepal is rich in biodiversity.
According to bird conservation Nepal (BCN), the number of some birds like sparrow and crow is increasing. Among the 832 species of birds of Nepal, 31 species have been disappearing from the world. According to the IUCN (international union for the conservation of nature and natural resources). Report, among 1, 253 species of vertebrates.78 species are in red list.

International year of biodiversity:

It is to focus attention on the fast disappearing biodiversity and its consequences on human survival that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is organizing the international year of biodiversity. The IUCN says, "We are facing a serious crisis in biodiversity, the elaborate network of animals, plants and the places where they live on the planet." The IUCN maintains the renowned Red List of Threatened Species based on which so many conservation decisions are made.
The international year of biodiversity’s logo is designed to convey the concept of discovery and realization. A host of symbolic iconographic elements are included within the design to depict the scope of flora and fauna aspects. Together, they demonstrate how biodiversity is life and how people realize their place within this journey. The logo consists of 3 core component:
The year 2010 that frames the campaign and logo elements.
The iconographic elements symbolizing biodiversity. These include fish, waves, a flamingo, an adult and child and a tree.
The title of campaign, "2010 International Year of Biodiversity.
The logo’s colors include two shades of green-one darker and another lighter. The slogan for International Year of Biodiversity is, "Biodiversity is life. Biodiversity is our life."
Goals of international year of biodiversity 2010
The main aims of international year of biodiversity are to:
Enhance public awareness of the importance of conserving biodiversity and of the underlying threats of biodiversity.
Raise awareness of the accomplishments to save biodiversity that have already been realized by communities and Governments
Promote innovative solutions to reduce the threats to biodiversity.
Encourage individuals, organization and government to take immediate steps to halt biodiversity loss.
Start dialogues between stake-holders for the steps to be taken in the post 2010 period.

Biodiversity conservation strategies:

Species extinction is not a pleasant phenomenon. But around 27,000 species become extinct every year. This is a big blow to the biological diversity that sustains life on earth. If this trend of biodiversity depletion continues, one-fourth of the world’s species may be gone by the year 2050. Biodiversity conservation strategies need to focus on several factors to be really effective. Conservation of biodiversity is the planning and management of biological resources in a way so as to secure their wide use and continuous supply, maintaining their quality, value and diversity. The world conservation strategy has suggested the following steps for biodiversity conservation:
Preservation of species that are endangered.
Prevention of extinction through sound planning and
Preservation of varieties of food crops, forage plants, animals and their wild relatives.
Identification, safeguarding and protection of habitats of wild relatives where species feed, breed, nurse their young and rest.
Regulation of international trade in wild plants and animals.
Biodiversity conservation strategies could be categorized as In situ conservation and Ex situ conservation strategies.

Importance of biodiversity:

The maintenance of high level of biodiversity is important for the stability of ecosystems. Some importance of biodiversity is given below in points:
For agricultural production.
For animal production.
For plant production.
For maintaining natural beauty and scenarios.
Helps for improvement in breed.
For tourism development of a place.
For economic development.
For soil conservation.
For watershed conservation.
For environmental balance.
For the existence of natural ecosystem.
For study and research work.
Besides, biodiversity is also scientifically important for human survival. Every species can help scientists understand how life evolved and functioned and how it will continue to evolve on this planet. Every country and region has three forms of wealth: material, cultural and biodiversity. The forests, range lands, parks, wilderness and aquatic systems, where the genes, species and ecosystems making up biodiversity are found, are crucial sources of biological wealth that are today coming under increasing pressure from population growth and economic development.

Causes of biodiversity degeneration:

There are various factors responsible for the degradation of biodiversity, the primary among them being destruction of habitat and habitat fragmentation leading to species movement to other habitat where they find it difficult to adapt. But it is also being affected by rapid population growth, animal hunting, urbanization, deforestation, industrialization and climatic change. Major reasons of degradation of biodiversity are:
Environmental degradation.
Excessive use of biodiversity.
Attempts to develop new species of plants and animals.
Different types of pollution.
Change in functions of environment like climate.
Population growth.
Urbanization and industrialization.
According to the Global Biodiversity Strategy (WRI/IUCN/UNEP 1992) there are six fundamental causes of biodiversity degradation:
1. Unsustainable high rates of human population growth and natural resource consumption.
2. Steadily narrowing spectrum of traded products from agriculture and forestry and introduction of exotic species associated with agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
3. Economic systems and policies that fail to value the environment and its resources.
4. Inequity in ownership and access to natural resources, including the benefits from use and conservation of biodiversity.
5. Inadequate knowledge and inefficient use of information.
6. Legal and institutional systems that promote unsustainable exploitation.

Threatened diversity:

The earth’s biological wealth or biological diversity is the entire complement of life that has survived nearly 4 billion years of evolution. However, in recent times, the ever-increasing loss of this biological wealth has posed serious threat to the very existence of mankind. The prevailing illiteracy, poverty, lack of scientific development, burgeoning population etc. are some of the factors responsible for the degeneration of biodiversity. In the last half billion years of the history of earth’s life, five great episodes of extinction have already decimated a variety of living organisms including the mammoth dinosaurs. The first was in the Ordovician period 448, second Devonian 365, third Permian 286, and fourth Triassic 210 and fifth in cretaceous period 66 million years ago.
The first four episodes of extinction are believed to have been caused by climatic change and the fifth by a giant meteorite crash. The sixth extinction, which we are facing today, is due to human activities. Scientists have estimated that human activities are likely to eliminate approximately 10 million species by the middle of this century. Tropical rain forests, known as the "lungs of the earth", are the storehouse of biodiversity covering only 7% of the earth’s geographical area but supporting more than half of the world’s identified species. Tropical forest cover is being lost at the rate of about 0.16 billion hectare per decade. Twelve rain forests and eight wilderness areas of the world have been identified as hot spots.
If rational conservation measures are not undertaken soon, 90% of these habitats could be destroyed in the near future. This would amount to a potential loss of 15,000 to 50,000 species every year or 50 to 150 species every day. All over the world, about 60,000 species of plants and 2000 species of animals are on verge of extinction. This includes fishes (343), amphibians (50), reptiles (170), invertebrates (1355), birds (1037) and mammals (497).This disappearance of species also means a reduction of genes from the gene pool. This reduction in the genetic resources of the Earth is known as genetic erosion. The twentieth century has witnessed a loss of 75% of crop plants. High yielding varieties have occupied more than 60%area of wheat and rice lands. .