28 th July is celebrated as World Nature Conservation day. Conservation of Nature signifies the sustainable use of natural resources while ensuring their availability for the future generation. It is not like that we are doing something exclusively for Nature rather in a way helping ourselves with adequate food security, water security, livelihood security, health security and improving our economic status with quality of life. One needs to have compassion for Nature’s conservation and understand the eco-services like Pure air, water, minor forests produce, medicines, minerals and well splendid landscapes etc.
The nature is known for providing tangible and intangible benefits for the survival of all organism on this earth. The food we eat, clothes we wear,water we drink and irrigate our agriculture fields and huge variety of raw materials which make our industries to run and make our Nation’s GDP strong, are derived from the Nature.
Various kinds of ecosystem, Varieties in Biodiversity, wetlands, glaciers, Himalayas, Aravalihills, rivers, shivalik hills, Eastenghat & Westernghats, the oceans and varieties of forests with different flora & fauna are some of the manifestation of Nature. Concentrated efforts are required for Nature conservation as it takes huge financial burden with extra energy and a very long period to restore it if lost once knowingly or unknowingly. “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs but not every man’s greed”Mahatma Gandhi.
United Nations SDG’s 2030 agenda with 17 goal and 169 targets have been set at International forum where in Goal13 exclusively deals with the urgent action to combat climate change and Goal -15 suggests for protection of terrestrial eco system, biodiversity, combat desertification and degradation. From the pre- industrial period the carbon concentration has increased from 280 PPM to 390PPM ( 40% increase), Nitrous oxide 271 PPM to 324.20 PPM ( 20% Increase) , Methane from 722 PPM to 1803 PPM ( 150% increase.). Equally increase in emission of other GHG’s like CFC, HCFC, Sulfur hexa fluoride, carbon tetra chloride and other fluorinated gases have been observed in the atmospheres which are further adding fuel to the fire.
The whole phenomenon with Green house effect is heading the human society towards global warming of this unique Planet, only one earth; ultimately dragging the world towards climate change. “A change in the climate which attribute directly or indirectly due to human activities that alter the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time period, is known as climate change” UNFCCC article I.
The earth atmosphere has never been static since its formation as it has been changing with
the changes being brought by natural drivers ( Solar variability, orbital variation, tectonic processes and volcanic eruptions) the changes has been enhanced due to anthropogenic factors post industrialization era which are largely responsible for the deterioration in quality and quantity of Natural resources mainly due to change in land use pattern and release of aerosol. “Human activities are responsible for causing Global warming with increase of earth temperature to 1 degree centigrade (.8 to 1.2 degree centigrade above pre industrial level)”,IPCC 2018 report.
Deforestation, degradation, desertification, urbanization and industrialization are somehow the upcoming inventions of the modern civilized society world over which is enriching the mother Earth with a thick blanket of GHG’s. Is’nt a slow poisoning. Yes, our action of over exploitation of natural recourses, land use pattern, increase in earth temperature can be spelled easily in this direction. Increase in temperature is a threat to our vital security, food security, livelihood security, health security and our economy. It is posing a serious threat to the biodiversity with the loss of habitat, migration of species and extinction of species.
Ozone layer depletion invites skin related cancer and cataract and other related problems due to the increase in the intensity of UV rays, .29.8 million Sq Km Ozone hole (now said to we healing very fast} adds feathers to the human’s development and civilization. “2.4 % diarrhea cases and 6 % of Malaria cases due to climate change world over have been reported,” WHO report 2002. Heat stress causes, heat stroke, heat rashes, numbness of hand and feet, Kidney failure and Cardio Vascular diseases. Vector borne decease influx increases with the increase in temperature, it has been observed. Psychological depression, aggression and anxiety increase is posing serious challenges to the fast developing world with the increase in earth temperature.
The world population is around 7.6 billion and likely to be 11.8 billion by the end of this century. The natural source crunch and reduction in agriculture production will be a another challenge to tackle the mall nutrition world over. In the Year 1992 Rio de janeiro earth summit acted as an indicator towards the environmental cause and nature conservation. Constitution of UNFCCC, IPCC followed by Kyoto protocol, 2015 Paris agreement and a series of conference of parties (COP) are certainly a head way for the reduction of carbon and addressing and tackling the climate change issue at Global level. The COP 26, meeting was held in Glasgow UK wherein India Stands for its commitment to be fossil fuel free by 2070.
Thermal expansion, acidification will compel the aquatic and marine life with mass migration pole words (Northern Hemisphere) for food and habitat security, else for many of the species it will be a last journey and lead to their extinction. Efforts of every individual, civil societies, NGO’s make a difference in nature conservation. Wanguri Mothian of Kenya is known for her social movement for increasing the green cover by planting millions of trees with the help of other women group in people participation movement and a recipient of Novel Prize in the Year 2004. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has, “Margret Mead an American Anthropologist.
In the year 1964, International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN ) founded the red list to indicate the the status of threatened species. In the year 2000 the IUCN incorporated the nature based solution while flagging the issue of climate change, food security, water security and poverty alleviation.
There are number of laws and Acts like Forest Conservation Act 1980, Biodiversity Act, Indian Forest Act 1927 ,Wild Life Protection Act,1972 and almost each State have its own Biodiversity Board, State Pollution Control Board to safe guard the interest of Nature, biodiversity and to check the pollution level. But it is for sure that the will and compassion towards nature will certainly help in promotion of natural resources ,mitigation of climate change and conservation of Nature.
The Author: Dr. G.R. Sahibi retd. from Indian Forest services and now Senior Vice President of
Saarthi Social Welfare Society Solan H.P. &Consultant for NRM