International Day of Biodiversity — Our Solutions Are in Nature
Biodiversity is the variety of life found on earth and the natural connections it forms. It is dependent on the web of life, if even one organism becomes extinct, it adversely affects the entire web. The interconnectedness and the interdependency of the organism contribute to a rich ecosystem.
Now that we understand biodiversity and its importance better, let us look at a few examples of the solutions it provides to our problems.
Climate change affects both terrestrial and marine life, many organisms cannot sustain in varying temperatures. Marine life is affected by the acidification of the ocean caused by carbon emissions and terrestrial life gets affected by weather events such as drought and flooding. Oceans play a large part in preventing climate change due to the great heat capacity of water whereas mangroves increase the heat capacity by preventing soil erosion and coastal erosion.
The scarcity of pure water can be mitigated through wetlands and forests. They absorb, detoxify, and provide pure water.
Many solutions to health problems can be found within nature for example, the contortrostatin found in copperhead venom is used to attack breast cancer cells and prevent the cells from spreading. It is also known that approximately 25% of the western pharmaceutical product components are derived from Amazon forests. There are numerous cures left to find as only 1% of the forest species have been researched upon.
Mental health is known to be improved by being around nature. Being around, nature lowers the blood pressure levels and cortisol level (the hormone for stress) resulting in increased happiness.
Problems in the economy can be enhanced by biodiversity as it creates job opportunities for farmers, pharmaceutical and personal care markets, tourism industry, and many more.
Protecting biodiversity in India:
- Wild Life protection act, enacted in 1972 provides protection of certain areas of wildlife and makes it illegal and is a punishable offense for the hunting of certain fauna.
- Conservation of the aquatic eco-system provides help to the states for managing wetlands including the Ramsar sites.
- Wildlife crime control bureau prevents the illegal trade in wildlife and endangered species.
- Integrated Development of Wildlife habitat was revised to include the Recovery of Endangered Species. The 16 species include Snow leopard, Bustard, Dolphin, Hangul, Nilgiri Tahr, Marine turtles, Dugong, Edible nest swiftlet, Asian wild buffalo, Nicobar megapode, Manipur brow-antlered deer, vulture, and Malabar civet.