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       Why International Year of Biodiversity 2010   

We the higher up in the ladder of evolution, by controlling and changing the environment to suit its needs and for development are posing a great threat to the earth system as a whole. The species are being destroyed at faster rate now than they were earlier. This fact has been further supported by the studies done on fossils. Presently more than 30% species of all amphibian species; 23% of all mammals, and 12% of all birds are facing the problem of survival. The natural scavengers such as vultures are already at the verge of extinction.

Large-scale habitat and biodiversity losses mean that species with potentially great economic importance may become extinct   forever before they are even discovered. The vast, largely untapped resource of medicinal plants and useful chemicals contained in wild species may also disappear with them. Same is true to marine species; especially those defend themselves chemically and could be a rich potential source of new medicines. Additionally, if the wild relatives of our cultivated crops, which are a valuable reservoir of genetic material, are lost, then our crop plants will also become more vulnerable to extinction. This will pose a serious problem to our food security. 

If we need to understand and preserve our environment, we shall need to understand the interdependence of the species on each other and the importance of natural resources for living beings. Individual species and ecosystems that have evolved over millions of years had form a highly complex web of interdependence like the interlocking pieces of Jigsaw puzzle where  each species  is an  interlocking piece. If we remove enough of the key species on which the ecosystem is sustaining, then the whole ecosystem may be in danger of collapsing. The problem becomes complicated further, when we do not have much idea as how many pieces (species) we can afford to lose or even how many are the key species on which the entire ecosystem is sustaining. 

 

                To draw the attention of the world to the importance of biodiversity, why it needs to be conserved and the threats to biodiversity, the United Nations has declared the year 2010 as “The Year of the Biodiversity”. It is hoped that with the cooperation of all, we shall be able to save the biodiversity and the life on this earth. A host of activities and programmes are being organized all over the world for this purpose. Vigyan Prasar has also initiated programmes with activities built around the theme “Biodiversity” as the issue is more pertinent to India being a country of mega biodiversity but with a challenge of feeding a population of billion plus.   The activities comprise of development and production of a series of informative booklets, posters, CDs, radio and television programmes, and CD-ROMs; and training of resource persons in the country in collaboration with other agencies and organizations. Special programmes capsules and modules for VIPNET clubs are being developed. The information soon will be published in the forthcomming issues of VIPNET News. It is expected that the all these yearlong programmes and activities would be welcomed by science communicators, science clubs, resource persons, and individuals; and inspire them initiate actions to save and conserve biodiversity of this fragile abode of ours. ....Back

 

     


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