India is failing to meet its conservation goals amid declining global biodiversity, even as the world celebrates the International Day for Biological Diversity.
- IBD marks “25 Years of Action for Biodiversity” initiated by the United Nations Convention on Biological Biodiversity (CBD).
- A total of 196 countries, including India, are signatories of the CBD and will highlight their achievements as part of the programme.
- All 196 signatories are part of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for 2011-2020. However, with only two years left for completion, experts say there is little to celebrate when the actual figures and status are considered.
India and Biodiversity:
- India is a treasure trove of biodiversity, hosting 7-8% of all recorded species globally, including over 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals.
- It is also among the few countries that have developed a biogeographic classification for conservation planning, and has mapped biodiversity-rich areas, a government report says.
- “India currently spends about $2 billion per year on biodiversity conservation efforts, but the country requires between $5-15 billion more every year to meet its biodiversity conservation targets.
India is falling way short of fulfilling conservation goals:
- In the last three years, it has lost 36,500 hectares of forest land to development. Expansion of National Highways 6 and 7 in central India is destroying at least six crucial tiger corridors, including the Pench-Kanha corridor. The submergence of a part of the Panna tiger reserve by river interlinking projects, proposed denotification of tiger reserves for mining and hydropower projects are also huge setbacks for the conservation of biodiversity.
- Yet there are glaring examples of how natural forest is getting fragmented by linear infrastructure. Rampant poaching of endangered species, excessive pollution, unplanned infrastructure and urban development are indicating a decline in biodiversity.
Globally, biodiversity continues to decline in every region of the world. “Nature’s capacity to contribute to people is being degraded, reduced and lost due to a number of common pressures – habitat loss; overexploitation and unsustainable use of natural resources; air, land and water pollution; the impact of invasive alien species and climate change. This alarming trend endangers economies; livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of people everywhere.