“The Earth has enough resources for our need but not for our greed.” Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote underlines his concern for environment and nature. He had cautioned about the consequences of large scale industrialisation, much before any modern day environmentalist. Human beings, despite being billed the most intelligent species, have single-handedly disturbed the ecological balance of earth. Our disregard for biodiversity has led to an unprecedented environmental crisis with a large number of species on the brink of extinction and global temperatures continuing to rise.
The imbalances in the cyclic pathways of ecosystems, nutrient exchange, climate change, pollution, loss of food diversity leading to global food security issues, land degradation have contributed to huge losses of biodiversity. The International Day for Biological Diversity is observed every year on May 22 to highlight the importance of biodiversity around us. The international event, draws our attention towards a simple fact that our survival is linked to the survival of other species. From nature-based solution to climate, health issues, food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better. The United Nations Convention for Biological Diversity was created in 1993 to increase understanding and awareness about biodiversity and its issues.
The convention has chosen “We’re part of the solution” as the theme for 2021. It’s a continuation of the momentum generated in 2020 under the comprehensive theme, “Our solutions are in nature”, which served as a reminder that biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges.
All life forms that we see or can’t see by with our naked eyes, collectively constitute the diversity on earth. This doesn’t only mean the various species of plants, animals and microorganisms around us but it also includes the genetic diversity of each of them as well as the great variety of ecosystems that make up our planet. The fact remains despite all our technological advances we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy, just to name a few.
Conservation of biodiversity is pivotal for the management and restoration of ecosystem services. On an individual level we can contribute by spreading awareness about biodiversity, planting more trees, not wasting food and water, recycling products and more.