Daunting challenges to biodiversity require serious approach

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Lead 04-22Sidra Saif

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is rich in biodiversity, home to over 1,250 species of plants and animals which are, no doubt, an asset for the survival of the biodiversity in the country that needs to be protected at any cost. However, the continued deforestation, soil erosion, salinity and water logging have become major threats to the biodiversity, which has a number of the worlds rarest animals and plants, but these are now in danger from habitat loss and overuse, coupled with rising population.
There is a dire need to conserve water to save biodiversity for the survival of life on the planet earth. Pakistan should get ready to face the consequences, if the official policy makers fail to come up with tangible measures to conserve the biodiversity in the country.
According to fresh studies, providing and sustaining water for the needs of the surging population has become a daunting challenge of the present time and achieving sustainable development in both the developed and developing countries and Pakistan is not exception to it.
“Increasing pollution, deforestation, over-hunting, overgrazing, over-fishing, water logging, salinity and desertification have emerged as the rising challenges to this planet. However, the ecosystems of the world, particularly forests and wetlands, require an effective approach to ensure that clean water is available to animals and plant kingdoms,” reveal these studies.
Experts are of the strong belief that wetlands, which are integral part of the intricate system of biodiversity, can help reduce risks of flooding, recharge underground water and help restore soils degradation in addition to helping increase water availability for the crops.
They expressed their concern about the low level of awareness of people regarding biodiversity and the importance of the survival of the earth for the conservation of life on this planet.
This year, the International Day for Biological Diversity has been marked in Pakistan with a renewed commitment to ensure effective policies on the part of official authorities to ensure survival of the earth as well as the biodiversity. This years theme of the day was “Water and Biodiversity”.
Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF), Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) had jointly chalked out a series of events at PMNH, Garden Avenue, Shakarparian, Islamabad, and other major cities of the country to the mark the day in an effective way for creating awareness among the masses and students about the significance of biodiversity.
The theme Water and Biodiversity was chosen to coincide with the United Nations designation of 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation.
The Day is celebrated across the world to highlight the significance of biodiversity conservation and importance of biodiversity in ecosystem. It highlights that nations throughout the world cooperate to halt and reverse the accelerating loss of biological and genetic resources of the planet earth.
It is to be mentioned here that Pakistan is at a great risk of losing its rich biological heritage; already 37 species of mammals are threatened, along with 25 species of birds, while 500 species of plants have become rare.
Environmentalists link development frameworks with ecosystem restoration, and biodiversity conservation with livelihood opportunities, and say that there is a dire need to be able to demonstrate this relationship from policy-to-practice levels.
They say since humans are the custodians of the earth, therefore, it is their prime responsibility to use the natural resources equitably for a sustainable future. All species on the earth depend on each other, so by conserving biodiversity we conserve life on earth.


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Published in: Volume 04 Issue 22

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