Raising awareness on biodiversity

As the time passes, the problem of biodiversity preservation is increasingly catching the attraction of biodiversity stakeholders including States across the world including Pakistan. All the players – from loggers who harvest forest timber, to consumers who buy food at the supermarket, to city governments who put restrictions on building in ecologically sensitive areas – have equal contribution in the gradual decline of biodiversity. Though the signing of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) about 20 years back has positioned biodiversity as a key asset to be protected to ensure our well-being and that of future generations, yet results are not as expected, as shown in the latest revision of the 2010 CBD target. Lack of public education and awareness on biodiversity on biodiversity-related issues is among the other potential factors behind the slow progress on this issue. In fact, both rising population levels and increasing levels of consumption in the developed and developing world are responsible, to a large degree, for biodiversity loss worldwide. It is strongly observed that over the last 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems faster and more extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history while species are going extinct rapidly. In Pakistan raising awareness within the academic sector responsible for training and research on issues regarding sustainable tourism would prove to be a milestone in biodiversity awareness. Similarly, education and awareness programmes need to be addressed to both the professional sector and the general public, and they should be sensitized about the direct and indirect impacts of tourism, the causes with negative effects, the global and local issues, the immediate and long-term issues. Awareness raising can cover a huge range of activities – anything that involves peoples understanding, learning or doing something new; visioning the future; working out how to change something in their lives; or talking to someone else about what theyve done – all are part of the process of raising awareness on biodiversity. Ecological knowledge and economic feasibility are key to the further advancement of initiatives designed to increase the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes within protected areas. More importantly, collaborative management between both local communities and sectoral policy makers is a pre-condition for success. The relevant authorities also need to extend awareness-raising campaigns to smaller towns and villages whose populations may be at particular risk of losing biodiversity. Besides, all this protective measures, implementation of relevant laws is equally contributive towards achieving the desired goals besides involving other target groups including policymakers, law enforcement officers.

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