The reporter Bipin Joshi said that everyone must join their hands and work together to create a pollution-free world where every day can be celebrated as World Environment Day.
It is a matter of great happiness; that India is one of the 12 selected biodiversity countries in the world. But the worrying thing is that biodiversity is gradually becoming the victim of over- exploitation. Biodiversity is limited, which is a crisis for life and is getting reduced in all regions.
According to HK Jain, Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, more than 30,000 paddy varieties were present in our country at the beginning of the century. But by the end of the century, we will have only 50 left. Data related to agriculture states that around 20,000 varieties of paddy are present in the world. Scientists call it genetic reserves which mean storing the old varieties and also finding new species. So why are paddy species suffering?
During 1976-1968, the Government started the Green Revolution to develop agriculture. The goal of this scheme was to increase production and develop new seeds. Every 5-7 years, a new variety is established and the market is incorporated into this process. In 1973 a disease spread in a species called ‘Kalyan Sona’wheat and affected large parts of Northern India. According to scientists, the production of the same type of seed in a single place for a long time would reduce production. New species often come into existence once a crop gets diseased.
Flowers, which are loved by everyone, are an important part of nature. The tradition of making flower necklaces is centuries old. Today there is a good flower market share flourishing in every small city. In his book Jivan Sampada Aur Paryavaran, Anupam Mishra mentions that there are 45,000 species of flowers in our country and 15,000 species of flowering varieties available. Of these, 7,000 species are to be found nowhere else in the world.
The Himalayan and Meghalayan mountain ranges have 3,000 and 2,000 species respectively. The valley of flowers located in Uttarakhand is a rarity. The Northeast has the highest diversity in the region. The lower area of the Western Ghats of Nilgiris is filled with a varieties of flowers. There are 15,000 species of flora that are at a high risk of extinction.
In this sequence, we have 2,500 types of herbs in circulation. With the export of chemical products available from pharmaceutical plants, the country earns an annual income of Rs 55 crores. These earnings have increased fivefold since the 1970s. Due to extreme tapping of medicinal plants, these plants are now at risk of extinction.The existence of priceless herbs like wormwood from high Himalayan regions is an example of this.
According to Dr Ashok Kumar Malhotra’s, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, book Pravasi Pakshi there are 1,200 species out of 86,000 species of birds in our country. India has 2,061 bird species out of which 1,750 are the country and the rest are migratory birds from the northern regions. 180 species are found only in India.
Birds play an extremely important part in our eco-system. They eat many pests and thus protect crops from pests. Some birds also naturally curb the populations of 5,00,000 species of insects and locusts. Eagles and owls feed on rats and save several crops. Birds in many ways are beneficial for us. One such example is of Shimla in Uttarakhand. Here the farmers of apple used so much insecticides that several species of insects were destroyed in large quantities and in the next season there was a huge decline in apple production.
The over-exploitation of forests, the expansion of intensive agriculture and poaching by the predators has raised the problem of bird life. It would be dishonest to think that this crisis will prevail without affecting human life. That’s why a collective effort has to be made to save human kind.
This effort must be grounded and Government policies need to be reviewed again. In the United Nations Conference, several objectives have been set up under the Sustainable Development Goals. Providing protection to the environment by spreading awareness of the environment and implementing various types of programmes and schemes at the Governmental level and reducing the impact of climate change is the main objective of Sustainable Development Goal 13. The goal also mentions the following targets; integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning, improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning. All these strategies are extremely importamt if we are to save the environment.
It is also a known fact that this disaster has not had a dangerous impact just on pests or plants; it has impacted sea life equally. Over the next 20 years, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.That is, the amount of plastic garbage going into the seas is going in to the bodies of the sea animals. Thus, through sea animals, humans will also eat a small quantity of plastic.
Fishes in many areas in our country are not just sources of protein or food. Fishes are also symbols of good fortune. Even today, there is a tradition of painting or drawing fishes in the houses on certain auspicious occasions. For good luck, people also use aquariums in their homes. There are also different methods for fishing.
Which mesh should the fisher-men use so that the small fish are not trapped? Special care must be taken to not hurt the small fish. Fishes are killed using different methods; by electrification or using explosives due to which many species disappear.
Once humans diasppear, food chains will once again be healthy and there will be no unnecessary pressure on any one component.
On the whole, only after creating balance in all the vital components of nature, we can create a world where no one day needs to be considered as Environment Day. We must all dream about this world. In order to fulfill this, all of us should be a part of it.
Writer: Bipin Joshi
Courtesy: The Pioneer