Geography and Summary (1 to 15 Feb 2019) (Download PDF)

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Biodiversity Conservation: Biodiversity is a global asset with tremendous value for the present and future generations. It includes species diversity, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity contributing to human welfare, directly and indirectly and therefore representing a significant part of the total economic value of the planet. It provides vital services such as regulation of water levels and flows, protection against extreme weather conditions, purification of air and water, prevention of soil erosion etc. Habitat fragmentation, degradation, overexploitation, shrinking genetic diversity, invasive alien species, declining forest resources, climate change and desertification are the multiple challenges to Biodiversity.

Biodiversity ConservationBiodiversity Conservation

Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) initiated on June 5,1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Earth Summit) came into force on December 1993 as an international instrument.
  • The objectives include the conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources.
Access and Benefit SharingAccess and Benefit Sharing
  • India has about 16.7 per cent of the world՚s human population and 18 per cent of its livestock.
  • India is initiating ABS as an option for biodiversity conservation.
  • India enacted the Biological Diversity Act (2002) and Biological Diversity Rules (2004) and put in place decentralised institutional arrangements such as the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) , State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) at the national, state and regional/local levels respectively, for their effective implementation.

Provisions of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and Rules, 2004

Provisions of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and Rules, 2004Provisions of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and Rules, 2004

Climate Change and Biodiversity

  • Climate Change has proved to be disastrous for the species distribution and has increased the threat of extinction and loss of biodiversity.
  • It is expected that if global average temperature increases by approximately 20 - 30 per cent of plant and animal species are expected to be at the risk of extinction.
  • Climate change leads to higher intensity precipitation leading to greater peak run-offs and less groundwater recharge.
  • Climate change affects mostly children and the elderly.
  • An increase from 1.5 - 2 °C in global mean temperature could generate a substantial rise in heat-related mortality in most countries.
  • Shifts in distribution of plants and animals, changing patterns of evaporation and precipitation, shifting seasons, coastal margins, warmer oceans etc are some of the impacts of climate change on Biodiversity.
Climate Change and BiodiversityClimate Change and Biodiversity

India՚s Medical Heritage

  • Folk and Scholarly are the two main streams of the Indian Medical Heritage.
  • Folk refers to an immensely diverse, ecosystem specific, community based tradition Whereas Scholarly refers to codified one. Both are symbiotically related with around 6,581 medicinal botanicals.
  • The codified stream consists of medical knowledge systems like Ayurveda, Siddha, Tibetan and Unani.
  • The folk stream has become vibrant with home remedies, food and nutrition, obstetrics, bone-setting, treatment of poison, chronic and common ailments, acupressure, pulse diagnosis and uses of plants, animals and minerals.
  • Both the folk and codified streams use natural resources consisting of a little more than one third medicinal plants are trees, shrubs and climbers, while the two other sections comprise herbs and lower plants like algae, fungi, lichens, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms.
  • Ayurveda experiences and interprets sweet, sour, salty tastes as stimulating to anabolic activity (the building of body tissues) and pungent, bitter and astringent as tastes which contribute to catabolism (deplete the tissues) .
  • In a recently conducted study established beyond doubt that the folk practice of storing drinking water in copper vessels is probably the world՚s cheapest solutions for microbial purification of water.
India՚s Medical HeritageIndia՚s Medical Heritage
  • The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, abbreviated as AYUSH, Government of India needs to promote augmented and nuanced scientific research so that India՚s medical heritage gains global recognition.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 25, 2019

Science/Technology, Health, Govt. Schemes/Projects, Geography

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