Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation

Mains Marks Booster     31st July 2023        
Samadhaan
1. Nature-Based Solutions (NBS)

Introduction
Nature-Based solutions (NBS) are approaches that utilize and work with nature to address environmental and societal challenges, integrating ecological processes and biodiversity conservation into decision-making processes.

Components of Nature-based Solutions:

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Components of Nature-based Solutions:

Challenges of Implementing Nature-based Solutions

  • Funding and resources: Limited financial resources and inadequate funding mechanisms hinder the widespread implementation of NBS.
  • Policy and institutional barriers: Inadequate integration of NBS into policies, regulations, and planning frameworks at various scales.
  • Knowledge and capacity gaps: Limited understanding and awareness of NBS among decision-makers, practitioners, and communities.
  • Scale and replication: Scaling up and replicating successful NBS projects to achieve broader impacts can be challenging.
  • Monitoring and evaluation: Establishing robust monitoring and evaluation frameworks to assess the effectiveness and long-term benefits of NBS.

Solutions and Strategies

  • Refer the Diagram????
Solutions and Strategies

Conclusion: 

  • NBS harnesses ecosystems and biodiversity to address environmental challenges, mitigate climate change, conserve biodiversity, improve water management, and promote socio-economic development. Strengthened policies, funding, and collaboration will shape a harmonious future where NBS drives resilience and sustainability for nature and humanity.
2. Aravali Green Wall Project

Introduction:

  • Haryana has launched the 'Green Wall' project, creating a 5-km-wide green belt to restore the ecology and preserve biodiversity in the Aravalis and surrounding Gurugram-Delhi regions.
  • The Aravali Green Wall Project is an ambitious initiative aimed at restoring and conserving the Aravali Mountain range in India. It involves creating a 1,400km long and 5km wide green belt buffer around the Aravali range, covering states such as Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Delhi.

sheild against                       objective strategies

Challenges:

  • Land Degradation: Restoring degraded land and ensuring tree survival is a challenge due to the extent of damage and the need for long-term management.
  • Water Scarcity, Encroachment and Illegal Activities
  • Wildlife Corridor Establishment: For instance, Constructing elevated canopy bridges across highways and strategically placed underpasses beneath roads to enable safe passage for arboreal species like monkeys and squirrels, reducing habitat fragmentation and enhancing wildlife connectivity within the green wall project area.
  • Green Wall Maintenance and Monitoring is a challenge, requiring advanced technological solutions and effective management strategies.

Way forward

  • Nature-Based Solutions: Incorporate nature-based solutions, such as green infrastructure and ecosystem-based approaches, to enhance project effectiveness.
  • Encourage active participation of local communities.
  • Nano-Biotechnology for Plant Growth Example: Develop Nano fertilizers tailored to the specific nutrient requirements of native plant species in the Aravalli region, promoting their healthy growth and survival.
  • Nature-Based Engineering: Example: Implement erosion control blankets and use region-specific native plant species with robust root systems to reinforce slopes and prevent erosion in vulnerable areas of the Aravalli Green Wall project.

Conclusion

By embracing innovative approaches and engaging all stakeholders, the Aravali Green Wall Project has the potential to create a sustainable and resilient ecosystem, benefitting both the environment and the communities living in the region.

3. Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Forests

Recently, FAO has emphasized the significance of sustainable forestry for biodiversity conservation.

Introduction:

  • Meaning: Mainstreaming biodiversity in forests involves integrating biodiversity conservation objectives and practices into forest management and decision-making processes. This recognizes the value of biodiversity in maintaining healthy ecosystems within forest landscapes.

Mainstreaming biodiversity 

  • Protected Areas and Wildlife Corridors, Reforestation, and Habitat Restoration, Community-based Forest Management, Example: Khasi tribes, Gond tribes, etc.
  • Payment for Ecosystem Services: Providing financial incentives for conserving biodiversity and delivering ecosystem services.
  • Sustainable Logging Practices: Adopting sustainable logging techniques to minimize habitat disturbance and promote forest regeneration.

Importance of mainstreaming biodiversity in forests

  • Sustaining Ecosystem Functions:  Efficient recycling of nutrients within ecosystems, promoting healthy soil and supporting plant growth, Forests act as natural filters, Carbon Sequestration
  • Genetic Resources and Bioprospecting:
  1. Medicinal Resources: serve as sources for traditional medicines and the development of new pharmaceuticals.
  2. Crop Improvement: Genetic diversity in forest species contributes to the development of improved crop varieties 
  3. Product Innovation: Forest biodiversity offers potential for the discovery of novel materials, fibers, and chemicals for various industries.
  • Enhancing Ecosystem Resilience:
  1. Adaptability to Climate Change: they harharborvariety of species with different ecological roles and adaptations.
  2. Ecosystem Stability: reduces the vulnerability of ecosystems to disturbances such as invasive species or natural disasters.
  3. Ecological Restoration: Forest biodiversity supports the restoration of degraded ecosystems by providing a diverse pool of species for ecosystem rehabilitation.
  • Cultural and Spiritual Significance: Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Sacred Sites and Rituals Ex. Devrais in Maharashtra 
  • Traditional Practices: Forest biodiversity supports traditional livelihoods, crafts, and cultural practices that are rooted in the sustainable use of natural resources.

Challenges in mainstreaming biodiversity in forests

  • Deforestation and habitat loss: 33% forests under threat due to expanding agriculture)
  • Invasive species: The introduction of non-native species into forest ecosystems can disrupt native species and alter ecological processes. Ex. Lantana camera in Nilgiri forest.
  • Climate change: Rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and increased frequency of extreme weather events pose challenges to forest ecosystems and their biodiversity. Ex. Recent forest fires in Western ghat .
  • Unsustainable resource extraction: Overexploitation of forest resources, such as timber, wildlife, and non-timber forest products, can lead to biodiversity loss.

                                                                                                  Extra Marks Fetching component by theIAShub

  • Western Ghats, India: Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Western Ghats are a biodiversity hotspot where various initiatives are undertaken to conserve forest biodiversity.
  • Joint Forest Management (JFM) in India: is also a successful case study of mainstreaming biodiversity into forests. 

Conclusion

The slogan of the Hyderabad CBD CoP-11, inscribed on the logo, in Sanskrit, “Prakruthi: Rakshathi Rakshitha,” and the same in English, “Nature Protects if She is Protected,” truly underscores that humans should realise the symbiotic relation between themselves and nature, so imperative for their mutual survival on planet Earth.

Samadhaan