Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

UPSC Civils Daily Mains Question 04th June-2021

Biodiversity conservation not only ensures that our surroundings are richer and more diverse, but also secure the resources that enhance the quality of human life. Discuss challenges in conservation practices of biodiversity.

Biodiversity provides the basis for life on earth, including human life, and is the key to safeguarding the wealth of the world for future generations. By conserving biodiversity, we not only ensure that our surroundings are richer and more diverse, but we secure the resources that will continue to provide improvements in the quality of human life. Far from competing with the security of food and other supplies of natural products, biodiversity is our best guarantee of protecting and enhancing our agriculture, health and leisure pursuits.

Current issues in conservation practices of biodiversity

Resource-use Conflicts

  • In the wider landscape, conflicts between development and biodiversity arise as a consequence of the over-exploitation of natural resources bringing about a direct loss of wildlife species and habitats. Equally problematical to biodiversity is the intensification of production systems.
  • In replacing mixed production with monocultures, diverse low input cropping systems are replaced by genetically uniform production systems.
  • Disputes typically arise where natural resources are exploited for commercial gain and where biodiversity is perceived to be harmful to the production process

Trade Policies

  • Natural resources are frequently undervalued in global markets because little or no account is taken of external costs and benefits in the environment.
  • The removal of policy barriers has stimulated a global decline in primary commodity prices which may in turn give rise to shortcuts in production methods that are damaging to the environment.
  • trade liberalisation can also stimulate markets for new products. The changes can have both positive and negative effects on biodiversity.

Ecosystem Management

  • The management of natural resources such as timber, antelope, tuna or shellfish for large scale production purposes has usually concerned itself with single target species, or small numbers of similar species.
  • Sometimes annual harvests have been limited to a sustainable level by the introduction of quotas or by restricting hunting and harvesting effort in other ways, but all too often populations have been exploited with little restraint until they no longer offer an economically viable yield.

Funding Conservation 

  • Increasing demand for wildlife and wildlife products over the past few decades has been linked to higher levels of income, especially in urban centres.
  • The inflated prices that are offered for products such as ivory, horn, bone, fine wools and bush meat have increased pressure on populations of elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, many primates, duikers, antelopes and other wild species. Economists have warned that the trend is bound to continue.
  • As the threats to biodiversity have increased, so inevitably the demands on management have risen, and conservation has become steadily more complex and more expensive.

Biodiversity needs to be considered as an equally important issue as climate change. The decline in biodiversity is not just an environmental issue but also an economic, security, moral and ethical issue. The biggest challenge and opportunity lies in changing approach towards development. People need to shift to clean technologies for protecting nature. Ultimately, the world needs to come together to make a global deal to save nature.

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