UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 23 May 2022

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What the article is about?

  • Talks about the importance and role played by biodiversity in ensuring sustainable development.

Syllabus: GS-III Sustainable development, Conservation of biodiversity 

Biodiversity:

  • International Day of Biodiversity (May 22) gave us an opportunity to appreciate the wonder of biodiversity and renew our commitment to nurture and protect all the many forms of life with which we share our planet.
  • Our ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity has been greatly influenced by the unique features of our land, climate and geography, as well as the forces of migration and evolution.
  • Apart from the pandemic, the recent heat waves in much of northern India and floods in Meghalaya are stark reminders of worsening climate change and an uncertain future.
  • The uncertainty is further fueled by the continuing degradation of lands and biodiversity, growing malnutrition and hunger, and inequities and environmental injustice. 

Nature-based solutions:

  • Nature-based solutions — the use of biodiversity and what we learn from the natural world to face our challenges — are emerging as the best path to take us forward.
  • Climate change is arguably the most severe crisis we face today. Global deforestation is one of the main contributors to climate change.
    • Thus, the restoration of deforested and other degraded lands can lead to mitigation of climate change. Restoring biodiversity on large tracts of land is one of the major commitments that India has made under the Paris Accords.
  • This direct connection between biodiversity and climate change was strongly affirmed by most nations in the Conference of the Parties in Glasgow concluded six months ago.
  • Similarly, rejuvenation of our soils and agriculture, elimination of hunger, and improvement of nutrition depends upon our prudent use of biodiversity in the prevailing agricultural systems.
  • Fostering the return of biodiversity to degraded lands and enhancing blue carbon in oceans have immense environmental and considerable economic benefits.
  • Restoration has the potential of creating millions of jobs, diversifying farming systems and agriculture-based livelihoods.
  • Enterprises based on India’s biodiversity have huge untapped potential.
    • E.g, the sector based on the use of molecules of biological origin in biotechnology and healthcare was worth $70 billion in 2020.
  • Nature contributes not only to our economic and physical well-being, but also to our minds and spiritual enrichment.
    • We can take refuge in nature for mental solace. 

Conclusion:

  • National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-Being
    • Will embed biodiversity as a key consideration in all development programmes, particularly in the sectors of agriculture, health, bioeconomy, ecosystem services, and climate change mitigation.
    • It will also seek to develop a system for assessing and monitoring, restoring, and enhancing biodiversity to enable the realisation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Public engagement is another key element of the Mission. 



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