Sustainable use of wild species can meet needs of billions: Basics Explained

A report released by the Services Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem (IPBES) has stated that about 50,000 wild species globally can meet the needs of billions of people. The report discuss and reach an outcome on the sustainable use of wildlife. The Report explores policies and tools that have been used in a variety of contexts with regard to the sustainable use of wild species. The Report identifies drivers such as landscape and seascape changes; climate change; pollution and invasive alien species that impact the abundance and distribution of wild species and can increase stress and challenges among the human communities that use them.

One-fifth of the world’s population directly depends on wild species for income and food.

More than 10,000 wild species are harvested for human food.

2.4 billion people (1 in 3) depend on firewood for cooking.

One out of five sources their food from wild plants, algae, and fungi, and around 90 percent of the 120 million population pursuing fisheries rely on small-scale fishing.

The report says humans e depend on our natural environment, but they also illustrate the great pressure we exert on it. So the accelerating global biodiversity crisis, with a million plant and animal species facing extinction, also threatens us.

The use of wild species defines identities and livelihoods and also holds cultural significance, according to the report. Certain species have cultural importance as they offer multiple benefits that define tangible and intangible features of people’s cultural heritage. Helping indigenous and local communities maintain their ability to use wild species sustainably and protecting their cultural practices associated with them would ensure their survival.

PBES, often described as the ‘IPCC for Biodiversity, is the global science-policy body whose mission is to strengthen the interface between science and policy on biodiversity, and thus provide decision-makers with the best available evidence to support decisions that benefit both people and nature.


The term Biodiversity was first coined by Walter and Rosen in 1985.

70 percent of the world’s species are found in just 12 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Congo, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, and Peru.

 India is a mega-diverse nation, housing around 10% of the world’s species. Out of the 18 hotspots of diversity recognized in the world, India has two of them: Eastern Himalaya and Western Ghat.

List of Biosphere Reserves of India

The first of India’s reserves to make it to UNESCO’s list was Tamil Nadu’s Niligiri Biosphere Reserve in 2000. Besides this, West Bengal’s tiger-territory Sunderbans, Meghalaya’s Nokrek (home to the red panda), and the Great Nicobar (known for its saltwater crocodiles) have been included in the Network over the years.

Sl. NoYearNameStateTypeKey Fauna
12008Great Rann of Kutch  GujaratDesertIndian Wild Ass
21989Gulf of MannarTamil NaduCoastsDugong or Sea Cow
31989SundarbansWest BengalGangetic DeltaRoyal Bengal Tiger
42009Cold DesertHimachal PradeshWestern HimalayasSnow Leopard
51988Nanda DeviUttarakhandWestern HimalayasNA
61986 Nilgiri BR ReserveT&N, Kerala  KarnatakaWestern GhatsNilgiriTahr, Lion-tailed macaque
71998Dihang-DibangArunachal PradeshEastern HimalayaNA
81999Pachmarhi BRMadhya PradeshSemi-AridGiant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel
92010Seshachalam HillsAndhra PradeshEastern GhatsNA
101994SimlipalOdishaDeccan PeninsulaGaur, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild elephant
112005Achanakamar -AmarkantakMadhya Pradesh, ChhattisgarhMaikala HillsNA
121989ManasAssamEast HimalayasGolden Langur, Red Panda
132000KhangchendzongaSikkimEast HimalayasSnow Leopard, Red Panda
142001Agasthyamalai BRKerala, TNWestern ghatsNilgiri Tahr, Elephants
151989Great Nicobar BRAndaman and Nicobar IslandsIslandsSaltwater Crocodile
161988NokrekMeghalayaEast HimalayasRed Panda
171997Dibru-SaikhowaAssamEast HimalayasGolden Langur
182011PannaMadhya PradeshKen RiverTiger, Chital, Chinkara, Sambharand Sloth bear

Ten of the eighteen biosphere reserves of India are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list. They are given in ‘bold’ in the above list.( Gulf of Mannar, Nokrek, Great Nicobar, Agasthyamalai, Achanakamar –Amarkantak, Simlipal, Pachmarhi, Nilgiri, Nanda Devi, Sundarbans).

Biological diversity – or biodiversity – is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. This diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms. Biodiversity also includes genetic differences within each species – for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock. Chromosomes, genes, and DNA-the building blocks of life-determine the uniqueness of each individual and each species. Yet another aspect of biodiversity is the variety of ecosystems such as those that occur in deserts, forests, wetlands, mountains, lakes, rivers, and agricultural landscapes. In each ecosystem, living creatures, including humans, form a community, interacting with one another and with the air, water, and soil around them. Protecting biodiversity is in our self-interest. Biological resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Nature’s products support such diverse industries as agriculture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, horticulture, construction and waste treatment. The loss of biodiversity threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy. It also interferes with essential ecological functions.


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