WORLD BIODIVERSITY DAY

As sanctioned by the UN, May 22 is observed as the World Biodiversity Day.

The theme for this year’s(2024) Biological Diversity is Be part of the plan” . A call to action for all to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by supporting the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

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

70 percent of the world’s species is 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 Himalayas and the 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. No Year Name State Type Key Fauna
1 2008 Great Rann of Kutch   Gujarat Desert Indian Wild Ass
2 1989 Gulf of Mannar Tamil Nadu Coasts Dugong or Sea Cow
3 1989 Sundarbans West Bengal Gangetic Delta Royal Bengal Tiger
4 2009 Cold Desert Himachal Pradesh Western Himalayas Snow Leopard
5 1988 Nanda Devi Uttarakhand Western Himalayas NA
6 1986  Nilgiri BR Reserve T&N, Kerala  Karnataka Western Ghats NilgiriTahr, Lion-tailed macaque
7 1998 Dihang-Dibang Arunachal Pradesh Eastern Himalaya NA
8 1999 Pachmarhi BR Madhya Pradesh Semi-Arid Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel
9 2010 Seshachalam Hills Andhra Pradesh Eastern Ghats NA
10 1994 Simlipal Odisha Deccan Peninsula Gaur, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild elephant
11 2005 Achanakamar -Amarkantak Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Maikala Hills NA
12 1989 Manas Assam East Himalayas Golden Langur, Red Panda
13 2000 Khangchendzonga Sikkim East Himalayas Snow Leopard, Red Panda
14 2001 Agasthyamalai BR Kerala, TN Western ghats Nilgiri Tahr, Elephants
15 1989 Great Nicobar BR Andaman and Nicobar Islands Islands Saltwater Crocodile
16 1988 Nokrek Meghalaya East Himalayas Red Panda
17 1997 Dibru-Saikhowa Assam East Himalayas Golden Langur
18 2011 Panna Madhya Pradesh Ken River Tiger, 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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