Major threats to B&ES

We’re losing biodiversity globally at an alarming rate, and we need a wealth of different plants and animals, for the planet’s health and our own

Main threats to biodiversity losses are invasive alien species, habitat destruction, climate change, nutrient loading and pollution and over exploitation. Unless we successfully mitigate the impacts of these direct drivers on biodiversity, they will contribute to the loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services.

  1. Habitat destruction

A key driver of the current trend in biodiversity loss is the conversion of land for agriculture, settlement, road network and industrial areas. When land is transformed from one use to another, basic elements of the ecosystem upon which a species relies for shelter, food, and reproduction may be altered or may no longer be available. Various species of plants and animals are on the decline due to habitat fragmentation and overexploitation, e.g. habitats of Great Indian Bustard in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan, and of the Lion-tailed Macaque in Western Ghats.

What we can do?

The habitat degradation can be controlled implementing measures like plantation of native species along the project area, use of sustainable wood and wood products for the furniture, packaging and paper industries.

  1. Invasive alien species

Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) visualize “biological invasion of alien species as the second worst threat after habitat destruction”. Invasive alien species can have devastating impacts on native biota, causing extinctions and affecting natural and cultivated ecosystems. There are about 173 alien species of invasive nature recorded from India. Among the invasive plants, the Lantana camera, Leucaena leucocephala, Eichhornia crassipes, etc. are one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world recorded from the India.

 What we can do?

Control and monitoring of invasive species in the project area and local sourcing of the plant and other material will helps in control migration of invasive species.

  1. Climate Change

Climate change, on account of a buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere leading to global warming, poses another significant threat to biodiversity and ecosystems services they provide.

Coral reef mortality increases and erosion is accelerated due to increasing temperature. In 1998, 16 per cent of the world’s corals died due to higher temperature. Increased level of CO2 adversely impacts the coral building process (calcification). Scientists estimate calcification could decline 17-35 per cent below pre-industrial level by 2100.

What we can do?

Utilisation of renewable energy source for energy requirement against the non- renewable sources in the operations and house hold use will substantially reduce the greenhouse emission and helps in controlling their level in environment.

  1. Nutrient loading & Pollution

Pollutants in the air, water, and soil can influence organisms in many different ways, from altering the rate of plant growth to changing reproduction patterns to, in certain extreme situations, leading to extinction. Excess pollutants can also leave a species weakened, susceptible to other drivers of biodiversity loss such as habitat change or competition from invasive species. These elements make nutrient loading a complicated driver of biodiversity, especially within aquatic ecosystems where plants and marine organisms are disproportionately affected.

What we can do?

Implementation of 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) system for waste management, sensible use of fertilizers, proper sewage water treatment and using public transportation will helps in minimisation of pollution load on the natural environment and biodiversity.

  1. Over exploitation

Overexploitation, which occurs when so many individuals are removed that a population can no longer sustain itself in the wild without intervention, has been a major contributor in the decline of land-based species over the last 50 years, and the primary driver of biodiversity loss in marine systems. In addition to population reduction, it can also limit the ability of affected species to tolerate indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, such as technological change.

What we can do?

Conservation and continued awareness creation for the local and dependent industries for poaching, overfishing, illegal forest product extraction, etc. will minimize the pressure on the natural resources.