Celebrating biodiversity - By Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




By Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira

Jun 5: “We buy things, we don’t need,
With money, we don’t have,
To impress people, we don’t like”

Dave Ramsey

Each year, the United Nations celebrates June 5 as World Environment Day, with a special theme, to help world leaders and every responsible citizen, understand the importance of safeguarding the biological richness of planet Earth. The theme for 2020 is 'Celebrate Biodiversity'. In simple words, biodiversity encompasses all living organisms from terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems.

With 1 million species facing extinction, it’s a wakeup call, not only for the world leaders but for individuals like you and me, to take action and save this green jewel in the solar system.

Biodiversity seems like an easy concept. However, its broad definition can open new lenses, through which, to explore ways of implementing conservation or even to explore what we mean by conservation itself. A look into our recent article (May 6, 2020) in Daijiworld, titled 'Living Green' which outlines various measures that communities and individuals can take to make our common home 'Mother Earth' a more habitable place, will enable readers, to gain a better understanding of the present article.

Biodiversity conservation itself is a dynamic concept. As such all living entities on this planet earth have the right to live and carry out the tasks and functions assigned to them by nature. However, if one vital link gets disturbed, it can result in a chain of irreversible reactions that will have a telling effect on the globe's food security. For e.g. the tiger is at the top of the food chain because it is an apex predator. It keeps the population of deer (chital), sambar, and gaur in check, thereby maintaining the balance between herbivores prey and the vegetation upon which they depend as food. If the tiger goes extinct, the entire ecosystem will collapse.

Why the need to protect biodiversity?

Biodiversity plays a critical role in sustaining the human population across the globe. Biodiversity acts as a ladder in supporting the web of life, both on land (terrestrial) and in water (aquatic), which provide a multitude of ecosystem services essential for the existence of mankind. The air that we breathe, the electricity that we consume, the water that we drink and the medicines that we obtain are all products of biodiversity. In short, biodiversity plays an important role in influencing the life support systems. In addition, biodiversity plays a role not only in the social and economic well-being of the society but acts as crucial links in supporting the poorest of the poor in making a decent living. Forests provide livestock and wild varieties of plants, some of which have been domesticated to provide food security.

Recent scientific reports (2019) have clearly elucidated the facts that the earth is undergoing a rapid transformation where species of wildlife and rare medicinal plants are lost even before they are discovered. Species that evolved over millions of years will never be seen again. Most of these species of rare herbs and shrubs hold vital clues to cure cancers, flu virus and other diseases of the present and future. The coming extinction spasm is the essence of the biodiversity crisis. With widespread degradation of highly biodiverse habitats such as coral reefs and rainforests, as well as other areas, the vast majority of these extinctions are thought to be irreversible and will have far-reaching consequences that threaten the very existence of mankind. The current rate of extinction of species is estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural background rates. All these extinctions can be linked to human impact. Man is the global super predator. The World Wildlife Fund report (2018) indicates that overconsumption of finite resources by the global population has destroyed 60 per cent of wildlife population and habitats. If the present trend continues, almost 70 per cent of the major critically endangered species, which includes both flora and fauna will disappear by 2020.

Extinction Rates

According to the International Union for the conservation of Nature (ICUN), one of the most respected organizations on conservation, states that the big cat populations have significantly declined over the last half-century, some on the brink of extinction. Lions are down to 25,000 from 450,000; leopards are down to 50,000 from 750,000; cheetahs are down to 7,100 from 45,000; tigers are down to 3,000 in the wild from 50,000.

Just to give the readers a snapshot of the extinction rate as per scientific literature.

Cheetah in India, Snowy egret, heath hen, passenger pigeon, Bachman’s warbler, Carolina parakeet, Ivory-billed woodpecker.

Fossil record: 1 species per year (last 200 million years)

Recent/current: 1 species per year (~280 birds and mammals over past 300-400 years)

Current/future: 10,000 species per year.

Prediction: By the end of the next century, perhaps 25% of species will be lost.

Principal Causes

The exploitation of the Earth’s finite resources at unsustainable levels by man.

Habitat loss and fragmentation of pristine forests due to farming, grazing, SEZ creation, deforestation, encroachment towards rail/ highway corridors.

Invasion of non-native species

Overhunting both on land and water,

Impact of global warming/pollution

Illegal wild trade/trophy hunting, exotic pet trade/medicinal uses-wet markets.

How do we conserve/protect biodiversity?

The World Environment day is also 'People’s Day' which is a day, to do something to take care of our environment. A change in behaviour could bring in a considerable impact. We can begin with simple sustainable lifestyle changes and work on the concept of minimalism. The choices we make in our day to day activities are critical in supporting biodiversity conservation. Today, we have a number of green choices that are environment-friendly. A few examples: Cycling, hybrid energy, using compost instead of synthetic chemicals, terrace gardens, indoor plants which purify the air, outdoor tree planting, garden to attract bees and butterflies. If one browses through our archives, one can find a number of recommendations, both at the institution level as well as at the individual level.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that ecosystems have been resilient to human intervention in the past, does not necessarily mean they will continue to be, in the face of increasing and intensely altered human influence. Without question, biodiversity has been decreasing at a pace where species have no time to evolve. We discover fewer amounts of species than we witness going extinct. We often highlight the point that economic growth cannot and must not be achieved at the cost of harming biodiversity. Any economic growth should consider nature as the foundation stone. This can only happen when we speak in terms of green GDP.

 

These wildlife pictures were shot by Aarav Rasquinha, Electropneumatics and Hydraulics, during his visits to different wildlife sanctuaries and his wanderings in nature. Aarav is studying in his IX grade and is an avid wildlife enthusiast and brings out a calendar on wildlife each year to help people understand the value of wildlife conservation.

 

 

  

Comment on this article

  • elroy lewis, kemmannu , Udupi Muscat

    Sun, Jun 7 2020

    Its a good move to save the endanger animals ,India just concentrating on Tigers the other animals like Indian Wolves ,Indian hyenas,Indian Foxes other small animals like reptiles,birds ,Hares ETC should also be saved

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  • Sr. M. Supriya A.C., Mangalore

    Sat, Jun 6 2020

    Congratulations Dr. Geetha and Dr. Anand for your informative article.
    Good luck for the future

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  • Sudhir, Derebail/Muscat

    Sat, Jun 6 2020

    Dear Dr. Anand & Geeta
    Wonderful article God Bless you both in your work to make this world a greener place! Cheers Dr.

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  • Dr Sneha Rasquinha, Mumbai/Pune

    Sat, Jun 6 2020

    Dear Anand Geeta ..... what a wonderful article and that too at a time when we are living home bound due to nature’s fury- be a virus or a cyclone!
    Global warming and it’s impact on earth is no longer a discussion to be had in UN assemblies only. We need to start thinking as to how we can contribute as responsible residents of earth. This is possible by reading facts as stated in your article. Earth needs more nature lovers and conservationists like you.
    Aarav is indeed one of them and I always tell him you got to earn your livelihood but not at the cost of harming our first mother ..... Earth!

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  • SUNIL BAPTIST, CHIKMAGALUR

    Sat, Jun 6 2020

    GREAT ARTICLE

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  • Dr.Anand & Geeta N Pereira, Sakleshpur/Mangalore

    Sat, Jun 6 2020

    Dear Citizens of Planet Earth,
    We would like to thank you for educating us with your insightful comments. Many of you have put forth suggestions, some readily implementable, and others that need to be researched and fine-tuned. Nevertheless, let us all join hands and do our very best, starting from our homes to change our lifestyles to sustainable lifestyles. This one act will reduce the burden not only on our shoulders but will also lighten the heavy burden we have imposed on the Earth.
    Each one of you has spared your valuable time to Penn your thoughts. We value your precious time and thank you for supporting us.

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  • Fr. Alwyn DSouza, Holy Family Church Sundekere

    Sat, Jun 6 2020

    Indeed an excellent article dear Dr. Anand and Dr. Geetha. Very well explained on how biodiversities play an important role. When I walk through your estate i experience a pleasant feeling. You are a great lover of this mother nature. Am happy for you...I feel honoured to proclaim that you are my beloved parishioner.

    Keep going Dr. Anand and Dr Geetha
    God bless you and congradulations

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  • Deepali Kumar, Melbourne

    Sat, Jun 6 2020

    Such a nice article Uncle Anand and Aunty Geeta full of inspiring steps we can all take to make the world a better place. Loved the animal photographs which Aarav in grade 9 posts. As part of my grade 4 studies, I gained an understanding of how Aboriginal people live now and in the past. Every animal, bird or reptile like the crocodile or the eagle was a symbol to them. They choose to live alongside them in harmony and peace. I think modern man has a lot to learn from Aboriginal people and tribal people who live advanced ecological lives by respecting nature and understanding the harmony and balance. Do look up 12canoes.com.au from my lesson yesterday ! Thank you for inspiring me.

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  • Peter Pais, Mangalore / Muscat

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Dear Anand & Geeta
    Excellent article and apt for these times. To begin with I appreciate your opening remarks i.e. “We buy things, we don’t need, With money, we don’t have, To impress people, we don’t like” !!
    Yes Green GDP is the way forward. Every single person has a role to play and contribute towards this cause. One has to consciously focus and work towards this objective, so that our and the future generations, can benefit. More examples on the steps each one can take, will trigger more ideas for all to work upon.
    Extremely happy with the good work you both are doing towards society. Leading by example !!

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  • Joan Lobo, Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    🌲🌳🌴🌱Excellent article...Admire your efforts and commitment to save the earth before it is too late. Mangalore is proud of you'll as much as you'll are so simple but rich in knowledge, unassuming and yet make a great difference to this planet every which way you can.. Congrats and may your tribe increase.
    Aarav is a fantastic photographer. I am sure you'll have been his inspiration.🌱🌴🌳🌲

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  • Rekha M . C., Kodagu/Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    What an appropriate article to celebrate the biodiversity on this special day !! Excellently explained. Great photography. Sure to inspire many in appreciating the Green Jewel . Anand and Geeta your effort is much appreciated.Looking forward for the greener Planet.

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  • Dr venkatesh sanjeeva, Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Thank you Dr Anand and Geeta Pereira for enlightening me on biodiversity on world enviornment day.
    This article was very informative and I gained lot of knowledge from it .Continue with your good work for nature. Looking forward to read more articles like this from you

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  • Manjunath.BG., Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Great articles you both have been writing✍️together in these trying times......Keep it up & Keep going......Wish you all the very best.....👍👏👏👏🙋‍♂️💐

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  • Loy Lobo, Mangalore/Dubai

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Wow Dr. Anand, Geeta,
    Indeed an enlighteting article. Lots of details captured. The pics are indeed amazing. First time I thought of green GDP. Pray all countries focus on this concept in parallel to the GDP that is talked about. This will surely help, countries to ensure Mother nature is on the priority list and not just economic growth. Economic growth with no thought to sustainability and conservation of Mother nature would be futile. However, the present situation will surely be an eye opener and with pioneers like you both who will keep educating people towards this goal. Keep the Green flag, fluttering strong and high.

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  • Ophelia Lazarus, PUNE / MUSCAT

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    At the outset let me wish you Environmental Evangelists "Happy World Environment Day"
    Another brilliant article with a very apt theme for 2020 "Celebrate Biodiversity ".
    Appreciate the efforts taken to explain in detail and the excellent photography by young Aarav adds to the brilliance. The extensive information provided in this article shows us the vast knowledge on the subject helps us to understand better.
    Indeed Biodiversity is the need of the hour. We being an integral part of nature we rely on what Mother Earth provides us. We need to protect and encourage Life and Habitat on which our life depends, not only for our survival but also for the future generations to come, we owe it to them. For generations we have be plundering Mother Earth for our own selfish reason with scant regard with how we were destroying her. The present LOCKDOWN has opened our eyes to see what we have been doing over the years. When countries around the world came to a standstill we saw what a difference it made to the environment. It made us realize what we have been missing It made us realize the importance of preserving biodiversity, switching over to more sustainable lifestyles so that biodiversity can flourish once again.
    The three 'Rs' Reduce, Reuse, Recycke is the best way forward to do our part to help Planet Earth.
    Thank you once again for this interesting article, continue to inspire.

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  • L N Rego, Bendur

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Dear Anand & Geeta I congratulate and appreciate your mission with a Vision. Among your countless admirers i am one, Every morning your Informative message with a beautiful click inspires my day. You both Have inspired, Motivated and encouraged many around you to align with nature, this pro active move speaks louder than your voice. Keep writing, Keep moving with same zeal.

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  • Pramod Pinto, Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Perfect Anand. You both take the world of Biodiversity to stellar and superlative levels.
    Congrats & be blessed.

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  • Rajesh, Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    More focus should be on problem solving rather than complaining. This environmental degradation and its impact is taught in schools, colleges everywhere. sadly the ways to over come are not as much discussed.
    The way out as told by you like cycling, cleaner energy, bio compost etc are small steps but what we need importantly is lesser human population. when populations rise the natural forests cover will come down. This is because as the stomachs increase the demand for arable land increases. the more the people more will be the pollution. our scarce ground water which keeps on plummeting will not even allow us to do agriculture. The way forward is to have a very small population. we need some legislation on this. There are however, religious bigots who will vehemently oppose moves on reducing population.

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  • Dr.Jatinder Singh, Virginia/U.S.A.

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Very timely and informative article. I did not know that Aarav is a very young lad. A very lucky and talented young man, who has seen a lot of the world.

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  • Suresh M.S., Mangalore/Mumbai

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Dear Anand & Geeta
    What a couple!!! We need more of your kind to save this planet and its diverse inhabitants. Proud of you and the contributions you make to promote biodiversity including building awareness through such publications. Honoured to be your classmate n friend. Keep up the good work. God bless you both and of course young Aarav. I am sure he is destined to reach higher echelons with his passion and skill. We will see him in discovery or national geographic before too long. All the very best to him too.

    Thanks for the wonderful and excellent article on biodiversity on this special day of The world environment day. Appreciate the trouble you took to explain the reality as of today and how it is going to have an impact on our future generations if this not controlled. Each one of us can contribute a little towards this to prevent the natural calamities which we are going to face if it goes beyond our control.Natures' role in this will be very drastic if we don’t learn to respect Mother Nature and its blessings.
    Hats off to the lovely pictures clicked by Aarav Rasquinha who at this young age has learned to embrace nature and wildlife creating awareness of these endangered species.
    Thanks for the excellent article, really enjoyed reading it and promise to do my best in saving our planet world by educating our children and friends on this topic

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  • Sheela D;souza, Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Geetha & Anand , You two are truly a gift to mother nature...who c good in everything and everyone.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohan Frank, Mangalore/Mumbai

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Thanks for the wonderful and excellent article on biodiversity on this special day of The world environment day.Appreciate the trouble you took to explain the reality as of today and how it is going to have an impact on our future generations if this not controlled. Each one of us can contribute a little towards this to prevent the natural calamities which we are going to face if it goes beyond our control. Natures role in this will be very drastic if we don’t learn to respect Mother Nature and it’s blessings
    Hats off to the lovely pictures clicked by Aarav Rasquinha who at this young age has learned to embrace nature and wildlife creating awareness of these endangered species.
    Thanks for the excellent article, really enjoyed reading it and promise to do my best in saving our planet world by educating our children and friends on this topic

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Praveen Pinto, MANGALORE

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Wow what an excellent article, thought provoking with numbers and statistics. Also peppered with awesome wild life photos of our fellow species. Apt on this World environment day.

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  • Sunil Crasto, Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Dr Anand I closely follow you articles for many years and having known your simplicity and love towards mother nature . All your knowledge is a call to the future generation to take care of our planet earth that we need and are connected to thru our genes . Appreciate your service to humankind . We are lucky to have a lot of people around who have taken this subject close to their hearts. Truly admire Aarav Rasquinha for following his love at such a tender age. I keep track of his pictures .Have to meet this guy one way!!!

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohan Frank, Mangalore/Mumbai

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Thanks for the wonderful and excellent article on biodiversity on this special day of The world environment day.Appreciate the trouble you took to explain the reality as of today and how it is going to have an impact on our future generations if this not controlled .Each one of us can contribute a little towards this to prevent the natural calamities which we are going to face if it goes beyond our control .Natures role in this will be very drastic if we don’t learn to respect Mother Nature and it’s blessings
    Hats off to the lovely magnanimous pictures clicked by Aarav Rasquinha who at this young age has learned to embrace nature and wildlife creating awareness of these endangered species .
    Thanks for the excellent article , really enjoyed reading it and promise to do my best in saving our planet world by educating our children and friends on this topic

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Zeena, Bejai

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Beautiful tribute on World Environment Day by celebrating Biodiversity. Appreciate your efforts to conserve Biodiversity. Awesome photography by Aarav Rasquinha. Completely agree that Green GDP is indeed very significant for balanced economic growth.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Thank you for the explanation of biodiversity and wild life pictures.One doesnt understand its importance until it doesnt exist.Best is to explain its importance and maintain the nature in schools .Only then children may understand and later might be nature lovers.

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  • Kiran Kushalappa, Sakalespur

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Dear Geetha & Anand . Very nice article & the photographs are really good. Both of you are an inspiration to the yonger generation. Please keep this going. Kiran Kushalappa.

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  • Valerian Baretto, Bantwal - Bangalore Rajajinagar

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    After a long gap Anand and Geeta are back in view with their excellent photography and article. Keep it up Anand and Geeta. All the best

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  • Ivan Frank, MANGALURU

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Celebrating biodiversity is a complete treatise with photos and illustrations easily understood by common man. If we continue to abuse nature very soon humans will be extinct with unexplained diseases and calamities. Than you both for the timely article.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • GURKA, Mangaluru

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Indeed a great article on mother nature ! Hope people will understand it sooner or later !!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr. Rohan Colaco, Ph.D., Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Very well explained Dr. Geeta and Dr. Anand on how bio diversity plays an important role in the co-existence of all species.

    A coffee planter can explain this coexistence theory as he gets to see the wonders of nature everyday around him. You have put in great efforts in understanding each element of nature around us may it be plants, animals, reptiles etc which needs utmost dedication. Thank you for giving us an unique experience through your writing.

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  • Cynthia, Kirem

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Beautiful article...loved the photos of these cuties in this article...may god protect them all🙏🙏

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Appu, Bajjody, Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Excellent photography and a good article on this special day. Thank you.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Fri, Jun 5 2020

    Awesome ...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse


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Title : Celebrating biodiversity - By Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira


 
 
 
 

 
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