Sunday, 1 November, 2020

Biodiversity Protection

Nepal is a nation known around the world for its unique biodiversity that has become a source of knowledge to scholars, researchers and scientists. Its topography, abundance of natural plants, rivers, snowy mountains, lush green hills and plains, various species of animals and birds, and most importantly, unique climate make the country's biodiversity unique to the rest of the world. Being a mountainous country of which geography has been occupied mostly by high mountains and rugged hills, the nation's biodiversity, especially the mountain ecosystem, is a crucial component for the overall well-being of the country and its people. Any degradation in the country's biodiversity means it deprives natural resources. Our people, dependent on these resources for sustaining their life and livelihoods, will no doubt be at the receiving end if our biodiversity deteriorates. But, it must be said that the issue of biodiversity protection does not concern a single country as the matter has now become a trans-boundary issue- one country's biodiversity can be protected if other nations' are conserved. Human encroachment, pollution, climate change and wildlife crime are some undesired acts that leave their detrimental impacts on biodiversity. Nepal and countries across the world must remain aware to ward off these elements for protecting their biodiversity to a vibrant level.

Biodiversity conservation is of prime concern to our nation. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, addressing the UN's Biodiversity Summit the other day, was very precise when he stated that the different biodiversity resources were the life-sustaining means and sources as people can avail of clean air, water, foods, minerals, medicines and livelihoods from these resources that drive a country's economy forward and sustain life. He called for a combined international action to protect world biodiversity, citing that biodiversity is a multi-stakeholder issue. He highlighted the need for implementing an urgent climate action as a major obligation for which the world needs to harmonise the efforts under multilateralism and international development frameworks. Despite concerns over growing biodiversity degradation in recent times, Nepal should feel proud of fine points from its conservation efforts.

Heartening to note is the fact that the country's 23 per cent of land has been designated as protected areas and it has a plan to extend its total protected area to 30 per cent by 2030. Nepal has achieved success in landscape-level conservation and the trans-boundary cooperation in conservation of migratory species. The human-wildlife conflict has been managed by engaging local communities. Poaching of the one-horned rhinos has been brought down to zero level for almost a decade and the number of tigers has doubled ahead of the target year, all thanks to the enactment of strong laws and international cooperation. Importantly, the country has achieved all the objectives set by the Aichi Target-11. Nepal's conservation success stories are definitely a lesson for many nations. At this crucial juncture when many parts of the world are witnessing biodiversity degradation, the world must join hands to protect biodiversity in all countries through an international forum like the UN, because it has become apparent now the very existence of entire humanity rests on the availability of natural resources, which only a protected and vibrant biodiversity can offer to them. 

How do you feel after reading this news?