For the next two years, India will steer efforts to save the Earth’s biodiversity during a time when its “natural capital” is being lost at an unprecedented rate.
India is hosting the UN Conference on Biodiversity, which kicks off today in the southern city of Hyderabad. This gathering is the first in what has been declared as the “UN Decade of Biodiversity.” 192 countries and the European Union are participating.
The conference slogan in Sanskrit is “Prakruti Rakshathi Rakshitha” which translates into “Nature protects if she is protected.”
In the next few decades, losses of flora, fauna and ocean’s ecosystems will impact food supply and the livelihood of millions who depend on these resources. “The situation is extremely critical,” said Ashok Khosla, head of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s oldest environmental network.
“It’s the worst loss in the past 50 to 60 million years when dinosaurs went extinct,” Khosla added. “But governments and ecosystems have not taken any action seriously.”
To highlight his point, Khosla gave the example of the endangered (Atlantic) Bluefin Tuna. In Japan, one such fish (weighing about 600 lbs) was sold for $750,000 in January. “It’s indicative of how scarce it has become,” he said. “Many of the fisheries that feed people around the world have collapsed.” Read more>>