By Supriya Patil,
In order to maintain the planet’s natural equilibrium, eco-diversity is just as necessary as humans. It maintains healthy ecosystems that provide oxygen, clean air and water, plant pollination, pest control, wastewater treatment, and a variety of other ecosystem services. Many of our leisure activities, including birdwatching, hiking, camping, and fishing, also rely on our unique biodiversity.
Every organism on our planet occupies a distinct position in the food chain and makes a unique contribution to the ecosystem. Interactions between species are linked via food webs and food chains, which make up the ecosystem. Even the extinction of a single animal species can destabilize the entire food chain, with disastrous consequences.
When urbanization pushed wildlife out of their natural habitat, they were considered as a nuisance or unnecessary beings, resulting in man-animal conflict. For instance, baboons and mongooses are regarded as nuisance crop raiders, and the role of decomposers in releasing nutrients into the soil is overlooked. Carnivores are also the subject of unlawful activities since they are perceived as competitors or threats to food supply.
We don’t realize we’re uprooting an entire ecosystem when we encourage exploiting forests for advancement and forcibly remove wildlife from their native habitats. Our inconsiderate approach to the environment also affects rural and tribal communities. Animals stray into surrounding human settlements when wildlife corridors are blocked, destroying crops and livestock and increasing the risk of conflict with humans.
Robust wildlife populations improve mental health, ecological health, tourism, and linked local economies, outdoor leisure sectors, and livelihoods, all of which contribute to human well-being. While certain species aid in the extraction of nutrients from the cycle, others hasten the breakdown of organic matter and the carbon and nitrogen cycles.
One of the most promising approaches to reduce man-animal conflicts is to densify wildlife corridors. Corridors allow animals to freely move from one habitat patch to another without having to pass human-made barriers that could endanger animals and humans. Increased gene flow between tiny and dispersed wild populations is possible via wildlife corridors. Modern development will not harm tiger and other animal populations if intelligent spatial planning is employed to avoid intruding on natural habitats and their interconnections. The establishment of no-go zones and severe penalties for infrastructure construction in wildlife areas can also be observed to reduce man-animal confrontations.
Grow-Trees.com has begun strategic initiatives in 23 Indian states as part of its commitment to densify green cover and protect natural habitats. Trees for Tigers, Trees for Elephants, Trees for Hangul, Trees for Red Panda, and other initiatives have been launched in various regions of the nation to engage local and tribal populations in planting projects and to teach them about the significance of man-animal cohabitation and importance of eco-diversity.
The environmental damage caused by our cruel and barbaric attitude toward our species made environmental deterioration so apparent that it could not be overlooked. As a result of habitat restoration and animal preservation efforts, a few species have been saved from extinction. The declining animal population, on the other hand, poses an important question: why are we at odds with nature and its inhabitants when man-environment cohabitation is the solution to all problems?
When humans coexist with wildlife, we will see significant improvements in ecosystem health, agricultural stability, and food security, as well as the emergence of new sustainable industries. All living things, including humans and animals, must live in harmony with nature in order to benefit from the symbiotic relationships we have built with our planet’s living species. As responsible citizens of a planet coping with concerns like climate change and global warming, we must accept that many people are still unaware of the value of biodiversity and why it must be protected. People will take action only if we make them aware of what we’re missing out on if we continue to destroy our environment.
(The author is Environmental Expert, Grow-Trees.com. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)