The Biodiversity (variety of living organisms) around us is one of the greatest wonders of life on earth. Biodiversity encompasses the variety of all life on earth including terrestrial, marine and aquatic ecosystem. It comprises diversity at three levels : Genetic diversity (within sps), Species diversity (between species) and ecosystem diversity.
India is one the 17 mega biodiversity countries with 2.4 percent of the global land area and 4 percent of water. It accounts for 7 to 8 percent of the recorded species of world. India is also rich in cultural diversity and in traditional knowledge available with tribal community.
All human life is contained within its biological matrix : an endlessly subtle and complex web of activity from micro organism. The word biodiversity is short hand for biological diversity, our planet is teaming with life and we say that an area has a high biodiversity if it has an abundance of different organisms. One measure of biodiversity is the number of species in an area but the range of different life forms is also important to continental habitat. There are many guesses of the number of species in the world but it is clear that they are being lost at the fear some rate on many grounds – ecological, economical and ethical. There is an urgent need to halt such catastrophic destruction.
It is astonishing many people still seem to believe that humanity is in conflict with the forces of nature and that the wildness has got to be framed and brought under control.
Why we have to conserve biodiversity.
• To ensure ecological security.
• To ensure food security.
• To ensure livelihood for tribal community.
Biodiversity benefits human societies in numerous ways by providing a wide range of ecological, economic, social, educational, scientific, cultural and aesthetic services. Campus of WALMI is being developed as a hot spot of Biodiversity. It will give so many non consumptive values like aesthetic, valuing nature and its creatures, recreation, adventure and education. Repository of future gene bank of about 200 species of plants already existing in campus.
It will be useful for delivering indirect values of Biodiversity.
• Watershed values – oxygen bank and water retention and catchment treatment for Kaliasot Dam.
• Amelioration of environment.
• Social and cultural values because various sacred holy plants are worshipped and have ethical values.
• Aesthetic value of natural landscapes & undisturbed places.
• Recreational activities add to eco-tourism which sensitizes closeness with nature.