Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: CBD NR6, Aichi Targets
Mains level: India’s commitment towards conserving Biodiversity
- India submitted its sixth national report (NR6) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) highlighting the progress it has made in achieving the 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBT) set under the convention process.
Highlights of the Report
- The report was submitted online to the CBD Secretariat during the inaugural session of the 13th National Meeting of the State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs).
- The report says that India had already exceeded two targets, it was on track to achieve another eight soon.
- The remaining two would be met by the stipulated time of 2020.
- Globally, biodiversity is facing increasing pressure on account of habitat fragmentation and destruction, invasive alien species, pollution, climate change and over-use of resources.
- India is one of the few countries where forest cover is on the rise, with its forests teeming with wildlife.
- India was among the first five countries in the world, the first in Asia and the first among the biodiversity-rich mega-diverse countries to have submitted NR6 to the CBD Secretariat.
On track to Aichi Targets
- The submission of national reports is a mandatory obligation on parties to international treaties, including the CBD.
- India is on track to achieve the biodiversity targets at the national level and is also contributing significantly towards achievement of the global biodiversity targets.
- Submission of national reports is a mandatory obligation on parties to international treaties, including CBD, and they were required to submit their NR6 by December 31.
- The NR6 provides an update of progress in achievement of 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBT) developed under the convention process in line with the 20 global Aichi biodiversity targets.
Highlights of NR6
- India is striving to meet the targets by the stipulated time of 2020.
- The report highlights that while India has exceeded/ overachieved two NBTs, it is on track to achieve eight NBTs and with respect to two remaining NBTs.
- According to the report, India has exceeded the terrestrial component of 17 per cent of Aichi target 11, and 20 per cent of corresponding NBT relating to areas under biodiversity management.
- As per the NR6 report, India had been investing a huge amount on biodiversity directly or indirectly through several development schemes to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore per annum as against the estimated annual requirement of nearly Rs 1,09,000 crore.
- Measures have been adopted for sustainable management of agriculture, fisheries and forests, with a view to provide food and nutritional security to all
- Programmes are in place to maintain genetic diversity of cultivated plants, farms livestock and their wild relatives, towards minimising genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.
- Mechanisms and enabling environment are being created for recognising and protecting the vast heritage of coded and oral traditional knowledge relating to biodiversity.
Wildlife growth in India
- India has nearly two-thirds of the population of wild tigers in the world.
- The population of lion has risen from 177 in 1968 to over 520 in 2015, and elephants from 12,000 in 1970s to 30,000 in 2015.
- One-horned Indian Rhino which was on the brink of extinction during the early 20th century, now number 2,400.
- Further, while globally over 0.3 per cent of total recorded species are critically endangered, in India only 0.08 per cent of the species recorded are in this category.
- The ‘Aichi Targets’ were adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at its Nagoya conference.
- The short term plan provides a set of 20ambitious yet achievable targets, collectively known as the Aichi Targets.
- Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
- Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use.
- Strategic Goal C: To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
- Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Strategic Goal E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building
- The IUCN Species Programme provides advice to Parties, other governments and partners on the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and it’s Aichi Biodiversity Targets (2011 – 2020), and is also heavily involved in work towards the Target.