[Answered] Highlight the initiatives that can be helpful in making India a biodiversity champion. Also, suggest further improvements to these programs.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Write some initiatives that can be helpful in making India a biodiversity champion. Also, suggest further improvements to these programs.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Biodiversity can be defined as a community of all the living organisms on the earth and the diversity among them from all the ecosystems. At the United Nations Biodiversity Conference, countries adopted a major biodiversity pact called Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, to take urgent action to protect and restore the world’s biodiversity.

The following initiatives can be helpful in making India a biodiversity champion:

  • National Mission for a Green India: It is one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). It aims to increase forest cover on degraded lands and protect existing forested lands.
  • Green Credit Programme:  the government will incentivise the companies, individuals and local bodies that adhere to sustainable practises under the Environment (Protection) Act and help mobilize additional resources for such activities.
  • Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes (MISHTI):It will facilitate mangrove plantation along India’s coastline and on salt pan lands, wherever feasible, through convergence between MGNREGS, CAMPA Fund and other sources.
  • PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother Earth (PM­PRANAM): to incentivize States and Union Territories to promote alternative fertilizers and balanced use of chemical fertilizers.
  • Amrit Dharohar scheme: to encourage optimal use of wetlands, and enhance biodiversity, carbon stock, eco­tourism opportunities and income generation for local communities.

The following improvements to these programs are required:

  • Usemodern concepts of sustainability: The focus should be on valuation of ecosystems that consider ecological, cultural, and sociological aspects of our biological wealth.
  • Careful site selection: There is need for greater emphasis on diversity of mangrove species with retention of the integrity of coastal mud flats and salt pans. Traditional Knowledge and practicesof local and nomadic communities should be integrated into the implementation plans.
  • Ecological restorationrather than tree plantation: For the Green India Mission, there is a need to choose sites where it can contribute to ecological connectivity in landscapes fragmented by linear infrastructure.
  • There is a need to sustain ecological flows through reduction in water use in key sectors. E.g. by encouraging changes to less water intensive crops such as millets and investments in water recyclingin urban areas.
  • Each programme should include significant educational and research fundingto bring awareness to India’s biological wealth.
  • The National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well Beingshould be immediately launched by the government to harness the power of interdisciplinary knowledge for greening India and its economy.

Any effort at conserving and enhancing biodiversity can only succeed if we tackle the challenge of global warming. Global warming has to be urgently brought under control.

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