Role of National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-Being on India’s Biodiversity

Synopsis: The pandemic has exposed the dysfunctional relationship between humanity and nature. The National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-Being will help India to restore that dysfunctional relationship.

  • Globally, there is a decline in biodiversity. Since 2000, 7% of intact forests have been lost.
  • Further, Climate change and the ongoing pandemic will add additional stresses to our natural ecosystems.
  • Protecting Biodiversity loss is critical for India’s development. Effective implementation of The National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-Being can safeguard and reclaim India’s Biodiversity
Significance of Biodiversity

India is home to nearly 8% of global biodiversity on just 2.3% of the global land area. India contains four of the 36 global biodiversity hotspots. The varied ecosystems across land, rivers, and oceans provide us with the following benefits

  • Food security
  • Enhanced public health security
  • Protection from environmental disasters.
  • Source of spiritual enrichment, catering to our physical and mental well-being.
  • The economic value provided by ecosystem services.

Thus, preserving biodiversity is directly relevant to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of our people

Significance of National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-Being (NMBHWB)
  • The mission was approved in 2018 by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) in consultation with MoEF&CC and other Ministries.
  • The Mission will strengthen the science of restoring, conserving, and sustainably utilising India’s natural heritage.
  • It will enable biodiversity as a key consideration in all developmental programmes, particularly in agriculture, ecosystem services, health, bio-economy, and climate change mitigation.
  • It will establish a citizen and policy-oriented biodiversity information system.
  • The Mission will enhance capacity across all sectors for the realisation of India’s national biodiversity targets and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
  • Furthermore, it will allow India to emerge as a leader in demonstrating the linkage between the conservation of natural assets and societal well-being.
  • Above all, the Mission offers a holistic framework, integrated approaches, and widespread societal participation.

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Effective implementation of the mission will benefit India in many ways
  • The Mission’s comprehensive efforts will empower India to restore, and even increase, our natural assets by millions of crores of rupees.
  • It will help in rejuvenating agricultural production systems and increase rural incomes from biodiversity-based agriculture.
  • It will also result in creating millions of green jobs in restoration and nature tourism.
    • For instance, Restoration activities across India’s degraded lands (1/3rd of our land area), alone could generate several million jobs.
  • The Mission will help India to meet its international commitments under the new framework for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and UN SDGs by facilitating poverty alleviation, justice and equity.
  • It will facilitate the creation of climate-resilient communities by offering nature-based solutions to numerous environmental challenges.
  • Further, it will aid in conservation and ecosystem management by gaining from the Scientific inputs related to geospatial informatics and policy.
  • More importantly, it has the potential to curtail future pandemics. Since, the mission encompasses the “One Health” Programme, integrating human health with animal, plant, soil and environmental health.
Way forward

To improve the results of the National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-Being further, India can implement the following suggestions. Such as

  • India needs to build an extensive cadre of human resources required to meet the enormous and complex environmental challenges of the 21st century.
  • Capacity building of professionals in sustainability and biodiversity science.
  • Investment in civil society outreach.
  • Public engagement, in the exploration, restoration and conservation of biodiversity, is critical.

Source:  The Hindu

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