Sikandar Shah, Student, University of Peshawar

The planet earth has more than 750,000 animal’s species, 250,000 plants species and countless number of microorganisms. All these living beings live in forests, glaciers, hot springs, sedges, rivers, lakes and underground reservoirs. Among these million number of plants, animals and microbes, you cannot see binary animals with 100% similar characteristics, two plants with 100% similar attributes and alike for Microorganisms. This is what we call variation. This variation in terms of Science is known as Biodiversity. Diversity term is not only limited to these morphological variants. But it is also pertinent to Genetic, Species and Ecosystem level. We need millions of animals billion of plants, trillion numbers of microbes and countless number of varieties for un interrupting food chain and supply. It’s the magic ingredient that enables the world to work smoothly.   

 We spent millions of wealth every year to discover life on other planets and billions of Wealth to destroy life on this planet, and give configure such devastation as development. This devastation may be in the form of urbanization, deforestation for fuel, lumber woods, and roads expansion. These are gigantic problems that constantly threatening our biodiversity cover.

 Human beings are dependent on biodiversity from ancient times for food, medicines, transport, shelter, and fragrances. In Pakistan forests are the source of income for more than billion people. Thirty two percent of total energy originates from plants. Plants also provide forage to 1/3rd of our livestock’s. In spite of such dependency, the biodiversity loss such as deforestation rate in Pakistan is highest in Asia. Which is 0.2-0.5 per annum. While our neighboring countries i.e; China and India, the deforestation rate is quite minimal.  Every year number of plants and animals’ species becoming endangered and extinct. Asparagus gharoensis, Astragalus clarkeanus and Aconitum violaceum are some of the endangered plants species of Pakistan. Similarly, Panthera pardus, Panthera uncial, and Gazella subgutturosa are the critically endangered animal species.

Keeping in view the vicious behavior of human beings  towards the nature and the unsustainable utilization of natural resources, like killing of pregnant animals with explosives, beating of leopards to death and removing their teeth and nails, mass scale illegal hunting of endangered fauna and trading of expensive and unique medicinal plants. The United Nation General Assembly in December 2000 passed an ordinance to mark 22 May as an International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB). The aim of this adaptation is to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The day was celebrated for the first time in 2002, and dedicated to “Forests Biodiversity”, and is celebrated every year from last 18 years with different themes. The slogan of this year is “Our Solutions are in Nature” which stresses hope, and working together to conserve biodiversity and it also emphasizes the sustainable utilization of resources.

The day is also celebrated in Pakistan, but not with that spirit. Despite the fact that Pakistan ranks 5th among the world’s most vulnerable countries to climatic changes. This year because of high rain fall ( Changing precipitation pattern) the wheat production is reduced dramatically. Melting of Himalayas, threatens the volumetric stream rate of several main water bodies across Pakistan. Every year significant number of insects (pollinators) becomes extinct. Sharks are the major sinks of CO2 whose population is dipping day by day. Being the responsible citizens of this beautiful country, it is high time we came forward and took practical steps to save and conserve biodiversity.

We have to be accountable for our posterity about the indefensible use of such resources because these are passed to us from generation and we have to hand it back to our forth coming generation. This is our mother planet, it create, nurtured and made us. We have no other planet for Resettlement. There is no substitute for Biodiversity who can replace it and we rely on that. This is an irreplaceable and cherished gift from nature if we try still we can’t afford to pay this. The only way of giving respect to Biodiversity is to protect and utilize it sustainably.

Conserve Biodiversity, because

                                  We are from Biodiversity; Biodiversity is not from us.”

 About the Author: Sikandar Shah is an Undergraduate student of Department of Botany, University of Peshawar, Peshawar. He is passionate to write for environment and climate.