World Nature Conservation Day is annually observed across the globe on 28th July to highlight the importance of nature and the environment. The day also creates awareness about the significant role of nature conservation in protecting the Earth.
- To promote the best practices to protect and conserve the environment.
- To save the flora and fauna which are facing extinction.
Conservation of Nature:
i.Conservation of nature is defined as the management and utilization of natural resources like water, oil, coal, natural gas, metals, stone and sand.
ii.Conservation is the care and protection of these resources so that they can persist for future generations.
Threats to the environment:
i.The threats to the environment include Deforestation and Forest Degradation; Climate Change; Urbanisation; Oil and Gas Development; Pollution; Soil erosion and degradation; usage of plastics; illegal wildlife trade and others.
ii.According to the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the annual rate of deforestation was estimated at 10 million ha, down from 12 million ha in 2010–2015.
iii.The area of primary forest worldwide has decreased by over 80 million hectares since 1990.
Forest Cover in India:
i.In India based on the area, Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
ii.In terms of forest cover as a percentage of total geographical area, Mizoram (85.41%) tops the list followed by Arunachal Pradesh (79.63 %)), Meghalaya (76.33 %)), Manipur (75.46%)) and Nagaland (75.31 %)).
Efforts of Government of India to Conserve Nature:
i.The urbanisation in India has resulted in the increase of pollution and loss of forest cover and wildlife.
ii.The government has taken various initiatives to increase forest cover and reduce pollution. The initiatives are,
- Nagar Van Udyan Scheme – to develop at least one City Forest in each city to accommodate a wholesome healthy environment and contribute to the growth of clean, green, and sustainable India.
- Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – a mass movement launched in 2014 to achieve Mahatma Gandhi’s aim of ‘clean India’.
- Project Tiger – adopted in 1973 to increase the number of Tigers in India. One of the successful projects of the Indian government.
- National Wetland Conservation Programme – to conserve and utilise the wetlands in India and protect them from degradation.
- Green Skill Development Programme – launched in 2017 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change to conserve and protect the green of nature and create awareness among the youth to develop skills and gain experience.
Interventions and Acts to Conserve Nature:
i.The wildlife protection act of 1972 – which established conservation parks and protected areas across India and banned the hunting of endangered indigenous species.
ii.The Forest Conservation act 1980 – which provides for the conservation of forest and protection of its flora, fauna and other diverse ecological components.
iii.The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 – which regulates the access to biological resources of the country with an equitable share in benefits arising out of the use of biological resources and to conserve and sustainably use biological diversity.