Be serious about conserving Western Ghats, people told

 Gulburga University Department of Biotechnology Head Dr G R Naik called upon the people in Karnataka to seriously deliberate on the conservation of biodiversity species as 60 per cent of Western Ghat lies in the State.

Delivering the keynote address after inaugurating a two-day national seminar on ‘Plant Biodiversities of Western Ghats and its sustainable management’ organised by the department of Botany, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, the professor said that Karnataka, being the eighth largest state in the country covers 20 per cent of the forest area of the nation. The coastal stretch of the state comprises of mangrove species that are endangered owing to the rapid development activities. Western Ghat, being the hottest hotspot in the world calls for urgent attention in terms of conservation, he cautioned. Major parts of ghats comprise of endangered species of bio-diversity.

He said there are 34 hotspots across the globe. As many as 26 per cent of the total land mass in the world is covered by forest, of which 40 per cent forest cover can be found in South America, Africa and Asia. There are nearly 5 million to 100 million species, of which 1.9 per cent are catalogued.

Indian scenario

Briefing over the Indian forest scenario, Prof Naik explained that around 2.47 per cent of the world’s geographical area is covered by Indian land mass. Of this, the forest cover is mere one per cent. The total forest cover in India with regard to its land is 23.57 per cent. India is one among the 17 mega diversity centers in the world. There are nearly 40,000 species of wild plants, of which 320 species have its origin in India. Everyone is very much worried over the survival of flora and fauna. Biodiversity is the life forms on the earth. He lamented that biodiversity is being massively damaged. The pollution and population explosion is constantly contributing to the damage. He criticised that country is still in the initial stage of targeted conservational measures. Sharp depletion in global climatic change such as green house effect and global warming are massive disasters in terms of conservation of the biodiversities, Naik noted.

Concerns

He warned that if similar atrocities against the nature continues, the people on earth will have to search for another earth to live by 2040. The entire world is a failure in the attempts to conserve the biodiversities.

Development brings in the damage for environment. Invasion of genetic crops into biodiversities is also a major cause of concern. Biofuel is one solution for sustainable development.

There are five to six lakh plant species that can be used for the eco-friendly, non-toxic and low cost renewable energy of biofuel, Prof Naik pointed.

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