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Biodiversity Environment

Living In dependency with Wild Life : The need of Sustainable tourism

Divided We Fall – This quote doesn’t stop just with political movements, it also applies to the most miraculous entity – LIFE. Earth is a h(e)aven for boundless number of species. But the survival of a single species is hugely dependent on other organisms and the relationship they share; be it symbiotic, parasitic or prey-predator. Biodiversity is the life line of all living organisms. I feel it is difficult to talk about biodiversity among species while some people with power try to t(T)rump foreigners and refugees from entering their  country! Nevertheless, let us turn to our topic – biodiversity.

 

The most common news in local newspapers is often this:

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Snapshot of Various counterfactual ‘Headlines’

We often see this kind of news in papers and our TVs. The news is entirely wrong. It is as if wild animals entered our territory while the reality is the exact opposite. We have encroached the living space of all organisms with our population burst and made their life difficult. Forest covers have reduced with dwindling water resources making life hell for wild animals. That is why, elephants, wild cats, and cheetahs and even bears venture out of their compact space in search of food and water. If they don’t get what they want, they go rogue & who is to blame for that?

The international day for Biodiversity falls on May 22nd every year, celebrated with the theme of  “Biodiversity & Sustainable Tourism” in 2017.  We turn to Nature for relaxation to come out of the artificial digital world. That is why we have still left some area undisturbed. And it is now our duty to protect these fragile ecosystems teeming with life from any natural or man made danger. Even in the name of tourism, we have exploited and spoil the nature. The best example being The Himalayas. Being a very arduous journey, trekkers tend to carry a lot and on their course, just throw away all unwanted stuffs which pose a great danger to the ecosystem.

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How many of us have irresponsibly jumped into water or danced under waterfalls with harsh chemicals like soaps, shampoos and polluted even more by urinating in those pristine water bodies? These can wreck havoc in aquatic life systems paving way for eutrophication/toxin introduction. Lackadaisical actions like throwing away match sticks, leaving without putting off the campfire can mean end to innumerable lives whose existence are essential for our well being.

To say, a few days trip in a natural setting may just be fun for us, but the place we are tampering is the home for other organisms who have received the same gift of life from nature just like us. We are the most powerful organisms here on earth and; with power, comes responsibility. Information is power indeed. Let us know about nature as much as we can. When the dodo birds were hunted to extinction, many trees and plants went extinct because these birds helped the trees by eating the seeds with hard outer coat, digesting them and the seed in excreta was able to survive. What started as a hunting expedition or a tour hobby, resulted in annihilation of several species.

Let us stop spreading invasive species. How many are aware that Pigeons are invasive and don’t allow crows and sparrows to survive? It’s a shocking fact that the cute goldfish we buy for children are also invasive and has resulted in huge problems in lakes of Canada & USA. Let us tour, be with Nature, have fun and peace and in the meantime, be aware so as not to cause any damage to other organisms.  What should I do when I see a centipede in my home? Nothing – they are harmless and they feast on bees, ants and cockroaches. There are indeed helpful! What to do when we see a snake? Just inform the forest department guys, they’ll find a good home for that chap.

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Picture credit – Times of India, Financial Express, Conservation India

It isn’t a huge affair. Keeping water for birds, preventing trimming of trees, just shoving the smartphone inside your pockets and keeping away from wild animals can help in a long way. Tourists visiting in Ooty, popular hill station of Tamil Nadu road have started giving food to Nilgiri Tahr , that accustomed to come to roads for food and are prone to accidents. Sometimes, the best option is to leave nature alone, it’ll take care of itself. The Area surrounding Chernobyl nuclear reactor is full of diverse flora and fauna as the area is untouched after the accident.

Let us join hands for the betterment of other organisms, as our survival & prosperity is dependent on them. It is incumbent on us, youngsters, to spread this vital information to all corners of this country. We depend on them and it is now time to defend them from harassment.

 

Sathes Kumar
Sathes Kumar is a graduate of B.Tech. Energy and Environmental Engineering. He is currently working as a Research Analyst (Climate Change & Sustainability) in All India Institute of Local Self Government - New Delhi. His interests include sustainability and green buildings and is also into anything which is interesting and thought provoking