International Bio-Diversity Day observed

Pakistan, a country rich in biodiversity and home to more than 1,250 species of plants and animals, observed International Day for Biological Diversity on Wednesday, amidst serious threats to natural resources.
Deforestation, soil erosion, salinity and waterlogging have become major threats to the biodiversity in the country, which housed a sizeable number of the world’s rarest animals and plants, but these were now in danger due to habitat loss and overuse, coupled with rising population. As a result, this had put immense pressure on the country’s natural resource base. International Day for Biological Diversity celebrated on May 22 each year, was aimed at highlighting the need to stop the biodiversity loss if life is to be sustained on Earth.
The theme for the year 2013 is Water and Biodiversity, which had been chosen to coincide with the United Nations designation of this year as the International Year of Water Cooperation.
The theme brought to the fore how water management was vital for the conservation of biodiversity.
Providing and sustaining water for the needs of people around the world was already a major challenge for sustainable development in both the developed and developing countries. The ecosystems of our world, particularly forests and wetlands, ensured that clean water was available to the animal and plant kingdoms.
Wetlands could help to reduce risks of flooding, while restoring soils would reduce erosion and pollution and help to increase water availability for the crops.
Activist Rahat Jabeen talking to APP, said protected areas could assist in providing water for the cities.
“Flow of water in the rivers is essential to maintain the flora and fauna along the banks of the rivers and delta,” said IUCN Pakistan Marine Coastal Expert Tahir Qureshi.
He said that in view of this essential requirement, IUCN had made a strong recommendation to the government for releasing a minimum of 35 million acre-feet of water downstream Kotri barrage.
“Since humans are the custodians of the earth, therefore it is their prime responsibility to use the natural resources equitably for a sustainable future,” said the expert.
IUCN Pakistan Country Representative Mahmood Akhtar Cheema supplementing his senior colleague said all species on the earth depended on each other, so by conserving biodiversity we would be conserving life on earth.
Biodiversity Conservation had been the core priority area for IUCN since its inception in 1948.

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