Biodiversity Policy for conservation and restoration

    0
    862

    In News

    Recently, NTPC released a Biodiversity Policy for conservation and restoration of biodiversity.

    Key Points of  Biodiversity Policy 2022:

    • It aims to establish a comprehensive vision and guiding principle for conservation, restoration, and enhancement of biodiversity.
    • The policy also aims to adopt systematic consideration of local threats to biodiversity beyond the company’s business activities.
    • This Policy is an integral part of NTPC’s Environmental Policy
    • Its objectives are aligned with environmental and sustainability policies. 
    • The policy is also designed to support all the professionals of the NTPC Group to help them contribute toward the achievement of the targets set in this field.

    NTPC: 

    • NTPC Ltd is India’s largest integrated energy producer 
    • It has always been mindful about avoiding operations in areas with the highest biodiversity value and judiciously selecting project sites. 
    • It seeks to adopt a precautionary approach for sustainable management of biodiversity in all the decision-making processes to ensure the Earth’s variety of life in and around the business units of NTPC. 
    • NTPC was the first PSU to issue a Biodiversity Policy in 2018
      • In the same year, NTPC became a member of the India Business & Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI).
    • In a major initiative undertaken by NTPC, it has signed a five-year agreement with Andhra Pradesh Forest Department for conservation of Olive Ridley Turtles in the coastline of Andhra Pradesh. 

    Significance

    • Overall conservation will increase with participation from business/firm’s side.
    • Better practices of conservation will be known and will yield better results.
    • Grass root participation will make people feel more connected to the cause.
    • Biodiversity offers goods and services that provide the world’s natural living infrastructure and are essential for a well-functioning global economy. 
    • It is estimated that approximately 40% of the world’s economy is based on biological products or processes.

    Steps taken by the Government for Conservation

    • Survey, inventorization, taxonomic validation and threat assessment of floral and faunal resources; 
    • Assessment of the forest cover to develop an accurate database for planning and monitoring; 
    • Establishment of a Protected Area Network of National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation and Community Reserves; 
    • Designating Biosphere Reserves for conservation of representative ecosystems; 
    • Undertaking of species oriented programmes, such as Project Tiger and Project Elephant; 
    • Complemented with ex-situ conservation efforts. 
    • Biological Diversity Act 2002 has also been enacted with the aim to conserve biological resources of the country and regulation of access to these resources to ensure equitable sharing of benefits arising out of their use, under which a National Biodiversity Authority and State Biodiversity Boards in all States have been set up for implementing the provisions of the Act.
    • The Central Government provides financial assistance to States and Union Territories under Centrally Sponsored Schemes such as: 
      • Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat; 
      • Project Tiger, and Project Elephant for better protection and conservation of wildlife and their habitat; and 
      • Identification of Forest Management Scheme towards protection and management of forests. 
    • The Government supports conservation of some prioritised/threatened medicinal plants harboured in specially designated Medicinal Plants Conservation Areas (MPCAs) that are primarily forested areas.
    • The National Afforestation & Eco-development Board of the Ministry promotes afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country, with special attention to degraded areas as well as ecologically fragile areas.
    • India Business & Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI)
    • To guide and mentor business organisations in India on conservation and sustainable use, the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development launched the India Business & Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI). 
    • This business-led initiative serves as a national platform for business, to promote sharing and learning, and will ultimately lead to mainstreaming sustainable management of biological diversity by business. 
    • IBBI was initiated by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India
    • Vision:
      • To sensitise, guide and mentor Indian business organisations in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use related to their operations, across their value chain and beyond towards conservation of India’s biodiversity.
    • Biosphere Reserve Programme
      • The Biosphere Reserve Programme is guided by UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme as India is a signatory to the landscape approach supported by MAB programme. 
        • UNESCO MAB programme is an intergovernmental scientific program, launched in 1971 by UNESCO, that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.

    Way Ahead

    • Any effort at conserving and enhancing biodiversity can only succeed if we tackle the challenge of global warming. Global warming has to be urgently brought under control.
    • The people should take a pledge to work towards conserving biodiversity and sensitising the youth on the issues of conservation.  

    Source: PIB