Sustainable Futures cover

Vol no. 16 Issue No. 99

Expert Panel

Prithvish Nag

Vice Chancellor, MG Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi

B Meenakumari

Chairman, National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai

Rasik Ravindra

Former Director, NCAOR, Goa

Ajit Tyagi

Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Former DG, IMD, New Delhi

B Sengupta

Former Member Secretary, Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi

Saraswati Raju

Professor, CSRD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Sachidanand Sinha

Professor, CSRD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Dripto Mukhopadhaya

Director, Economic Research, Nielsen, New Delhi

Inside this issue

Biodiversity Policy

Biodiversity ACT: Access and Benefit Sharing

By: B Meenakumari

The complexity in evaluating biodiversity makes it difficult to ensure equity where bio-resources are concerned. Convention of Biological Diversity and India’s Biodiversity Act are moves to bring in equity in the sharing of bio-resources for mutual benefit.

Paris Agreement comes into force

By: Staff Reporter

The Paris Agreement is now an international law. But the target of preventing temperatures rising beyond 2 degrees centigrade can never be achieved unless countries come together and show concerted will.


Documenting India’s marine biodiversity

By: K Venkataraman

As per available data, there are 21,663 marine species in India, of which, 20,444 are faunal communities. However, in the absence of adequate documentation, the exact numbers are uncertain, and so is the status of India’s marine biodiversity.

An ocean at risk

By: Nisha D’Souza and N M Ishwar

Climate change and anthropogenic factors, are causing many marine species to die out, resulting in a devastating impact on coastal populace. Replenishing mangrove ecosystems can provide a viable solution to tackle this problem.

Seabed mining

By: Staff Reporter

The limited opportunities to mine for minerals on land is making the world consider deep seabed mining as an alternative. But this can pose major destruction to marine biodiversity, given our limited knowledge of the effects of disturbing the high seas, especially in oxygen-minimum zones.


The Himalaya-Biodiversity Threats

By: R K Maikhuri, L S Rawat, Ajay Maletha, N K Jha, P C Phondani, A K Jugran and Y M Bahuguna

It is easy to arrest a decline in Himalayan biodiversity, provided local communities are involved in the process. Efforts in the Himalayan region prove this beyond doubt.

Sundarban-Confrontation to Conservation

By: Pradeep Vyas

Human-animal conflict is often triggered by poverty and the need to access resources for survival. Such confrontation can be prevented by bringing in livelihood projects that help human population, and prevent them entering areas earmarked for wildlife.

Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in danger?

By: Staff Reporter

Home to a large number of endemic flora and fauna the Western Ghats is unique in many ways. However, climate change, overexploitation, and deforestation are playing havoc with its biodiversity.

Man Animal

Elephantine trouble

By: Staff Reporter

Elephants are today endangered due to fragmentation of habitat, reduction of forest cover, and the hostility of local communities to wildlife. A holistic approach to conservation is the best solution to benefit all concerned.

Monkey menace

By: Staff Reporter

Deforestation and habitat degradation have primarily contributed to monkeys moving into human settlements over the last few decades. Long-term scientific measures are the only solution to the monkey menace.

Environment People

Tourism Regulatory Framework

By: Dripto Mukhopadhaya

Although the Indian government has myriad schemes to promote tourism, there is no regulatory framework for the sector. If tourism is to be sustainable, with minimum impact on biodiversity and the environment, a regulatory policy framework is urgently needed.

In brief

Editor's Note

Paleontologists claim that the history of life on Earth is 3.5 billion years old. In addition, they have convincingly proved that rapid environmental changes have caused huge drops in biodiversity in the past. With climate change manifesting itself more starkly than ever—each year reaching a new h

Term Power

What is ...

Ballast water is carried in ships' ballast tanks to improve stability, balance and trim. It is taken up or discharged when cargo is unloaded or loaded, or when a ship needs extra stability in foul weather. When ships take on ballast water, plants and animals that live in the ocean are also picked up. This travels from port to port, introducing invasive species in marine ecosystems. There are now global norms on how to discharge ballast water to curb this problem.

Invasive alien species are plants, animals, pathogens and other organisms that are non-native to an ecosystem, and which may cause economic or environmental harm or adversely affect human health.

A natural or artificial process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form.

Riparian zones are the areas bordering rivers and other bodies of surface water. Riparian is also the proper nomenclature for one of the fifteen terrestrial biomes of the earth. Plant habitats and communities along the river margins and banks are called riparian vegetation, characterised by hydrophilic plants.

Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island nation, country or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms. These are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere.

Excessive richness of nutrients in a lake or other body of water, frequently due to run-off from the land, which causes a dense growth of plant life. Eutrophication can have serious effects, like algal blooms that block light from getting into the water and harm the plants and animals that need it. If there's enough overgrowth of algae, it can prevent oxygen from getting into the water, making it hypoxic and creating a dead zone where no organisms can survive.

Umbrella species are species selected for making conservation-related decisions, typically because protecting these species indirectly protects the many other species that make up the ecological community of its habitat.

In biogeography, a species is defined as indigenous to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural process, with no human intervention. The term is equivalent to 'native' in less scientific usage.

Bioremediation is the use of microbes to clean up contaminated soil and groundwater. Microbes are very small organisms, such as bacteria, that live naturally in the environment.

The region adjacent to the border of a protected area; a transition zone between areas managed for different objectives.