This refers to the article, “Biodiversity challenges ahead” (May 27). As children of this planet, we are not only entitled to the right to enjoy its resources and diversity but also entrusted with the moral duty to conserve, replenish and sustain its ecological balance. The ecological value of our natural environment is far greater than its economic value. Governments all over the world should not only take steps to conserve biodiversity but also ensure that all these measures are implemented in right earnest. Utilisation of alternative resources such as solar and wind power should be the top priority.

If we do not wake up now and stop the degradation, we will be left with a planet as cold as are our hearts and as lifeless as is our greed.

D.V.R . Naveen,

Secunderabad

S. Balaji's piece has rightly argued that human greed is responsible for the extinction of wild fauna and flora. His observation that human existence depends on “protecting biodiversity in forests, coastal ecosystems and in our own neighbourhood” is in congruence with the quintessential nature of our culture which stresses that life in its varied forms and manifestations is interdependent and interrelated.

Adhering to the principle of shared membership of all living organisms, our ancestors always valued their relationship with the animal kingdom. The common man, even without knowing about the dynamics of biodiversity challenges, used to respect nature. But rulers, politicians, planners, industrialists and businessmen continue to alter, destroy or exploit natural environs in the name of development. There is a prophetic note in a hymn of the Atharva Veda which is a satire on materialists. It says: “O Death, we pay homage to thee for saving us from the scientific weapons of the learned, from the instruments and arms of kings, and from the economic troubles created by businessmen.”

Satish K. Kapoor,

Solapur

The article has rightly pointed out the need to conserve biodiversity at all levels for the well-being of the ecosystem and the world as a whole. It is embarrassing that we as humans have been causing damage to the flora and fauna. Be it global warming, deforestation, soil erosion or any other threat to nature, everything is attributed to nothing but human greed. We must quickly start countering the erosion of species.

Tarun Girdhar,

Chandigarh

The article was extensive in its coverage of the venue and date of COP-10. However, one would have liked more information on the biodiversity erosion caused by environmental pollution — various types of soil, air and water pollution — which is a major threat to both terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity today. Many of the insect and arthropod species inhabiting the canopy and soil, and water are very sensitive. They are under severe threat due to unfavourable changes in the environment. More than the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere to which organisms are sensitive, it is the temperature rise that poses a greater threat to plant and animal species.

M. Vikram Reddy,

Puducherry

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