TAMIL NADU

“Human induced changes have led to destruction of biodiversity”

Population explosion and commercial exploitation leading to habitat destruction was a major major threat to biodiversity of the country, said K. Venkataraman, additional director, Zoological Survey of India.

In his talk on `Biodiversity Conservation' at the Government Museum, Chennai, Mr. Venkataraman said that 50 per cent of the forests have been wiped out, one third of wetlands have dried up, 70 per cent of water bodies polluted and 40 per cent mangroves lost in the past 100 years. Apart from natural causes, the human induced changes have led to destruction of biodiversity.

Habitat degradation, monoculture, alien invasive species, poaching and commercial exploitation were major threats. Population explosion, poverty and illiteracy could result in over exploitation of resources leading to faster destruction, he cautioned.

As the population grows, the projections indicate that the production of foodgrains, including banana, the poor man's fruit, will not match the requirement of the population by 2020. Besides, the rising cost of food products will make the poor more vulnerable, he pointed out underlining the need to protect the unmatched biodiversity of the country.

India was rich in eco-systems, species and genetic diversity.



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