Changing Outlook on Harnessing Biodiversity Values – A Special Focus on Indian Himalaya
The Himalaya, as provider of goods and range of ecosystem services, is vital for sustaining life of millions of people in uplands and billions in lowlands. Indian National Action Plan on Climate Change has recognized the region vital for ecological security of the country. However, growing demand for bio-resources, combined with inadequate appreciation for values of goods and services provided by Himalayan biodiversity, has led to the unsustainable use of these resources, leading to environmental degradation in the region. The paper also looks into the scenario as to how recent pandemic of COVID 19 has brought increased focus of people on bio-resources of the region. More importantly it has suggested conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity to ensure for sustaining the continuous flow of ecosystem services and goods. Biodiversity in the region provides several opportunities, however, under changing scenario, we need to think afresh and differently on possibilities of finding better and optimal livelihood options, and the issues of conservation in the region. In this context, larger focus on conservation education has been stressed as a way forward. This paper attempts to build a case for the biodiversity in Indian Himalayan Region through a SWOT assessment. Certain cases have been elaborated wherein the outlook has changed to harness the values.
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