Almost 50% of the World’s Birds are Undergoing Population Decline

Environmental News from India:

In May this year, a group of scientists and conservation experts from across the world lay bare an unfolding catastrophe: Almost 50% of the world’s birds are undergoing population decline.

The group released a report titled The State of the World’s Birds which stated that barring 30 bird species of the 146 studied in India, all are declining.

“This (nation-wide study),” said Ashwin Vishwanathan, a researcher with Nature Conservation Foundation who also contributed to the report, “is the first step to be able to bring in any priorities regarding conservation or policy intervention for bird species.”

Birds only make up a fraction of the fast-declining biodiversity–a living web of species and ecosystems that form the basis of life on earth. A 2019 report said that about one million animal and plant species of the world face extinction, and many could disappear within decades.

At least 97 mammals, 94 bird species and 482 plant species in India are threatened with extinction, as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list of plant and animal species that have been endangered.

The current rate and scale of extinction is unprecedented. Yet, much of India’s conservation priorities are misplaced, experts told IndiaSpend. These include creating protected areas by displacing local communities, who have been a part of the ecosystem for generations, or focusing on protecting big species, like tigers and elephants, often at the cost of other species that are equally in peril.

In December 2021, India’s environment ministry proposed a draft amendment to the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. The amendment, if ratified, will dilute the safety regulations and lead to the exploitation of biological resources for commercial purposes, we reported in February this year.

Ahead of the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held in August in China, and on World Environment Day, we outline why India–a long-standing party to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, a multi-country agreement for conservation–must alter its action plan to reverse biodiversity loss.

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Source: Business Standard

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