Some years ago, over 170 nations came together and resolved to stop the alarming extinction of plant and animal species from Earth. As per UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the nations drafted a list of 20 targets that they had to achieve by 2020 to slow down the loss of biodiversity. Last week, a UN report showed that none of these 20 Aichi targets have been fully realised by the world. Nations failed to have adequate funding or put in the resources to keep their commitment
Now biodiversity loss is continuing alarmingly. A recent World Wildlife Fund report states that 68% of the world’s biodiversity has been lost in the last five decades. The reasons for this have been many, population explosion, urbanisation, deforestation to industrialisation among others. Another reason, however, according to the report is agriculture. Farming has been the reason for 80% of deforestation in the world. Globe fails to consider the environmental impact of agriculture. The biggest loss of biodiversity has been among freshwater species.
In our country close to a third of the nation’s wetlands have been lost to urbanisation and agricultural expansion. Around 12% of the country’s wild mammals and 3% of birds are at the verge of extinction. A big reason for this has been the current model of agriculture—rampant pesticide use, water-intensive techniques and the race to boost yield. It’s high time policies are adopted to make the farming and food sector eco-friendly, apart from protecting wetlands from encroachment.
The government should analyse and consider the environmental impact, improve efficiency to avoid wastage and provide solutions for moving towards a better land use pattern to make farming a sustainable activity.