World Nature Conservation Day

Posted by The Open Page | 28th July 2017


As the ‘World Nature Conservation Day’ is round the corner (28th July), let us study about and live example of such work in Our’s Own Country. 
One common feature that is widely prevalent in all our memories photos especially social media is the foreign locations and foreign flora and fauna. Ever wondered we have an amalgamation of all that world has to offer in India? I am and always am proud of being an Indian. Please don’t confuse this with mere patriotism; I sincerely appreciate the wonders of the world for their existence. I just want to make my statement that so much of diverse species and nature is in abundance, we seldom explore. 
Let’s ask ourselves a small question,” How many places of scenic beauty have you explored near your home or in reach?” I am under the belief that we try to go places for various reasons, one being leisure and vacation. We don’t have to make a resolution, but try and reach places of heritage, nature, adventure, etc. May be we were missing something somewhere.
The main purpose of tourism is not just reaching places, some photos, transport or food etc; it is also preserving the nature in its original form. If we can list tourisms that deal with conservations, the first thing that will develop is the governments concern in doing needful. May be you are right but what about you, me and us? Don’t we have our responsibility in this regard? Leaving behind for the children is wise thinking; but we definitely are experiencing whole lot of ourselves too.
 I was thrilled to see God’s own country slogan, Kerala tourism work and efforts put in. More so I was delighted to have the entire human force dedicated to the cause of nature conservation. We are aware about Kerala. One popular theory derives "Kerala" from "Kera" (coconut tree in Malayalam) and "alam" is land, thus "land of coconuts". The state is wedged between the Lakshadweep Sea and the Western Ghats. Kerala experiences the humid equatorial tropic climate. Geographically, Kerala can be divided into three climatically distinct regions: the eastern highlands; rugged and cool mountainous terrain, the central mid-lands; rolling hills, and the western lowlands; coastal plains. 
Most of the biodiversity is concentrated and protected in the Western Ghats. Three quarters of the land area of Kerala was under thick forest up to 18th century. As of 2004, over 25% of India's 15,000 plant species are in Kerala. Out of the 4,000 flowering plant species; 1,272 of which are endemic to Kerala, 900 are medicinal, and 159 are threatened. Its 9,400 km of forests include tropical wet evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. Altogether, 24% of Kerala is forested. Three of the world's Ramsar Convention listed wetlands—Lake Sasthamkotta, Ashtamudi Lake and the Vembanad-Kol wetlands—are in Kerala, as well as 1455.4 km of the vast Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Subjected to extensive clearing for cultivation in the 20th century, much of the remaining forest cover is now protected from clear felling. 
 Kerala's fauna are notable for their diversity and high rates of endemism: it includes 118 species of mammals (1 endemic), 500 species of birds, 189 species of freshwater fish, 173 species of reptiles (10 of them endemic), and 151 species of amphibians (36 endemic). Other plants include bamboo, wild black pepper, wild cardamom, and the calamus and palm, and aromatic vetiver grass, Vetiveria zizanioides. Indian elephant, Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, Nilgiri tahr, common palm civet, and grizzled giant squirrels are also found in the forests. Reptiles include the king cobra, viper, python, and mugger crocodile. Kerala's birds include the Malabar trogon, the great hornbill, Kerala laughingthrush, darter and southern hill myna. In the lakes, wetlands and waterways, fish such as kadu; stinging catfish and choottachi; orange chromide—Etroplus maculatus are found.
Kerala's culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demographics, have made the state one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. This is truly nature in abundance. The efforts put in by various stakeholders towards the conservation are worth mentioning. Here are a few listed for you:
1. Being instrumental in taking care of the flora and fauna in their respective individual localities.
2. There are some who profess no plastic. "Our ultimate aim is to reduce the plastic waste. We need to give people smart alternatives for plastic-based necessities if this has to work and moreover, youngsters should also make that a style statement. That's how we came up with the idea of foldable, stylish cloth bags that are easy to use.
3. Working on e-waste. It's the educational institutions of the State that add most to this junk pile. However, many campuses now are selling the e-waste and gaining a good source of income. 
4. The campus of P T M Government College in Perintalmanna, Malappuram, will soon be a haven of birds. The college recently became the first in Kerala to launch a project to attract migrant and local birds to their 25-acre campus.
5. Rainwater harvesting like we all know. "We have built a few huge storage tanks on top of our buildings to collect rainwater, and they are directly connected to pipelines. On the campus too, rainwater is harvested through conservation pits, which further fill up the wells and ponds."
When we talk about India, a little motivation from Kerala can do wonders. I am sure all of us at one point of time have already been striving to do a lot much than the world is aware. I appreciate your efforts from the core of my heart. Let us collectively unite to take conservation as a social responsibility. We all pledge to come together to plant saplings. Once the day is over, the plants are mostly forgotten. Let we not restrict it to a momentary spectacle instead take care of them with a conserving attitude. We don’t have to spend hours or days just the bit required as and when. 
Try devising workable models of any of the above or many more options; so that it can be reproduced for the betterment of mankind at home, school or office. Lot of science exhibitions has the rain water harvesting concept. Before we can talk about it, ask yourself whether we can work by avoiding plastic bags etc in our daily work schedule. Because like charity begins from home, so is nature conservation.
My Green India 
Salla Vijay Kumar

Read Full Post »