(Online Cours) CAPF Assistant Commandant: Environment & Ecology - Biodiversity and Its Conservation

Online Course for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) Exam (Assistant Commandant)

Environment & Ecology

Biodiversity and Its Conservation

Definition of Biodiversity

  • Biological Diversity or Biodiversity is that part of ‘nature’ which includes the differences in genes among the individuals of a species, the variety and richness of all the species in a region, as well the various types of ecosystems within a defined area.

  • All three levels of variability are a part of the living component of our planet called the ‘biosphere’. The unit of biodiversity referred to, could be global or sub global, or could form a characteristic of a geographical region, or a political entity such as a country, a state or district.

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  • An ecosystem is a geographical unit with its own biotic features such as climate, soil, water and a variety of inter linked species of plants and animals.

  • Examples are the forests, grasslands, deserts, rivers, lakes and seas around us. Each ecosystem has its own level of biodiversity that is measured by the number of species present in it.

  • The biodiversity of a region is a valuable ‘natural resource’ which forms a part of every ecosystem. Man is a part of these ecosystems and is dependent on their integrity. Diversity in wild species forms the ‘gene pool’ from which our crops and domestic animals have been developed over thousands of years. Today the variety of nature’s bounty is being further harnessed through breeding programmes for crops and domestic animals or through biotechnology, by manipulating genes for developing better types of medicines and industrial products.

  • The unimaginably large variations found in nature influence the day to day lives of millions of people. Some people depend on biodiversity for their very survival. This is most obvious in the tribal communities who gather resources from the forest. For others, such as agricultural communities, it is used to improve their way of life. Urban communities generally use the greatest amount of goods and services, which are all indirectly drawn from natural ecosystems.

Value of biodiversity

  • The world now acknowledges that the loss of biodiversity contributes to global climatic changes. Forests are the main mechanism for the conversion of carbon dioxide into carbon and oxygen.

  • Biodiversity provides a variety of environmental services from its species and ecosystems that are essential at the global, regional and local levels.

  • The production of oxygen, reduction of carbon dioxide, maintaining the water cycle, and protecting soil are some important services.

  • This diversity of living organisms, which is present in the wilderness as well as in our crops and livestock, plays a major role in human ‘development’.

  • Biodiversity is invaluable resource. Its values can be studied in forms of genetic, species & ecosystem diversity.

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