Restoring Earth’s Damaged Ecosystems: A Viable Solution
Ramesh Chaurasia-Restoring Earth’s
The unprecedented rise in the human population and the unsustainable human activities have wreaked havoc on our ecosystems. If we look back, the year 2021 saw some major devastations of ecosystems due to climate change all over the globe. Huge wildfires were burning across Siberia and historic drought that parched California. Not only that, global warming is leading to a rise in the temperature of oceans and there is an exponential rise in marine plastic pollution. These factors are making it extremely difficult for marine animals to survive.
Why there is a dire need for ecosystem restoration?
Today we are at a point where the destructions caused in the ecosystems are reversible to some extent. This is where ecosystem restoration comes into play. Improving the conditions of ecosystems and making efforts to recover their lost ecological functionality is crucial because of numerous reasons.
Firstly, these ecosystems are home to millions of species of plants, animals, birds, and insects. The loss of the habitats of this flora and fauna is in turn responsible for their loss. Many animals and plants have been pushed to the verge of extinction because of habitat loss and several have even become extinct. This disrupts the entire food chain.
Secondly, ecosystems sustain human lives as they are closely associated with many economic activities such as farming, grazing, fishing. Thus restoring ecosystems helps in providing them secure livelihoods. This includes indigenous communities as well who are highly dependent on the forest ecosystem for their livelihood.
The population of our country is on a rise. The third advantage of ecosystem restoration is that it ensures food and water security while preserving nature.
The need and ways to restore various ecosystems
Farmlands: Despite the development in different sectors of the economy, agriculture is still the primary source of income in our country with more than half of the population engaged in it and other activities related to it. However, unsustainable agricultural activities such as the overuse of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals have deteriorated the condition of the soil in many parts of the country making it unsuitable for agriculture.
Ecosystem restoration aims at improving the quality of soil in these areas to boost agricultural productivity. This can be done by adopting many sustainable practices such as crop rotation, mixed cropping, zero-till agriculture, and organic farming which means increasing the use of natural fertilizers and manure.
Forests: Urbanization, industrialization, and growing human needs have led to a gigantic loss in forest cover. It has come to a point where forests like the Amazon forests have become sources of carbon emissions rather than a carbon sink. I feel that the need of the hour is to make efforts to restore the forest ecosystem. It can be done through reforestation and adding organic matter to the soil to enhance forest health. Restoration will be useless without taking into consideration the communities that depend on forests like farmers and people who are dependent on fuelwood. For farmers, a sustainable option would be agroforestry which means growing trees in agricultural fields. And for people using fuelwood to produce their food, making alternative clean fuel options available to them is the key.
Freshwater: As a result of pollution and degradation of freshwater resources by industries, overfishing, and other activities, safe drinking water is becoming inaccessible day by day. The restoration of the freshwater ecosystem first and foremost requires controlling water pollution. This can be done by making sure that the waste is properly treated before it is discharged.
The small individual steps
There are several ways in which we at the individual level can contribute towards ecosystem restoration. These steps may seem trivial but they have immense significance when it comes to restoring the ecosystems and preserving them. Some of them include planting trees, switching to energy-efficient ways, and adopting rainwater harvesting systems.
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A superior and highly experienced entrepreneur in the field of business for quite a long time now. Also, a philanthropist, author and public speaker who believes in working towards the overall well being and betterment of the society as a whole.