Coordination at regional and/ or national level along with integration and effective cooperation among stake holders, institutions and administrative authorities of biodiversity reserves or protected area concerned can be considered of biodiversity conservation issues.
In India, current conservation strategies and sustainable use of biological resources are primarily based on local knowledge systems and practices ingrained in Indian ethos. Applications and actions for conservation and use of biodiversity relate to following key points:
a. Intensification of surveys and inventorisation of biological resources of the country including island and wetland ecosystems.
b. Conservation of biodiversity through a network of protected areas including Biosphere Reserves, Marine Reserves, National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Gene Conservation Centers, Wetlands, Coral Reefs and such other natural habitats of biodiversity importance
c. Rehabilitation of rural poor/ tribal people displaced due to creation of national parks/ biosphere reserves/ tiger reserves, etc.
d. Conservation of micro-fauna and micro-flora which help in reclamation of wastelands and revival of biological potential.
e. Protection and sustainable use of plant and animal genetic resources through appropriate laws and practices.
f. Protection and maintenance of indigenous genetic diversity, wildlife corridors, traditional skills and methodologies to multiply, breed and conserve the threatened and endangered species through modern techniques of tissue culture and biotechnology.
g. Discouragement of monoculture and plantation of dominating and exotic species.
h. Restriction on introduction of exotic species of animals without adequate investigations.
2. Towards Forest Conservation:
Now-a-days forest conservation, promotion and protection have assumed paramount importance owing to combined effects of over exploitation of timber and deforestation. This has necessitated establishing effective community based management systems for common properties including forest.
As such, the concept of people’s participation or “Joint Forest Management” originated in managing forest resources. JFM advocates Participation of men and women from all sections or communities at village level in regeneration, conservation, development and management of all types of forests i.e., sanctuaries, reserved forests, protected forests and forest of other lands.
Management of forest should be done to meet different needs of people in an ecologically sustainable way. To enable people’s institutions work for integrated development and management of natural resources in village.
3. Towards Wetland Conservation:
Wetland conservation in India arises due to encroachment, negative effects of development poverty and under development. As per Policy Statement on Environment and Development in India, wetland conservation issues have been incorporated under conservation of Natural Resources as:
a. Conservation of wetlands for ensuring sustainable ecological and economic benefits.
b. Stringent measures for prevention and control of pollution due to indiscriminate disposal of solid wastes, effluents and hazardous substances in land and watercourses.
c. Control and abatement of pollution of water bodies from municipal and industrial wastes generated from urban habitats by intercepting and diverting such wastes away from water bodies.
d. Classification, zoning and regulations for maintaining quality of water bodies to protect and enhance their capabilities to support various designated usage.
e. Adoption of low cost sanitation technology for prevention and control of pollution in watercourses.
Above-cited policy statement must seek similar desired goals in both natural and social systems to maximize sustainable development of wetland ecosystem. The following five principles embodying both intrinsic and instrumental values are suggested (Upreti 1994).
1. Maintenance of wetland ecosystem health or ecological integrity in a way that can maintain ecological process, diversity, and life-support services, of the system while allowing sustainable use of ecosystems.
2. Control of human population based on assumption that resource-base of wetland ecosystem is finite and cannot meet the needs of and sustain, an ever-increasing human population for optimum realization of its potential (humanity).
3. Integration of people into wetland ecosystem and eco-complex conservation and management based on assumption that wetland ecosystem conservation is only possible through sustenance and satisfaction of basic human needs.
4. Satisfying human needs of present generation for ecosystem services of wetland based on the principle of equity and social justice besides maintaining a diversity of options for future generations.
5. Adopting ecologically benign consumption and production patterns based on assumption that ecologically compatible human cultural adaptation is a necessity to achieve sustainable development on a long-term basis.
Integration of people into wetland ecosystem is absolutely necessary for very existence and stability of wetland eco-complex of which human social system is just one component. Flourishing life and activity of human beings and non-human biota of wetlands is possible only if the ecosystem is healthy and reasonably stable.
So, value of sustainable use of wetlands for bio-diversity preservation, ecosystem health and ecosystem stability should be recognized in a way that human actions which preserve and promote these values should not only be encouraged but also made morally binding to this effect.