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The Spinal Chord!

There is a shortage of the proper spine… It is not a joke spread through the Social Media, but a fact! In their Living Planet Report 2020, the WWF International and Zoological Society of London have mentioned that the number of Vertebrate Animals, other than human beings, has reduced by 68% or more than two-thirds from 1970 to 2016. According to the Researchers, this figure is at least 60% in India. India is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of Biodiversity. Hence, the loss of biodiversity is also higher in India than many other countries.

No one should ignore this Report, especially during the time of COVID-19 Pandemic when the scientists claimed that the virus came from bats or pangolins! The Scientists are of the opinion that the human beings might get rid of Corona Virus, but many Zoonotic or animal-borne diseases might be waiting for Mankind in the near future. One of the main reasons of this is the destruction of jungles, the natural habitat of animals. As a result, the Non-humans are increasingly coming closer to the Humans in the Amazon region of Brazil, and also in the north-eastern and eastern parts of India. In the last five decades, there has been a huge increase in the number of human beings, compared to other animals. At a time when the number of Vertebrate Animals has showed a marked decline, the number of human beings has almost doubled!

Vertebrate Animals

Long-term Planning is required to reduce the Population Explosion. However, immediate action is needed in order to tackle another issue. The lure of immediate gains prompts people to destroy jungles. Irrespective of geographical location and language, the character and exercise of Power is pretty much the same across the Globe. The Report has further claimed that the main reason for the decline in the number of Vertebrate Animals is the change in the type of usage of lands, while Pollution and Climate Change are the other major factors. All these happen, as the Human Beings try to control the Mother Nature

In the Report, the WWF has stated that 12% of wild mammals, 19% of amphibians and 3% of birds have gone extinct in India in the last five decades. Of the South Asian Nation’s 100,000 species, only 6,800 are Vertebrate Animals, of which 550 are in critical stage. The situation is the same in both land and water. The number of freshwater animals is declining by about 4% per year, as more than 80% of wetlands are endangered. In 2019, the Government of India stated in a Report that nearly 820 million people, living in 12 river basins, might face severe water crisis in the coming years, leave alone the Non-humans.

The major groups of vertebrates include fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

In recent times, the Government of India has decided to destroy thousands of acres of jungles for industrialisation. As per the WWF Factsheet, India’s Central Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change cleared 240 projects in the first half of 2019. In order to implement 99% of those projects, many Indian forests would be destroyed. Unfortunately, 43% of the forests are Ecologically Sensitive Wildlife Habitats or the bedroom of wild animals.

To give as much concession as possible on the issue of environment is the declared and undeclared policy of the Indian Government! In an attempt to safeguard Business Interests, the Government has asked Pollution Control Board officials not to visit the industrial areas for monitoring the level of pollution! Laws related to forest and environment have also been weakened. The introduction of the Environmental Impact Assessment 2020 Act is one such move. The National Green Tribunal has become somewhat an ineffective agency. Furthermore, the Government has allowed various Groups to extract coal by cutting down the jungles. Former Indian Minister of Environment Jairam Ramesh has admitted that the politicians are not at all worried about the Environment!

It seems that only effective Public Protests could break this nexus of between Opportunistic Politics, Market Economy and Environmental Criminals. Nearly 20 million Indians have staged protests against the proposed Environment Impact Assessment Act, while farmers are protesting against the three new laws on Agriculture enacted by the Government. If the people do not protest against these anti-environmental actions by the Government by doing justice to their spines straight, the whole animal kingdom cannot be protected for long…

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