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Sunday, May 23, 2010

BIO-DIVERSITY IN NEPAL

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Concept of Bio-diversity
There are millions of living beings including plants, animals, birds and micro level organisms on the earth. There are differences and diversities among them. These diversities and differences in ecosystem refer to bio-diversity. This is the bio-diversity of heredity and specie. Bio-diversity brings differences in the ecosystem where organism and gene play an important role. Bio-diversity of an area refers to existing organism, gene, animals, and ecosystem per unit of land. In totality, bio-diversity refers to the existing number of living organisms and their diversity.

Bio-diversity can be classified into three groups – species, ecosystem and genes. Man, elephant, birds, maize, wheat, pluses, potatoes, and plants are included within species. The species of organism and virus are also included in them. This is the numerical counting of species. Ecosystem is a habitat for the living beings. The structure of ecosystem causes bio-diversity. Even living beings have their own heredity qualities. The people of the Himalayas have the hereditary quality to tolerate severe cold whereas those of the region can tolerate hot temperature.

Bio-diversity differs according to the geographical regions. Therefore, there are diversities in living things. Some living beings found on land, some in the water and the other in the atmosphere. Similarly, some plants are found in lithosphere whereas the others found in hydrosphere. Some plants are floating on the water while others live under it. Bio-diversity and conservation have been maintained because living beings can adjust themselves according to geographical conditions. The living beings within bio-diversity exists in association with special relationship among them. If one species in destroyed or disturbed, the whole system of living things will be affected. The negative effects on their system of living beings will disturb the whole ecosystem. For example, the forested area of any place is destroyed, the system, the vegetation, wild life and other living beings will be negatively affected. It will be difficult for them to live in their area.


1. Diversity of Ecosystem
Various types of land and water ecosystems and found according to geographical region. There are different types of ecosystems in Nepal according to geographical features. Nepal is divided into the Himal, the Hills, and the Terai. The Himalayan range is extended northern part. Mount Everest. The highest peak is also located in it. The mid hilly region is located between the Himalayan region in the north and the terai in the south. About half of the country’s land is represented by the hilly region. The region comprise of hills hillock and tar. The lowland is located in southern part. The region is extended from Mechi in the east to Mahakali to the west. The climate differs in each of geographical region. Therefore, there is a diversity in the land and water ecosystem of Nepal due to her physiography and climate. Various types of world ecosystem expect those of the oceans and desert are found in Nepal. Ecosystem differs from the one geographical region to another depending on relief features, soil, slope of the land and steepness, face and altitude. This difference has created a great diversity in the ecosystem of each geographical region. Due to the diversity of ecosystem, there are great differences in vegetation and animals of Nepal.
There are glacial lakes in the Himalayan region. In the same way, lakes, ponds, and cool places are located in various places of the hilly region. Similarly, there are wet lands and small ponds along the sides of the stream and rivers flowing through the Hills and the Terai regions. There are big and small ecosystems in each of the regions of Nepal. The wet land ecosystem is regarded important for the growth and conservation of bio-diversity. A variation appears in vegetation and animals due to the physiography and chemical properties of water in various ecosystems.

2. Species Diversity

Nepal shares about 0.1 percent of the land in the earth. The 71 percent area covered by water is not included in it. If it is included the proportion becomes 0.03 percent. Species diversity has topography starting from one of the lowest to the highest Himalayan peaks of the world. Species diversity has created differences in the ecosystem of each geographical region. Especially, the Hill ecosystem has much diversity. Species diversity has created suitable habitat for different types of species. In this context, Nepal is a rich country from the viewpoint of species diversity. Nepal is famous in bio-diversity in the world.

a. Status of species
In the year 1995, Bio-diversity Project Profile had published the statistics on vegetation, animals, and birds of Nepal. The statistics of the diversity of species stated by it are presented in the table below.
Diversity of Species in Nepal
Diversity of Species in Nepal

Based on the above statistics of vegetation and wild lives, bio-diversity has a great importance in Nepal. About 2.2 percent of the worlds vegetation is available in Nepal.

b. Status of Plants Diversity
In 1997 A.D, The Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation has published the statistics on the plant species. According to this, the status of vegetation by comparing the statistics of algae, fungi, bryophytes and pteridophytes of species in the world. Comparing with the global scenario, algae (1.72 percent), fungi (2.38 percent), lichen (2.07 percent), bryophytes (6.09 percent), ptridophytes (3.19 percent), flowing plants (2.07 percent) are available in Nepal.

c. Comparative Situation of Animals and Birds
The diversity of living beings available in Nepal is compared to that of the world. The essential data and facts are in table below.
Diversity of animals and birds in Nepal.Diversity of animals and birds in NepalSource: Bio-diversity Project Profile, 1995.

Nepal is rich in animals, bird and insects. Of the world bio-diversity of species Nepal represents 0.01 percent insects, 4.2 percent butterflies, 2.2 percent fish, 1.1 percent amphibians, 1.5 percent reptiles, 8.5 percent birds and 4.2 percent mammals respectively.


IMPORTANT OF BIO-DIVERSITY


Bio-diversity has a significant important. Man’s development and bio-diversity are interrelated to each other. Bio-diversity important is closely associated with man’s food, housing, life styles, social activities and economic aspects. Thus, bio-diversity can also be regarded as the various sources of goods necessary for human beings. Bio-diversity importance has been explained below.

a. Agricultural Production
Agricultural products such as rice, maize, wheat, green vegetables and fruits are the basic sources of food for human beings. Their source is agriculture is biodiversity. Plants are crops of various species such as rice, maize, fruits and green vegetables are found in Nepal. Such crops and plants were found in the forest in the beginning but human beings started to cultivate them as useful plant. They selected good seeds and their plants. Such activities resulted in development of crops and plants. These are the major sources of food for human beings.

b. Animal Production
The sources of production required for human beings such as milk, curd, ghee, meat and fish are available for the bio-diversity. Similarly, horses and camel are used to transport goods from one place to another. Dogs are kept for security of houses. Various raw materials such as bones, hair, wool and leather are available for the animals. People make clothes, cosmetic goods and other by using them. The raw materials essential for medicines and also available from animals, birds and plants. Such goods can be produced and distributed. These are the sources of the income.

c. Plant Production
Roots and fruits are also available from plants. These are the sources of raw materials for the timber industries. herbs, clothes, medicines, colors and paper.

d. Improvement in breed
People keep animals and birds for their uses. These also plant various types of vegetation. The production capacity of local species and immunity against disease can be improved through their use. Therefore, bio-diversity helps to improve the existing living beings of various places. Wild species can be used to breed the domestic animals and birds. Important plants should be identified through studies and research works and be preserved.


e. Soil Conservation
Various plants appear in different places. Large and small plants keep the particles of soil by pressing them. They protect soil erosion. Therefore, the physical condition of a place is distributed if the plants and the grasses are destroyed. The structure of land becomes weak and soil erosion and landslide can occur. Thus, bio-diversity helps to preserve land, soil and physical feature.

f. Watershed Conservation
The vegetation such as plants and grasslands help to conserve sources of water and watershed. The area of green belts is less evaporated and the water is collected in the land. Bio-diversity and sources of water and watershed areas are related to each other. One cannot exist in the absence of other. For examples, if sources of water are dry, there will be a loss in bio-diversity. Thus, biodiversity plays a significant role in the conservation and promotion of watershed areas.

g. Natural Beauty and Scenes
Bio-diversity makes environment and nature beautiful. Natural environment is created by plants, animals and birds, their size and types, colour, adaptation and responses. The habitat of animals and birds in the forest, their sound/noise and responses and life styles maintain natural beauty. Such beauty provides entertainment to men. There are a number of such places in the Himalayan, Hilly and the Terai regions of Nepal.



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