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Biological diversity - or biodiversity - is a term used to describe the variety of life on Earth. It refers to the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms: animals, plants, their habitats and their genes. Biodiversity is the foundation of life on Earth. It is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems which provide us with products and services without which we couldnt live. Oxygen, food, fresh water, fertile soil, medicines, shelter, protection from storms and floods, stable climate and recreation - all have their source in nature and healthy ecosystems. But biodiversity gives us much more than this. We depend on it for our security and health; it strongly affects our social relations and gives us freedom and choice. Biodiversity is extremely complex, dynamic and varied like no other feature of the Earth. Its innumerable plants, animals and microbes physically and chemically unite the atmosphere (the mixture of gases around the Earth), geosphere (the solid part of the Earth), and hydrosphere (the Earths water, ice and water vapour) into one environmental system which makes it possible for millions of species, including people, to exist. At the same time, no other feature of the Earth has been so dramatically influenced by mans activities. By changing biodiversity, we strongly affect human well-being and the well-being of every other living creature Types of Biodiversity: In biodiversity on the basis of variation and distribution, four types are evolved which deals with living species separately. The types of biodiversity vary from place to place. These types are as follows 1. Genetic Diversity 2. Species Diversity 3. Ecological Diversity 4. Functional Diversity Genetic Diversity: It is a type of biodiversity which deals with the living organisms genetically i.e. variation in the genes of the species and the genetic makeup of species differ from each other to produce a new generation is categorized as genetic diversity. Genetic diversity refers to the variations between individuals of a species characteristics passed down from parents to their offspring. Species Diversity: The change happening in the variety of different types of living organisms present in different places in the same geographical area is referred as species diversity. Species diversity refers to the variety of different living things. Ecological Diversity: As we know that ecology is the study of different communities among their environment so, it is that branch of biodiversity which deals with variation in the ecological area or environment such as desert, forests, grassland, streams and coral reefs etc. is known as ecological diversity. Ecosystem diversity refers to the great variety of environments produced by the interplay of the living (animals and plants) and non-living world (earth forms, soil, rocks and water) Functional Diversity: Functional diversity is that type of biodiversity which is the study of different types of chemical processes of species for their survival on the land. These processes include such as energy flow and cycling of matter etc. Importance of Biodiversity: Biodiversity has very much important ecologically and economically and it also plays an important role in our daily life because it is applicable in different fields for the sake of better development in the modern World. Some of the important fields on which biodiversity is applicable are as follows 1. Importance in Agriculture: In agricultural field biodiversity plays an important role to produce a new variety of plants or crops by producing a change in their genetic traits and it also help in preventing the crops from diseases such as coffee plants, rice plants etc. it is also called as agricultural biodiversity.

2. Importance in Human Life: Biodiversity plays a major role in our lives because they are very useful for the production of different useful products such as food, water and different type of medicines. It also involves in fighting against different disasters. It produces a great variety of pharmaceutical products which help in recovery. 3. Industrial Importance of Biodiversity: In the field of industry it is also used to produce different kinds of materials such as building material which derived from different kinds of biological resources and through biodiversity. The industrial products which are produce as a result of biodiversity are fibers, dyes, oil, rubber etc Extent of Biodiversity: The extent of Biodiversity is measured in terms of the following measures: Alpha diversity: It refers to the diversity within a particular area or ecosystem. It is usually expressed by the number of species (i.e., species richness) in that ecosystem Beta diversity: It indicates a comparison of diversity between ecosystems, usually measured as the amount of species change between the ecosystems Gamma diversity: It is a measure of the overall diversity within a large region. Geographic-scale species diversity. Concept of Hot Spot Biodiversity hotspots are defined as areas featuring exceptional concentrations of endemic species and experiencing exceptional loss of habitat. Species are described as endemic if they are unique to a specific area or region, and dont naturally occur anywhere else and due to their limited ranges, endemic species are particularly vulnerable to extinction. The biodiversity hotspots concept was first proposed by Norman Myers in 1988. The hotspots concept aims to protect the greatest number of species at the least cost. The 25 hotspots contain 44% of all vascular plant species and 35% of terrestrial vertebrates and encompass only 1.4% of the earths surface. However, collectively they have lost 88% of their original primary vegetation. Species in these areas are at risk from extinction if further habitat loss occurs. The aspects associated with Biodiversity Hotspots are: 1. Richness in species 2(a) Presence of endemic species or 2(b) species are included in the one or other criteria of the IUCN threat perspectives. IUCN at a glance Founded in 1948 as the worlds first global environmental organization A leading authority on the environment and sustainable development It provides a neutral forum for governments, NGOs, scientists, business and local communities to find practical solutions to conservation and development challenges It carries out thousands of field projects and activities around the world. It is governed by a Council elected by member organizations every four years at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, a general body of the IUCN. It is Funded by governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies, foundations, member organizations and corporations IUCN has been given the Official Observer Status at the United Nations General Assembly. Conserving biodiversity is central to the mission of IUCN. They demonstrate how biodiversity is fundamental to addressing some of the worlds greatest challenges such as climate change, sustainable development and food security. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to finding pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. The organization publishes the IUCN Red List, which assesses the conservation status of species. IUCN supports scientific research, manages field projects globally and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy.

IUCN is the worlds oldest and largest global environmental network a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. IUCNs work is supported by more than 1,000 professional staff in 6 0 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. The Unions headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, Switzerland. IUCNs stated vision is a just world that values and conserves nature. Its mission is to inf luence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. IUCN Red Data Book The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data List, founded in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the worlds main authority on the conservation stat us of species. A series of Regional Red Lists are produced by countries or organizations, which assess the risk of extinction to species within a political management unit. According to IUCN (1996), the formally stated goals of the Red List are To provide scientifically based information on the status of species and subspecies at a global level, To draw attention to the magnitude and importance of threatened biodiversity, To influence national and international policy and decision-making, and to provide information to guide actions to conserve biological diversity The IUCN Red List is set upon precise criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world. The aim is to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public and policy makers, as well as help the international community to try to reduce species extinction... IUCNs classification: 1. IUCNs classification of the species on the basis of threat prospective. 2. IUCNs classification of the protected area categories IUCNs classification of the species on the basis of threat prospective. IUCN Categorisation: Extinct: A species is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died. Extinct in Wild: A species is Extinct in the wild when it is known only to survive in cultivation, in captivity or as a naturalised population (or populations) well outside the past range. A species is presumed extinct in the wild if exhaustive surveys in its known habitat in its historical range have failed to record an individual. Critically Endangered: A species is Critically Endangered when it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future. 1. Range reduction of 80% over 3 generations or 10 years; 2. Occurrence of less than 100sq km or occupancy of less than 10sq km and decline in populations; 3. Less than 250 plants and decline; Less than 50 mature plants; 4. Probability of extinction of 50% in 10 years or 3 generations. Endangered: A species is endangered when it is not Critically Endangered but is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future. 1. Range reduction of 50% over 3 generations or 10 years; 2. Occurrence of less than 5 000sq km or occupancy of less than 500sq km and decline in populations; 3. Less than 2 500 plants and decline; Less than 250 mature plants; 4. Probability of extinction of 20% in 20 years or 5 generations.

Vulnerable: A species is Vulnerable when it is not Critically Endangered or Endangered but is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future. 1. Range reduction of 20% over 3 generations or 10 years; 2. Occurrence of less than 20 000 sq km or occupancy of less than 2 000 sq km and decline in populations; 3. Less than 10 000 plants and decline; Less than 1 000 mature plants, or low occupancy (<100km2), or less than 5 locations; 4. Probability of extinction of 10% in 100 years. Near Threatened: Species which are close to qualifying for Vulnerable. Least Concern: Species which do not qualify for Near Threatened. Data Deficient: A species is Data Deficient when there is inadequate information to make an assessment based on its distribution and population status. Not Evaluated: A species is Not Evaluated when it is has not yet been assessed against the criteria. IUCN protected area categories or IUCN protected area management categories These are categories used to classify protected areas, in a system developed by the IUCN International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The enlisting of such areas is part of a strategy being used toward the conservation of the worlds natural environment and biodivers ity. The International Union for the Conservation of NatureIUCN has developed the protected area management categories system to define, record and classify the wide variety of specific aims and concerns when categorising protected areas and their objectives. This categorisation method is recognised on a global scale by national governments and international bodies such as the United Nations and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Categories Category I a: Strict Nature Reserve This type of protected reserve is protected from all but light human use in order to preserve the geological and geomorphical features of the region and its biodiversity. These areas are often home to dense native ecosystems that are restricted from all human disturbances out side of scientific study, environmental monitoring and education. Because these areas are so strictly protected, they provide ideal pristine environments by which external human influence can be measured. Category Ib: Wilderness Area IUCN Category Ib Wilderness area areas generally larger and protected in a slightly less stringent manner than that of strict nature reserves. These areas are protected domain in which biodiversity and ecosystem processes (including evolution) are allowed to flourish or experience restoration if previously disturbed by human activity. These are areas which may buffer against the effects of climate change and protect threatened species and ecological communities. Category II: National Park This type of protected reserve bears similar characteristics to that of Wilderness Areas with regards to size and the main objective of protecting functioning ecosystems, however National parks tend to be more lenient with human visitation and its supporting infrastructure. National parks are managed in a way that may contribute to local economies through promoting educational and recreational tourism on a scale that will not reduce the effectiveness of conservation efforts. The surrounding areas of a national park may be for consu mptive or non-consumptive use, but should nevertheless act as a barrier for the defence of the protected areas native species and communities to enable them to sustain themselves in the long term.

Category III: Natural Monument or Feature This types of reserved areas represents comparatively smaller areas that are specifically allocated to protect a natural monument and its surrounding habitats. These monuments can be natural in the wholest sense, or include elements that have been influenced or intr oduced by humans. The latter should hold biodiversity associations or could otherwise be classified as a historical or spiritual site, though this distinction can be quite difficult to ascertain. Category IV: Habitat/Species Management Area This type of protected area focuses on more specific areas of conservation, but in relation to an identifiable species or habitat that requires continuous protection rather than that of a natural feature. These protected areas will be sufficiently controlled to ensu re the maintenance, conservation and restoration of particular species and habitats possibly through traditional means and public education of such areas is widely encouraged as part of the management objectives. Category V: Protected Landscape/Seascape Category V is one of the more flexible classifications of protected areas. This type of protected area covers entire bodies of land or ocean with a more explicit management plan in the interest of nature conservation, but is more likely to include a range of for-profit activities. The main objective is to safeguard regions that have built up a distinct character in regards to their ecological, biological, cultural or scenic value. Protected Landscapes and Seascapes allow a higher level of interaction with surrounding communities who are able to contribute to the areas management and engage with the natural and cultural heritage it embodies through a sustainable outlook. Category VI: Protected Area with sustainable use of natural resources: IUCN category VI Protected Area with sustainable use of natural resources a generally more encompassing classification that is focused on the mutually beneficial correlation between nature conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in correspondence the livelihoods of those who are dependent on both. A wide range of socio-economic factors are taken into consideration in creating local, regional and national approaches to using natural resources as a tactic to assist sustainable development rather than hinder it. Though human involvement is a large factor in the management of these protected areas, developments are not intended to allow for wide scale industrial production. Protection Category Description of it Examples

IUCN Category I Strict Nature Reserve/ Wilderness Area IUCN Category II National Park National Park IUCN Category III Natural Monument or Feature IUCN Category IV Habitat management area Wildlife and species management Sanctuary area IUCN Category V Protected Landscape or Seascape IUCN Category VI Protected Area with sustainable use of natural resources Distribution of Hot Spots The biodiversity hotspots are: Regions The examples of Biodiversity Hotspots

North and Central California Floristic Province America Caribbean Islands Madrean pine-oak woodlands Mesoamerica South America Atlantic Forest Cerrado Chilean Winter Rainfall-Valdivian Forests Tumbes-Choc-Magdalena Tropical Andes Europe and Central Caucasus Asia Irano-Anatolian Mediterranean Basin Mountains of Central Asia Africa Cape Floristic Region Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa Eastern Afromontane Guinean Forests of West Africa Horn of Africa Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Succulent Karoo South Asia Eastern Himalaya, India Indo-Burma, India and Myanmar Western Ghats, India East Asia and East Melanesian Islands Asia-Pacific Japan Mountains of Southwest China New Caledonia New Zealand Philippines Polynesia-Micronesia Southwest Australia Sundaland Wallacea International Effort to Protect Biodiversity: Convention on Biodiversity: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international legally binding treaty. The Convention has three main goals: 1. Conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity); 2. Sustainable use of its components; and 3. Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development. The Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993. Some of the aspects of the Convention: Biodiversity as a common concern of humankind: The convention re cognized for the first time in international law that the conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of humankind and is an integral part of the development process. The agreement covers all ecosystems, species, and genetic resources. It links traditional conservation efforts to the economic goal of using biological resources sustainably.

Fair and Equitable sharing of biodiversity resources: It sets principles for the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources, notably those destined for commercial use. It also covers the rapidly expanding field of biotechnology through its Cartagena Protocol on Bio safety, addressing technology development and transfer, benefit-sharing and bio safety issues. Legally Binding: Importantly, the Convention is legally binding; countries that join it (Parties) are obliged to implement its provisions. The convention reminds decision-makers that natural resources are not infinite and sets out a philosophy of sustainable use. While past conservation efforts were aimed at protecting particular species and habitats, the Convention recognizes that ecosystems, species and genes must be used for the benefit of humans. However, this should be done in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity. The convention also offers decision-makers guidance based on the precautionary principle that where there is a threat of significant reduction or loss of biological diversity, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to avoid or minimize such a threat. The Convention acknowledges that substantial investments are required to conserve biological diversity. It argues, however, that conservation will bring us significant environmental, economic and social benefits in return. The two most important protocols of CBD are: 1. Cartagena Protocol 2. Nagoya Protocol Cartagena Protocol The Cartagena Protocol on Bio safety of the Convention, also known as the Bio safety Protocol, was adopted in January 2000. The Bio safety Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. The Bio safety Protocol makes clear that products from new technologies must be based on the precautionary principle and allows developing nations to balance public health against economic benefits. It will for example let countries ban imports of a genetically modified organism if they feel there is not enough scientific evidence the product is safe and requires exporters to label shipments containing genetically modified commodities such as corn or cotton. The required number of 50 instruments of ratification/accession/approval/acceptance by countries was reached in May 2003. The Protocol entered into force on 11 September 2004. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty governing the movements of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology from one country to another. It was adopted on 29 January 2000 as a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity and entered into force on 11 September 2003.On 29 January 2000; the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a supplementary agreement to the Convention known as the Cartagena Protocol on Bio safety. The Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. It establishes an advance informed agreement (AIA) procedure for ensuring that countries are provided with the information necessary to make informed decisions before agreeing to the import of such organisms into their territory. The Protocol also establishes a Bio safety Clearing-House to facilitate the exchange of information on living modified organisms and to assist countries in the implementation of the Protocol. Nagoya Protocol The Nagoya Protocol on Access & Benefit Sharing (ABS) was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan and will enter into force 90 days after the fiftieth instrument of ratification. Its objective is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Objectives The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It provides a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. Obligations: The Nagoya Protocol sets out core obligations for its contracting Parties to take measures in relation to access to genetic resources, benefit-sharing and compliance. 1. Access Obligation 2. Benefit Sharing Obligation 3. Compliance Obligation Access obligations: Domestic-level access measures are to: Create legal certainty, clarity and transparency Provide fair and non-arbitrary rules and procedures Establish clear rules and procedures for prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms Provide for issuance of a permit or equivalent when access is granted Create conditions to promote and encourage research contributing to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use Pay due regard to cases of present or imminent emergencies that threaten human, animal or plant health Consider the importance of genetic resources for food and agriculture for food security Benefit-sharing obligations Domestic-level benefit-sharing measures are to provide for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources with the contracting party providing genetic resources. Utilization includes research and development on the genetic or biochemical composition of genetic resources, as well as subsequent applications and commercialization. Sharing is subject to mutually agreed terms. Benefits may be monetary or non-monetary such as royalties and the sharing of research results. Compliance obligations Specific obligations to support compliance with the domestic legislation or regulatory requirements of the contracting party providing genetic resources, and contractual obligations reflected in mutually agreed terms, are a significant innovation of the Nagoya Protocol. Contracting Parties are to: Take measures providing that genetic resources utilized within their jurisdiction have been accessed in accordance with prior informed consent, and that mutually agreed terms have been established, as required by another contracting party Cooperate in cases of alleged violation of another contracting partys requirements Encourage contractual provisions on dispute resolution in mutually agreed terms Ensure an opportunity is available to seek recourse under their legal systems when disputes arise from mutually agreed terms Take measures regarding access to justice Take measures to monitor the utilization of genetic resources after they leave a country including by designating effective checkpoints at any stage of the value-chain: research, development, innovation, pre-commercialization or commercialization Implementation The Nagoya Protocols success will require effective implementation at the domestic level. A range of tools and mechanisms provided by the Nagoya Protocol will assist contracting Parties including: Establishing national focal points (NFPs) and competent national authorities (CNAs) to serve as contact points for information grant access or cooperate on issues of compliance

An Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House to share information, such as domestic regulatory ABS requirements or information on NFPs and CNAs Capacity-building to support key aspects of implementation. Based on a countrys self -assessment of national needs and priorities, this can include capacity to Develop domestic ABS legislation to implement the Nagoya Protocol Develop in-country research capability and institutions Awareness-raising Technology Transfer Targeted financial support for capacity-building and development initiatives through the Nagoya Protocols financial mechanism, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) The Aichi Targets: Reduction in the loss of Habitat: At least halve and, where feasible, bring close to zero the rate of loss of natural habitats, including forests Expansion of the reserved area: Establish a conservation target of 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10% of marine and coastal areas. Restoration of degraded areas : Restore at least 15% of degraded areas through conservation and restoration activities Protection of the coral reefs : Make special efforts to reduce the pressures faced by coral reefs The Convention on Biological Diversity of 2010 would ban some forms of geo-engineering. 2010 was the International Year of Biodiversity. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the focal point for the International Year of Biodiversity. At the 2010 10th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October in Nagoya, Japan, the Nagoya Protocol was adopted. On 22 December 2010, the UN declared the period from 2011 to 2020 as the UN-Decade on Biodiversity. They, hence, followed a recommendation of the CBD signatories during COP10 at Nagoya in October 2010. COP 11 Leading up to the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) meeting on biodiversity in Hyderabad, India 2012, preparations for a World Wide Views on Biodiversity has begun, involving old and new partners and building on the experiences from the World Wide Views on Global Warming. The Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP) brings together a host of international organizations working on indicator development, to provide the best available information on biodiversity trends to the global community. The Partnership was initially established to help monitor progress towards the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 2010 Biodiversity target. However, since its establishment in 2006 the BIP has developed a strong identity not only within the CBD but with other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), national and regional governments and other sectors. As a result the Partnership will continue through international collaboration and cooperation to provide biodiversity indicator information and trends into the future. Current status The Biodiversity Indicators Partnership is currently in a renewal phase. The Partnership is expanding in breadth and knowledge to ensure that it can play central role in a range of processes over the course of the coming decade, including supporting the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Central to the renewed Partnership will be its revitalized relationship with the Convention on Biological Diversity. In 2010, at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the CBD held in Nagoya, Japan the BIP was referenced eight times in the official adopted decisions. These references demonstrated a clear will for the Partnership to continue supporting the CBD with implementation of the new Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The Strategic Plan consists of 20 new biodiversity targets for 2020, termed the Aichi

Biodiversity Target. Official decisions on an indicator set to measure progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets will help cement the role the Partnership will play in supporting the CBD. In the meantime a review of the existing partnership and its structure will lead to revised roles and an expanded membership to maintain and enhance the BIPs position as the leading authority on global, regiona l and national indicator development and production Concept of Bio-prospecting and Bio-piracy: Bioprospecting Bioprospecting is an umbrella term describing of the process discovery and commercialization of new products based in biological resources, typically in less-developed countries. Bioprospecting is basically the search for commercially valuable biochemical and genetic resources in plants, animals and microorganisms. These resources may be used in food production, pest control, and the development of new drug and for other related biotechnological applications. Bioprospecting often draws on indigenous knowledge about uses and characteristics of plants and animals. In this way, bio prospecting includes bio piracy, the exploitative appropriation of indigenous forms of knowledge by commercial actors, as well as the search for previously unknown compounds in organisms that have never been used in traditional medicine. Some of the aspects of Bio Prospecting: Bioprospecting contracts: Bioprospecting contracts lay down the rules, between researchers and countries, of benefit sharing and can bring royalties to lesser-developed countries. However, the fairness of these contracts has been a subject of debate. Unethical bio prospecting contracts (as distinct from ethical ones) can be viewed as a new form of bio piracy. Scientific research that looks for a useful application, process, or product in nature is called biodiversity prospecting, or bioprospecting. In many cases, bio prospecting is a search for useful organic compounds in microorganisms, plants, and fungi that grow in extreme environments, such as rainforests, deserts, and hot springs. Biodiversity prospecting is nothing new and in fact people have been bioprospecting since the dawn of civilizati on. Bioprospecting began when prehistoric people noticed that one plant root tasted better than another, or that some plants could be used as medicines. Later, scientists identified the active ingredients in these plants. People learned that the delicious plant root had higher sugar content, or they discovered that a plant used for medicine contained aspirin. Bio piracy is a situation where indigenous knowledge of nature, originating with indigenous people, is used by others for profit, without permission from and with little or no compensation or recognition to the indigenous people themselves. For example when bio prospectors draw on indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants which is later patented by medical companies without recognizing the fact that the knowledge is not new, or invented by the patenter, and depriving the indigenous community to the rights to commercial exploitation of the technology that they themselves had developed. Bio piracy refers to the commercial development of naturally occurring biological materials, such as plant substances or genetic cell lines, by a technologically advanced country or organization without fair compensation to the peoples or nations in whose territory the materials were originally discovered. Critics of this practice claims these practices contribute to inequality between developing countries rich in biodiversity, and developed countries hosting companies that engage in bio piracy. Misappropriations of Traditional Knowledge The grant of patents on non-patentable knowledge (related to traditional medicines), which is either based on the existing traditional knowledge of the developing world, or a minor variation thereof, has been causing a great concern to the developing world The CBD came into force in 1993. It secured rights to control access to genetic resources for the countries in which those resources are located. One objective of the CBD is to enable lesser-developed countries to better benefit from their resources and traditional knowledge. Under the rules of the CBD, bio prospectors are required to obtain informed consent to access such resources, and must share any benefits with the biodiversity-rich country. However, some critics believe that the CBD has failed to establish appropriate regulations to prevent bio piracy. Others claim that the

main problem is the failure of national governments to pass appropriate laws implementing the provisions of the CBD. The CBD has been ratified by all countries in the world except for Andorra, Holy See and United States. The 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and the 2001 International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture are further relevant international agreements. Biodiversity-related Conventions There are several international biodiversity conservations or protection initiatives and frameworks some of which have been enacted in law in signatory countries. Six international conventions focus on biodiversity issues: Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species, The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (1975), The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (2004), The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (1971) and The World Heritage Convention (1972). The Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals 1979 & 1994 Was signed in the UK in 1979 and requires the protection of listed endangered migratory species, and encourages separate international agreements covering these and other threatened species. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals The CMS or the Bonn Convention aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. Parties to the CMS work together to conserve migratory species and their habitats by providing strict protection for the most endangered migratory species, by concluding regional multilateral agreements for the conservation and management of specific species or categories of species, and by undertaking co-operative research and conservation activities. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species 1973 (CITES) Regulates international trade of wild fauna and flora through a system of permits and certificates. CITES entered into force in 1975 and currently has more than 150 Parties. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) The CITES aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Through its three appendices, the Convention accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 plant and animal species. The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling 1946 Establishing the International Whaling Commission, the purpose of the Convention was to provide for the conservation of whale stocks on a world-wide basis and enable the orderly development of the whaling industry. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification It is signed1995 and ratified in 1997. Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas and does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It is caused primarily by human activities, through overexploitation and inappropriate land use, and by climate variations. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is responsible, with the advice from representatives from the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector, for the coordination of the implementation of this convention in South Africa. Wildlife Conservation: Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting endangered plant and animal species and their habitats. Among the goals of wildlife conservation are to ensure that nature will be around for future generations to enjoy and to recognize the importance of wildlife and wilderness lands to humans. Many nations are government agencies dedicated to wildlife conservation, which help to implement policies designed to protect wildlife. Numerous independent non-profit organizations also promote various wildlife conservation causes. Wildlife conservation has become an increasingly important practice due to the negative effects of human activity on wildlife. The science of extinction. An endangered species is defined as a population of a living being that is at the danger of becoming extinct because of several reasons. Either they are few in number or are threatened by the varying environmental or predation parameters.

Major threats to wildlife Major threats to wildlife can be categorized as below: Living things face a constant barrage of external stresses or threats that challenge their ability to survive and reproduce. If a species is unable to successfully cope with these threats through adaptation, they may face extinction. A constantly changing physical environment requires organisms to adapt to new temperatures, climates, and atmospheric conditions. Living things must also deal with unexpected events such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, meteor strikes, fires, and hurricanes. As new life forms arise and interact, species are further challenged to adapt to one another to deal with competition, predation, parasitism, disease, and other complex biotic processes. In recent evolutionary history, threats facing many organisms have been driven primarily by the effects of a single species: humans. The extent to which humans have altered this planet has effected countless species and has initiated extinctions on such a vast scale that many scientists believe we are now experiencing a mass extinction (the sixth mass extinction in the history of life on earth). Preventable Threats Since man is indeed part of nature, man-made threats are merely a subset of natural threats. But unlike other natural threats, man-made threats are threats that we can prevent by changing our behaviour. As humans, we have a unique ability to understand the consequences of our actions, both present and past. We are capable of learning more about the effects our actions have on the world around us and how changes in those actions could help to alter future events. By examining how human activities have adversely impacted life on earth, we can take steps to reverse past damages and prevent future damage. The Types of Man-Made Threats Man-made threats can be classified into the following general categories: Habitat Destruction & Fragmentation - The destruction or splitting up of once continuous habitat to enable humans to use the land for agriculture, development of towns and cities, construction of dams, or other purposes. Climate Change - Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels have altered the Earths atmosphere and have resulted in global climate changes. Introduction of Exotic Species - Accidental and intentional introduction of non-native species into regions never before occupied by the species have resulted in the extinction of numerous endemic species. Pollution - Pollutants (pesticides, herbicides, etc.) released into the environment are ingested by a wide variety of organisms. Over-Exploitation of Resources - Exploitation of wild populations for food has resulted in population crashes (overfishing, for example). Hunting, Poaching, Illegal Trade of Endangered Species - Some endangered species are targeted for their value on illegal markets. Accidental Deaths - Car hits, window collisions (birds), collisions with ships (whales). Government involvement in the protection of the Biodiversity: In India, The Wildlife Conservation Act was enacted by the Government of India in 1972. Soon after the trend of policy makers enacting regulations on conservation a strategy was developed to allow actors, both government and non-government, to follow a detailed framework to successful conservation. The World Conservation Strategy was developed in 1980 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) with advice, cooperation and financial assistance of the United Na tions Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Wildlife Fund and in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)The strategy aims to provide an intellectual framework and practical guidance for conservation actions.This thorough

guidebook covers everything from the intended users of the strategy to its very priorities and even a map section containing areas that have large seafood consumption therefore endangering the area to over fishing. The objectives of conservation and requirements for their achievement: Maintenance of essential ecological processes and life-support systems. Preservation of genetic diversity. Sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems. Priorities for national action: A framework for national and sub national conservation strategies. Policy making and the integration of conservation and development. Environmental planning and rational use allocation. Priorities for international action: International action: law and assistance. Tropical forests and dry lands. A global programme for the protection of genetic resource areas.

Some of the most important Wildlife Conservation Organizations World Wildlife Fund: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is among my top picks since their work is aimed at protecting biodiversity on a global scale. The WWF works with multilateral and bilateral agencies to promote sustainable development in the worlds poorest countries. Its aim s are threefoldto protect natural areas and wild populations, to minimize pollution, and to promote efficient, sustainable use of natural resources. The WWF focuses their efforts at multiple levels, starting with wildlife, habitats and local communities and expanding up through governments and global networks. The WWF views the planet as a single, complex web of relationships between species, the environment, and human institutions such as government and global markets. Conservation International: Conservation International employs scientists and policy experts to balance healthy ecosystems with sustainable human use. Conservation International aims to help stabilize global climate, protect fresh water, and ensure human well-being. To achieve their goals they work with indigenous peoples and non-governmental organization. Conservation Internationals primary initiatives include climate, fresh water, food, health, culture, and biodiversity. Of all the significant initiatives Conservation International has achieved, its Biodiversity Hotspots project is for me the most impressive. This project identifies and protects biological hotspots places that exhibit the richest diversity and most threatened collections of plants and animals on our planet.