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Friday, October 23, 2009

Intrinsic values of biodiversity

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The Intrinsic Values relates to the fact that humans too are parts of Nature. The concept of intrinsic value of biodiversity accepts that biodiversity is the foundation of civilization. The author of the Silent Spring- Rachel Carson asks - “Can any civilization wage relentless war on life without destroying itself and without loosing the right to be called civilized?” The integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community are values that can be saved and protected as it is evident from following lines-

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and the beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”- Aldo Leopold; sand Country Almanac.

Rachel Carson: The author the Silent Spring

The evolutionary values and the Noah’s principle accept that- since humans are and were parts of nature, they benefited from the evolutionary processes. This thought can raise a question, whether humans should endanger their own milieu and the process from which they stem. The Noah’s principle is named from the biblical Noah and the principle argues that the usefulness of a species is not considered when discussing its conservation, but rather its very presence in the long history of evolution is sufficient to warrant its preservation. Since most of the loss of biodiversity has been caused by human beings through the loss of habitat, overexploitation and other activities, the Environmental ethics says that- humans must have to protect the biodiversity of nature.

The Environmental Ethics demands extension of rights to species and landforms. According to the ethical point of view, the biodiversity and land forms have their rights to exist with us because of the simple reason that its long standing existence in Nature is deemed to carry with it the ‘ unimpeachable right’ to continued existence.

The Harward Biologist E. O. Wilson is of the opinion that love of nature has been deep rooted into us by the process of Natural Selection. The religious feelings about biodiversity can be seen as a natural extension of a tendency to focus on life and life like processes. Wilson coined the word “Basophilic” for this tendency. This tendency is seen in the form of human desire to remain surrounded by biodiversity and to manage natural things and also the artificial Greenland.

The Anthropocentric values centre around economic benefits, services of ecosystems; regulations of climate by biodiversity, generation of moisture and oxygen by plants and animals; formation of soil and improvement of fertility; de-toxification of wastes by organisms; and Aesthetic and recreational benefits.

Humans can take up steps to conserve biodiversity as their sacred duty. For this they can formulate projects for preserving or improving, at least, the status of a particular species. The author , once when he was chief advisor of an Environmental Organisation, devised a plan to woo back the bird species that had already left a particular area.The project incorporated massive study of bird behavior, their nesting pattern, and all the other details. Private campuses were chosen and artificial nests were built on the basis of comprehensive research. The wooden nest were hung by volunteers on different heights of trees and nesting materials were placed close to the nests. After a long time it was found that different bird species visited the nests placed at different heights, Gradually some bird species selected some nests but interiorly decorated them with their own nesting materials, Very few birds picked up some nesting materials already placed near the nests. General arrangement s for keeping the area peaceful was made and astonishingly, it was found that some birds laid eggs on those artificial nests. This way the bird nesting project was declared to be successful. Later bird baths and bird singing posts were also constructed in the nearby areas. So, this was an example. Values can be added in the conservation of biodiversity by formulating small plans and projects towards this direction. If you too have some plans ,try to implement the same and inform.

Dr. M.P. Mishra inspecting the artificial nest constructed by him and evaluates his plan for the conservation of birds in the area.

Key words : environmental ethics,Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, Dr. M. P. Mishra,natural selection, values

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