Friday, December 14, 2018 | ePaper

Implementing biodiversity project in port city

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Dr. Md. Shairul Mashreque and Dr. M Abul Kashem Mozumder :
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) stated:" biodiversity typically measures variation at the genetic, the species, and the ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity tends to be greater near the equator which seems to be the result of the warm climate and high primary productivity. Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth, and is richest in the tropics. These tropical forest ecosystems cover less than 10 percent of earth's surface, and contain about 90 percent of the world's species. Marine biodiversity tends to be highest along coasts in the Western Pacific, where sea surface temperature is highest, and in the mid-latitudinal band in all oceans. There are latitudinal gradients in species diversity. Biodiversity generally tends to cluster in hotspots, and has been increasing through time, but will be likely to slow in the future. The period since emergence of humans has displayed an ongoing biodiversity reduction and an accompanying loss of genetic diversity. Named the Holocene extinction, the reduction is caused primarily by human impacts, particularly habitat destruction Conversely, biodiversity positively impacts human health in a number of ways."
At least 40 per cent of the world's economy and 80 per cent of the needs of the poor depend on diverse natural resources.
Bio- diversity is linked with the survival of families, communities, nations and future generations depend. It includes all organism in the biological process "binding each into an interdependant ecosystem, in which all species have their role" as  'the web of life'.
All plants, animals, land, water, the atmosphere enable human beings and also animals to live toghther as   supported by  the ecosystems.  If biodiversity crisis is caused by climate change "our health and livelihoods are at risk too".
But we are currently exploiting nature " using 25% more natural resources than the planet can sustain As a result species, habitats and local communities are under pressure or direct threats (for example from loss of access to fresh water)".
It is hearkening to note that Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) has by now introduced biodiversity conservation project in the port city of Chittagong. To cite Financial Express
Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) has introduced a biodiversity survey in the port city. Initially, the survey will be conducted in a ward on a pilot basis and later the programme will be expanded in the entire city if it can attain desired progress.Chattogram city Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin has inaugurated the biodiversity survey programme titled Conservation Pilot Project at the Shulakbahar ward of the CCC this morning.A group of bio-diversity experts from different universities, led by Professor Dr. Badrul Amin Bhuiyan, chairman of research forum Biodiversity Research Group of Bangladesh (BRGB), will conduct the survey for three months. The pilot basis segment of the survey will be completed by December 30, 2018, sources said, adding that the bio-diversity survey project undertaken by the CCC will be conducted in phases. Professor Aminuddin Mridha, Professor Mostafa Kamal Pasha, Professor Md Kamal Hossain, Professor Md Ismael Miah, Professor M Faruk Hossain, A M A M Junaid Siddiqui, Professor Noman Ahmed Siddiqui, Dr. Sheikh Abdul Mannan, Dr. Mahmuda Begum, Santosh Majumder and a group of Chittagong University students are conducting the survey. The mayor said the survey would be conducted in a ward initially for unavailability of fund. After identifying the problems based on findings of the survey, the project will be implemented on a larger scale in other areas of the city. BRGB unveiled all the above information at a press conference at the CCC's conference hall on Thursday. Chairman of the organisation Dr. Badrul Amin Bhuiyan delivered a keynote speech on the survey.
The project thus formulated with an expert team is capable of implementation. Already a large sum of money has been earmarked for the purpose. In a city corporation ward like Sulukbohor the city Mayor AJM Nasir is tagged an inaugural ceremony. It reminds of the firm commitment of political leadership to the reduction of bio-diversity loss in Chittagong.
Natural ecosystems play an integral role in human well-being and contribute greatly to the sustainability context. . Yet sustainable urban design and planning efforts often fail to take stock of the burning issue like biodiversity.
On the other hand urban areas continue to grow fantastically.  "By 2050, 70% of the world's population will live in urban areas and will rely on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems for many basic services. This rapid urban expansion poses risks to the exceptional and unique biodiversity in many cities that is critical for sustainability. Forecasts suggest that more than two-thirds of all species impacted by urban expansion will be in countries with low levels of political stability or regulatory quality. Scientists are still uncertain about how the loss of biodiversity will affect society in those regions."
To address the burning issue, 'the project team will identify at-risk urban areas based on three focal spatial points. They include the direct impact of urbanisation on pri-urban environments, the direct impact of urbanisation on protected areas and the indirect impact of urbanisation through teleconnections.
The project is premised on two underlying hypotheses: The expansion of urban areas decreases natural habitat; increasingly infringes upon protected areas; and produces broader sustainability issues through the erosion of connectivity in the regions. Prioritising biodiversity and natural ecosystems within the concept of sustainable cities will help to ensure that globally significant biodiversity is protected, essential ecosystem services can continue to support the adaptation of human communities to climate change and that capacity is built around urban design and planning in cities to ensure human well-being."
We think the project is interesting and exciting. If properly implemented it is expected to lead Chittagong to the status of naturally very beautiful city and the queen of south Asia. "This is a very exciting project," Any city development project stressing biodiversity will turn the city liveable.  "It aims not only to increase our knowledge but has been co-designed since its inception through a strong engagement between the scientific sustainability community, national and local policy communities and practitioners working in low-income countries and least-developed countries in the fields of biodiversity conservation and cities."

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