The fact that climate change is a threat to wildlife has just got official acceptance in India. For the first time, the government has recognised concerns regarding climate impacts in its wildlife management plan and has gone a step further by weaving in the need for mitigation and disaster risk reduction actions.
“Climate change is expected to make major impacts on global biodiversity through drivers such as carbon dioxide fertilisation of plants, changes in fire frequencies, insect and pathogen attacks, latitudinal and altitudinal shifts in species distributions, and altered community interactions resulting in changes in species abundances. The present-day boundaries of major terrestrial ecosystems or vegetation types would change significantly, while freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems would be similarly impacted.”
Time to act
The latest report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on October 8 warned that global warming is occurring faster than anticipated and that it can have devastating impacts if steps are not taken to cut down emissions.
Global Carbon emission jumped to all-time high in 2018 and almost all countries contributed to the rise, with emissions in China up 4.7 per cent, in the US by 2.5 per cent and in India by 6.3 per cent in 2018.