Explain concept of Ecosystem Restoration. What are the challenges and opportunities associated with this concept?
Ecosystem restoration refers to a sustainable method of environment conservation that involves assisting in the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded and conserving those that are intact.
India’s Ecosystem Restoration:
- National Afforestation program
- National mission for green India
- National action plan on climate change
- MGNREGA also recognizes natural resources and links them with rural livelihood.
- Opportunities associated with Ecosystem Restoration:
- It shall help in improving the health of forests, biodiversity, the environment, and carbon sinks.
- It can help India adhere to its goals under Bonn Challenge and Paris agreement.
- Ecosystem restoration costs much less than new ecosystem setup and compensatory forestation.
- It can help to increase economic, ecological, human, social, and psychological productivity.
- Challenges associated with Ecosystem restoration:
- Encroachment and grazing are linked with livelihood but degrade forests.
- The link between poverty and environmental degradation.
- Planting without considering local ecology can be harmful and disastrous for biodiversity.
- Lack of adequate financing.
- Center-state conflicts and conflicts between other stakeholders are challenging.
An inclusive approach of active engagement of local communities, NGOs, awareness, and capacity building of stakeholders is the need of the hour.