Time to Restore Ecosystem said Padma Shri Prof. R.K. Sinha
The time has arrived for restoring the Ecosystem and even the common people may make a significant contribution by tweaking their lifestyles. The statement was made by Padma Shri Prof. R. K. Sinha as the keynote speaker in an online conference organised by Dept. of Environmental Sciences of Central University of South Bihar (CUSB). The webinar was organised on the theme “Ecosystem Restoration” and attended by over 100 participants comprised of Environmentalists from different parts of the county, faculty members and students.
Guest speaker Prof. Sinha talked about Ecosystem Restoration and Sustainable development. In his talk he said that this decade has been marked as the decade for ecosystem restoration. Prof. Sinha gave very basic and fundamental ideas about the ecosystem. He said that conservation is far easier than restoration. Restoration requires much more data, effort and commitment. Sustainability is a thing which should be emphasized. He said that the rate of extinction of species is far greater than the rate at which they are being discovered. The demand for water will be 40% more water, 40% more food, 40% more timbers and fibres and 50% more energy. Because we are increasing our consumption and these are putting a lot of pressure on the ecosystem because all the needs are fulfilled by the ecosystem itself. He emphasized that plantation done for a green cover is not environment friendly, inland vegetation should be grown as such to restore the ecosystem. Today’s food habit has now changed the agriculture from climate driven to market driven which has resulted in a stressed water resource. The rivers are suffering due to this as much of the water the used for agriculture resulting the stream loss. Now the native vegetation around the rivers can rarely be seen. He talked about the ecosystem services, which not only fulfil our needs but also provide security and mental peace. He told that 99% of the degradation is done by anthropogenic activities. He shared that even in 1937, that there was a report published by the government press for flood control in Bihar which stated that Embankments can’t be a solution for flood control. But still the embankments are used. We have lost the wisdom passed down to us like canals and ponds for the water conservation. He shared his experience that he explored the Ganga Flood Plains near Haridwar but was disheartened to find the ecology that was once prevalent in the 1970’s. He said that site specific solution policies should be made. He advised that university should work in village for these specific issues. Prof. Sinha concluded his talk with the message “Think Globally Act Locally”.
Earlier CUSB Vice-Chancellor Prof. H. C. S. Rathore welcomed the Guest Speaker Prof. Sinha Vice Chancellor, Sri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra Jammu, also known as ‘Dolphin Man of India’due to his terrific work in the conservation of Gangetic Dolphins. He prayed that every human gets a sound mind which concerns for the mother earth. He shared that CUSB campus is Zero discharge campus as it recycles all the water. The campus is developing into a surplus recharge campus as it has developed an artificial pond in more than 100 acres of area which is serving very efficiently from the past three years. The road infrastructure is developed in a manner that no more cement will be required for construction of roads for the next century. A robust system of pipeline and canals has been placed in the campus. In the past 3 years the university has planted more than 15000 trees have been planted and more than 85% of those have developed. He pointed that CUSB will be planting tress till the last inch of land is available. He left with the words being environment friendly is not only a duty but it’s a culture that has to be established and the University is committed to do so.
Prof Umesh Kr Singh, Head, Department of Environmental Science, CUSB gave a brief overview about the webinar and shared a few words. He elaborated why Ecosystem Restoration has been used as the theme of World Environment Day 2021. He highlighted how ecosystem loss will result in an irreversible change that even government bodies won't be able to restore. Therefore, we should take individual actions to stop such a calamity to happen. How CUSB’s campus was designed in an environmentally friendly way with zero discharge, rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment, vegetation restoration and groundwater recharge in mind. Such effort should inspire the students to develop more environmentally friendly ways to explore more of such methods.
This event was coordinated by Dr. Rajesh Kr. Ranjan, Asst. Professor of Dept. of Environmental Sciences and the students of the department played a significant role in making this successful. The webinar ended with the Vote of Thanks given by Prof. Pradhan Parth Sarthi, Dept. of Environmental Sciences.