3

Biodiversity

Introduction

South Asia’s civilization, its diverse dietary habits and its means of livelihood are inextricably linked with its biodiversity. The landmass, rivers and the surrounding ocean contain myriad flora and fauna. The innumerable life forms in its ecosystems provide food, fodder, fuel, fibre and aromatic and medicinal herbs. South Asia’s natural resources have ensured our survival through the ages. Unless we conserve it we just cannot go on.

‘Biological diversity is the sum total of life on Earth, the wealth of species, ecosystems, and ecological processes that, after all is said and done, makes our living planet what it is …’1 The problem facing us in South Asia is species extinction, and the seriousness of this issue ...

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