SK ASRAFUL ISLAM , Assistant Professor Department of Philosophy, Government General Degree College Salboni , West Bengal, India
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Abstract: We humans, like other species, share a common bond with this world. We accept that we are part of the animal world as a fundamental feature of our existence. In this world, we are related to each other in a relationship of interdependence. Ecosystems and the balance of the environment survive based on this reciprocity. Biodiversity generally refers to the diversity of life in a region’s ecosystems. This biodiversity includes microscopic organisms that cannot see with the naked eye and significant plants and animals. We, as humans, are only a part of it. All our food and survival depend on these diverse plants and animals. However, we cannot always bring this awareness that we are putting biodiversity in jeopardy through our activities.
So at the end of the 20th century, human life is now facing a complicated and unimaginable truth: environmental disaster and endangered human existence. Technology is being used almost arbitrarily by the need for wealth and abundance. As a result, the life force has been harmed by depriving nature of its essential resources and ordering ordinary practical objects to become useless.
The first thing needed to conserve biodiversity is to be aware of our environment and nature. Ancient Vedic literature says that moral order, the Rita Shakti binds the entire world. This moral code we cannot transgress and thereby owe to the whole of nature.
The relationship between the individual and the environment is reciprocal. We are all aware of what is happening due to our destruction of biodiversity. Humans have a greater responsibility to conserve biodiversity. If we look back to ancient India, we can see that the concept of biodiversity conservation is present there. The essence of Jain and Buddhist non-violence is to distribute love to all living beings and plants. So by ending the concept of anthropocentrism, we can hope to preserve biodiversity in the future by fostering virtues such as ethics by interacting with nature while maintaining harmony.
Keywords: environment, biodiversity, ecosystem, morality.
Introduction: Philosophy mainly deals with the world and life. Moreover, in this biodiversity is the mutual diversity of different organisms world, there are social, human beings and there are animals and plants. Therefore, biodiversity is the mutual diversity of different organisms. One can detect diversity among organisms primarily based on food environment and temperament. Therefore, even though biodiversity conservation is only a part of science, it can be discussed from the perspective of philosophy because philosophy has discussed how to protect the value of life by improving the quality of human life.
Furthermore, life means diversity in that life. In the same way that every portion of the human body is unique, so are all living things in this vast globe. Biodiversity in the language of science refers to the presence of different types of organisms ethnically or ecologically in a particular region or ecosystem in nature. In other words, ‘biodiversity’ refers to the wide variety of life on Earth. Scientists have discovered and named about 1.8 million different species of organisms, yet we still do not know how many species exist on Earth.
Causes of Biodiversity Destruction: Ours is one Earth, and only here is the diversity of life and life on Earth. Green plants on the land and plants in the sea provide the oxygen we use to breathe. If trees and oceans cannot absorb the carbon dioxide humans exhale into the sky, global temperatures will rise, posing a threat to life on Earth. All species depend on each other for survival. Thus, the linkages between different species bind animal life together. If a species dies, other species that depend on it die out or suffer a lot. However, we have lost biodiversity due to our various activities, that is, the people’s attitude towards this world and the environment and the vast biodiversity facing destruction due to various artificial reasons. According to the Bible, we find that when God created this world, everyone mentioned ‘they are good. We have now lost our superiority over the Creator. Thus in the kingdom of hunger, everything has become prosaic. Today we have eaten everything in pursuit of a livelihood.
Moreover, there are ethical reasons, cultural reasons, economic reasons and scientific research that have directly and indirectly destroyed biodiversity.
We can also claim several reasons behind the destruction of biodiversity in general, such as –
- Many species are losing their natural homes because of the large amounts of deforestation to make more farmland and cities. In addition, the human population is increasing exponentially, indirectly destroying biodiversity.
- People kill many wild animals for their food and fun.
- Illegal commerce across international borders involves many plant and animal species.
- Inability to find alternative habitats for wildlife that are losing their habitats.
Again, it is necessary to say that today, society has been bound by the political fence in such a way that day by day, people are becoming violent, cruel, and losing their pure spiritual qualities. As a result, people are becoming more immoral. People are not afraid to kill people, then how will he think about biodiversity? How will he give love to other creatures in the environment? Thus man has become self-indulgent. There is nothing he cannot do for happiness and enjoyment. Therefore, all human activities, lifestyles and work ethics, in a word, all our behaviours, affect the environment in one way or another.
Ancient India in Biodiversity Conservation: We will discuss why to save biodiversity. What is the need to conserve biodiversity? We can understand this by looking at ancient India to conserve biodiversity. Human love for nature and human fascination with nature’s beauty has become a subject of consideration since ancient times.
Swami Vivekananda’s words, “He who loves life, serve God”, is the seed mantra of biodiversity conservation. Mahapurusha has repeatedly spoken of saving living beings. Some say killing living beings is a great sin, and others serve living beings with knowledge of Shiva. Shri Vishnu said to preserve the biosphere by suppressing evil and observance of creation – to establish religion in this world burdened with adharma, which means removing harmful elements for the biosphere and establishing beneficial elements. As the guardian of the living world, he kills the snake in Kalika and protects the animals along the Yamuna. He portrayed Govardhan Parvat as a form of nature to show the importance of flora and fauna in human life and that the role of nature in their nourishment is much more acceptable than that of Indra, the thunder god.
We find that different deities have their vehicles. Most vehicles are wildlife specific, such as tigers, lions, elephants, snakes, mice, owls and swans. Targeting all these animals are herbivores and carnivores on the one hand, terrestrial and aquatic animals, birds and insects on the other. Besides, some imaginary animals or gods and goddesses have animal parts. Like Garuda, Siddhidata Sri Ganesha Hiranyakashipu etc. Again, the close relationship of different gods and goddesses with some types of plants can be observed, such as the jaba flower with Kali, tulsi with Narayan, the banana tree with Shri Ganesha, betel tree with Kartika, Manasa with Fonimansa tree, Dhutra with Shiva, Akunda, Aparichita and Bel tree. So there is a close relationship with Hindu gods and goddesses. So it is good to accept that biodiversity conservation was present even in ancient Indian and Puranic times.
Buddhist and Jain non-violence in biodiversity conservation: Again, we can draw upon the non-violence of the Jains to preserve this biodiversity. Similarly, the Buddhist theory of non-violence is equally acceptable. Today, human violence is increasing due to their skyrocketing needs. We need to stop this violence. In this situation, we can talk about the Pancha Mahavrata of Jains. That is, one of the five Mahavrata is non-violence. Jains say ‘Ahimsa param dharma’ – they claim that only the killing of living beings belongs to violence. Careless killing is also violent. Jains say to refrain from three types of violence: kaya (body), bachik (by words), and mental. Jains walked cautiously to avoid killing living beings. However, because the Jains of the world find it very difficult to observe the vow of non-violence, they speak of Anuvrata and of giving love to all living beings. We should think of all living things as human beings without looking down on other living things, and we should think that we are dependent on them in our life.
Similarly, non-violence is one of the five pillars of Buddhist philosophy. It also says that we cannot kill living things. We have to offer our love to all living beings, and we have to protect them not just as animals but as worthless creatures and there not only should people control their behaviour, but also that no one should control the behaviour of other people. Is spoken
Environmental ethics in biodiversity conservation: Moreover, from the point of view of morality, it can be said that killing living beings is immoral. Morally a person can never kill. We must be moral. Besides, Australian philosopher Peter Singer’s famous essay “All animals are equal”,- published in 1974, fueled the animal liberation movement. In his essay, he draws on famous philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarianism to change our misguided view of animals, which states that we should seek that happiness that maximises individual well-being. Thus we need to formulate a philosophical basis for animal welfare.
We believe ethics is a human creation and therefore needs to be limited in its scope to the human species. However, we cannot continue to adhere to the way of thinking that the fundamental concepts of water, land, and space take into consideration. By the principle of ‘equality of common interest,’ we can say that those beings with conscience deserve moral justice. Putting human suffering on the moral stage, the logic of the principle of equality says that animal suffering and the cruel treatment of animals should also be ethical because animals have the same value as humans.
Our attitude is that nature is liable to meet all our demands and needs. So for centuries, we have done many evil things in water, land and space, and we are used to thinking that this dumb nature will tolerate our behaviour forever, but nature’s unforgiving resistance to droughts, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis is ours. We explained that our relationship with nature is not one-sided. It is a reciprocal relationship.
Conclusion: Concluding the discussion, today we need to realise that as nature helps us in the meaningful growth and preservation of our existence, we also have some moral responsibilities and duties towards the environment, nature and life. This way, appropriate attitudes and environmental behaviour can protect our life circle. Not only will we protect this nature for future generations, but we will also protect nature for its value. Moreover, if not, it will not be long before we lose our biodiversity entirely.
- Dr Santosh Kumar Pal, Phalita Nitishastra, Pratham khanda, levant books- Kolkata, August 15, 2012, Parivesh Niti Shastra page 150 – 165.
- Deepak Kumar Bagchi, Bhartiya Niti Vidya, Pragati seal Prakashan- Kolkata- 73, November 2004, Baudha Darshan o Niti Vidya page 84 to 94, Jaina Darshan o Nati Vidya page 95 – 105.
- Pavitra Jyoti Mondal Ujjwal Khan, Aranya o Banyapranee Sanrakshane Prachin Bharat, November 23, 2017.