The National Capital Territory of Delhi, world’s second largest city is increasingly becoming urban. With 97.5 percent of National Capital Territory and 42 percent of National Capital Region already urbanized (according to National Institute of Urban Affairs), a large part of the city’s natural area is lost to built-up areas and road infrastructure. The city is gradually getting deprived of the ecosystems that provided the myriad of benefits to the mankind. Understanding the role of valuable linkage of biodiversity with aesthetic (cultural) and life supporting (provisioning and regulatory) ecosystem services is thus important.
Contributing towards NBT 1 (National Biodiversity Target) and Aichi Target 1, a two-day Nature Walk and Biodiversity Interpretation event was organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, under their Leaders for Nature program in collaboration with DDA’s Yamuna Biodiversity Park. The theme for the walk was; ‘Walking through restored floodplains of river Yamuna’.
Leaders for Nature(LfN), India, is IUCN India’s business engagement network that sensitizes companies about the true value of nature and helps them to incorporate this in their strategic decisions. It has ten large companies TATA Steel, TATA Power, Apollo, ABG, Rio Tinto, Veolia, Ambuja, HUL, ACC and Wipro as its members who are already working towards nature conservation with support from IUCN, India.
The walk was conducted on the 27th and 28th of October 2017 for the corporate executives from Rio Tinto and Veolia Ltd. to give them exposure about the benefits of urban biodiversity and the services it provides, from underpinning social and economic development to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Yamuna Biodiversity Park is a remarkable example of a fully functional nature reserve on a once-barren urban landscape.
The walk was very well received and was attended by senior executives from Veolia and Rio Tinto. The corporate learnt how restoration and management of ecosystems, such as wetlands and others can treat storm water runoff, offer biodiversity and recreational services, decrease climate change vulnerability, and increase resilience.
In case of Rio Tinto, Mr Vijay Iyer, MD Rio Tinto India, himself came to participate. On this occasion he shared his opinion that such exposures are very important for all residents. He in fact emphasized that law makers and judiciary should also come to understand the importance of conservation work and effort that goes into it.