Guwahati: Anthropocentric activities threaten the survival of elements of Mother Earth, which can be addressed through a massive sensitisation drive.
This was stated by Assam education minister Ranoj Pegu while releasing the book “The Biological Apocalypse (2023)” edited and compiled by Dr. Pronami Bhattacharyya at a function held at Guwahati Gymkhana Club here on Monday evening.
“The first and foremost thing is that we do not have consciousness of our surroundings. We do not know the names of the birds flying around us; we do not know the names of the herbs and plants. We do not want to learn their names. We do not want to make a relationship with them. When we know the names of the elements of Mother Earth, our relationship with nature goes to a new dimension and you will be delighted with it,” Pegu said.
“If we develop our relationship with nature, it will help our future generation. Many people do not know how nature is helping them in production and life. We do not know the birds which are taking part in civilization and culture,” Pegu also said.
Pegu further said mass awareness is needed of the hour to strengthen human’s relationship with nature for their survival.
Elaborating on how Mother Earth is suffering due to human activities, the minister quoted Jadav Payeng’s statement that presently security needs to protect humans but not wildlife.
Addressing the function as guest of honour “Forest Man of India” Padmashri Jadav Payeng said: “We have committed mistakes somewhere for which the climate is changing and various unknown diseases are coming up to destroy civilisation. Our next generation has not committed the mistake, but 800 crore people of this plant are committing mistakes.”
Payeng said a global effort is needed to preserve Mother Earth, which can be started from Assam itself.
Payeng also stressed the need for setting up environmental universities in every state of the country to create an atmosphere for preserving nature.
“In the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, security forces are deployed to protect wildlife from human beings. There is no need for deployment of security for protection of wildlife but of human beings,” he said.
Payeng also said that developed countries should fund developing countries for the preservation of nature and its environment.
Based on the author’s survey, this book seems to stand out because it takes into account various kinds of fauna and does not focus on one particular species.
The chapters are contributions from various scientists and researchers who have done extensive work/study on their respective species.
Each of the chapters systematically takes into account topics like status, history, taxonomic detail, habitat, threats, conservation status suggestions, etc.
Each chapter also consists of extensive data, pictures and diagrams.
The Introduction to the book was written after an extensive study of the Sixth Mass extinction, the natural chain of species, the history of Mass Extinctions, the cause and effect of anthropocentric activities, etc.
This not only acts as an apt preface to the book but will also offer an in-depth study for the readers on the subject of extinction in general.
Similarly, the conclusion brings the book to a logical ending by taking into account the future course of action to be taken.
The book attempts to instill urgency and hope at the same time in the readers.
The writer Pronami Bhattacharyya is an Assistant Professor in English at Royal Global University, Assam.
University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) chancellor Mahbubul Hoque, Aaranyak CEO Bivab Talukdar and environmental writer Rituraj Phukan were also present at the function.