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“Biodiversity and water resources are intrinsically linked. Biodiversity supports water resources including nutrient cycling in soil and plants. This process controls water quality. Similarly, water resources supports biodiversity: without sufficient water there is stress on species thereby causing biodiversity loss. Conserving biodiversity helps waterways against nitrogen pollution. In fact, streams with more species help in removing excess nutrients in water. Accordingly, the Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 6) relating to water and sanitation talks about sustainable development of water ecosystem including forest, wetland, lakes being part of biodiversity.


There is an urgent need to conserve biodiversity. Habitat restorations help in this direction. A major cause of biodiversity loss is due to habitat destruction. Habitat destruction is caused by deforestation, pollution, overpopulation, etc. Species living in forests and oceans are most affected by habitat destruction. Thus threat to biodiversity, inter alia, includes deforestation, water pollution, climate change, habitat loss, air pollution, etc.


For preserving acquatic biodiversity (which deals with diversity of species and eco systems in water), environmental flows in rivers are suggested. For example, in Indus river basin, the eflows volume are 18.5 billion cubic meters which are met by utilizable water resources while in Cauvery river, the required eflows volumes are 5.3 billion cubic meters which are not met by utilizable water resources thereby causing loss of biodiversity in Cauvery river basin.


There is a need to conserve biodiversity by conserving water resources. Similarly, by conserving water, biodiversity can be conserved.”

– Dr. SK Sarkar
Distinguished Fellow
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

Dr. SK Sarkar is a Distinguished Fellow and Senior Director at TERI. He heads the Natural Resources and Climate Programme and is currently associated with TERI since September 2014. During 1998-2003, Dr. Sarkar worked as a Senior Fellow, TERI, and during 2005-2007 as Director, Division of Regulatory Studies and Governance, TERI. He is a Doctorate in Economics (1991) from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA. Dr. Sarkar is an IAS officer (retired).

He is a former Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Water Resources. He has served other ministries including the Finance Ministry in the Government of India and worked in various capacities with the State Government of West Bengal. He worked as Member Secretary, West Bengal Pollution Control Board under the State Environment Department during 2003-05, and formulated policies on plastic waste management. He also worked as a consultant with the Asian Development Bank and with the World Bank/ PPIAF (Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility). Dr. Sarkar has got several publications to his credit, has authored and edited books on infrastructure issues, and has presented a number of important papers in several conferences. He taught a course on “Public Policy” in the Kabul University (2007), Afghanistan, and also at TERI University.

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