Some of our planet’s greatest wealth is contained in natural forests, plains, mountains, wetlands and marine habitats. These biological resources are the physical manifestation of the globe’s biological diversity, which simply stated is the variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur. Every year July 28th is celebrated as World Nature Conservation Day with the theme ‘Living sustainably in harmony with nature’. Effective systems of management can ensure that biological resources not only survive, but in fact increases while they are being used, thus providing the foundation for sustainable development and for stable national economies. But instead of conserving the rich resources of forest, wetland and sea, current processes of development are depleting many biological resources at such a rate that they are rendered essentially non-renewable. Experience has shown that too little biological diversity will be conserved by market forces alone, and that effective government intervention is required to meet the needs of the society. Economic inducements are likely to prove the most effective measures for converting over-exploitation to sustainable use of biological resources. The fundamental constraint is that some people earn immediate benefits from exploiting biological resources without paying the full social and economic costs of resource depletion, instead these costs are transferred to society as a whole. Further, the nations with the greatest biological diversity are frequently those with the fewest economic means to implement conservation programs. They need to use their biological resources to generate income for their growing populations, but problems arise when these resources are abused through mismanagement rather than nurtured through effective management. other major economic obstacles of the conservation include:
- Biological resources are often not given appropriate prices in the market place.
- The social benefits of conserving biological resources are often intangible, widely spread, and not fully reflected in market prices, the benefits of protecting natural areas are in practice seldom fully represented in cost-benefit analysis.
- The species, ecosystems and ecosystem services which are most over-exploited tend to be the ones with the weakest ownership
An incentive for conservation is any inducement which is specifically intended to incite or motivate governments, local people, and international organizations to conserve biological diversity. A perverse incentive is one which induces behaviour which depletes biological diversity. A disincentive is any inducement or mechanism designed to discourage depleting of biological diversity. Kerala Academy of Pharmacy believes together incentives and disincentives provide the courage and energy for motivating behaviour that will conserve biological resources. To function effectively, incentives require some degree of regulation, enforcement, and monitoring. They must be used with considerable sensitivity if they are to attain their objectives and must be able to adapt to changing conditions. One should remember that the nature is the ultimate energy.