Over the years the concept of interdependence in all activities is increasingly being applied with only difference in wording. The word biodiversity has been the current word in fashion to express our concern about the biosphere the degradation of which due often to human activities. Men learnt to domesticate animals, birds, and to raise crop in the upward climb on the ladder of civilization. Interaction of water, land, livestock, aquatic life, vegetation, and exploitation of nonrenewable natural wealth caused the dynamics of growth of human race much too rapidly signaling the alarm bell of unsustainability. Since living is possible under certain set of conditions broadly referred to as environment which is a condition created by interdependence, We may have hostile, favourable, and unsuitable environments to live, and the same is the case for other forms of life. We now fear that if the forest cover on the globe is reduced below certain minimum limit the conditions on the earth will be so much different that nothing short of a catastrophe will save it from no longer being a living planet. We cannot imagine a natural forest without wild inhabitants living there. The game of predator and prey goes continuously on to regulate natural forests, As we begin to understand interdependence we talk about preservation and conservation. As the human activities are making deep inroads into the privacy of wildlife docile ones are falling prey to the process and getting extinct, aggressive too are losing ground even though lately we are beginning to enact laws to protect and prevent extinction of species. Not long ago before the invention of quinine extensive swampy lands in different parts of the globe were uninhabitable and were near free from human activities. There was no dearth of wetland but we are now fearful that there is not enough wetland. Wild goats are controlled to remain in desired number by wild cats. Contrary to such a situation domesticated goats raised for commercialized gain, protected against natural enemies were allowed to proliferate wide expanses of grassland of northern Africa and Middle East which caused much damage to vegetation and rendered many areas deserts; migrations take place for survival and when such is not possible herds end up in famine which we accept as natural calamity. All these experiences turn our attention to the concept of sustainability,
We are beginning to talk about symbiotic relationship to constitute the essence of survival. This term symbiotic relationship is relatively recent and is used for relationship of plant roots and certain bacteria playing complementary roles; bacteria surviving on roots doing good to the host plant, Some bacteria fix nitrogen to soil while others provide growth hormone through roots. Now a day the symbiotic concept has been extended to industries! A position of I exist because you exist not just coexistence a term coined to connote avoidance of conflicts. In the world of today are we the mankind going to accept the principle of symbiotic existence and learn to adjust accordingly? We still believe in the illusion that science alone will save the situation from a state of collapse of the biosphere. Sooner we Learn about the necessary balance between human activity, modernity and wilderness better will be the chances for survival.
National parks of Assam can only be the nurseries, it is our understanding of the buffer zones that is going to matter for preservation and Conservation strategy.
Unfortunately, all the buffer zones are getting populated at ever increasing proportion, coupled to it the poverty of common man and degenerative influence of trading of contraband by organised operators having global network has been doing devastating damage to the cause of preservation. The task of protection has become increasingly difficult and in some cases there has not been enough means to do effective work. Under the circumstances, the concept of symbiotic existence of human being in the buffer zones with the wilderness can be a solution. For that purpose the people living in the buffer zones must not grow to become to many to cause conflict instead a condition for symbiotic existence need to be focused in their habitats, this itself is going to be not an easy task to accomplish. But perhaps somewhere a beginning will be an worthwhile exercise.
by Prof. Apama Kumar Padmapati .. former Principal, Assam Engineering College, Guvvahati and ex-President, KNP.