This article was originally published on India Water Portal


Ecosystems are complex functioning units that include living as well as non living entities and build on interdependent relationships among these living resources, surrounding habitats and residents of an area. Thus, they can include plants, trees, animals, fish, birds, microorganisms, water bodies, soil and people. Ecosystems can vary by size and components, but they are live and functioning units of nature. If one part of the ecosystem is damaged, it has an impact on all its other components.

Ecosystems provide a number of benefits known as ecosystem services to communities that reside in the area. These include provisioning services like food and water, regulating services such as flood and disease control, cultural services such as spiritual, recreational and cultural benefits, and supporting services such as nutrient cycling.

Urbanisation and the threats to ecosystems

In recent years, the gradual process of urbanisation and changes in land use patterns have invaded green belts, lakes, ponds and other water bodies as well as open spaces, forests, vegetation, fields and flood plains at the peri urban interface, each of which form an ecosystem of their own and maintain the balance of nature. As rural areas are gradually converting to urban, these not only pose a threat to these ecosystems but also affect the livelihoods of people who draw on these ecosystem services, and increase the risks posed by climate change due to disturbances in the ecological balance. It is thus important to understand the roles and services provided by these spaces and their ecosystems and their contribution to building urban resilience to climate change…”

Read on at: India Water Portal.