The Telegraph
Saturday , May 24 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Zoo crusade against carbon devil

Think the sun is too harsh already? Plant a tree, save a river and wipe out your carbon footprint to protect yourself from the unequivocal rise in global temperatures.

Tata Steel Zoological Park, which has joined the ‘Zoo and Aquarium (Z&A) for 350’ movement — a worldwide campaign to bring carbon dioxide emission to a safe level of 350ppm (parts per million) from the current 400ppm, is already doing its bit. The zoo is avoiding use of fossil fuel to reduce greenhouse effects and implementing student-oriented activities to generate mass awareness against the soaring level of CO2.

It undertook a major green drive during Van Mahotsav in July when more than 200 saplings were planted.

The Z&A for 350 campaign initiated by the specialist group has partners in International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Species Survival Commission (SSC).

On Thursday, May 22, the International Day for Biological Diversity, Tata zoo also posted four pictures on the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) website to express its concerns on global warming.

Showing the Wild Face of Climate Change was a daylong campaign initiated by the CBSG in association with WAZA or World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“The 350 campaign will continue for a year. We will educate people on what they can do about climate change. Simple steps such as avoiding use of fossil fuel, planting trees, helping in conservation of water bodies and unconventional energy forms can go a long way to ensure that our future remains safe,” Bipul Chakrabarty, the director of Tata zoo.

The zoo is targeting mostly schoolchildren to generate awareness. Quiz, paintings and other co-curricular activities are in the pipeline, said zoo director Chakrabarty.

“Increase in CO2 level has adverse effects on wildlife. We, being the keepers of an animal kingdom, cannot let that happen. We are and we shall strive hard to make the Z&A for 350 campaign a success,” said another zoo official.

Scientific evidence shows that climate change will become a primary driver of species extinction in the coming century. According to IUCN reports, 70-80 per cent of birds, amphibians and corals that are already threatened are also susceptible to climate change.

“The city must know about environment concerns. With carbon dioxide levels touching 400ppm, global problems are already being perceived — from the melting of Arctic ice to extreme weather in many parts of the world, including India. We must act now or never,” said Seema Rani, Tata zoo biologist-cum-education officer.

How are you fighting global warming?