Managing Urban Rivers - Chapter 7: Enhancing and conserving urban biodiversity

Elsevier, Managing Urban Rivers: From Planning to Practice, 2024, pp 109-130
Govil A., Kanchan M.R., Mishra R.R.

Global biodiversity loss has aggravated rapidly in the last few decades as developmental agenda has taken a toll on the blues and greens of our planet. Enhancing and conserving urban biodiversity goes beyond afforestation and tree planting; it requires long-term management, critical monitoring, and evaluation at local level, strong stewardship, and close collaboration with local communities. These components, if addressed effectively, can contribute to sustainable development, climate change, biodiversity conservation, and disaster risk reduction at the local, national, and global levels. This chapter elaborates on the specifics of urban biodiversity and discusses the impact of anthropogenic interference on the same. Emphasis on the role of urban rivers in sustaining the urban biodiversity is also explored. Global initiatives for comprehensive assessment and evaluation of urban biodiversity through indices such as Singapore Index on Cities’ Biodiversity (SI), Multidimensional Biodiversity Index, and IUCN Green List along with success stories and case studies that have the opportunity to spark thoughts and ideas in cities to restore biodiversity; role of subnational authorities and local communities to conserve biodiversity are also covered within the chapter. The ultimate essence of the chapter is to inculcate the idea of making room to coexist with nature which becomes possible by mainstreaming biodiversity—ecosystem conservation and management into the overall urban planning and institutional framework.