PROTECTED AREAS FOR THE BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
PROTECTED AREAS FOR THE BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Protected areas are those in which human occupation or at least the exploitation of resources is limited. With only 2.4% of the world’s land area, 16.7% of the world’s human population and 18% livestock, it contributes about 8% of the known global biodiversity, however, putting enormous demands on our natural resources.
|WHY DO WE NEED TO PROTECT BIODIVERSITY?|
- Biodiversity is the key indicator of the health of an ecosystem. Healthy ecosystem, in turn provides provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services
- Greater biodiversity in ecosystem leads to greater stability.
- Loss of biodiversity has accelerated to an unprecedented level worldwide.
- WWF Living Planet Report 2020 reveals 68% drops in wildlife population.
- Every living thing on Earth is involved in the complex network of interconnected relationship, called the ecosystem.
- To protect biodiversity, Conservation steps have been taken up at both national and international level.
Protected Area Network of India consists of the following:
|WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (WS)|
- Wild Protection Act (1972) provided for the declaration of certain areas by the State Government as wildlife sanctuaries if the area was thought to be of adequate ecological, geomorphological and natural significance.
- It can be any area other than area within reserve forest or the territorial waters.
- There are around 500 existing wildlife sanctuaries in India, constituting 3.64% of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, December, 2019).
|NATIONAL PARK (NP)|
- NP are declared in areas that are considered to be of adequate ecological, geomorphological and natural significance
- The Wild Life Protection Act (1972) provided for the declaration of National Parks by the State Government.
- There are 101 existing national parks in India, constituting 1.23% of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, December, 2019).
|Parameters||National Park||Wildlife Sanctuary|
|Degree of protection||Greater||Lesser|
|Statute||WPA 1972||WPA 1972|
|Activities like grazing of livestock, hunting, forestry etc.||Prohibited||Allowed|
|Established for a particular species||No (habitat specific conservation)||Yes (species specific conservation)|
|Protected area management under IUCN||Category II||Category IV|
|Difference in conservation||The difference in conservation value of a National Park from that of a sanctuary is not specified in the WPA 1972.|
IUCN (Established on 1948)
|INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION IN INDIA|
|STATE GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS:|
- Forest Ministerof the State is in charge of all matters concerning forests and wildlife and is assisted by a Principal Secretary belonging to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
- State Forest Department- Administration and management of forests, enforcement of laws within the forest areas
- Chief Wildlife Warden– A statutory authority under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WPA)
- Heads Wildlife Wing of Forest Department
- He/She may grant permit to enter or reside in a sanctuary/national park for all or any of the following purposes:
- Investigation or study of wildlife
- Scientific research
- Transaction of lawful business
- Residing in the protected areas.
ENTRY INTO THE PROTECTED AREAS
No person other than:
Shall enter or reside in the WS/NP, except under and in accordance with the conditions of a permit granted.
|State boards for wildlife at the state level:
|NATIONAL BOARD FOR WILDLIFE|
- Statutory body, constituted under WPA, 1972
- Headed by the Prime Minister
- Advisory in nature
- Serves as an apex body for the review of all wildlife-related matters and for the approval of projects in and around national parks and sanctuaries.
- The standing committee of NBWL is chaired by the Minister of Environment Forest and Climate Change.
- Alteration of boundaries of WS/NP shall be made only on the recommendation of National board of wildlife.
|CONSERVATION RESERVES AND COMMUNITY RESERVES|
- Conservation and community reserves are those protected areas that act as buffer or connectors or migration corridors between established NP, WS, other reserved and protected forests.
- Both are the outcome of amendment to the WPA, 1972 in 2003.
|CONSERVATION RESERVE||COMMUNITY RESERVE|
|It is an area owned by the State Government adjacent to National Parks and sanctuaries for protecting landscape, seascape and habitat of fauna and flora.
Tiruppadaimarathur conservation reserve near Thirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu, declared in 2005, is the first Conservation Reserve in the country.
|It is a community/private land and members of that community agree to offer such areas for protecting fauna and flora.
Recently, Gogabeel, an ox-bow lake in Bihar’s Katihar district, has been declared as the state’s first ‘Community Reserve’
|Such area is uninhabited but used for subsistence by communities.||Part of this land is inhabited by community.|
TILLARI CONSERVATION RESERVE (29.53 sqkm area of Dodamarg forest range)
|COASTAL PROTECTED AREAS|
- Marine Protected Area (MPA) as “any area of intertidal or sub tidal terrain, together with its overlaying water and associated flora, fauna, historical and cultural features, which has been reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment” – IUCN.
- It aims to protect and conserve the natural marine ecosystems in their pristine condition.
- Notified under Wild Life (Protection), Amendment Act, 2002
- These places are given special protections for natural or historic marine resources by local, state, territorial, native, regional, or national authorities.
- To achieve National Biodiversity Target 2 and Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, India has identified and prioritized 106 coastal and marine sites as Important Coastal and Marine Areas (ICMBAs) by the Wildlife Institute of India.
CLASSIFICATION OF MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
|COASTAL REGULATION ZONE (CRZ)|
- CRZ notification was first issued in 1991, then amended in 2011 and again in 2018.
- CRZ notification, 2018 came after considering the recommendations made by Dr. Shailesh Nayak Committee (constituted by MOEFCC).
|4 ZONES OF COASTAL REGULATION ZONE (CRZ)
|SALIENT FEATURES OF CRZ NOTIFICATION 2018:|
- Allowing Floor Space Index (FSI) or Floor Area Ratio (FAR) as per current norms in CRZ areas. This will enable redevelopment in these areas to meet the emerging needs.
- Two separate categories have been stipulated for CRZ III (rural areas)
- CRZ III A – Densely populated rural areas with population density of 2161 per sq km (as per Census 2011). Such areas shall have a No Development Zone (NDZ) of 50 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL) as against 200 meters from the HTL (stipulated in CRZ notification 2011).
- CRZ III B – Rural areas with population density of below 2161 sq km. Such areas shall continue to have NDZ of 200 meters from the HTL.
- Promotion of tourism infrastructure: Temporary tourism facilities such as toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities are now permissible in NDZ of CRZ III areas. (A minimum distance of 10 meters from HTL should be maintained.
- CRZ Clearances: Clearances for projects located in the CRZ I and CRZ IV- MOEFCC
- Clearances for projects located in CRZ II and CRZ III – State level authority
- NDZ of 20 meters has been stipulated for all islands ( islands close to the mainland coast and for all the backwaters in the mainland)
- All Ecologically Sensitive Areas have been accorded special importance.
- Pollution abatement has been accorded special status.
- Defence and strategic projects have been accorded necessary dispensation.
|SACRED GROVES OF INDIA|
- Sacred Groves are patches of forests or natural vegetation – few trees or forests of several acres – that are usually dedicated to local folk deities (protected by local communities).
- Notified under Wild Life (Protection), Amendment Act, 2002
- The degree of sanctity of the sacred forests varies from one grove to another.
- People believe any kind of disturbances would offend the local deity and thereby causing natural calamities, diseases of crops.
- For example, the Garo and the Khasi tribes of North-Eastern India completely prohibit any human interference in the sacred groves.
|LOCAL NAME OF SACRED GROVES:
|TYPES OF SACRED GROVES:||TRADITIONAL GROVE – The grove where village deity resides, who is represented by elementary symbol.|
|TEMPLE GROVE – The grove which is created around a temple|
|Groves around the burial or cremation grounds.|
|Ecological Significance||Threats to Sacred Groves|
|NATIONAL BIOSPHERE RESERVE PROGRAMME (NBRP)|
It is a scheme initiated by the Government of India in 1986 to ensure participation of local inhabitants in conservation of ecosystem without compromising their livelihood.
|CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF BIOSPHERE RESERVES:|
|PRIMARY CRITERIA||SECONDARY CRITERIA|
|Protected and minimally disturbed core area||Presence of rare and endangered species|
|Ability to sustain viable populations representing all trophic levels, in core area||Presence of micro-climatic conditions, diverse soil and indigenous varieties of biota|
|Involvement of local communities to link biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development||Preservation of traditional tribal or rural modes of living for harmonious use of environment|
|BIOSPHERE RESERVES IN INDIA (18):|
|Sr.||BIOSPHERE RESERVE (BR)||YEAR||KEY FAUNA||LOCATION|
|1.||Nilgiri – World Natural Heritage Site
|1986||Nilgiri Tahr, Lion-tailed Macaque, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Elephant, Tiger||Part of Wayanad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Madumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley and Siruvani hills (Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka).|
|2.||Nanda Devi – Declared World Natural Heritage Site||1988||Snow Leopard, Musk deer, Himalayan black bear, Brown Bear||Part of Chamoli, Pithoragarh, and Bageshwar districts (Uttarakhand).|
|3.||Nokrek||1988||Hoolock Gibbons, Clouded Leopard, Elephant, Barking Deer||Part of Garo hills (Meghalaya)|
|4.||Gulf of Mannar – First marine Biosphere Reserve in India. Falls within the Indo-Malayan realm
|1989||Dugong, Whale Shark, Hawsbill sea turtle||Indian part of Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka (Tamil Nadu).|
|5.||Sundarbans – World Natural Heritage site||1989||Royal Bengal Tiger, Ganges and Irawadi Dolphins, Terrapin, Estuarine crocodiles||Part of delta of Ganges and Brahamaputra river system
|6.||Manas – World Natural Heritage site||1989||Pygmy hog, Golden Langur, Hispid hare, Bengal Florican||Part of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamprup and Darang districts (Assam)|
|7.||Great Nicobar||1989||Nicobar tree shrew, Nicobar crab-eating macaque, Dugong, saltwater crocodile||Southern most islands of Andaman And Nicobar (A&N Islands).|
|8.||Simlipal – The biosphere reserve has the largest zone of Sal in all of India.||1994||Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Leopard||Part of Mayurbhanj district (Orissa).|
|9.||Dibru-Saikhowa||1997||Tiger, Elephant, Assamese Macaque, Sambar, Barking Deer, Water Buffaloes||Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts (Assam)|
|10.||Dehang-Dibang||1998||Leopard- Clouded, Common, Spotted, Himalayan Black Deer, Indian Wild Dog||Part of Siang and Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh.|
|11.||Pachmarhi||1999||Indian Giant Squirrels, Flying Squirrels, Gaur, tiger, Nilgai
NOTE: Pachmarhi BR area is often recognized as “Genetic Express Highway” linking two biological hot spots of the country viz. Eastern Himalayas and Western Ghats, also as confluence of northern and southern type of vegetation.
|Parts of Betul, Hoshangabad and Chindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh.|
|12.||Khangchendzonga – India’s first Mixed Heritage Site||2000||Himalayan- Tahr, Black Bear, Blue Sheep, Red panda, Snow Leopard||Parts of Khangchendzonga hills and Sikkim.|
|13.||Agasthyamalai – Part of “Hottest biodiversity hotspots” + World Natural Heritage Site.||2001||Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Nilgiri Tahr||Neyyar, Peppara and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries and their adjoining areas in Kerala.|
|14.||Achanakmar-Amarkantak||2005||Indian Wild Dog, Saras Crane, White-backed Vulture, Sacred grove Bush frog||Covers parts of Anupur and Dindori districts of M.P. and parts of Bilaspur districts of Chhattishgarh State.|
|15.||Great Rann of Kutch||2008||Indian Wild Ass, Great Indian Bustard||Part of Kachchh, Rajkot, Surendra Nagar and Patan Civil Districts of Gujarat State|
|16.||Cold Desert||2009||Tibetan Gazelle, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Ibex, Red fox||Pin Valley National Park and surroundings; Chandratal and Sarchu&Kibber Wildlife Sancturary in Himachal Pradesh|
|17.||Seshachalam Hills||2010||Golden Gecko, Slender Loris||Seshachalam Hill Ranges covering parts of Chittoor and Kadapa districts of Andhra Pradesh|
|18.||Panna||2011||Bengal Tiger, Nilgai, Leopard, Chinkara, Chital||Part of Panna and Chhattarpur districts in Madhya Pradesh|
NOTE: Bold marked BRs of India are included in WORLD NETWORK OF BIOSPHERE RESERVE-UNESCO’S MAB programme
There are 18 Biosphere Reserves in India. 12 of the eighteen biosphere reserves are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list.
- First Biosphere Reserve:Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (Est. 1986)
- Largest Biosphere Reserve:Gulf of Mannar
- Smallest Biosphere Reserve: Panna
THE MAN AND BIOSPHERE (MAB): Launched in 1971 + Managing entity: UNESCO + MAB is an intergovernmental scientific programme of UNESCO that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of the relationships between people and their environments.
- It targets ecological, social and economic dimensions of biodiversity loss.
- It focuses on improving human livelihoods and safeguard natural ecosystems.
- It also focuses on rational, sustainable use and conservation of resources.
- Biosphere reserves are legally protected areas (can be terrestrial or coastal ecosystem or a combination thereof) where human beings and nature can co-exist while respecting each other’s’ needs.
- They are indeed learning areas for sustainable development.
- They are nominated and established by the respective countries and recognised under UNESCO’s MAB programme.
|FUNCTIONS OF BIOSPHERE RESERVE:|
- Conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity
- Economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable
- Logistic support, underpinning development through research, monitoring, education and training.
- These three functions are pursued through the 3 zones/areas of Biosphere Reserve.
|ZONATION OF BR:|
|The core areas of biosphere reserves are strictly protected zone which are often public lands with legal protection, such as a previously designated national park, wilderness area or wildlife refuge. However, the core area may be privately owned or belong to non-governmental organizations.|
|Adjoining region around the core area(s), may also accommodate education, training, tourism, and recreation facilities. In many biospheres reserves the buffer zone is regarded as an area in which human use is less intensive than what might be found in the transition zone and is used for scientific research.|
|Transition Area||Outermost region where community’s foster socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable economic and human activities.
|WORLD NETWORK OF BIOSPHERE RESERVES (WNBR)|
World network of biosphere reserves of UNESCO’s MAB programme consists of a dynamic and integrated network of biosphere reserves across the world. It promotes:
- North-South and South-South collaboration and international co-operation through sharing knowledge, exchanging experiences, building capacity and promoting best practices.
- Harmonious integration of people and nature for sustainable development.
|BIODIVERSITY HOT SPOTS (covers only 2.3% of the Earth’s land surface)|
These are Earth’s most biologically rich, yet threatened regions. The concept was first put forth by Norman Myers in 1988. Conservation International (CI) adopted Myers’ hotspots as its institutional blueprint in 1989 and gave the following criteria to qualify a hotspot.
- Species endemism – Contain at least 1,500 species of vascular plants found nowhere else on Earth (endemic species).
- Degree of Threat – Have lost at least 70 percent of its primary native vegetation.
|EIGHT HOTTEST HOT SPOTS|
- Brazil’s Atlantic Forest
- Western Ghats and Sri Lanka
- Eastern Arc and Coastal Forests of Tanzania/Kenya
|Five key factors have been considered for defining the above 8 hot spots:
|FOUR INDIAN BIODIVERSITY HOT SPOTS|
- Himalaya: Includes the entire Indian Himalayan region (and that falling in Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar)
- Indo-Burma:Includes entire North-eastern India, except Assam and Andaman group of Islands (and Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and southern China)
- Sundaland: Includes Nicobar group of Islands (and Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines)
- Western Ghats and Sri Lanka: Includes entire Western Ghats (and Sri Lanka)
|WORLD HERITAGE SITES|
- World Heritage Sites are the places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity.
- Over 1000 Natural and Cultural places have been inscribed in the World Heritage List to date.
- The Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972, provides framework for protection of Cultural and Natural Heritages across the world.
|7 Natural World Heritage Sites
There are total 38 World Heritage sites in India –
- 30 Cultural Sites
- 7 Natural Sites
- 1 Mixed Site- Khangchendzonga National Park