BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION Dr. F. George D’cruz • Programme co-ordinator • Kerala State Biodiversity Board • Thiruvanathapuram
Biodiversity: Definition • Totality of genes, species and ecosystems of a region. • Genetic diversity-variation of genes within species.
Species diversity-the number of different species that constitute the entire biological spectrum on earth. • Ecosystem diversity-diversity of ecological complexes or biotic communities in a given area.
Biodiversity Hotspots • Hot Spot concept-British ecologist, Norman Myers (1988) Criteria for designating an area as hotspot • (i)richness in endemic species-1500 endemic plant species,0.5% of global total • (ii) impact by human activities- must have lost more than 70% of its original habitat.
HOT SPOTS • 25 major hotspots together represent 1.4 % of the earth's land area, they contain 44% of all plant species and 35% of all terrestrial vertebrate species in the world. 1. Indo-Burma ( earlier Eastern Himalayas ) 2. Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. 3. Himalayas. (Newly added) No of Hotspots in India-3
Western Ghats (Sahyadri Hills) • Vegetation types: scrub jungles and grasslands at low altitudes. • Dry and moist deciduous forests,SMontane grasslands and Sholas. • Tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests.
Contd… • Complex topography, high rainfall and relative inaccessibility-reasons to retain rich biodiversity. • 4,780 species of flowering plants.(15,000 in India) • Diversity of traditional crop plants and animal life. • Endemic species-amphibians, freshwater fishes and invertebrate groups.
Indo-Burma (Eastern Himalayas) • Tropical Asia- East of the Ganges-Brahmaputra lowlands, excluding Malesian region. • Covers an area of 2,373,000 sq. km.
Biodiversity Profile of India • India is the seventh largest country in the world. • Second largest nation in Asia. • land frontier- 15,200 kms • Coastline of 7,516 km. • One of the top twelve megadiversity countries
Contd… • No of plant species- 49,219 (12.5% of the world) • No of animal species- 81,251 (6.6% of world fauna.)
Contd…. • Species endemism among plants- 33%. • Endemism among animals • mammals –low, only 44 species. • Birds-low, only 55. • Reptile-high,187. • Amphibia- high,110 • National parks-89 & • Wild life Sancturies-497}1.56 lkh sq.km- • Tiger reserves-27- 37761 sq.km
Contd…. Source: Jaivavaividhyam (Malayalam). 1996, TBGRI.
Comparison between number of species in India and the World Source: Jaivavaividhyam (Malayalam), 1996, TBGRI.
Biodiversity Profile of Kerala • Area- 38,863 sq. km, (1.2 % of the total geographical area of India.) • Coast line- 560 km . • Altitudes up to 2694 m above msl. • mountainous upland-75-2,694 m above msl- 48% ( Forest biodiversity)
Contd… • Midlands-8-75 m above msl- 42% (Agrobiodiversity) • Coastal belt-0 to 7 m above msl-10% (Aquatic biodiversity) • Among the States located within the Western Ghats region, Kerala is the richest in biodiversity.
Biodiversity/ Ecosystem Services • Apart from fuel, shelter, medicines and other resources for our survival, vital services like: • Maintenance of water supply. • Water regulation. • Ground water recharge. • Soil formation. • Prevention of soil erosion. • Reduction of soil salinity. • Nutrient cycling. • Waste treatment. • Climate regulation. • Gas regulation.
Contd… • Flood and drought control. • Enhancement of water and air quality. • Pollination. • Biological control. • Habitat refuge. • Food production. • Raw material. • Genetic resources. • Recreation. • Cultural.
Monitory values of ecosystem services • Forest : Rs. 92,322 per hectare per year • Wetland : Rs. 6,80,110 per ha per year (seven times more) . • Total forest value of Kerala per year:14381 crores. • Total wetland value of Kerala per year:15797 crores. • Wetland value of paddy fields: 7318 crores • Total value : Rs. 37496 crores.(almost one and a half more than the revenue receipt)
Contd… • Values are calculated on the basis of global average values of ecosystem services. • Tropical forests and wet lands are more complex with higher biodiversity values • Hence the ecosystems services of Kerala would be at least 5 to 10 times more. • Aesthetic, spiritual, cultural values – unquantifiable.
Biodiversity conservation strategy • Earth summit in June 1992 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). • Conservation of biodiversity- “A common concern of human kind” • Every nation has “sovereign rights” over its biodiversity. • Calls for national strategies • India became a party to the convention in 1994
Conservation strategy – National level • Biological Diversity Act, 2002(Central Act No. 18of2003) • Biological diversity rules, 2004 • Chapter VI section 22 to 25 of the Act calls for the establishment of state biodiversity boards by the state governments • This act and rules provide guidance to union and state governments for:
Contd.. • Conservation of biodiversity including the integrity and diversity of genes, species and ecosystem and their evolutionary potential. • Sustainable use of biological resources in such a manner and at such rates that does not lead to the long term decline of the diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations. • Equity in conservation and use, including equitable access to biological resources and benefits arising out of the use of biological resources.
Conservation strategy state level • Kerala state biodiversity board constituted in 2005 • Kerala state biodiversity rules have been finalized by the board. • Salient features of the rules: • Conservation of the biodiversity of the state. • Sustainable utilization of the biodiversity resources • Equitable sharing of the benefits derived from biodiversity.
Contd.. • Ensuring protection of rights including intellectual property rights over biological resources and associated knowledge • Regulation of the commercial utilization of biodiversity by any Indian or foreign national / Institution / Corporate bodies by granting approval or otherwise and, • Advice the government on all matters related to biodiversity conservation and use.
Conservation strategy- local level • As per rule Rule 23 subrule (1) of KSBB, all the local bodies should form biodiversity management committees (BMCs) within its area. • It is an arrangement that works in co-ordination with the three-tier Panachayat Raj System, as per the existing regulations. • Preparation of Peoples Biodiversity Register is the immediate task of BMCs
People’s biodiversity register • An attempt to realise the rich biodiversity in the Grama/Block/District Panchayats, state and the whole country. • A comprehensive database recording people’s knowledge and insight of the status, uses, history, ongoing changes and forces driving these changes in the biological diversity resources of their own localities.
Contd… • It will provide information on current utilization patterns of biodiversity, its economic benefits to the local communities and future management strategies required for the sustainable utilization of biodiversity in a decentralized manner. • It helps equitable sharing of benefits arising out of commercial utilization of biodiversity resources and knowledge of their uses.
Strategies of KSBB for biodiversity conservation • Appropriate action plan is also formulated for each strategy • Maintain the topographic features of the State to reduce the loss of Biodiversity. • Documentation of the biodiversity and its traditional use • Conservation of biodiversity rich areas outside the Protected Areas • Build up a strong database on the forest biodiversity of the State • Conservation of ecosystem, species and gene pools.
Contd… • Prevention of habitat fragmentation and maintenance of habitat continuity. • Mitigation of human wildlife conflicts. • Establish a model for sustainable utilization of resources for livelihood and the equitable benefits. • Prevention of overexploitation and encroachment • Ensure sustained availability of raw material for indigenous food and medicines
Contd… • Protect and promote biodiversity in and around plantations • Ensure long term conservation of select wetlands in the State • Prevent conversion of wetlands into any other land use and maintain their extent and ecological status. • Sustainable utilization of wetland resources for the benefit of local community. • Establish environmental flows in each river basin
Contd… • Institute a legal and administrative framework for conservation and sustainable use of wetland resources. • Prepare a database on aquatic biodiversity • Documentation of coastal and marine biodiversity of Kerala • Develop a database of agro-biodiversity and domesticated biodiversity. • Promote conservation of indigenous varieties and their commercial production
Contd… • Prevent contamination of natural biodiversity of the state from genetically modified organisms. • Conservation of sacred groves • Create Biodiversity Technical support group and a network of taxonomists and conservationists • Set up and strengthen institutions and agencies for economic evaluation of biodiversity
Contd…. • Implement biodiversity education and awareness programmes for the target groups. • Make use of the knowledge on Biodiversity as a source of income generation. • Establish Kerala Biodiversity Information System (KBIS). • Ensure sustainability of Biodiversity conservation activities.