Biodiversity Heritage Sites

Prelims

Biodiversity Heritage Sites

Biodiversity is closely linked to ecological security and human welfare

Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS) are well defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems – terrestrial, coastal and inland waters and, marine having rich biodiversity comprising of any one or more of the following components:

  • Richness of wild as well as domesticated species or intra-specific categories,
  • High endemism,
  • Presence of rare and threatened species, keystone species,
  • Species of evolutionary significance,
  • Wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or their varieties,
  • Past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds and having significant cultural,
  • Ethical or aesthetic values and are important for the maintenance of cultural diversity,
  • With or without a long history of human association with them.

Biodiversity Heritage Sites – Guidelines

Under Section 37 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (BDA) the State Government in consultation with local bodies may notify in the official gazette, areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS).

Under sub section (2) of Section 37, the State Government in consultation with the Central Government may frame rules for the management and conservation of BHS.

Under sub section (3) of Section 37, the State Governments shall frame schemes for compensating or rehabilitating any person or section of people economically affected by such notification. Considering the above provisions of the Act, the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) hereby issues the following guidelines for selection and management of the Biodiversity Heritage Sites BHS.  

Biodiversity Heritage Sites – Objectives

a. Biodiversity is closely linked to ecological security and therefore, human welfare. To strengthen the biodiversity conservation in traditionally managed areas and to stem the rapid loss of biodiversity in intensively managed areas, such areas need special attention.

b. Such areas also often represent a positive interface between nature, culture, society, and technologies, such that both conservation and livelihood security are or can be achieved, and positive links between wild and domesticated biodiversity are enhanced.

c. To have a BHS in or around a community should be a matter of pride and honour to such community and this virtuous act of community may work as an example to the entire nation apart from ensuring availability of the resources to their own future generation. The areas like existing sacred grooves in general and those existing in Western Ghats in particular can be straight away be declared and notified as BHS.

d. It is necessary to instill and nurture conservation ethics in all sections of the society. The creation of BHS will ensure bringing home these values in the society and thereby put an end to over-exploitation of natural resources and avoid environmental degradation.

e. The creation of BHS may not put any restriction on the prevailing practices and usages of the local communities, other than those Agenda voluntarily decided by them. The purpose is to enhance the quality of life of the local communities through this conservation measure.

Biodiversity Heritage Sites – Criteria 

a. Areas that contain a mosaic of natural, semi-natural, and man made habitats, which together contain a significant diversity of life forms.

b. Areas that contain significant domesticated biodiversity component and /or representative agro-ecosystems with ongoing agricultural practices that sustain this diversity.

c. Areas that are significant from a biodiversity point of view as also are important cultural spaces such as sacred groves/trees and sites, or other large community conserved areas.

d. Areas including very small ones that offer refuge or corridors for threatened and endemic fauna and flora, such as community conserved areas or urban greens and wetlands.

e. All kinds of legal land uses whether government, community or private land could be considered under the above categories.

f. As far as possible those sites may be considered which are not covered under Protected Area network under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 as amended.

g. Areas that provide habitats, aquatic or terrestrial, for seasonal migrant species for feeding and breeding.

h. Areas that are maintained as preservation plots by the research wing of Forest department.

i. Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas.  

List of Biodiversity Heritage Sites (As on July, 2017)

Related Topics  Wildlife Sanctuary
Name of the Site Nallur Tamarind Grove
Name of the District Bengaluru
Taluk Devanahalli
Area 54 acres
Importance of the area It is popularly believed to be a relic of the Chola Dynasty that ruled nearly 800 years ago, is spectacle of awesome wonder and a freakish site. This BHS spread over 54 acres comprising a population of nearly 300 trees, is a picture of dynamic pattern of plant diversity. The significant component of this popular structure is a group of old plants standing like ageless sentinels, firmly rooted to the ground with their gigantic trunks, along with large picturesque crowns spread very high and aloft like open wings.
Government Notification 2007

 

Name of the Site Hogrekan
Name of the District Chikmagalur
Taluk Kadur
Gram Panchayat Balliganuru
Area 2508.15 acres
Importance of the area The area has unique Shola vegetation and grass land with number of floral species which are unique and having lot of medicinal value. Hogrekan is moderately wooded land and its vegetation is of dry deciduous type and has a link with Bababudanagiri and Kemmangundi, adjoining Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and Yemmedode Tiger Reserve and serving as “Wildlife Corridor” between Kudremukha and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
Government Notification 2010

 

Name of the Site University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bengaluru
Name of the District Bengaluru
Area 167 hectares
Importance of the area The GKVK campus is considered one of the greenest areas in Bengaluru. Biological diversity of this campus constitutes a critical repository of various forms of flora and fauna (including 13 sp of mammals, 10 sp of reptiles, 165 sp of birds and 530 sp of plants) which needs to be protected nurtured to posterity.
Government Notification 2010
Related Topics  Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0

 

Name of the Site Ambaraguda
Name of the District Shimoga
Area 3857.12 hectares
Importance of the area It is a revenue land located between Sharavathi Wild Life Sanctuary and Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. It has Shola vegetation which is primitive vegetation in the Western Ghat and also has grasslands.
Government Notification 2011

 

Name of the Site Glory of Allapalli
Name of the State Maharashtra
Name of the District Gadchiroli
Taluk
Area 6 hectares
Importance of the area It is a reserved forest being preserved as natural forest having biological, ethinical and historical values.
Government Notification 2014

 

Name of the Site Tonglu BHS under the Darjeeling Forest Division
Name of the State West Bengal
Name of the District Darjeeling
Taluk
Area 230 hectares
Importance of the area It is a Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas
Government Notification 2015

 

Name of the Site Dhotrey BHS under the Darjeeling Forest Division
Name of the State West Bengal
Name of the District Darjeeling
Taluk
Area 180 hectares
Importance of the area It is a Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas
Government Notification 2015

 

Name of the Site Dialong Village
Name of the State Manipur
Name of the District Tamenglong
Taluk
Area 11.35 Sq.km
Importance of the area
Government Notification 2017

 

Name of the Site Ameenpur lake
Name of the State Telangana
Name of the District Sangareddy
Taluk Ameenpur
Area
Importance of the area
Government Notification 2016

 

Name of the Site Majuli 
Name of the State Assam
Name of the District Majuli
Taluk
Area 875 Sq.km
Importance of the area It is an island situated in the Brahmaputra River which is harboring unique Ecological and Cultural Heritage.
Government Notification 2017
Related Topics  JAM revolution

 

Name of the Site Ghariyal Rehabilitation Centre 
Name of the State Uttar Pradesh
Name of the District Lucknow
Taluk Kukrail Reserve Forest
Area 10 Hectares
Importance of the area It is a centre established for conservation and rehabilitation of critically endangered species of Gharial.
Government Notification 2016


Identification and Declaration of Biodiversity Heritage Sites

State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) may invite suggestion (or consider those already coming from communities) for declaration of BHSs, through BMCs and other relevant community institutions including gram sabhas, panchayats, urban wards, forest protection committees, tribal councils.

SBB may undertake widespread dissemination of information related to the proposed BHS among rural communities, NGOs, farmer/fishermen/adivasi associations, urban groups, research institutions, government agencies, and other organizations, regarding the provision of BHSs, through locally appropriate means.

These could include local language newspapers, radio, holding meetings with the communities, letters to line departments, gram panchayats, local bodies and others.

Raja Raja Cholan
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