What is Biodiversity Conservation and its Importance?

Biodiversity is an umbrella term used to describe all the different species of plants, animals, microorganisms and the ecosystem in which they live, interact and thrive. Biodiversity conservation means protecting all the millions of different species that live on our planet and protecting the multitude of different ecosystems that lets these organisms survive and evolve.

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The Importance of Biodiversity conservation are listed below.

  1. Preserving the health of water, soil and air.
  2. Helps in agricultural activities
  3. Helps in controlling climate change
  4. Reduces pollution
  5. Increase tourism potential
  6. Will be a source of timber, medicines and other valuable products for humans.

How can we Protect and Conserve Biodiversity?

There are various ways to protect and conserve biodiversity. Some of the methods are mentioned below.

  1. Legislations framed by the Governments.
  2. Captive breeding and Seedbanks
  3. Reduce usage of fossil fuels by opting for alternative forms of fuel
  4. Education – create more awareness among people on the importance of biodiversity.
  5. Conduct more research to understand how the species interact with the ecosystem.
  6. Restore the habitats
  7. Captive breeding and seed banks

What are the Types of Biodiversity?

Biodiversity can be mainly divided into 3 types.

  1. Genetic Diversity – It refers to the diversity within species.
  2. Species Diversity – It refers to the diversity between species.
  3. Ecosystem Diversity – It refers to the diversity within the ecosystem.

Which are the Biodiversity Hotspots in India?

There are 4 Biodiversity hotspots in India, which are listed below.

  1. Himalayas – It includes the entire Himalayan region covering India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Pakistan, Myanmar
  2. The entire region of Western Ghats
  3. Indo-Burma region – It covers the entire North East Region excluding Assam, it also covers the region of Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, South of China.
  4. Sundalands – It covers the Nicobar group of islands in India and also covers the other Southeast Asian Countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines.

There are 2 criteria for a region to qualify as a biodiversity hotspot.

  1. Must have at least 1,500 species of vascular plants that are found nowhere else on earth. In other words, they are known as endemic species.
  2. The region has lost at least 70% of its primary native vegetation.

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2021.

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