(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013
Chapter: Gist of Press Information
Topic: Protecting Biodiversity of The
Q. What do you mean by Ecological sensitivity?
Ecological sensitivity is defined as the imminent possibility
of permanent and irreparable loss of extant life forms from the world, or
significant damage to the natural processes of evolution and speciation. This
means loss of bio-diversity needs to be measured not only against some measure
of the current stock, but also in terms of the potential that must be preserved
for future generations.
Q. Under which act, government can notify any area as the
In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) read
with clause (v) and clause (xiv) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986) and sub-rule (3) of rule 5 of
the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, the Central Government can notify any
area as the Eco-sensitive Zone.
Q. What are the main Criteria to Declare Environmentally Sensitive Zones?
There are three main criteria to declare any area as Ecologically Sensitive
- The first of the primary criteria is species related, and defines the
characteristics of species which are or may become threatened with
extinction. These include endemism, rarity, endangered species and centres
of evolution of domesticated species.
- The second category relates to eco-systems. Some of these derive their
importance from being essential to the survival of the first category, while
the rest are critical for maintaining the range and pace of evolution and
speciation. These include wildlife Corridors, specialised ecosystems, and
special breeding site/area, areas with intrinsically low resilience, sacred
groves and frontier forests etc.
- The third category includes geo-morphological conditions which are known
to have substantial effect on eco-systems at large. These include
uninhabited islands in the sea, steep slopes, origins or rivers. In addition
to these primary criteria, there are seven auxiliary criteria viz., species
based – areas or centres of less known food plants, eco system based –
wetlands and grasslands and geo-morphological features based – upper
catchment areas, not so steep slopes, high rainfall areas and other
- There are also probable areas to be declared as ecologically sensitive
zones. A certain amount of prioritization is given to the areas which are
already known to be either ecologically important or under ecological
stress. Examples of such areas are National parks and Sanctuaries, Tiger
Reserves, Protected and Reserve Forests, Biosphere Reserves, National Marine
Parks, Coastal Regulation Zone – I and Hill Stations.
Q. Which areas are covered under Eastern Ghats?
The Eastern Ghats form a broken chain of mountainous terrain spreading in the
states of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and two districts of Karnataka.
The jurisdiction is covered in four sections, namely- Northern-Eastern Ghats
which covers the area above Mahanadi to Northern boundary of Orissa- Mayurbhanj
district. Other three sections are river Mahanadi to river Godavari, river
Krishna to Chennai city and southern ghats i.e. tract between Chennai and
Nilgiri hills to river Vaigai.
Q. What are the initiatives taken by government for Eastern Ghats?
Seshachalam hill ranges of Andhra Pradesh have been
designated as Biosphere Reserve. Several Wildlife Sanctuaries have been
established in the Eastern Ghats to preserve its Biodiversity. These include
Gundla Brahmeswaram, Kambalakonda, Kaundinya, Nagarjunsagar- Srisailam,
Papikonda, Pocharam, Rollapadu,Sri Lankamallesqaram, Sri Penisula Narasimha
and Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctraries.
Botanical Survey of India (BSI) has published several
floras to document on the biodiversity of Eastern Ghats. These are Flora of
Tamil Nadu (including districts of Eastern Ghats), Flora of Nallamalais,
Flora of Visakhapatnam, Flora of Nellore, Flora ofVenkateshwara Wildlife
Sanctuary, Flora of Araku Valley , Flora of Nagarjuankonda, Flora
ofMaredumalai, Flora of Medak and Flora of Chittor District.
Zooligical Survey of India(ZSI) has also taken steps to
document the faunal resources in the Eastern Ghats. It has published under
State Fauna series the Fauna of Andhra Pradesh in eight volumes and the
Fauna of Tamilnadu in two volumes, both of which contain the fauna of
Eastern Ghats also.
Fifteen wetlands have been identified in Andhra Pradesh,
Orissa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal for management and conservation.
Sixteen Mangroves sites have been identified in Andhra
Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal for the protection of Mangroves.
The Ministry has established National Mangrove Genetic Resources Centre in
Orissa. A National Biodiversity Authority has been set up and as per
Biodiversity Act, 2002, seven Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) have
been formed to document and preserve the biodiversity in the Eastern Ghats.
The model People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) has also been issued to the
State Biodiversity Boards to facilitate the preparation of PBRs (documenting
biodiversity and associated knowledge) by these Biodiversity Management
Q. What are the initiates taken for Environmental
Information System Center of Eastern Ghats?
Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI), Hyderabad and
Ministry of Environment and Forests, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in
March 1994 for setting up of Environmental Aspects of Eastern Ghats as its
The jurisdiction of the Eastern Ghats extends in the States of Orissa,
Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Karnataka. An ENVIS Coordination
Committee was set up as per the MoU to guide the development and work of the
ENVIS Center. The Committee comprises of experts from various disciplines with
representation from the concerned states and including representatives from the
Ministry of Environment and Forests.