Criteria for Identifying Biodiversity Heritage Sites in Himachal Pradesh: A Deep Dive



Describe the criteria for identification of Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BDS) in Himachal Pradesh. (HPAS Mains Question Paper 2022 – GS 3, Q.13)

Himachal Pradesh is a state in India with a diverse range of ecosystems, species, and habitats. The Himachal Pradesh State Biodiversity Board has developed a set of criteria for identifying Biodiversity Heritage Sites in order to identify and protect the most critical areas of biodiversity in the state.

These are some of the criteria:

  1. Biodiversity that is unique to the region and is threatened by human activities or natural processes: The site should have a high level of biodiversity that is unique to the region and is threatened by human activities or natural processes.
  2. The site should have cultural and traditional significance for local communities, and it may be associated with traditional knowledge, practises, or beliefs.
  3. Ecological and evolutionary processes: The site should have distinctive ecological and evolutionary processes that are important for biodiversity conservation and management.
  4. Landscape and visual appeal: The site should have exceptional aesthetic and visual appeal, and it may be a prominent feature in the surrounding landscape.
  5. Potential for scientific research and education: Researchers, students, and other stakeholders may be interested in the site’s potential for scientific research and education.

When a site is designated as a Biodiversity Heritage Site, it is legally protected under the Biological Diversity Act of 2002. This includes the formation of a Biodiversity Management Committee, which will be in charge of the site’s conservation and management, as well as the creation of a management plan that will include measures to protect biodiversity, promote sustainable use, and raise awareness among local communities and other stakeholders.

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