Botanic Garden of Indian and Forest Conservation

Botanic Garden of Indian Republic

Botanic Garden of the Indian Republic was set up in April 2002 to facilitate ex-situ conservation and propagation of rare and threatened indigenous plants of the country. It serves as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for research and training and thereby caterers to the needs for conservation of endangered species in the region, and to build public awareness on the conservation needs through education on conservation of plant diversity. The BGIR is presently carrying out basic scientific/technical work to facilitate project execution in context of research/ field operations.

Conservation of Medicinal Plants

The project on conservation of medicinal plants was initiated in 2006. This project was undertaken in nine states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal). The main objective of the project was supporting conservation of medicinal plants and traditional knowledge for enhancing health and livelihood security.

Assistance to Botanic Gardens

The scheme on ‘Assistance to Botanic Garden’ and centers for ex-situ conservation was initiated in 1992 to augment ex-situ conservation of rare endemic plants. One time financial assistance is provided to the Botanic Gardens and Centers of ex-situ Conservation, for improvement of their infrastructural facilities to ex-situ conservation of rare endemic plants. The achievement s made in these Botanic Gardens are periodically monitored with the help of Botanical Survey of India. Under the scheme, 254 projects have been supported so far to various organizations maintaining botanic gardens and centers of ex-situ conservation.

Forest Conservation

The Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 pertains to the floral and faunal significance of the forest land proposed to be diverted, feasible alternatives, number and nature of beneficiaries and nature and extent of the benefits likely to accrue from the proposed diversion.

Intensification of Forest Management Scheme

While aiming to expand forest cover in the country, it is equally important to improve the state of existing forests and protect them against various threats. This centrally sponsored ‘Intensification of Forest Management Scheme’ aims at strengthening forest management interventions. The financial assistance is provided on cost share basis. All the North Eastern States including Sikkim and special category states, namely, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand share 10 per cent of the cost, while the rest of the states/UTs share 25 per cent of the cost of the annual plans of co-operation. The major components of the scheme include:

(i) Forest e control and management (ii) Strengthening of infrastructure (iii) Survey, demarcation and working plan preparation (iv) Protection and conservation of Sacred Grove (v) Conservation and Restoration of unique Vegetation and Ecosystems (vi)’ Control and eradication of Forest Invasive Species (vii) Preparedness for Meeting Challengers of Bamboo Flowering and Improving (vii) Management of Bamboo Forests

Management of Invasive Alien Species

Plants, animals and micro-organisms that are not indigenous to a specific ecosystem and become established in a new environment, then proliferate and spread in ways that are destructive to human interests, ecosystems, and environment are considered as Invasive Alien Species (IAS). These species cause billions of dollars of damage annually across wide range of sectors including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, ecosystem services, human-health, and tourism, threatening economic growth, prosperity as well as the overall physical and social environment. Invasive alien species (obnoxious weeds, fish, pathogens and pests, etc.) pose a serious threat to native species, their habitat and functioning in different ecosystems.

In India, alien aquatic weeds like water hyacinth and water-lettuce are increasingly choking water ways and degrading fresh water ecosystems. Lantana and carrot grass cause major economic losses in many parts of India. High invasive climbers like chromolaena and Mikania species have over-run the native vegetation in North-East Himalayan region and the Western Ghats. Numerous pests and pathogens such as coffee-berry-borer, turnip-strip-virus, banana-bunchy-top virus, potato wart and golden-nematode have invaded the Indian agro-system. Illegally introduced cat-fish and big-head carp have adversely affected native fish. In India a multi-agency and multi-programme approach, involving several Ministries and agencies, is being followed for the regulating, introduction and managing invasive alien species.

Central Zoo Authority

The Central Zoo Authority, an autonomous body was established in 1992. The main objective was to enforce minimum standards and norms for upkeep and health’care of animals in Indian zoos and to control mushrooming of unplanned and ill-conceived zoos that were cropping up in the country as adjuncts to public parks, industrial complexes and waysides.

Zoos in India are regulated under the provisions of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and are guided by the National Zoo Policy, 1998. The Central Zoo Authority has evaluated 18 mini zoos, six medium zoos, 10 small category of zoos and five Rescue Centres till January 2011.

Environment and Ecology