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Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation Indian

Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation Indian

India is a signatory to several major international conventions relating to the conservation and management of wildlife. Some of these are the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, etc. India is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries of the world and the land of around 10% of the world’s species.

India currently hosts 17% of the planet’s human population and 17% of the global area in biodiversity hotspots, placing it at the helm to guide the planet in becoming biodiversity champions. To achieve the 30% goal, India needs to have Biodiversity Friendly Management because at least 97 mammals, 94 bird species and 482 plant species in India are threatened with extinction, as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list of plant and animal species that have been endangered..

Steps Taken By Government for Biodiversity Protection

Indian Government has taken various biodiversity protection steps. Important measures include:

  • The Central Government has enacted the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The Act, inter alia, provides for the creation of Protected Areas for the protection of wildlife and also provides for punishment for hunting of specified fauna specified in the schedules I to IV thereof.
  • Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010 have been framed for the protection of wetlands, in the States.
  • The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-System also provides assistance to the States for the management of wetlands including Ramsar sites in the country.
  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been established for control of illegal trade in wildlife, including endangered species.
  • The Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats‘ has been modified by including a new component namely ‘Recovery of Endangered Species‘ and 16 species have been identified for recovery viz. Snow Leopard, Bustard (including Floricans), Dolphin, Hangul, Nilgiri Tahr, Marine Turtles, Dugong, Edible Nest Swiftlet, Asian Wild Buffalo, Nicobar Megapode, Manipur Brow-antlered Deer, Vultures, Malabar Civet, Indian Rhinoceros, Asiatic Lion, Swamp Deer and Jerdon’s Courser.
  • Under the ‘Recovery of Endangered Species’ component of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ for the recovery of endangered species viz. Hangul in Jammu and Kashmir, Snow Leopard in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, Vulture in Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat, Swiftlet in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nilgiri Tahr in Tamil Nadu, Sangai Deer in Manipur, the government has to spend lakhs of rupees.
  • Protected Areas, viz, National Parks, Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves all over the country covering the important habitats have been created as per the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to provide better protection to wildlife, including threatened species and their habitat.
  • Financial and technical assistance is extended to the State Governments under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, viz, ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’, ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ for providing better protection and conservation to wildlife.
  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been empowered under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to apprehend and prosecute wildlife offenders.

Important Indian Acts passed related to Biodiversity Conservation

To protect the critically endangered and other threatened animal and plant species, the Government of India has formulated many laws. Important Indian Acts passed related to Biodiversity Conservation are mentioned below in the table

Important Indian Acts passed related to Biodiversity Conservation
Acts by Government Details
Fisheries Act 1897
  • British-era Indian Fisheries Act, 1897, which penalizes the killing of fish by poisoning water and by using explosives.
  • It gave the responsibility to the erstwhile provinces to develop and conserve fishes in territorial water of respective states and provinces.
  • The act paved the way for establishing the Bureau of Fisheries in 1907.
Indian Forests Act 1927
  • The Indian Forest Act,1927 aimed to regulate the movement of forest produce, and duty leviable forest produce.
  • It also explains the procedure to be followed for declaring an area as Reserved Forest, Protected Forest or a Village Forest.

Reserved Forests: 

  • Reserve forests are the most restricted forests and are constituted by the State Government on any forest land or wasteland which is the property of the Government.
  • In reserved forests, local people are prohibited, unless specifically allowed by a Forest Officer in the course of the settlement.

Protected Forests:

  • State Government is empowered to constitute any land other than reserved forests as protected forests over which the Government has proprietary rights and the power to issue rules regarding the use of such forests.
  • This power has been used to establish State control over trees, whose timber, fruit or other non-wood products have revenue-raising potential.

Village forest:

  • Village forests are the one in which the State Government may assign to ‘any village community the rights of Government to or over any land which has been constituted a reserved forest’.

Degree of protection:

  • Reserved forests > Protected forests > Village forests
Mining and Mineral Development Regulation Act 1957
  • It is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to regulate the mining sector in India. It was amended in 2015 and 2016. This act forms the basic framework of mining regulation in India.
  • The Act was amended in 2015 to usher in new regime of granting mineral concessions through auction to ensure transparency and non-discrimination in allocation of mineral wealth of the country.
Wildlife Protection Act 1972
  • The Wild Life (Protection) Act, of 1972 provides a legal framework for the protection of various species of wild animals and plants, management of their habitats, regulation, and control of trade in wild animals, plants, and products made from them
  • The act also lists schedules of plants and animals that are afforded varying degrees of protection and monitoring by the government.
  • India’s entry to the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) was made easier by the Wildlife Act.

Constitutional Provisions for the Wildlife Act:

  • Article 48 A in the Directive Principles of State policy, mandates that the State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
  • Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution states that it shall be the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests and Wildlife.
  • The 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, Forests and Protection of Wild Animals and Birds was transferred from State to Concurrent List.
Water (prevention and control of pollution) Act 1974
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was enacted in 1974 to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution, and for the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water in the country.
  • The Act vests regulatory authority in State Pollution Control Boards to establish and enforce effluent standards for factories.
  • Central Pollution Control Board performs the same functions for Union Territories and formulates policies and coordinates activities of different State Boards.
  • Act grants power to SPCB and CPCB to test equipment and to take the sample for the purpose of analysis.
Forest Conservation Act 1980
  • The Forest Conservation Act 1980 was introduced by the Indian Parliament to control deforestation and conserve forests and their resources.
  • One of the primary purposes to conserve forests is to protect the forest’s flora, fauna, and other ecological components. Below given are all the objectives of the Forest Conservation Act 1980.
    • To protect the integrity, individuality, and territory of the forests.
    • To replenish forests by planting more trees and encouraging the growth of forests in our country.
    • To prevent the conversion of forest reserves into grazing lands, space for building residential units, agricultural lands, etc.
    • To stop the decline of forest biodiversity.
Air(prevention and control of pollution) act 1981
  • Air (Prevention And Control Of Pollution) Act, 1981 is Act Number 14 of 1981. It is mentioned as “An Act to provide for the prevention, control, and abatement of air pollution, for the establishment, to carry out the purposes above, of Boards, for conferring on and assigning to such Boards powers and functions relating to it and for matters connected in addition to that.”
  • Parliament passed the National Air Act to carry out the decisions made at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in June 1972.
  • Objective:
    • To provide for the prevention, control, and reduction of air pollution.
    • To provide for the establishment of central and State Boards to implement the Act.
    • To confer on the Boards the powers to implement the provisions of the Act and assign to the Boards functions relating to pollution.
Environment Protection Act 1986
Environment (Protection) Act (EPA) was enacted in 1986 with the objective of providing the protection and improvement of the environment. The roots of the enactment of the EPA lies in the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held at Stockholm in June, 1972 (Stockholm Conference), in which India participated, to take appropriate steps for the improvement of the human environment.

  • It empowers the Central Government to establish authorities charged with the mandate of preventing environmental pollution in all its forms and to tackle specific environmental problems that are peculiar to different parts of the country.
  • The Act is one of the most comprehensive legislations with a pretext to protection and improvement of the environment.

Constitutional Provisions:

  • Article 48A of the Constitution specifies that the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
  • Article 51A further provides that every citizen shall protect the environment.
  • The EPA Act was enacted under Article 253 of the Indian Constitution which provides for the enactment of legislation for giving effect to international agreements.
Biological Diversity Act 2002
The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 was born out of India’s attempt to realise the objectives enshrined in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 1992 which recognizes the sovereign rights of states to use their own Biological Resources.

  • The act was enacted in 2002, it aims at the conservation of biological resources, managing its sustainable use and enabling fair and equitable sharing benefits arising out of the use and knowledge of biological resources with the local communities.
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act 2016 (CAMPA Act 2016)
CAMPA Act or Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act seeks to provide an appropriate institutional mechanism, both at the Centre and in each State and Union Territory, to ensure expeditious utilization in the efficient and transparent manner of amounts released in lieu of forest land diverted for the non-forest purpose which would mitigate the impact of diversion of such forest land.

  • To promote afforestation and development activities in order to compensate for forest land that is intended to be diverted to non-forest uses.
  • To law down effective guidelines for the State
  • To facilitate necessary assistance in terms of scientific, technological, and other requisites that may be required by the authority responsible for the State CAMPA.
  • To recommend measures based on strategic planning to the authorities of the State CAMPA
  • To resolve issues that arise between inter-state or Centre-State.

Policies Related to Biodiversity Conservation in India

This rapidly accelerating biodiversity loss led to a series of negotiations and agreements among countries like the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). But the current rate and scale of extinction is unprecedented. Indian government has therefore made several Policies Related to Biodiversity Conservation in India.

Policies Related to Biodiversity Conservation in India
Government Policies Details
National Forest Policy 1988
National Forest Policy, 1988 governs the forests of India, i.e., objectives of this policy is related to the protection, conservation, and development of forests. It envisages that 33% of the country’s geographical area should be under forest or tree cover.

  • To maintain environmental stability through preservation & if necessary, restoration of the ecological balance that has been negatively impacted by the substantial depletion of the forests.
National Biodiversity Action Plan 2009
The National Environment Policy, 2006, seeks to achieve balance and harmony between conservation of natural resources and development processes and also forms the basic framework for the National Biodiversity Action Plan.

The objectives of the NBAP are founded in the backdrop of the cardinal principles already set out in the NEP 2006. The most important of these principles is that human beings are at the centre of sustainable development concerns.

National Agriculture Policy
The Government of India announced the National Agricultural Policy on July 28, 2000.

  • It was formulated under the provisions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • The primary objectives of the NAP, 2000 are:
  1. To actualise the vast untapped potential of Indian agriculture
  2. Achieve a growth rate in excess of 4 percent per annum in the agricultural sector.
  3. Focus on the domestic markets and maximise profits from the export of agricultural products.
  4. Achieve growth with Equity and Sustainability; technologically, environmentally, and economically.
National Water Policy
NWP was formulated to govern the planning and development of water resources and their optimum utilisation. The first NWP was adopted in September, 1987. It was reviewed and updated in 2002 and later in 2012.
National Environment Policy 2006
  • The National Environment Policy builds on the existing policies (e.g. National Forest Policy, 1988; National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992; and the Policy Statement on Abatement of Pollution,1992; National Agriculture Policy, 2000; National Population Policy, 2000; National Water Policy, 2002 etc).
  • It is intended to be a guide to action: in regulatory reform; programmes and projects for environmental conservation; review and enactment of legislations by Central, State and Local Government.
Green Growth Priority in Budget 2023
  • The Union Budget 2023 mentioned “Green Growth” as one of the seven priorities or Saptarishis.
  • These green growth efforts will help in reducing carbon intensity of the economy and provide for large-scale green job opportunities.
National Mission for a Green India
It aims to increase forest cover on degraded lands and protect existing forested lands.
Green Credit Programme
It has the objective to “incentivize environmentally sustainable and responsive actions by companies, individuals and local bodies”.
MISHTI Initiative
The Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) is particularly significant because of the extraordinary importance of mangroves and coastal ecosystems in mitigating climate change.
To sustain our agriculture, PM-PRANAM is important for reducing inputs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Amrit Dharohar scheme

The Amrit Dharohar scheme is expected to “encourage optimal use of wetlands, and enhance biodiversity, carbon stock, eco-tourism opportunities and income generation for local communities”.

India Business & Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI)

It serves as a national platform for businesses and its stakeholders for dialogue sharing and learning, ultimately leading to mainstreaming sustainable management of biological diversity into businesses.

Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules
  • Wetlands are regulated under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017.
  • The 2010 version of the Rules provided for a Central Wetland Regulatory Authority, but new Rules of 2017 replaced it with state-level bodies and created a National Wetland Committee, which functions in an advisory role.
    • The newer regulations removed some items from the definition of “wetlands” including backwaters, lagoons, creeks, and estuaries.
    • Under the 2017 regulations, process to identify the wetlands has been delegated to the States.
National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystem


NPCA is a single conservation programme for both wetlands and lakes.

  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme, currently being implemented by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
    • It was formulated in 2015 by merging of the National Lake Conservation Plan and the National Wetlands Conservation Programme.
Wildlife Crime Control Bureau

WCCB is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country. It has its headquarter in New Delhi.

Biodiversity Samrakshan Internship Programme

It is an initiative of National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which proposes to engage 20 students with postgraduate degrees for a period of one year through an open, transparent, online competitive process.

  • The programme wishes to engage dynamic and creative students, who are willing to learn about natural resource management and biodiversity conservation.
  • To support the projects of NBA in various State and Union Territories and to technically assist the State Biodiversity Boards/UTs Biodiversity Council in discharging their mandates.

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Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation in India FAQs

What are the various initiatives taken in India to protect its wildlife?

Various Wildlife Conservation Projects. The government of India has initiated many wildlife conservation projects like Project Snow Leopard, Project Tiger, Indian Rhino Vision 2020, Project Hangul, Crocodile Conservation Initiative,

What is the global initiative to conserve biodiversity?

The Biosphere Reserve program was introduced by UNESCO in 1971.

What are the five steps taken by the government for conservation of wildlife in India?

The government has taken a number of steps to conserve plants and animals, such as the establishment of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and biosphere reserves.

What are the three measures to protect wildlife in India?

Three significant steps for promoting wildlife conservation are: restrictions on hunting, building sanctuaries, and protecting ends in nature.

What is National Mission on biodiversity?

The Mission is an initiative to transform biodiversity science in India by linking biodiversity with the economic prosperity of people.

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