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What is biodiversity? Why is biodiversity important for human lives?

Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, or on an entire planet. There are millions of living organisms on planet earth. All these living organisms, including man, are interdependent on each other.


How have human activities affected the depletion of flora and fauna? Explain.

Cutting down of forests for agricultural expansion, large scale developmental projects, grazing and fuel wood collection and for urbanization has led to the depletion of flora and fauna.


Describe how communities have conserved and protected forests and wildlife in India?

In India many traditional communities still live in the forests and depend on their livelihood for forest produce. These communities are working hand in hand with the government to conserve forests.

In Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, villagers fought against mining activities. In Alwar district of Rajasthan, local communities belonging to five villages have set their own rules and regulations in 1,200 hectares of forest land. They have named it as the Bhairodev Dakav ‘Sonchuri’. Hunting is not allowed in these lands and outside encroachments are prohibited.

The famous Chipko movement was started in the Himalayan region to stop deforestation. People belonging to the local community took to afforestation in a big way. Indigenous species were cultivated and protected.

Involving local communities in protecting the environment, and stopping degradation of forests has reaped many benefits.


Write a note on good practices towards conserving forest and wildlife.

In 1972, the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act was implemented. It made protecting specific habitats a law. A list of wildlife species that had to be protected was published and hunting these animals was against the law.

National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries were set up in many states to protect endangered species.

Under the Wildlife Act of 1980 and 1986, several insects have also been included in the list of protected species. Butterflies, moths, beetles, dragonflies and even certain plants are included in the protected list.

"Project Tiger" was initiated in 1973 by the government of India to protect tigers. It is one of the most well publicized wildlife campaigns in the world.

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