Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stakeholder Consultations on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in India Begins Tomorrow

Two day’s stakeholder consultations to develop the framework for strengthening biodiversity conservation programs and initiating action for assessing the economic value of India’s natural capital begins here tomorrow. It aims to recognize, demonstrate, capture and optimize the value of biodiversity and ecosystem service and targets policy actions at national and state levels, improvements in business assessments and disclosure, and improved citizen awareness of the issues involved.

“Biological diversity” means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. "Biological resources" includes genetic resources, organisms or parts thereof, populations, or any other biotic component of ecosystems with actual or potential use or value for humanity.

India is one of the recognized mega-diverse countries of the world. With an area of about 329 mha, India is 7th largest country in the world. India has wide range of ecosystems and habitats such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, coastal and marine ecosystems, and deserts which in turn have contributed to immense biological diversity with large variation in species of plants, animals and microbes.With only 2.4% of world’s land area, India accounts for 7 to 8 % of the recorded plant and animal species of the world. India has ten bio-geographic zones, namely, Trans Himalaya, Himalaya, Indian Desert, Semi-Arid, Western Ghats, Deccan Peninsula, Gangetic Plains, Coasts, North-East and Islands. The country also encompasses four global biodiversity hotspots.India is endowed with vast forest resources. The total forest and tree cover of the country is estimated at 23.39% of the geographic area, of which forest cover accounts for 21.02% (69.09 mha). The forests in India have been classified into 16 major types and 251 subtypes on the basis of climatic and edaphic features. India ranks among the top ten species rich nations and show high degree of endemism.

The consultations will cover subjects like Financing biodiversity in India, introduction of the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in India, The Economic of Ecosystem and Biodiversity (TEEB) and its relevance for Business and NGO, climate change concerns and biodiversity conservation, application of economic valuation tools etc.

Source: Print Release

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