UNDP India Blogs

      • Fast Facts on India’s Biodiversity Part 1 – Biogeographic Zones | Pramod Krishnan

        12 Sep 2012


        Three unparalleled factors give India its biological opulence. First, there is an astounding spectrum of habitats and ecosystems existing over a wide range of latitudes and longitudes. These, together with varied climatic regimes, have resulted in an impressive range of bio-physical environments. Second, India lies at the confluence of three global centres of origin of life or ‘Biogeographic Realms’, viz. Indo-Malayan, Eurasian and Afro-tropical. India’s flora and fauna have been enriched by elements from each of these realms. Third, India has a legacy of co-existence of humans and nature and a longstanding tradition of conservation. In this blog, I will introduce the 10 biogeographic zones that India has been divided into: Trans-Himalaya: Constituting 5.6 percent of the country’s geographical area, this zone includes high altitude cold and arid mountain areas, including cold deserts. An extension of the Tibetan Plateau, this zone has sparse alpine steppe vegetation with many endemic species. It supports some of the biggest populations of wild sheep and goats in the world as well as some rare species of fauna such as Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia). Himalaya: Consisting of the entire Himalayan mountain range, this zone covers 6.4 percent of the total geographical area and has alpine andRead More

      • Creating Agricultural Entrepreneurs in Jharkhand- Lessons from a UNDP Biodiversity Project | Ruchi Pant

        28 Aug 2012

        [Photo: UNDP India]

        I was very encouraged that Times of India covered one of our small projects in Jharkhand. This project helped 30 young people in the district become agricultural entrepreneurs – cultivating and selling lac to nearby markets. For years lac cultivation had been a valuable source of income for poor, tribal families in extremist-affected Khunti district in Jharkhand. However, a shortage of brood lac or mother insects required to cultivate lac has made it more difficult to grow lac in the last few years. But a recent partnership between the Institute of Forest Productivity and UNDP has given a new lease to lac cultivation in the area. It’s a success which has included many more villagers along with it. Hundreds of villagers have been employed in a range of activities relating to growing lac. In 2011, record production in Murhu bloc resulted in an annual income of INR 70,000 for each family. According to Dera Munda, a middle-aged farmer who grew lac on 25 trees, “I have grown around 1.25 quintals of lac which has fetched me INR 80,000.” In an area plagued with drought and limited irrigation facilities which has made it difficult for families to cultivate yearly paddy crop, “incomeRead More

      • Biodiversity – A Time to Act | Srinivasan Iyer

        13 Aug 2012

        Photo: UNDP India

        Rice, pigeon pea, mango, turmeric, ginger, pepper, banana, bitter gourd, okra, coconut, cardamom, jackfruit, sugarcane, bamboo, taro, indigo, sunhemp, amaranths, goose berries. India is considered to be the place of the origin of several varieties of these plant species. India is one of the 17 mega biodiversity countries of the world. With only 2.5% of the land area, India accounts for 7.8% of the recorded species of the world. The country has contributed to and is party to key multilateral agreements on environmental issues, including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Pursuant to the CBD, following a widespread consultative process, and programs related to biodiversity, Biological Diversity Act, 2002 has been enacted. India is one of the few countries to have enacted such a legislation. This Act primarily aims at giving effect for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and facilitate access to biological resources and associated traditional knowledge so as to ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of their commercialization. UNDP contributed to the formulation of the BD Act. Last week, along with the Madhya Pradesh State Minister of Forests, I was at a national consultation which was exploring the challenges of implementing this landmark legislation. InRead More