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About BHSs

Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHSs)

Under Section 37 of BD Act, 2002, the State Government in consultation with concerned State Biodiversity Board & local bodies may from time to time notify in the official gazette, areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHSs). BHSs are unique ecosystems having rich biodiversity comprising; wild and domesticated species/varieties, high endemism & presence of rare, threatened and key stone species along with significant cultural, religious beliefs, ethical or aesthetic values. (Source: NBA, India)

Significance and objectives of BHS

  • Biodiversity is closely linked to ecological security and therefore, human welfare. To strengthen the biodiversity conservation in traditionally managed areas and to stem the rapid loss of biodiversity in intensively managed areas, such areas need special attention.
  • Such areas also often represent a positive interface between nature, culture, society, and technologies, such that both conservation and livelihood security can be achieved, and positive links between wild and domesticated biodiversity are enhanced.
  • To have a BHS in or around a community should be a matter of pride and honour to such community and this virtuous act of community shall work as an example to the entire nation apart from ensuring availability of the resources to their own future generation.
  • It is necessary to instill and nurture conservation ethics in all sections of the society. The creation of BHS will ensure bringing home these values in the society and thereby put an end to over exploitation of natural resources and avoid environmental degradation.
  • The creation of BHS shall not put any restriction on the prevailing practices and usages of the local communities, other than those voluntarily decided by them. The purpose is to enhance the quality of life of the local communities through this conservation measure.

Potential Biodiversity Heritage Sites in Punjab

Punjab has many such sites which have a potential to be declared as BHSs. There are many Sacred Groves and other areas which are rich in Biodiversity and serving as habitats for rare/threatened species of flora & fauna. Punjab Biodiversity Board has identified sites having potential to be declared/notified as BHSs of the state.