Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS)

Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHSs)

Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHSs) are well defined areas that are unique ecologically fragile ecosystems-terrestrial, freshwater or marine having rich biodiversity comprising of any one or more of the components such as; species richness, high endemism, presence of rare, endemic and threatened species, keystone species, species of evolutionary significance, wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or land races or their varieties, past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds and having cultural or aesthetic values and are important for the maintenance of cultural diversity, with or without a long history of human association with them. (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 are or 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.