India as a Mega-diversity Nation
Lying at the junction of Agro-tropical, Euro-Asian and the Indo-Malayan biogeography realms, India is a country of vast biodiversity in the world and quite a significant one all over the globe. In fact, it is among the twelve “Mega diversity” countries in the world. India is also a “Vavilov” centre of high crop genetic diversity–so named after the Russian agro
botanist N.I. Vavilov who identified about eight such centres around the world in the 1950s. India, a mega-biodiversity country, while following the path of development, has been sensitive to the needs of conservation. India’s strategies for conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity in the past aimed at providing special status and protection to biodiversity rich areas by declaring them as national parks. Wildlife sanctuaries, biosphere
reserves, ecologically fragile and sensitive areas. It has helped in reducing pressure from reserve forests by alternative measures of fuel wood and fodder need satisfaction. by a forestation of degraded areas and wastelands, creation of ex-suit conservation facilities such as gene banks and eco-development. The challenges before India are not only to sustain the efforts of the past but also further add to these efforts by involving people in the mission.