Thursday, September 8, 2011

Plants, Herbs, Shrubs etc. on the Verge of Extinction

As per the survey/assessment conducted by Botanical Survey of India (BSI), about 1236 plants, herbs, shrubs are threatened and are prone to extinction. Out of these, 53 plants, herbs, shrubs in the country including those in Uttarakhand, have medicinal properties.

To conserve plant diversity in general and protect the threatened species in particular, habitat improvement is the primary measure. For this purpose, about 76.9 million ha. of country’s geographical area has been notified as forests and receives protection under Indian Forests Act, 1927, Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and various State Acts. Out of these recorded forests about 16 million ha. has been brought under the Protected Area Network that include 100 National Parks, 514 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 43 Conservation Reserves and 4 Community Reserves. These areas receive additional protection under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA). Plants listed as threatened receive special attention under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and Biological Diversity Act, 2002. While exploitation of plants, herbs in the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries is completely banned under WLPA, 1972 and orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the threatened plants, herbs outside these areas including those which are on the verge of extinction are accorded protection under the Chapter IIIA of WLPA, 1972. Implementation of these Acts is the mandate of the State Governments who take action against violation of provisions of the Act including illegal collection of plants by any person/agency.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge) Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan in a written reply to a question by Shri Satpal Maharaj, Prof. (Dr.) Ranjan Prasad Yadav And Shri K. C. Singh ‘Baba’ooooooooo in Lok Sabha today

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