Bengal Notifies Four More Biodiversity Heritage Sites

Bengal Notifies Four More Biodiversity Heritage Sites

Recently the Government of West Bengal has notified four more Biodiversity heritage sites (BHS), taking the total number of BHS in the state to eight.

Biodiversity Heritage Site:

  • BHS are defined areas that contain unique and ecologically fragile ecosystems with rich biodiversity.
  • The importance and objectives of Biodiversity Heritage Sites are outlined in Section 37 of the Biological Diversity Act 2002.
  • The State Government may, from time to time, in consultation with local bodies, notify in the Official Gazette areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites under the Biodiversity Act, 2002.
  • The declaration of Biodiversity Heritage Sites does not impose any restrictions on the customary activities and uses of the local communities, except that they voluntarily give up any activity in that area.
  • On the contrary, many types of activities are prohibited in protected areas like eco-sensitive zones, national parks.
  • India’s first Biodiversity Heritage Site was declared in 2007 at Nallur Tamarind Grove in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Key Facts:

West Bengal now has the largest number of biodiversity heritage parks in the country. The state government has notified for Balidanga (Nadia), Namthing Pokhri (Darjeeling), Amkhoi Wood Fossil Park (Birbhum) and State Horticulture Research and Development Station (Nadia) as the latest Biodiversity Heritage Parks.

  • Char Balidanga: Char Balidanga, located in Kaliganj block, consists of two islands spread over 115 acres. It has tropical riverine vegetation with tall grasses and trees, as well as marshy flatlands, covered with algae mats, that are periodically submerged by the tides.
  • Namthing Pokhari: Namthing Pokhari is a natural Himalayan wetland in Kurseong block, covering an area of 11.9 acres, and is the habitat of the Himalayan Salamander.
  • Amkhoi Wood Fossil Park: The Amkhoi Wood Fossil Park near Illambazar, spread over 10 hectares, has unique geological and palaeo-botanical features.

Source – PIB

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