Friday, March 15, 2013


All India Coordinated Project on Capacity Building in Taxonomy in India (AICOPTAX)
  • Taxonomy is the science which helps in exploration, identification and description of living organisms. However, the scope of taxonomy does not end with this. A sound taxonomic base is a pre-requisite for environmental assessment, ecological research,effective conservation, management and sustainable use of biological resources.

  • About 90,000 species of animals and 47,000 species of plants have been identified and described so far. A large number of animals and plants are yet to be explored,identified and described.
  • As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, India has committed itself to capacity building in taxonomy and taken up exploration and preparation of an inventory of living organisms.The Ministry has set up an All India Coordinated Project on Taxonomy. 
  • The Project has organized specialist groups drawn from Universities, Botanical and Zoological Surveys of India to take up taxonomic work an animal viruses,bacteria and archaea, algae, fungi, lichens, bryophytes, pteriodophytes,gymnosperms, palms, grasses, bamboos, orchids, helminthes and nematodes, Microlepidoptera and Mollusca.

 Eco-Development Forces (EDF) Scheme

  • established in 1980s as a scheme being implemented through Ministry of Defence for ecological restoration of terrains, rendered difficult either due to severe degradation or remote location or difficult law and order situation. 
  • The scheme of Eco-Development Forces is based on twin objectives of ecological regeneration in difficult areas, and promotion of meaningful employment to ex-servicemen.

  • Under this scheme, the establishment and operational expenditure on the Eco Task Force (ETF) Battalions raised by Ministry of Defence is reimbursed by Ministry of Environment and Forests while the inputs like sapling, fencing, etc. and also the professional and managerial guidance is provided by the State Forest Departments. 
  • In ETF battalions, the Ministry of Defence deploys its ex-servicemen, preferably from within the area of operation, whereas the nuclear core of the force is constituted of regular servicemen. 
  • Some of the ETF Battalions have undertaken successful eco-restoration of highly degraded sites, for example the limestone mining areas in the Mussoorie Hills.

Presently, following six ETF battalions are being supported under the EDF Scheme in the States of Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir and Assam.:-

Sl. No.
TA Bn ID No.
Year of Raising
1127 Inf Bn
Shivalik Hills (Uttarakhand)
2128 Inf Bn
Rajasthan Cannal (Bajju)
3129 Inf Bn
State of J & K
4130 Inf Bn
Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand)
5134 Inf Bn
Sonitpur (West), Assam
6135 Inf Bn
Haltugaon, Assam


Madhav Gadgil Report 


Crocodiles in India 

Three major types of Crocodiles found in India 

Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) :

  • The mugger crocodile, also called the Indian crocodile, or marsh crocodile, is found throughout the Indian subcontinent. 
  • It is listed as vulnerable by IUCN.
  • This crocodile is the most common and widespread of the three species of crocodiles in India.
  • The mugger is mainly a freshwater species, and found in lakes, rivers and marshes.

  • Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) :

  • The Gharial or fish eating crocodile is native to the Indian subcontinent. 
  • It is listed as a Critically Endangered by IUCN.
  • Small released populations are present and increasing in the rivers of the National Chambal Sanctuary, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Son River Sanctuary and the rainforest biome of Mahanadi in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, Orissa.
  • Threats to Gharial include increasing intensity of fishing and the use of gill nets, and the excessive, irreversible loss of riverine habitat caused by the construction of dams, barrages, irrigation canals, siltation, changes in river course, artificial embankments, sand-mining, riparian agriculture, and domestic and feral livestock.

  • Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) :

  • It is the largest of all living reptiles. 
  • It listed as least concern by IUCN. 
  • It is found throughout the east coast of India.

  • Saltwater Crocodile
    Saltwater Crocodile


    Various Awards given by Govt of India 

    (Ministry of Environment and Forest)

     in relation with Environment 


    Indian Government Launched M-


    • The Indian Government launched M-STrIPES, a software-based monitoring system at tiger reserves across the country on 14 April 2010.
    • The objective is to strengthen patrolling and surveillance of the endangered tigers.
    • The Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh declared that M-STrIPES would be rolled  out at tiger reserves in Corbett (Uttarakhand), Ranthambore (Rajasthan), Kanha (Madhya Pradesh), Bhadra (Karnataka), Anamalai (Tamil Nadu) and Nagarjunasagar (Andhra Pradesh) over the next two months.
    • Accordingly forest guards in tiger reserves would be equipped with personal digital assistants (PDAs) and Geographical Positioning System (GPS) devices to capture data relating to tiger sightings, wild life crime, deaths and ecological monitors among others while patrolling.
    • The software system would map the patrol routes of the forest guards and monitor distribution of different animal species among others.


    • The Capacity Building for Industrial Pollution Management (CBIPM) project will help the Government of India (GoI) to build capacity at the state and central level, and develop a framework to address these issues in a comprehensive and systemic manner under an area-wide management approach.
    • The proposed project is aligned with the endeavor of the GoI to establish a National Program for Rehabilitation of Polluted Sites (NPRPS) as a framework for scaling up the clean up and rehabilitation of polluted sites and facilitate the reduction of environmental and health risks associated with legacy polluted sites.
    • The project is also expected to build the technical capacity of select SPCBs for undertaking environmentally sound remediation of polluted sites.
    • Ten highly polluted sites, two in Andhra Pradesh (Noor Mohammed Kunta in Hyderabad and municipal dumpsite in Kadapa) and Eight in West Bengal (Dhapa municipal dump site in Kolkata and seven hazardous waste sites in Hooghly district), have been identified for remediation on pilot basis.
    • It is anticipated that a National Plan for rehabilitation of Polluted Sites (NPRPS) and the project will result in environmental benefits i.e. improvement in water and air quality, improved hygienic conditions, health benefits such as reduction in water borne, vector borne diseases and economic benefits i.e. employment generation during rehabilitation and remediation of contaminated sites.
    Tits Bits

    • Indian Botanic Garden was established by Lieutanant Col Robert Kyd in 1787. Itz 283 acres unique landscape design was initiated by Sir King George in 1872 .
    • The 260 years old Great  Banyan Tree is situated in this Indian Botanic Garden.
    • Vikramshila Gangetic dolphin Sanctuary, Bihar
    • Indus River dolphin is the project implemented in Pakistan for conservation of dolphins
    • In Uttarakhand, the Bhotiya community mainly lives in three hilly districts - Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Uttarkashi. They possess a fair knowledge on the use of medicinal plants.
    • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, known as the habitat of the Asiatic elephant
    • Karnataka's Bandipur Tiger Reserve, a sanctuary adjacent to the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
    • Namdapha Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh
    • first Indian Forest Congress,2011 - New Delhi

    Mugger crocodile
    Mugger Crocodile

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