Biodiversity Heritage Sites

In March 2017, the Assam Government launched Sustainable Action for Climate Resilient Development (SaCReD) Initiative to develop Majuli, the world’s largest river island, as the country’s first carbon neutral district. SaCReD Initiative will also ensure that infrastructure in Majuli has less carbon. It aims to battle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The will also aim to make the Majul island a Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS), first in the state in order to preserve its rich heritage and legacy.

Biodiversity Heritage Sites

Under Section 37 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (BDA) the State Government in consultation with local bodies may notify in the official gazette, areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS).

“Biodiversity Heritage Sites” (BHS) are well defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems – terrestrial, coastal and inland waters and, marine having rich biodiversity comprising of any one or more of the following components:

  • richness of wild as well as domesticated species or intra-specific categories
  • high endemism
  • presence of rare and threatened species
  • keystone species
  • species of evolutionary significance
  • wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or their varieties
  • past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds and
  • having significant cultural, ethical or aesthetic values and are important for the maintenance of cultural diversity, with or without a long history of human  association with them.

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