Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Services of Forests in Siwaliks of Northern India

Sharda R. Gupta, Ravi Kumar


Biodiversity loss is one of the world's most pressing crises. Biologically rich and unique habitats are being destroyed, fragmented, and degraded due to increasing human population, resource exploitation and environmental pollution. Conservation of forest biodiversity is fundamental for sustaining forests, and supporting the livelihoods of people and their economic well-being. The ecosystem services that benefit the society are improving air quality, climate regulation, carbon sequestration, water purification, pollination, and prevention of erosion, besides provision for useful biomass. Innovative and effective responses are necessary to meet the challenges of forest biodiversity conservation for the well-being of the people. Therefore, it is important to maintain the forests as ecosystem service provider systems for food, timber, energy, and biodiversity. This paper gives an overview of plant biodiversity, biodiversity conservation mechanisms, and carbon storage as an indicator of ecosystem services in forests of the Siwaliks in northern Haryana. The relationships between biodiversity conservation, poverty alleviation, ecosystem services, and forest biomass production are emphasized. The role of integrated watershed management for human well-being for bioresource conservation in the Siwalik foothills are discussed.


Biodiversity; Ecosystem Services; Poverty Alleviation; Forest Biomass; Economic Sustainability; carbon sequestration


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