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The Himalaya: Biodiversity Threats

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"The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) covers an area of over 530,000 sq km about 16 per cent of the total geographical area of the country. It has a total population of over 40 million and stretches over 2,500 km from Jammu & Kashmir in the west to Arunachal Pradesh in the east (ENVIS, 2016). Biodiversity is a comprehensive term for the extent of nature  variety or variation within the natural system; both in number and frequency. Biodiversity encompasses a variety of ecosystems within which living creatures, including humans, form a community, and interact with one another and with the air, water, and soil around them. The biodiversity we see today is the result of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, increasingly, by the influence of humans. It is the web of life, which we are an integral part and upon which we so fully dependent. The three broad categories of biodiversity:

Genetic diversity: A variety of genetic information contained in individual plants, animals and microorganisms occurring within populations. Simply put, it is the variation of genes within species and populations.

Species diversity: Encompasses myriad species or living organisms, measured in terms of species rich




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    R K Maikhuri, L S Rawat, Ajay Maletha, N K Jha, P C Phondani, A K Jugran and Y M Bahuguna.

    It is easy to arrest a decline in Himalayan biodiversity, provided local communities are involved in the process. Efforts in the Himalayan region prove this beyond doubt.rkmaikhuri@rediffmail.com

    "Author are Scientist-F & SIC, Technical Group VI (I) and Research Scholars, G B Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development, Srinagar, Garhwal, respectively. rkmaikhuri@rediffmail.com"

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