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Biodiversity in Pune

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Introduction Edit

Pune is located in the northern Western Ghats, the Sahyadris.

What is Biodiversity? (need text here)


Why is Biodiversity important to study and assess? Edit

The status of biodiversity is related to human health and environment locally, regionally and globally.

In order to use and manage biodiversity in a wise manner such that the quality of the environment improves, and so does the quality of human life, citizens and regulatory agencies need information on:

The status of ecosystems, hot specks and selected groups of plants/animals, and selected species in the city
Institutional aspects of BD conservation/ management
Specialized govt/scientific agencies to deal with biodiversity
Civil society engagement
Forums of complaint/redressal
Conflict resolution


Definition / ownership related issues

While some major ecosystems (river, forest) are not technically under PMC limits and are governed by other government depts, they are enclosed by PMC lands and they are heavily impacted by the city and contribute in a major way to the citizens’ health and city aesthetics Several hotspecks are within private / institutional lands


A Framework for Studying Biodiversity and Reporting on its Status Edit

Values

What values does the city current place on Biodiversity? What values could/should it place? Differential values between rich and poor? How to put these values into the city’s planning?


Policy and legislative framework

  1. Land records (for river ecosystem integrity) administered by District Collector
  2. Water Act (for surface water quality) regulated by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board
  3. Irrigation agreement (for water returned to regime and net consumption) by Irrigation dept
  4. Forest Act for reserved forests
  5. MRTP Act for urban environment and planning (Development Plan and DC Rules) for BD reservation, green zones, open spaces, setbacks, parks and gardens in municipal lands
  6. Tree Act for tree felling permissions
  7. BD Act for management aspects and setting up of Biodiversity Management Committee


Key drivers or factors influencing Biodiversity

  1. Land use ( as a stand alone factor, and not only as a factor of population growth )
  2. Economic Growth
  3. Population growth and pattern of settlement (?) affecting land conversion and usage of BD rich areas
  4. Amount of untreated or uncollected sewage and garbage (for river / water body quality)
  5. Sources and instances of pollution
  6. Road widening/ construction
  7. Biomass collection


Status and Change in Key Indicators

  1. Aggregate green cover extent: total area and per capita green cover, disaggregated between forest/wild/semi-wild and lawns/parks
  2. Tree cutting and transplantation/survival, plantation and survival rates, exotic/indigenous ratio in plantations (from Tree Authority records and Garden Dept)
  3. Select rare species status
  4. Ecosystems/ hotspecks (including small wetlands) status report
Ecosystem type (forest, grassland, river, nalas, reservoir, garden, hotspeck, agriculture)
Name (for e.g. Vetal Hill, Baner Hill, Mula R, Mutha R, Ramnadi R, Katraj Lake, Pashan Lake, Dhanori Lake, Turtle Pond, Bat roost site .....)
Location (with a map key)
Ownership/ regulatory authority (for e.g. PMC, private ...)
Legal status (Reservation, green zone, private/ institutional)
Area (ha)
Status of major indicators of health of ecosystem (state methods and reliability elsewhere)
For e.g. for Lakes: Hyacinth cover increased; Fish species decreased by x; Black winged stilts increased; Migratory species number decreased, consumption of water by residents
For Rivers: Physical-chemical characteristics at various points; indicator species of fish, birds, plants + Ecosystem physical integrity by measuring naturalness of banks in terms of area of encroachments in the form of lawns, roads, tenements etc
For Gardens: Number of indigenous vs exotic trees and %, diversity of species used, % space of lawns used
For Hotspecks: Flapshell turtles number same, Bats number same etc....
Based on above, state Change in Ecological Status (improved, degraded, no change from previous year – TBD over time)
[Should mention Heritage Trees somewhere, or pristine avenune tree locales, even home gardens or terrace gardens]

Status of Institutional aspects of BD Management in City

  1. Current institutional methods of BD Mgt: Garden Dept, Pune Tree Authority, Encroachments Dept, Water and Sewage Dept
  2. Existence of BD Management Committee (does not exist as of now)
  3. Steps taken to set up one
  4. Mapping of BD
  5. BD Info system
  6. Civil society institutional aspects and actions

Analysis and Key Issues and Concerns Edit

Status of BD

  1. Forest status based on soil and water conservation works carried out over … acres; species census, occurrences of fires
  2. River status based on comparison with water and ecosystem quality data from previous years related to instances of pollution/ extent of pollution and decrease in number of freshwater fish species etc, green belt status
  3. Lake status based on comparison with water and ecosystem quality from previous years related to numbers of birds, and diversity/composition of migratory bird species, fish, aquaflora
  4. Grassland status based on area, species composition, fire instances
  5. Gardens status based on total area, per capita area, species composition (exotic / indigenous), temperatures (well done gardens have a strong element of temp control or cooling.. this would be an important assessment)
  6. Tree numbers based on census, tree-felling permissions granted, plantation (and survival) number
  7. Hot specks status, based on number; x number were extinguished; y number were preserved and granted ‘PMC #Hotspeck’ status (perhaps in the future)
  8. Rare species numbers/distribution – enhanced / went up or down
  9. Comment on overall status of BD

Status of Institutional Aspects

  1. Policy and legislation gaps and issues of coordination between multiple authorities
  2. Data and information gaps
  3. Financial gaps

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