From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Biogeographic Zones, Etalin Hydro Electric Project
Mains level : India's border infrastructure
A group of conservationists has written to the Environment Ministry seeking rejection of the approved Etalin Hydro Electric Project in the Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Make a note of major dams in India along with the rivers, terrain, major Wildlife sanctuaries and national parks incident to these rivers.
Etalin Hydro Electric Project
- Etalin HEP is a 3097 MW project based on the river Dibang.
- It is envisaged as a run of the river scheme on rivers Dri and Tangon in the Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh.
- Dibang is a tributary of the Brahmaputra River which flows through the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
- The project is being executed through the Etalin Hydro Electric Power Company Limited, a JV company of Jindal Power Limited and Hydro Power Development Corporation of Arunachal Pradesh Limited.
- It is expected to be one of the biggest hydropower projects in India in terms of installed capacity.
Issues with the Project
- The Project falls under the richest bio-geographical province of the Himalayan zone and would be located at the junction of major biogeographic zones like Palaearctic Zone and Indo-Malayan Zone.
- It would involve the clearing of 2.7 lakh trees in “subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest and subtropical rain forests”.
- Underscoring the inadequacy of the Environment Impact Assessment report on Etalin, the conservationists said observations by wildlife officials were ignored.
- These include the threat to 25 globally endangered mammal and bird species in the area to be affected.
Back2Basics: Biogeographic Zones
- A biogeographic realm or ecozone is the broadest biogeographic division of Earth’s land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial organisms.
- These zones delineate the large areas of the Earth’s surface within which organisms have been evolving in relative isolation over long periods of time.
- They are separated from one another by geographic features, such as oceans, broad deserts, or high mountain ranges that constitute barriers to migration.
- Originally, six biogeographic regions were identified: Palearctic (Europe and Asia), Nearctic (North America), Neotropical (Mexico, Central and South America), Ethiopian/Afrotropic (Africa), Oriental/Indo-Malayan (Southeast Asia, Indonesia) and Australian (Australia and New Guinea).
- Currently, eight are recognised since the addition of Oceania (Polynesia, Fiji and Micronesia) and Antarctica.