Target IAS 2015 & Beyond – How to Approach Enviro & Biodiversity?

Without further ado, here we go!


Enviro and Biodiversity have varied level of difficulty level topics. Let’s make a scheme and see how you can approach them.

Most read books – 

  1. Environment Studies by Erach Barucha
  2. Environment & Ecology – Majid Husain


Biodiversity [4 sub topics]

  1. Introduction for ecology and functions of ecosystem [Easy] – 
    • Definitions, food chain, bio-chemical cycles, energy flows, interactions, succession, biomes ecotone, niche systems
  2. Ecosystems [Medium] – 
    • Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem, ecosystem services, types of forests. Marine, mangroves, corals, wetlands etc.
  3. Basics of Biodiversity [Easy] –
    • Definitions, Levels of biodiversity, ecological pyramids
  4. Indian biodiversity [Difficult] – 
    • Bioclimatic regions, plant and animal diversity region wise, Trans himalayan region, The gangetic plain, North east India, Indian desert and semi arid, Western ghats, Deccan peninsula, Coastal and islands


Climate Change & Pollution [7 sub topics] 

  1. Basics of climate change and pollution [Medium] – 
    • Definitions, Pollutants
  2. Global warming [Difficult] – 
    • Green house gases, green house effect, global emissions, Ozone hole, chlorofluorocarbons, global dimming and aerosols
  3. Acidification [Medium] – 
    • Acid rain, ocean acidification
  4. Issues [Difficult] – 
    • Algal bloom, eutrophication of lakes, bioaccumulation, biomagnification, bioconcentration, urban heat island, desertification, coral bleeching
  5. Pollution in detail [Difficult] – 
    • Air, water, soil pollution. E-waste, solid waste, biomedical waste, pollution in space, heavy metals etc.
  6. Climate change India [Medium] – 
    • Causes and consequences, their impact on agriculture, sea level changes, flora and fauna
  7. Environmental impact assessment [Medium] – 
    • Stages, components, advantages and challenges, examples etc.


Conservation and Mitigation [5 sub topics]

  1. Types of conservation [Easy] – 
    • In-situ and ex-situ conservation
  2. Worldwide Initiatives [Difficult] – 
    • International reports, conferences and conventions
  3. Conservation in India [Difficult] – 
    • National parks, sanctuaries, agro forestry, nature building, rain water harvesting, mulching, rotation grazing
  4. Programs for conservation [Medium] – 
    • NAPCC, climate change ministry initiatives, Project tiger, project elephant, project bustard, biosphere reserves etc.
  5. Mitigation strategies [Medium] – 
    • Carbon sequestration, geoengineering, carbon sink, biochar, iron fertilization, bio indicators, bio fuels, bio remediation


 Other issues [3 sub topics]

  1. Acts and policies [Medium] –
    • Forest act, environment protection act, wildlife act, biodiversity act, maritime zone act , National environmental policy, agroforestry policy etc.
  2. Conventions [Medium] – 
    • Kyoto protocol, aichi targets, biodiversity conferences, doha talks, copenhagen etc.
  3. Agriculture [Medium] – 
    • Types of cropping, water conservation, rain water harvesting, crop rotation, organic farming, sustainable agriculture etc.


Take this tagging as the starting point. In times to come, we will be writing Prelims Specific posts at Civilsdaily to help you revise/ revisit these areas of importance. Most of these can be mastered by the aids of flowcharts, mnemonics and tables. Make sure you experiment with these techniques while you are studying!

Any more questions?


By Satish Reddy

CSE 2014 - AIR 97 | Second Attempt | Optional - Sociology | NIT Warangal - Batch 2012 | Indulgences? Cooking, Reading & engaging with Social Sector Institutions

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