India recently conferred biodiversity heritage status on an unlikely candidate – the Ameenpur Lake on the fringes of Hyderabad. Other sites across the country also received this distinction. Among them are the shola grasslands of Chikmagalur, the pristine forests of Gadchiroli and Dailong village in Manipur. But, what sets Ameenpur Lake apart is that the tag is not only the first of its kind in the country for a water body, but the first in an urban environment!
India awards Biodiversity Heritage tags under the Biological Diversity Act of 2002. The tags are a way to boost biodiversity conservation and encourage local participation in protecting unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems with a rich variety of rare or threatened species, species of evolutionary significance, and evidence of biological components from the past such as fossil beds.