Developing sacred forests into biodiversity heritage sites-experiences from the state of Uttarakhand, Central Himalaya, India

The provision of declaring Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS) in the National Biodiversity Act 2002 provides an opportunity to give recognition to the community initiatives vis-a-vis the institution of the sacred natural sites (SNS). In brief, the salient feature of the Biodiversity Act 2002, as relates to the BHS, is that the state government in consultation with the local bodies may notify in official gazette, biodiversity rich areas, including the SNS as BHS. Subsequently, under sub-section (2) of section 37, the state government in consultation with the Central government may frame rules for the management and conservation of BHS.

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