National Biodiversity Target (NBT) - 6 : Ecologically representative areas on land and in inland waters, as well as coastal and marine zones, especially those of particular importance for species, biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved effectively and equitably, on the basis of protected area designation and management and other area-based conservation measures and are integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes, covering over 20 % of the geographic area of the country, by 2020.
Living in harmony with nature has been a part of Indian ethos. However, meeting the development needs of the 18% of the world’s population with 2.4% of its land inevitably leads to severe strains on land and resources. Conscious of this imperative, India progressively instituted measures to create reserved/designated areas of nature conservation. This NBT aims at deepening and widening the conservation efforts adopting a wider seascape and landscape approach integrating development and human welfare with conservation. It corresponds to Aichi Target 11 and contributes to achievement of SDGs 6,11,14 & 15.
Conventions that relate to NBT 6:
1. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), 1993
2. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals(CMS), 1983
3. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), 1975
4. Convention on Wetlands on International importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention), 1975
5. International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGFRA), 2004
6. The World Heritage Convention, 1977
7. United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), 2000
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) started the process of setting up NBTs by organising a high-level meeting with the Ministries and Departments concerned in November 2011. A round of subject matter specific inter-ministerial meetings and wider stakeholder consultations followed this first step, with a view to update India’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) 2008 by developing NBTs in line with the Strategic Plan (SP) for Biodiversity (2011-2020) and its 20 Aichi Targets. Thereafter, a national level stakeholder’ consultation was held on 30 July 2013 which resulted in a draft document of NBTs. MoEFCC then set up a Technical Review Committee for review and refinement of the draft taking into account Result Framework Documents (RFDs) of more than 50 Ministries/Departments of the Government of India (GoI), information available in annual reports/websites of Ministries/Departments and other relevant institutions, discussions and written submissions provided by officials, scientists and other stakeholders. The exercise of determining NBTs included identification of responsibilities in respect of the concerned Ministries/Departments, institutions and stakeholders and developing monitoring schedule along with indicators. The NBSAP 2008 was updated by integrating the 12 NBTs thus prepared into NBSAP Addendum, 2014. After approval by the competent authority, the NBTs were communicated to all concerned for outreach and communication with a view to create awareness and promote implementation.
Many States have their own State Biodiversity Action Plans (SBAPs), which are being implemented taking note of the NBTs.