(a) Explain the narrowly utilitarian, nroadly utilitarian and ethical arguments in favour of
conservation of biodiversity.
(b) How is designation of certain areas as hotspot a step towards biodiversity conservation?
Name any two hotspots in India.
(a) Ethical arguments in favour of conservation of biodiversity can be grouped into three catagories:
(i) Narrowly utilitarian reasons: Human derive countless direct economic benefits from nature
like food (cereals, pulses, fruits) firewood, fibre, construction material, industrial products
(tannins, lubricants, dyes, resins perfumes) and medicinal products.
(ii) Broadly utilitarian reasons: Biodiversity plays a major role in providing ecosystem services,
which cannot give a price tag. They are
- production of oxygen.
- pollination of flowers, without which fruits/ seeds are not produced.
- aesthetic pleasures, like bird watching, watching spring flower, walking through the thick
forest, waking up to bulbul's song, etc.
(iii) Ethical reason: Every species has an intrinsic value, even if it is not of any economic
value to us. It is our moral duty to care for their well being and pass on the biological
legacy in a proper form to our further generation.
(b) Hotspots are the regions having very high levels of species richness (biodiversity)
and high degree of endemism, i.e., species conferred to that region only and not found
(i) Western Ghats and Sri Lanka.