Biodiversity in Meghalaya
'Biological Diversity' means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. (CBD, 1992)
Biodiversity is fundamental in sustaining life on Earth. It provides air to breathe, water to drink and food to eat. Human population depends on biodiversity for meeting their basic needs such as food, clothing, medicines and building materials.
India is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries. It has only 2.4 % of the world’s land area but harbours 6.7% of the animal species and 9.13% of the floral diversity of the world.
Meghalaya is situated in the North East India Bio-geographic zone (along with Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura) which is a significant region as it represents a transition zone between the Indian, Indo-Malayan, Indo-Chinese bio-geographic regions as well as a meeting place of Himalayan mountains with that of Peninsular India. The region is one of the richest in biological values with vegetation types ranging from tropical rain forest in the foothills to Alpine meadows and cold deserts.
The state also represents an important part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot which is one of the 4 bio-diversity hotspots present in India and 34 in the world.
The state of Meghalaya has been identified as a key area for biodiversity conservation due to its high species diversity and high level of endemism.