A healthy Environment is essential for the survival and growth of all living things. Sustainable development of any state rests on three pillars are economic growth, social progress and protection of the environment. Conservation of environment has become a challenge due to pressure on the natural resources. As life-sustaining systems come under growing pressure from human activity, it is absolutely essential, to initiate action for reducing the causes of global warming, pollution, fresh water scarcity and loss of biodiversity. The future of mankind is inevitably linked to that of plants, animals and eco systems.
Hence conservation and enhancement of life support systems like land, water, forests and biodiversity are important for ecological balance. To combat the environmental related issues, several initiatives have been taken by the Government for pollution abatement in rivers and lakes besides promoting environmental consciousness among the school children and the public at large.
Forests provide environmental stability, ecological security, food security and water security to the country and also provide livelihood security to the forest fringe people. Medicinal plants from forests provide health security to the millions of people depending upon traditional systems of medicine. Forests play an important role in bio-geo-chemical cycles particularly carbon cycle and hydrological cycle. Carbon sequestration potential of forest is very important for mitigation of climate and hence has a direct bearing on the very survival of humanity.
Tamil Nadu is endowed with rich forest areas in Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats and coastal plains. Western Ghats Range is one of the mega endemic centres and one of the twenty five global hotspots of bio-diversity and a number of other micro centres of endemism are located in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu has the highest number of flowering plants among all the states in the country and hence, it has the responsibility of conserving this wealth of the country. Tamil Nadu forests are very rich in medicinal plants and wild relatives of cultivated plants which are very important from the conservation point of view. All the fourteen endemic mammals of Western Ghats and all the five primates of peninsular India are found in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu also has a considerable population of National Heritage Animals namely Elephant and Tiger and their numbers are now showing an increasing trend.
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