Environment and Biodiversity for UPSC Prelims: Study material & Important Topics

Environment and biodiversity are vital and constituent in the exam. In current years, to be self-assured of figure out the prelims exam, aspirants need to good knowledge in relation to Environment, Ecology, and Biodiversity subjects.

In this part, a lot of questions are featuring in Prelims exam up till now.

Since these subjects are not including predetermined gist but are want for appropriate matter and are rather hard to know, so a good plan should be devised for them.

UPSC Mains: Paper 3 General Studies-III 250 Marks (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

A good number of candidates are bothered concerning these topics considering that they are not as tangible as other topics like History or Indian Economy. The content is not as demonstrable to the same degree in other subjects. Correspondingly, there remains an extraordinary connection with the current affairs in these units. As a result, you are required to be aware of any pertinent update. As well, these topics are continuously remaining the highpoints at the present time attributable to worries about the environment, climate change, etc. supposing further importance with governments and world bodies.

Don’t disregard these segments as the importance is imparted to the environment is increasing every year. In the IAS prelims, between 15 and 20 questions appear every single year from this section.

  • Look around the newspapers meticulously. Be knowledgeable about in what manner to pick pertinent subjects and read further regarding the intangible part of the subjects in the mainstream. On the assumption that the Central Pollution Control Board’ is the highlight with any motive, look to this frame like when it was founded, etc.
  • They may as well suppose questions on these topics which can be categorized under geography or biology/zoology.

Study material for environment and biodiversity: 


  1. For static portions, refer to the NCERT textbooks. Geography (classes VI to XII), biology (classes XI and XII).
  2. India Year Books – chapters on environment and geography
  3. The Hindu newspaper
  4. Science Reporter magazine

Important topics to study in environment and biodiversity: 


  • Biodiversity – importance for human survival, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, biodiversity hotspots, Red Data Book.
  • General topics from environmental ecology – terms such as ecotone, ecosystems, effects of environmental degradation, food chain, etc.
  • Pollution – acid rain, smog, greenhouse gases, algal bloom, ozone layer.
  • Sustainable Development – renewable energy sources, bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides, biomass gasification.
  • Conservation – conservation of natural resources, wildlife conservation, national parks, wetlands, biosphere reserves.
  • Climate change – Kyoto Protocol, Montreal Protocol, climate change summits held.
  • Ecologically sensitive areas – Western Ghats, Himalayas.
  • Laws, regulatory bodies and policies at national and international level – Environment Protection Act, National Biodiversity Authority, Forest Right Act, protocols and summits like Nagoya Protocol, Cartagena Protocol, and Lima Conference, etc.
  • UNEP, FAO, UNESCO, etc.
  • Ramsar Convention, Montreux Record, the three Rio Conventions—Convention on Biological Diversity (CoB), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification – from the 1992 Earth Summit, etc.
  • Carbon trading and leakage issues, Kyoto mechanism, emission trading, etc.