India has large swathes of land that are classified as ONEs which are open natural ecosystems that are unfortunately classified as wastelands when they actually harbour unique diversity.
Open Natural Ecosystems, or ONEs may seemingly have low benefits and poor productivity, but foster biodiversity and hence need to be conserved.
ONEs are often thought of being wastelands as they have a dry and arid look and usually have shrubs that are local to the terrain. This also means that often they may be thought of as spaces that are of no use. However when one looks at these landscapes that cover about 10 percent of India, it is clear that they support a unique biodiversity.
For instance the grasslands in Jaisalmer is the only place where the remaining Great Indian Bustards are surviving. However the birds are now being threatened by solar power projects whose power transmission lines are killing birds that collide with them.
Also these lands have been identified for planting trees another ecological project that is threatening the biodiversity that survives here.
Read the full story that first appeared in Fair Planet here: