Environment Notes for UPSC: How to Prepare for Environment UPSC?

Environment Notes for UPSC

Environment and Ecology is a very important part of the UPSC IAS syllabus and each year a large number of questions are being asked from Environment in UPSC IAS Exam. This is more so after the changes brought by UPSC i.e. merging of Civil Services Prelims with Indian Forest Services Prelims exam. This has made Environment and Ecology, a very crucial subject for clearing UPSC Prelims and Main. Preparing your Environment Notes for UPSC will help you in covering all the important topics relevant for UPSC Exam.

Important Topics Part of the Syllabus In Environment and Ecology for UPSC

  1. Concept of System
  2. Understanding the Ecosystem
  3. Energy Cycle
  4. Important Terms
  5. Biodiversity- Genetic Diversity, Species Diversity, Ecosystem Diversity, Value of Biodiversity, List of modern drugs derived from Plant sources, Endemic and Exotic species.
  6. Endemic Species and their regions
  7. Conservation of Biodiversity- In-situ and Ex-situ
  8. Constitutional Provisions
  9. Statutory Acts/Bodies
  10. International Conferences/Protocols
  11. Climate Change -a brief
  12. Climate Change- Implications for India, Response to Climate Change, and National Action Plan on Climate Change
  13. Pollution- Categories, Causes, Types of Particulates and International Conventions

Also Read: How To Prepare Environment For Your UPSC Exam?

Strategy for Preparing Environment Notes for UPSC Prelims

  • Aspirants often have Environment-related relevant information but presenting all the information in the IAS exam becomes a challenge, especially in the UPSC mains.
  • Make a habit of listing current affairs along with static parts of the UPSC notes.
  • If one goes through the UPSC previous year question papers, one can see the nature of questions is changing. While the emphasis on basic concepts and the static part is still there, the dynamic aspects are getting more weightage.
  • Revision of what you have studied regularly is very crucial because of the vastness of information which at times becomes confusing if not revised well.
  • Practice Questions from Test Series helps you in avoiding silly mistakes and also for quick revision.
  • Glancing over the official websites like of Ministry of Environment, UNFCCC, UNEP, etc at times are very helpful.

Subtopics and Keywords for Environment Notes for UPSC Prelims

  • International Environmental Conventions: Rio summit and its outcomes, Ramsar Convention on wetlands, CITES, Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), IUCN, Stockholm, Rotterdam and Basel convention, UN convention to combat Desertification, Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol.
  • Environmental Organisations: National Biodiversity Authority, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Animal Welfare Board, central zoo Authority.
  • Acts and policies regarding the Environment: Wildlife protection act, Environment protection act, Biological Diversity act, Forest Right Act, Forest policy, wetland rule, NGT, ozone-depleting substance rule.
  • Institution: CAMPA, Clean energy fund, wildlife action plan, National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board, Mangrove for future. and other such relevant institutions which have in news.
Climate Change
  • Climate change organizations: UNFCCC, Kyoto protocol, REDD/REDD+, IPCC, Green Economy
  • Impact of climate change: impact on India, India’s position on Climate change, NICRA, Green Buildings, NAPCC, Nation Communication.
  • Ozone depletion
  • Mitigation strategies: Carbon Sequestration, Carbon sink, Carbon credit, Carbon offsetting, the Carbon tax.
  • Ocean acidification.
  • Biodiversity types, services, level, and measurement.
  • Protected area network: Wildlife sanctuaries, National Parks, Sacred Grooves, Biosphere Reserves, Biodiversity hotspots.
  • conservation efforts: Project Tiger, Project Elephant, Project Hangul, Ganges Dolphin, Crocodile conservation
  • Schedule a list of wildlife protection.
  • The function of the Ecosystem, energy flow, food web, the food chain.
  • A concept like Ecotone, ecological succession.
  • Aquatic ecosystem: Lake ecology, Eutrophication, Mangrove system, Coral reefs.
Environmental Pollution
  • E-waste, Air pollution, Fly Ash, Smog, Bioremediation, Indoor air pollution.

Also Read: Find Best Environment Books For UPSC In Hindi And English From The COmplete IAS Booklist


One major problem with these subjects is the difficulty in understanding the concept in the first reading. So the aspirants get bored and disinterested while reading these subjects. So the basic thing required while preparing this subject is patience. If a student reads the same material 2-3 times, they will find it interesting and easy. But one should revise them at least 5 times, to recall the studied content in the exam. The environment is a very dynamic subject and so requires equally a dynamic approach. Questions are asked about the happenings related to Environment, Ecology and Biodiversity in past one year or so. Aspirants need to be aware of those happenings in complete details. Questions on International Organisation, Conventions etc are more common in UPSC Prelims Paper and these are asked from Current affairs itself so Reading and revising it is very necessary.

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Environment Notes For UPSC: How To Prepare For Environment UPSC?
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Environment Notes For UPSC: How To Prepare For Environment UPSC?
How to prepare your notes for the Environment and Ecology part of the UPSC syllabus? What books to refer to and what should be your ideal strategy? Read to know more.
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UPSC Pathshala
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