Environment and Ecology Books for Prelims and Mains
A long standing demand of readers has been to add some credible books for environment and ecology; given the importance of this topic in prelims and the new mains GS syllabus you cannot ignore environment and ecology topic.
But first go through the environment and ecology syllabus for prelims so you know how to divide the three topics- environment, ecology and bio-diversity. Next you need to adopt an integrated approach for prelims and mains. Environment, ecology and biodiversity is covered in GS III paper of Mains. So instead of preparing separately for Prelims and then again starting from scratch for Mains it will be better and time saving strategy to cover this topic keeping in view the Mains syllabus as well.
Recommended Books for Environment and Ecology
There are two books suggested here. The first is
TMH GS Manual
The TMH GS Manual covers environment, ecology and bio-diversity quite thoroughly. It focusses exclusively on the prelims syllabus. I should point out that hardly anything new is added in the Mains syllabus for this topic. The difference then is of your preparation method. In prelims, you will need to cover each sub-topic widely but not in-depth. You will need to focus on facts and figures like number of national parks, tiger reserves, important treaties, new findings of committees and so on.
The TMH GS Manual is perfect for this. It is quite contemporary with all the important issues like global warming, threat to ecology, climate change, the Kyoto and other protocols and conventions covered in-depth. In short you have everything you need for prelims in this book.
The second recommended book is
Environment and Ecology by Majid Hussain
As you might know, Majid Hussain is highly celebrated author of civil services books, particularly Geography, and a much sought after coach as well for Geography optional. Here he has authored a much need book on Environment and Ecology from the GS Mains point of view. The good part about this book is it covers a good portion of the GS I syllabus as well relating to geography since environment and ecology is, after all, a part of physical geography.
Environment and Ecology book starts off from the basic concepts explaining the various environment types, the different nutrient cycles and explaining the concept of ecology in detail. After this it breaks down this topic into number of smaller topics listed below:
- Plant and Animal Kingdoms
- Major Biomes
- Biodiversity and Legislation
- Environmental Degradation and Management
- Climate Change
- Natural Hazards and Disaster Management
The topic on biodiversity and legislation covers the various summits, conventions and protocols like Earth summit, Montreal protocol, Bali summit, Kyoto protocol, Rotterdam convention etc which is very useful for prelims preparation as well.
Other topics listed above are also highly relevant for Prelims. So the question arises should you refer just this book for both Prelims and Mains? As I have said in this post on Books for Prelims, a good reference manual like the TMH manual is indispensable for Prelims and you should always have a reference manual for ready reference especially when information from standard books is incomplete or not available.
Besides it’s not possible to go through a complete book when you want to revise quickly before the prelims. So it’s suggested that even if you refer the book by Majid Hussain exclusively for Prelims as well as Mains topics, just glance through the TMH GS Manual quickly to go through Prelims topics that Hussain might have missed out and also when you need to revise quickly just before the prelims. Whereas for Mains, Environment and Ecology by Hussain is just the book you need.
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