Andaman and Nicobar Islands is celebrating “International Biological Diversity Day” on 22nd May, 2011 along with the rest of the world to make Islanders aware of the rich bio-diversity of these islands. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Biodiversity and Forests”.
The forests of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are endowed with a very rich and unique biodiversity. The forest cover of these Islands constitutes over 85% of its geographic area and more than 90% of the forests are dense forests. Nine forest types are found in these Islands of which Tropical Evergreen Forests, Semi-evergreen Forests, Moist-deciduous Forests, Littoral and Mangrove Forests constitutes more than 90% of the forest cover. 
Forests not only play a pivotal role in sustaining life on earth but also provide multitude benefits to mankind like timber, fuel wood, fodder, medicines etc. as well as livelihood options. Forests helps in checking soil erosion, conserving water, providing clean air and mitigating impacts of global warming and climate change. 
So far, we are successful in conserving our rich forest biodiversity in these Islands despite many challenges. The same effort has to continue in future to maintain the forests in most sustainable manner so that a balance is struck between development and conservation. 
Our efforts can succeed only when people of these Islands lend whole hearted support to the efforts of the Administration in conserving the rich biological resources of the Islands. On this occasion, I congratulate the Islanders on their support and appeal them to continue such support in protecting the rich Biological Diversity of these islands.
Lt. Gen (Retd.) Bhopinder Singh
Lieutenant Governor, Andaman and Nicobar Islands