The World Bank has approved an amount of $23.5 million biodiversity grant and loan for India on Thursday. A $15.36 million credit and $8.14 million grant have been approved by the global lender for a project to conserve high-value forest areas while improving the livelihoods of communities in India that depend on forests.

The project, titled The Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihood Improvement Project, will be instrumental in protecting biodiversity in the country. It will also improve rural livelihoods through culturally appropriate and tested participatory approaches, said the Bank in a statement.

Malcolm Jansen, World Bank Senior Environmental Specialist and Project Leader, said India has up to 47,000 species of plants and some 90,000 species of animal and its biodiversity is fundamental to human well being.

Millions are dependent locally on forests for their subsistence and livelihood and 70 percent of India's rural population depends on fuel wood to meet domestic energy needs, Jansen added.

The World Bank has also asked country's policymakers to stop neglecting urban poverty and spread out the scope of some rural flagship schemes to urban areas as well.