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कपास की फसल के नुकसान पर स्पेशल गिरदावरी के दिए आदेश - दुष्यंत चौटालासरकार का लक्ष्य, हर गांव में हो मॉडर्न सरकारी लाइब्रेरी - उपमुख्यमंत्री दुष्यंत चौटालादिल्ली:हरियाणा के मुख्यमंत्री मनोहर लाल ने सिविल सेवा परीक्षा-2019 में प्रथम स्थान प्राप्त करने वाले प्रदीप सिंह मलिक से मुलाकात कीहिमाचल प्रदेश: 24 घंटे में 40 नए कोरोना केस, अबतक 13 मरीजों की मौत15 अगस्त के दिन सलामी परेड में शामिल होने वाले 350 दिल्ली पुलिसकर्मी क्वारनटीनदिल्ली में कोरोना वायरस के 1300 नए मामले, रिकवरी रेट 89.8%देश में इस वक्त 1400 कोविड अस्पताल: जेपी नड्डाहरियाणा के मुख्यमंत्री मनोहर लाल ने फरीदाबाद पुलिस के दबंगई-रोधी अभियान ‘एंटी-बुलिंग कैम्पेन’ की शुरुआत की

HT EDIT-Forest cover increases, but questions remain

January 01, 2020 05:38 AM

Instead of focusing only on data, take into the qualitative aspects of the resource too
The biannual India State of Forest 2019 report, which was released on Monday, revealed that the nation has recorded a 0.56% improvement in its forest cover since 2017, taking the total forest cover to 21.67% of India’s geographical area. The country has a target of bringing 33% of its geographical area under forest cover. Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar said India is among very few countries that recorded an increase in forest cover. This, he suggested, gives the government enough confidence that India is on track to achieve its commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement of creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of C02 by 2030.

The release of the report, which has been prepared by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), has reignited an old debate on the definition of forest cover. FSI’s definition of forest cover includes an area more than 1 ha in size and with a tree canopy density of 10% and above, irrespective of ownership, legal status of land, and species composition of trees. This, many feel, is ambiguous, and does not give a clear picture of what is happening to the ecologically important natural forests.

In addition, there is also a demand for changing the methodology of the satellite — and government record-based survey so that it goes beyond just measuring of forest cover and creating a hierarchy of forests, but also takes into account the qualitative aspect of a “lived forest”, which includes its ecology and the livelihood it supports. For example, open scrub forests may not come under the “very dense forest” category, but they are equally good forests because they supports a wide range of biodiversity. Second, a rigourous ground-level assessment of forests via public audits needs to be done to know the exact state of the resource. In India, public engagement with forests is increasing; it’s time to leverage that for a better, and a more comprehensive report.

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