Indian forest cover is growing at a fantastic rate.
New findings were announced yesterday (April 3rd) at the 19th Commonwealth forestry conference, which will be taking place until April 7th.
The event, which is being held at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, India, is based on the theme “Forests for Prosperity and Posterity”. News coming from the conference has been largey positive so far.
Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ajay Narayan Jha, said that India’s forest cover had expanded to a greater degree than the rest of the world’s average.
“The world over, average per capita forest cover has declined from 0.8 ha to 0.6 ha per person but in India, a net increase of 1.82% forest cover has been registered in the past 30 years. We have to add 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes to the carbon sink by 2030. This will be done by planting trees outside the forests near highways or in agro-forestry sector. Around 1000 trees would be planted on one hectare outside the forests.” – Ajay Narayan Jha
He went on to state that India could boast of having a staggering 24% forest cover. Additionally 7 billion tonnes of carbon sink could be measured within the country. Carbon sink is a natural reservoir which absorbs carbon. This acts as a natural aide in the fight against the effects of global warming.
According to the official website, the CFC-2017 conference aims to:
- Serve as a key forum for all those concerned with the forestry sector to share their experience and expertise and pave the way for effective translation of forestry research into actions for its sustainability.
- Provide a platform to encourage and strengthen forestry research and development for the benefit of the people and industry that depend on forests and related sectors for their economic and social well being.
- Identify and address critical issues in the management of forests for the sustenance of rural, tribal and indigenous communities.
- To provide a stage for all stakeholders to collaborate over the better management of forests and ensure food, water and energy security, thereby contributing to the global Sustainable Development Goals.
Over 500 delegates will attend the event. One of the other key speakers, Uttarakhand governor KK Paul, added that commercial entities need to take a more hands-on approach when it came to developing sustainable and ecologically sound programmes.
“Protection of forests is important for reducing disaster risk and greenhouse emissions. Governments, the private sector, local authorities, NGOs, and indigenous people — all need to work for it. Recent research has shown that the cash and non-cash incomes of the rural poor depend to a very high degree on what the forestry and environmental professionals now call the ‘ecosystem services’ provided by varied forests. Protecting forests, therefore, not only makes sense for reducing disaster risk and greenhouse emissions; it also makes pro-poor sense.” – KK Paul
Further developments will be reported as they emerge.