Presiding over a workshop on a project for improvement of the Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystems Management and Livelihood here, he said the state had taken various steps to protect forests from fire.
"This requires the support and participation of people. A mobile app to alert the public about the forest fires is showing positive results," he said.
The aim of the project is management of forest area more efficiently so that forest cover could be increased along with improvement in community livelihood.
He said the project would be implemented in three stages in six districts -- Kinnaur, Shimla, Bilaspur, Mandi, Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti.
A total of 17 lakh saplings were planted in the state in the last monsoon and a fencing was also done for the protection of planted saplings.
The Minister said now the department was preparing to start plantation in the winter season also.
The total geographical area of Himachal Pradesh is 55,673 sq km, of which 66.5 per cent (37,033 sq km) is classified as forest region.
The state is one of the storehouses of biodiversity in the country. Of the 45,000 species of flora species found in the country, 3,295 are found in Himachal Pradesh.
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