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Increasing green cover

Ambiguity in the definition of forests should be removed

Topics
Environment ministry | afforestation | National Forest Policy

Business Standard Editorial Comment 



The government’s forest management record, as portrayed in the State of Forests in India 2019 report, seems a blend of some notable successes and a few glaring failures. While the country’s overall green cover has increased by 5,188 sq km — an area of the size of Delhi and Goa put together — the existing forests are thinning and several north-eastern states and other regions inhabited largely by tribals have lost some of their forests. This bodes ill for the livelihood security of the large forest-dependent population. It also has socio-economic, and law and order implications as many of these tracts are controlled by Naxalites. Worse still, the loss of forests in the north-east is attributed, among other factors, to clearance of forests for the illegal cultivation of poppy, a crop used widely to raise resources to finance the militancy. Well-advised strategies are, therefore, called for to prevent diversion of forestland to any non-forest use other than essential infrastructure and developmental programmes in these regions.

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First Published: Wed, January 08 2020. 23:56 IST

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