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International Day of Forests: 21 March

International Day of Forests: 21 March

The International Day of Forests on March 21 is celebrated all over the world since 2012 to raise awareness about importance of forests.

Theme: Forests for Sustainable cities

Forest Cover in India

  • According to State Forest Report 2017, the forest cover in India has increased by 1% since its last assessment in 2015.
  • The total forest and tree cover is 24.39%.
  • India has set a target of achieving 33% of its geographical areas under forest increasing infrastructure and population pressure is drifting this dream away from them.

Types of Forests in India:

India has a diverse range of forests: from the rainforest of Kerala in the south to alpines pastures of Ladakh in the north. Forests can be divided into six broad categories with a number of subtypes. The list has been given below:

  1. Moist Tropical Forest
  2. Dry Tropical Forest
  3. Dry Deciduous 
  4. Montane Sub Tropical
  5. Montane Temperate Forests
  6. Alpine

Challenges:

  • The biggest problem of the Indian forests is the inadequate and fast dwindling forest cover. It has already been mentioned that forests cover approximately 21 percent of the area against the required coverage of 33 per cent. Even this small percentage of forest cover is seriously threatened by the increasing demand for major and minor forest products.
  • In India most of the forests are meant for protective purposes and commercial forests are badly lacking. Growing awareness about environmental degradation has forced us to look at forest wealth as a protective agent for environment rather than treating it as a commercial commodity.
  • Scientific techniques of growing forests are also lacking in India. Only natural growth of forests takes place in India whereas in many developed countries new scientific techniques are being used through which tree growth is quickened. A large number of trees are malformed or consist of species which are slow growing and poor yielders.

How it can be improved?

  • Intensive development schemes for afforestation should be adopted. High yielding varieties should be planted in suitable areas. Improved techniques of logging and extraction should be used.
  • Proper transport facilities should be provided to remote and inaccessible forest areas.
  • Latest techniques of seasoning and preservation are necessary to avoid wastage.
  • Proper arrangements to save forests from fires and plant diseases can go a long way to solve several problems.

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