[Disaster Series] Forest Fires in India and its Management

Reading Time: 10 mins The Australian bushfire season has once again put forest fires at the centre of debate as a serious disaster. According to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, exposure to smoke from landscape fires (including forest fires) is estimated to cause 260,000 to 600,000 premature deaths annually. In India too, forest fires occur almost every year though of varying intensities. It is important to understand the phenomenon of forest fires to tackle it effectively.

Australian Bushfire Crisis – All You Need to Know

Reading Time: 7 mins The on-going Australia bushfires have already destroyed millions of acres of land, making it worse than that of the last year’s Amazon rainforest fire. The blaze due to these fires have turned the skies orange and made breathing air in Sydney equivalent to smoking 19 cigarettes. It is hard to even fathom the impact on the land and biodiversity. An estimated 1 billion animals have died and the scientists fear long-term damage to many sensitive ecosystems. This is one of the many symptoms of global warming and the blaze may even contribute to it. This disaster is a warning to the world that the extreme fire events like this one will only grow more likely to occur.

India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2019 & Forest Conservation

Reading Time: 7 mins India’s forest cover has increased by 3,976 km2 since 2017. For the second successive time since 2007, the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) has shown an increase in the forest cover. Given the pressure on the forestland and the natural resources, these figures may give a positive outlook but it does not tell how India continues to lose some of its natural forests since this report is including plantations and invasive species under the forest cover.

Draft Indian Forest Act 2019: Dehumanising Forests

Reading Time: 5 mins The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has released the first draft of the comprehensive amendments to the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA).  However, the amendments have been criticized as an attempt by the central government to grab natural resources owned by tribals for generations.

Forest Rights Act 2006 – Features, Implementation, Challenges & Solutions

Reading Time: 7 mins The Supreme Court has recently directed the state governments to evict around 10 lakh forest dwelling communities whose claims have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act. This order may affect some of the country’s most vulnerable communities and their fundamental rights, therefore it needs a relook.

[Premium] Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) – The Debate on Development vs. Conservation

Reading Time: 5 mins The Union cabinet has recently approved the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 2018 with periodic amendments to some clauses. It sparked the debate on development vs. environmental safeguards.