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.
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.
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.
Reading Time: 5 mins Forest fire as a disaster is gaining prominence in recent years. Many international forums like G7 are undertaking several measures to address this crisis. The current crisis of the Amazon forest fire is only the tip of the iceberg. Now the Arctic region is also dealing with a similar problem in the form of a …
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.
Reading Time: 5 mins The Parliamentary panel on environment and forests has raised serious concerns regarding the Draft National Forest Policy for its excessive focus on commercialisation of forest and serving industry interests. Once finalized, this document will replace the current National Forest Policy, 1988.
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.
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.