From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Forest Fire Prevention and Management scheme
Mains level : Forest fires in India
The Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has informed that area covering 93,273 hectares was affected by forest fires in 2019. Most of the fires have been “ground fires” burning ground vegetation.
Measures to curb Forest fires:
1) National Action Plan on Forest Fires
- The MoEFCC has prepared a National Action Plan on Forest Fires in 2018 after several rounds of consultation with all states and UTs.
- The objective of this plan is to minimize forest fires by informing, enabling and empowering forest fringe communities and incentivizing them to work in tandem with the State Forest Departments.
- The plan also intends to substantially reduce the vulnerability of forests across diverse forest ecosystems in the country against fire hazards, enhance capabilities of forest personnel and institutions in fighting fires and swift recovery subsequent to fire incidents.
2) Forest Fire Prevention and Management scheme
- The MoEFCC provides forest fire prevention and management measures under the Centrally Sponsored Forest Fire Prevention and Management (FPM) scheme.
- The FPM is the only centrally funded program specifically dedicated to assist the states in dealing with forest fires.
- The FPM replaced the Intensification of Forest Management Scheme (IFMS) in 2017. By revamping the IFMS, the FPM has increased the amount dedicated for forest fire work.
- Funds allocated under the FPM are according to the 90:10 ratio of central to state funding in the Northeast and Western Himalayan regions and 60:40 ratio for all other states.
- Nodal officers for forest fire prevention and control have been appointed in each state.