Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Details of the Report
Mains level: Prevention of forest fires
- With at least one in four people dependent on forests for their livelihood, India is losing at least ₹1,100 crore due to forest fires every year, says a new World Bank report.
- The report calls for a national plan for the prevention of forest fire.
Findings of the Report
- The report titled “Strengthening Forest Fire Management in India” is jointly prepared by the MoEFCC and the World Bank.
- Forest fires occur in around half of the country’s 647 districts every year states the report.
- Repeated fires in short succession are reducing diversity of species and harming natural regeneration, while posing a risk to over 92 million in India who live in areas of forest cover.
- Analysing patterns and trends the report highlights that central India has the largest area affected by fire.
- North-East accounts for 56% of burnt forest land during 2003-2016, followed by southern states and the North-East.
- However, North-eastern states account for the biggest share of fire detections, with at least 55% of fire incidents reported during 2003-2016.
Significance of the Report
- The findings are significant since preventing forest fires is crucial to meet Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) in order to limit global warming.
- As per the Fifth Assessment Report of IPCC, forest fires globally contribute 2.5 billion to 4.0 billion tonnes of CO2 to carbon emissions every year.
- Tackling forest fires is even more important in India as the country has committed to bringing 33% of its geographical area under forest cover by 2030, as part of NDCs.
- India aims to increase its forest cover by 5 million hectares, as part of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.
- Forest fire management is part of our long-term vision for sustainable forest management.
- Forest fires can be controlled only by using an aggressive strategy.
- Apart from incentivizing communities and forest departments, there is also a need to bring a social movement across states to address the issue.