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Curtailing forest fires UPSC NOTE

 

  • Himachal Pradesh (H.P.) is witnessing widespread forest fires across the region

  • According to the Himachal Pradesh Forest department, there have been a total of 1,684 forest fires since April 15

  • These fires have damaged a total of 17,471 hectares of forest land, resulting in significant loss to wildlife. 

  • From 2001 to 2023, H.P. has lost 957 hectares of tree cover from fires and 4.37 thousand hectares from all other drivers of loss

What needs to be done

  • Democratisation of forests is essential to ensure that people and communities who have lived in and around forests are made part of the forest management process. 

  • The rights of the local community have been periodically curtailed, and as a result, when forest fires start, first responders are nowhere to be found.

  • The traditional forest rights of Himalayan dwellers included the right to extract wood for fuel, timber, fodder, and other activities. H.P. is under Schedule V of the Indian Constitution, which requires community assent for development activities in the region. 

  • However, for large projects like hydro power generation, road widening, and four-lane highways, forests are being diverted with ease.

  • What the Himalayan States now need is to build mixed forestry and remove pine trees; ensure that both scientific and community knowledge converge and forest management is conducted in a participatory manner; implement check dams and other methods to revive water springs; create environmental services at the village level; and articulate their case with the ongoing 16th Finance Commission, seeking help apart from disaster mitigation funds

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Curtailing forest fires UPSC NOTE
Curtailing forest fires UPSC NOTE
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