‘Man-animal conflict, global warming in forest policy’

Representative image

Man-animal conflict and climate change figure in the upcoming National Forest Policy, which will look to address problems in future, a senior official from ICFRE under the Union environment ministry said.

Suresh Gairola, Director General of Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, spoke about the policy at an interaction with the media here on Tuesday.

“It takes note of the reduction and fragmentation of wildlife habitat in the post-independence period that has led to an increase in man-animal conflict," Gairola said. "These issues were not important in 1988 when the original policy was notified. When it comes to efforts at forest conservation, India has been a global leader. The new policy will take into account all factors, from green revolution to industrial and urban development, which have led to man-animal conflict.” 

Gairola said the forest fire management will require more energy and focus in the coming years. “The general agreement of the experts is that warmer areas will get warmer in the coming years. India, therefore, needs to take additional precautions in forest fire management as the chances of having such incidents will only multiply,” he said.

Developed countries like the United States, Canada and Australia are also susceptible to forest fires.

Gairola also cautioned about the reduced involvement of local residents. “Over the years, they have lost their rights to the forest and dependence on forests has reduced, which has also brought down their stake,” he said.

The senior official noted that the prescriptions made in the working plans in creating and maintaining fire lines were not being implemented.

“Because of lack of funds and in some places they are not revised timely. The Centre is looking into the issue,” he said.

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