Land encroachment affecting forest development : PCCF

Land encroachment affecting forest development : PCCF

Encroachment of forest land, deforestation and degradation are affecting the development of forest in the State, said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Dipak Sarmah.

Despite undertaking plantation on nearly 80,000 hectares every year, there is only a minor increase in the forest cover in Karnataka, “In the last three years, wildlife forest has increased from 6,500 sq km to 9,200 sq km and the department is expecting to increase it further 10,000 sq km,” added Sarmah.

He was addressing the state-level stakeholders workshop on emerging issues in REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation plus) on Wednesday.
The forest areas in Shimoga district have been chosen for the REDD+ programme to study the human dependence on forest and the subsequent result of degradation and greenhouse gas emissions.

The programme, funded by USAID (United States Agency for International Development) started its study a year ago and is expected to continue for the next four years.
Sarmah said that they would like to gain knowledge from the workshop on tackling the challenges of forest land encroachments.

He also spoke about the already existing joint forest planning and management (JFPM) programme involving forest-fringe communities. Sarmah said that REDD+ envisions the same with added incentives including tradeable carbon units (carbon unit means an emission right of one kilogram of carbon dioxide  equivalent) that would improve the flow of revenue benefits for forest-fringe communities.

He expressed happiness about Shimoga being selected as the pilot district. He said that the district had a variety of forest types including wet evergreen, moist deciduous and dry deciduous forest. Besides, Shimoga, the REDD+ programme will also be implemented in Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh.

Vinay Luthra, Project Director, Karnataka Sustainable Forest Management and Biodiversity Conservation said that through the project the measurements of carbon emissions and the reference levels can also be determined in the State.

Comments (+)