State PCS

Edit Template
Edit Template

International Day of Forests

International Day of Forests

Why in News?

National Zoological Park, New Delhi, recently observed the International Day of Forests on 21st March 2024, under the theme “Forests and innovation: New solutions for a better world.”

  • The event aimed to raise awareness among visitors about the importance of forests and their role in our lives.
  • The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21st March the International Day of Forests in 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
  • The United Nations Forum on Forests, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and other relevant organisations collaborate with governments to organise these efforts.
  • As per the latest India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021, India’s total forest and tree cover was 80.9 million hectares, which accounted for 24.62% of the geographical area of the country.
    • Madhya Pradesh had the largest forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
    • India’s National Forest Policy, 1988 aims for at least 33% of the total geographical area to be under forest to maintain ecological stability.

What is the History of International Day of Forests?

  • The history of the International Day of Forests traces back to 1971 when the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) established World Forestry Day.
  • In 2011, the United Nations declared the years 2011 to 2020 as the International Decade of Forests.
  • In 2012, the International Day of Forests was established.

What is the Status of Forests in India?

  • As per the India State of Forest Report-2021, forest and tree cover in the country increased by 2,261 square kilometres since the last assessment in 2019.
  • India’s total forest and tree cover was 80.9 million hectares, which accounted for 24.62% of the geographical area of the country.

What is the Significance of Forests for India?

Ecosystem Services: One-third of the land on Earth is covered by forests, which play a vital role in maintaining the hydrological cycle, regulating climate, and preserving biodiversity.

Hub of Biodiversity: India’s forests harbor a diverse range of plant and animal species, many of which exist exclusively within the country’s borders.

Poverty Alleviation: Forests are also important for poverty alleviation. Forests provide more than 86 million green jobs. Everyone on the planet has had some form of contact with forests.

Home of Tribal Community: They are also the homes of the tribal community. They are ecologically and economically a part and parcel of the forest environment.

Raw Material for Industries: Forests provide raw materials for a number of industries, viz. silk worm rearing, toy making, leaf plate making, plywood, paper and pulp etc.

What are the Issues Associated with Forests in India?

  • Biodiversity Loss: Deforestation and other activities that damage forests also lead to a loss of biodiversity, as plant and animal species are unable to survive in their natural habitat.
    • This can have knock-on effects on the ecosystem as a whole, as well as on the cultural practices of the communities that depend on these species.
  • Shrinking Forest Cover: According to the National Forest Policy of India, the ideal percentage of total geographical area under forest should be at least 33% to maintain ecological stability. However, it currently covers just 24.62% of the country’s land and is shrinking rapidly.
  • Climate Change: Forest disturbances caused by climate change, including insect outbreaks, invasive species due to climate led migration, wildfires, and storms, reduce forest productivity and change species distribution.
  • Resource Access Conflict: There is often conflict between the interests of local communities and those of commercial interests, such as pharmaceutical industries or timber industries.

Way Forward

  • Comprehensive Forest Management: Forest conservation should include all components of protection and sustainable management of forests such as, forest fire control measures, timely survey, tribal-dedicated policies, reducing man-animal conflicts and sustainable wildlife health measures.
  • Dedicated Forest Corridor: Maintaining dedicated forest corridors ensures that wild animals can safely travel within and between states without interference, safeguarding their habitats from external threats. This initiative sends a powerful message of peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife.
  • Resource Mapping and Forest Optimisation: We can map potential resources in unexplored forest areas and then bring them under scientific management for sustainable resource extraction. This approach allows us to maintain forest density and health while ensuring responsible utilization.
  • Viewing Tribals as Forest Entrepreneurs: There is a need to revitalise Forest Development Corporations (FDCS) to structure commercialization of forests and engage tribal communities as “Forest Entrepreneurs” In exploration, extraction, and enhancement of forest-based products.

Read also: Significance of Forest

Demo Class/Enquiries

blog form

More Links
What's New
IAS NEXT is a topmost Coaching Institute offering guidance for Civil & Judicial services like UPSC, State PCS, PCS-J exams since more than 10 years.
Contact Us
Social Icon

Copyright ©  C S NEXT EDUCATION. All Rights Reserved