Problems of deforestation and conservation measures
Of all the environmental degradation and range of ecological damage because of Anthropogenic activities, the most destructive and the one with the widest range of consequence is deforestation.
Problems of deforestation
Impacts of Deforestation
- Direct loss of biodiversity
- Impact soil stabilization
- Soil erosion
- Surface runoff
- Downstream floods
- Non-recharge of groundwater which results in downstream droughts
Atmospheric chemistry -Deforestation can't offset the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. Deforestation is the enrichment of carbon in the atmosphere leading to global warming which impacts social-economic development of the people.
Tropical forests - Of the four billion hectares of the total forest 3 billion hectares is tropical forest. The industrial revolution has shrunk the forest cover by more than 80%. Many of the Lost old-growth forests cannot be replaced ever.
Equatorial rain forests
- Most diverse and richest ecosystem
- is left with 1 billion hectares from 2 billion hectares at the beginning of the 20th century
- 37 countries have an equatorial rainforest
- But most of the forests are in Brazil, Congo, Ecuador, Columbia, and Costa Rica.
- Brazil account for maximum loss
The average Global rate of deforestation is 15 Million hectares. In India, we lose 1.5 million hectares a year. Monsoon forests are the most exploited ones and India is converting its dense forest into open forest and Shrublands.
Reasons for deforestation
- Industrial demand for forest produce
- Timber and paper industry
- Still has ecologically diverse and old-growth forest
- Not properly managed
- Temperate forests
- They have entirely lost old-growth forests
- But better managed presently
- It is the developmental issue
- Poor rural population depend on forests
- Nationalization of forests
- Climate change
- Forest fires
- Sea-level rise and submergence of mangroves
- Extreme weather events
- Tropical cyclones
- Storm surges
- Counter-Insurgency and Counter-Terrorism operations
- According to UNDP, in tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and South-America
- It is a military strategy to deny the insurgents the advantage of guerrilla warfare
- Deliberate forest fires
- Afforestation - bringing new land under forest
- Restorative forestry - degraded forest are regrown
- Compensatory forestry - compensate the loss due to development projects
- Forest management as a part of Biosphere Reserves
- Debt swap agreement
- Redd plus
- Carbon trading
- FLR (Forest Landscape Restoration)
- Bonn Challenge
- Green belt in Sahel region
Initiatives in India
- 1958 policy
- It tried to reverse the adverse impact of the exploitative forest policies under the British
- gave the concept of social forestry - it acknowledges the tribal rights to forest and the need to manage forest not only on economic objectives but also from ecological and social objectives
- 1988 policy
- Was made because the commercial economic aspects dominated and overshadowed social and ecological objectives
- Classified forest into
- Traditional forest
- Ecologically sensitive forest
- An old-growth forest that needs to be preserved and if required even with the eviction of local tribes.
- Reserved forest and Protected forest
- The forest which is regulated
- Forest rights are restricted but they don't entirely exclude the social objective of livelihood sustenance of the local population.
- Reserve forest - all activities are prohibited unless allowed.
- Protected forest - all activities are allowed unless prohibited.
- Traditional forest
- Captive forestry - commercial Enterprises could procure land and grow forests. the government-supported through subsidies and allocation of land at nominal costs
- Expanded the scope of social forestry
- FRA 2006 - Tribals are given proper land entitlements for forest land ownership. The tribes have the right not to be displaced without their consent and proper compensatory and Rehabilitation for developmental projects.
- EIA - To include the cost of compensatory and restorative forestry
Previous years questions
- 2018: Discuss the causes of degradation of tropical rainforests and suggest remedial measures for their prevention, conservation, and development.
- 2016: Bring out the ecological significance of the Tropical Rainforest Biome.