Experts to assess forest fire impact on trees, ecosystem | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Experts to assess forest fire impact on trees, ecosystem

The forest department will constitute a think tank for doing comprehensive analysis of damage caused by wildfires to tree species and ecosystem

dehradun Updated: Mar 17, 2018 21:07 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
The think tank would also seek assistance from institutions like Forest Research Institute, Wildlife Institute of India and Butterfly Research Centre in Bhimtal.
The think tank would also seek assistance from institutions like Forest Research Institute, Wildlife Institute of India and Butterfly Research Centre in Bhimtal. (HT FILE)

The forest department will constitute a think tank for doing comprehensive analysis of damage caused by wildfires to tree species and ecosystem.

The present system of analysis done by the department is not detailed. Officials only give an estimate detail of trees burnt during a fire in an area.

For example, if one-hectare forest with Sal trees is burnt, then the cost of each tree in a 1X1 mt of the area is multiplied. But, this type of calculation, as per officers, isn’t fair as it excludes the damage caused to insects, ground grass, medicinal plants and environment.

“The current system of analysis of damage due to forest fire is based on the tree loss. But, there are other losses to the ecosystem which are never studied,” said Jai Raj, head of forest force (HoFF).

The team will comprise of some of the top-notch forest officers who have a scientific temperament. Along with HoFF and chief wildlife warden, additional principal chief conservator of forest, chief conservator of forest and conservators would be included in it.

Garhwal and Kumaon regions would have separate think tank that would also seek assistance from institutions like Forest Research Institute, Wildlife Institute of India, The Butterfly Research Centre in Bhimtal and GB Pant University in Pantnagar.

As per the latest estimates of the forest department, 144 hectare of forest has been burnt posing revenue loss of ₹27 lakh since February 15.

Experts, too, feel that it was an initiative which would help the government and the department at looking at the losses in most analytical manner.

“It’s a great effort if the department plans to study the impact of forest fire in a holistic manner. Certainly, we not only lose trees, but other important plant and animal species. They could even get support from non-government organisations for this task,” said Dinesh Pandey, a Haridwar-based activist.