‘Plant trees to lower dependence on forest to achieve carbon stock target’
The Forest Survey of India (FSI) report released on February 13, in New Delhi by Union forest minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, shows that the carbon stock has increased by 38 million tonne between 2015 and 2017.dehradun Updated: Feb 15, 2018 22:16 IST
With the slow pace at which carbon stock is increasing, India will not be able to achieve its target of 2.5 million tonne by 2030, warn environmentalists.
To meet the target, they suggest two options that of planting trees with better survival rate and lesser dependence on forest, to achieve the target.
The Forest Survey of India (FSI) report released on February 13, in New Delhi by Union forest minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, shows that the carbon stock has increased by 38 million tonne between 2015 and 2017. The carbon stock, calculated in the report, was 7,082 million tonne up from 7,044 million tonne in 2015.
Going by the average, FSI officials said the country will be able to achieve between 1.9 million tonne and 2 million tonne of carbon stock by 2030--a shortage of 0.5-0.6 million tonne, some of them said.
To bridge the gap, officials have suggested ways of augmenting the difference.
“Fifty-six percent of carbon is locked in the soil, which is a major source of carbon stock,” Saibal Dasgupta, director general of FSI, told media persons here on Thursday.
“We suggest that planting more trees with better survival rate and also lesser dependence of people on forest,” he said.
The report states that Arunachal Pradesh has the highest stock of carbon with 994.5 million tonne, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 695.5 million tonne, Chhatisgarh-560.9 million tonne and Maharashtra with 493.0 million tonne.
Union forest minister during his visit to Dehradun last year, had admitted that there will be a shortage of carbon stock against the target and said the ministry of environment, forest and climate change is pinning its hopes on community forestry and farming.
Andaman and Nicobar islands reported the highest per hectare carbon stock with 170.68 tonne followed by Arunachal Pradesh with 148.52 tonne, Sikkim with 145.14 tonne and Karnataka with 126.52 tonne.
Emphasizing the importance on “treatment of catchment areas” that will solve a number of problems in ecology, Dasgupta said: “The treatment of catchment area will help in checking wastage of water collected through streams and rain.”
“It will also increase the water table, check forest fires and also help in mitigating man-animal conflict.”
In Uttarakhand, a marginal increase of 23 sqkm of forest cover was reported. But, out of the 13 districts, eight, including Bageshwar, Chamoli, Champawat, Haridwar, Nainital, US Nagar and Uttarkashi reported a decline in the forest cover.
Of the district, Nainital reported the highest decline of 36 sqkm followed by Uttarkahsi with 26 sqkm and Chamoli with 15 sqkm.