Tag Archives: forest fire

Technology making things easy: Forest fire management through Remote Sensing

(A guest post by Nidhi Singh. Check out her blog, The Brown Little Sparrow!)

John Muir  an author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States, said that the clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness. And I am sure most of you will agree with him. But you’ll also agree with the fact that we are losing that way, that too at a very fast rate.

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In India the total forest and tree cover area is 79.42 million hectare, which is 24.16 percent of the total geographical area as per the report of India State of Forest Report (ISFR). But, the rate of degradation of these forests is quite alarming and forest fires are playing a major role in that. According to a report of the Forest Protection Division, of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF), 3.73 million hectares of forests are affected by fires, annually in India.

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Forest Fires: A burning issue

Forests have been a natural resource that humans have depended on for millions of years. Today, forests are also one of the most “endangered” natural resource. We are cutting down about 13 million hectares of forest per year all over the world. Asia has the lowest forest cover in the world; less than 20% of the total land area. In India, the current statistics say that forests cover 21% of the land in the country (which could be slightly higher than the actual cover. Governments are known to exaggerate stats).

Estimated deforestation, by type of forest and time period (pre 1700-2000) – FAO (2012)0
Forest cover changes from 1700-2010. Source: FAO (2012)

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