Tag Archives: forests

Biological Diversity Act, 2002

India’s humongous and lavish spread of ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, deserts, coastal and marine has been a subject of global admiration. India boasts of being one of the seventeen (17) most-biodiversity rich countries (technically known as the “mega diverse countries) in the world. So, how does this make India better than other countries? […]

via India’s journey to protect biodiversity – Are we on the right track? — Vidya Vijayaraghavan


Ever wondered what happens when you sweep fallen leaves?

Autumn has just passed us by. Every autumn, we see a spectacle of colors all around us. In most temperate regions, leaves change into many different colors. Then, they fall off.

The only irritating thing about autumn is the fallen leaves. It can clog up drains, create a mess in our gardens and roads, and make things minutely uncomfortable for all of us. But, it is uncomfortable enough for us to do something about it. What do we do?

We sweep away these leaves and collect them in a pile. Here, the leaves are covered up so that they don’t fly and spread in the wind, and eventually they are burned. An innocent response to mess, you would say. But have you ever thought what it can cause?

Continue reading Ever wondered what happens when you sweep fallen leaves?

Land degradation: Role of deforestation

Forests are invaluable to humans, both for us to life and to keep our economy going. Look around your room. I bet you can name more than 10 things in your room that is directly, or indirectly obtained from a forest.

But here’s the paradox: while we need standing forests to live, we need to cut down forests to pursue our economic and agricultural activities. In the last 10,000 years

Continue reading Land degradation: Role of deforestation

Forest fires and climate change: is there a link?

While the cases of forest fires have been increasing all over the world, most of them have been due to human activities and carelessness. As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, Forest Survey of India believes that 95% of the fires caused are due to human negligence. In this post, I’m going to be looking at whether climate change is having an effect on the intensity and frequency of the caused forest fires.

We need to understand two things if we are to see if climate change will have an impact on forest fires:

(1) What kind of effects does climate change bring with it?

(2) Do these effects supplement causes of fires?

(3) What has been the trend in the last 10 years?

Continue reading Forest fires and climate change: is there a link?

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)

Continue reading Forest Fires: A burning issue

We are at a watershed moment

Dear 21st century humans,

Our generation is a special one. We may be the last one to see some beauty on this planet. Or we can take responsibility and make this planet sustainable for the generations to come. The result, is in our hands.

The other day, I came across an article about Bangalore (or Bengaluru, if you prefer). It was shocking. It predicted that Bangalore, the city, will be unlivable in 5 years. What?! The Garden City, unlivable in 5 years? You have got to be kidding me!

Here’s what the city I remember looked like.

Continue reading We are at a watershed moment

India’s forest revival saga

Dear 21st century humans,

Looks like the Indian government is taking some proactive steps in working towards an ecological lifestyle for it’s citizens.

It has been recently announced that the government plans to spend over $6 billion in reviving the forests in India. They would like to bring to total forest cover in India from 21% to 33% of the total land through this initiative. You can read more about this here. They plan to finance this project with the money that various industries pay to the government for using the land the work on, forest or otherwise. Continue reading India’s forest revival saga