India’s first Forest Congress takes off in New Delhi
In the midst of ever increasing pressure on the forests and climate change threat, India is organizing its first ever Forest Congress – a 4-day event to relook at the issues relating to forest management in the country. Inaugurating the event in New Delhi today, Mrs. Jayanthi Natarajan, the minister for Forest and Environment, asked for increased investment in forest management to ensure food and water security.
The minister, who will be leading the Indian delegation in the UNFCCC Climate summit (COP17) in Durban, South Africa next week, said that there was an urgent need for devising innovative solutions to human-wildlife conflict and develop reliable data on forest biomass, increment, non-timber forest products and eco-tourism, in order to end the human-wildlife conflict.
Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, a noted agriculture scientist and MP, who also spoke on the inaugural session of the forest congress, said that there was a visible lack of political commitment for forest conservation. He stressed the need for promoting agro forestry and conducting qualitative research on Coastal, Mangroves, Hills and Dry Zones of the country.
Among other speakers were Caitilin Wiesen, Country Director of UNDP–India, Maharaj Muthoo, President of Roman Forum, FAO and Mr. A.K. Mukherjee, Former Director General of Forests, Government of India.
In the next few days, the congress is expected to discuss a wide range of issues including Forests and traditional knowledge, Forest certification, Mitigation/adaptation and challenges, Ecosystem resilience and forest biodiversity and Climate change models. Among the participants are officials of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Forest officers from various states, scientists, NGO’s, farmers and representatives of the forest based Industries.
It may be recalled that the United Nations has declared the year 2011 as International Year of Forests. According to the latest forest survey report, India’s forest cover is approx 70 million ha.
Tags: India , Forest Congress , UNFCCC , COP17 , Climate Summit , Durban , REDD , Forest Management , Climate Change , Biodiversity
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.