General Studies Question With Answer Set-9

General Studies Question With Answer Set-9

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General Studies Question With Answer Set-9

Question. Examine the status of forest resources of India and its resultant impact on climate change. (Answer in 250 words) (15 Marks) 

Ans. Forests are one of the most important means of addressing the effects of climate change. Approximately 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, one-third of the CO2 released from burning fossil fuels, is absorbed by forests every year. India has set a target of bringing 33 per cent of its geographical area under forest cover. The total forest cover of India in 2019 was 21.67 per cent of the Total Geographical Area (TGA) of the country as against 21.54 per cent (of TGA) in 2017

. Status of India's Forest Resources 

  •  According to the 16th biennial assessment of India's forests by the Forest Survey of India, the Total Forest and Tree cover is 24.56% of the geographical area of the country. It includes Forest cover of 21.67% and the Tree cover is 2.89% of the geographical area of the country. 
  • As compared to ISFR 2017 the current assessment shows an increase of: 
- 0.65% of forest and tree cover put together, at the national level 

-0.56% in forest cover of the country 

-1.29% in tree cover of the country 

  • In terms of area, Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. In terms of forest cover as a percentage of their total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (85.41 per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (79.63 per cent), Meghalaya (76.33 per cent), Manipur (75.46 per cent) and Nagaland (75.31 per cent). 
Forest and Climate Change 

  • Carbon Sink Forests can absorb and store carbon over an extended period of time and they are considered 'carbon sinks'. Forests influence climate change largely by affecting the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. When there is increase in forest cover, carbon is removed from the atmosphere and retained in stem, leaves and soil.
  •  Deforestation and Forest Degradation It has a significant impact on climate change. Reducing loss of forest cover can have multiplier effects for the ecosystems and people.
- These include cutting greenhouse gas emissions, sequestering carbon, providing essential ecosystems services, and maintaining healthy forests that have the best chance of withstanding climate change. 

-Forests can help in reducing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Around 25% of global emissions come from the land sector. The second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after the energy sector. About half of these (5-10 Giga Ton of equivalent CO2 annually) comes from deforestation and forest degradation. 

  • Check Air Pollution and Soil Erosion Planting forests along the hill-slopes prevent landslides. In deserts, rows of trees reduce wind erosion by checking wind velocity. Forests attract rainfall too. Thus forests help in maintaining a balance in the ecosystem, which mitigates the harmful effects of climate change. 
  • Sustainable Growth Forests are a stabilising force for the climate. They regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and play an integral part in the carbon cycle. Forests also support livelihoods, and supply goods and services that can drive sustainable growth.
 India is a mega-biodiversity country where forests account for about 23% of the geographical area. There is a large dependence of communities on forest resources. It is very important to assess the likely impacts of projected climate change on forests and develop and implement adaptation strategies for protecting the biodiversity and the livelihoods of people dependent upon forests.

Read More: -   Himachal Pradesh General Knowledge

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