FRI organized seminar on “Forest Landscape Restoration”

FRI organized seminar on “Forest Landscape Restoration” Forest Ecology and Climate Change Division of FRI, Dehradun organized a seminar on “Forest Landscape Restoration” on 7th August 2019. The seminar was inaugurated by the Director of the institute Sh. Arun Singh Rawat. Mr. Rawat during his inaugural speech said that Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) is the ongoing process of regaining ecological functionality and enhancing human well-being across deforested or degraded forest landscapes. FLR is more than just planting trees – it is restoring a whole landscape to meet present and future needs and to offer multiple benefits and land uses over time. He further emphasized that the increasing degree and extent of land degradation processes due to mismanagement and land use changes are threatening our soils. Urgent action is needed to reverse this trend if we are to ensure the necessary food production for future generations, mitigation of climate change, provision of clean groundwater, and reduction of biodiversity loss. He highlighted that potential productivity of world's cropland is deteriorating fast due to weakening soil quality. 33% of our global soils are already degraded. Of India’s total geographical area of 329 million hectare (mha), 265 mha only is under use for agriculture, forestry, pasture and other biomass production. India supports approximately 17% of the world’s human population and 20% of the world’s livestock population on merely 2.5% of the world’s geographical area. The steady growth of human as well as livestock population, the widespread incidence of poverty, and the current phase of economic and trade liberalisation, is exerting heavy pressures on India’s limited land resources for competing uses in forestry, agriculture, pastures, human settlements and industries. This has led to very significant land degradation. He said that land degradation is increasingly becoming a major concern in India which is reflected in the commitment to achieve land degradation neutral status by 2030 as a signatory to the UNCCD. FRI, Dehradun in tandem with its sister institutes under ICFRE is addressing this issue by developing suitable models of restoration for various degraded lands e.g. Coal mine overburden dumps, limestone mines, salt affected soils, degraded hills, waterlogged areas, desert sand dunes etc. Sh. N. Bala Head Forest Ecology and Climate Change Division of FRI presented a brief account of significant past achievements and current activities of the division. Dr. H.B. Vasistha highlighted the Need and Opportunities for Forest Landscape restoration especially in Indian context. Col. H.R.S. Rana shared experiences of Eco-Task Force on Forest Landscape Restoration and Way Forward. Dr. R.S. Rawat, focused on government programmes, initiatives and significance of Bonn Challenge. Dr. Suresh Kumar elaborated the GIS and Remote Sensing Technology in Forest Landscape Restoration. Dr. G.P. Juyal talked about “Role of Soil Moisture Conservation Practices in Forest Landscape Restoration” during the seminar. Former Head of Divisions Dr. S.C. Sharma, Nirmal Ram, representatives of research organization and other participants shared their experience and drawn future roadmap. Apart from FRI, participants included scientists and officers from ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, State Forest Department, Students/ Research Scholars, Eco-Task Force, Universities, NGOs etc. The seminar ended with vote of thanks!

August 7, 2019
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