Kerala

Focus on ridding forests off invasive alien species

The Forest department has planned a special project to eradicate prioritised invasive alien species from the forests of the State during the 2022-23 fiscal.

The announcement made by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan in his policy address at the Legislative Assembly on Friday aligns with the government’s Eco-restoration Policy 2021.

The policy document laid down guidelines for providing raw materials from clear-felled commercial exotic monoculture plantations of acacia, eucalyptus, and wattle to small-scale forest-based industries at a fair price.

The Governor pointed out that the policy was intended to restore natural forests and other ecosystems. The related activities would be a combined initiative of Local Self-Government and Environment Departments and local bodies. People’s participation would enable the programme to attain the character of a mass movement, he said,

Focus would also be ensured in achieving the goal of a ‘Carbon Neutral Kerala’ by improving the quality of the existing forests and by expanding the tree cover to boost carbon sequestration by forests. The government would also provide priority to address the hardships caused by human-wildlife conflict for which a project would be implemented.

As part of the State’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact of coastal erosion, the department would establish a bio-shield of mangrove and other vegetation along the State’s coast. The effort would be a “cross-departmental effort” with active participation of local communities. A special project would be implemented under the Rebuild Kerala Development Project. Schemes would also be implemented to conserve sacred groves.

While steps were being adopted to raise small urban forests in select locations, the Forest department had also embarked on ‘Mission Forestry Clubs’ to revive and expand the activities of Forestry Clubs in the State.


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Printable version | Jun 4, 2022 10:47:46 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/focus-on-ridding-forests-off-invasive-alien-species/article65061841.ece