19th Nov 2019
The forest department is planning for the plantation of hybrid and modified trees to convert degraded land into forest land.
Forest survey says, 54% of Karnataka’s forest land is affected due to grazing and felling of trees. They say they do not have enough funds to implement plans like producing hybrid seeds and planting sandalwood and bamboo and try to convert desert into forest land. Drought land degradation is a major problem affecting the productivity of the land and life of the local inhabitants.
The Director-General, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dr. Suresh Gairola says, “The productivity of our forests is very low, in fact, it is 1/10th of the global average. It can be improved by making improved varieties of clones of certain species through tress development, through genetic improvement, through selections, and through better seed management.”
Uncontrolled grazing of the forest is adversely affecting the soil properties. Due to lack of funds, the forest department is unable to look after the drying of trees, defoliation and the health of forest says Dr. Suresh Gairola.
Mr. Vijayan from the Indian Institute of Wood Science and technology research, says, “The problem is that whatever the ministry feels important gets prioritized and because of that it gets diverted and that’s why there is a delay.”
With climate change and global warming, the type of plant species that they are planning to use has to be carefully decided says the expert, Dr. Vidhu Shankar Babu. She also says, “Land is being encroached that is for sure, but if they are planning to convert desertified land into forests then climate, soil and other factors have to be considered and plantation depends on what sort of plants they are planning to cultivate.”
The speaker also said that the Forest policy will be renewed shortly and all these factors will be taken into consideration for the development of forests.