Time to 'Reimagine, Recreate and Restore'
Today's pandemic is not the impact of neglecting and destroying our planet's ecosystems
Today's pandemic is not the impact of neglecting and destroying our planet's ecosystems. Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football pitch and to our dismay we have already lost and destroyed half of our wetlands. As much as 50 per cent of our coral reefs have already been lost and up to 90 per cent of coral reefs could be lost by 2050, even if global warming is limited to an increase of 1.5°C.
From the above disastrous imparity of ecosystem and the nature is the evidence of this emergence of Covid-19 which also shown just how the loss can be to human beings. By lessening the area of natural habitat for animals, we have created ideal conditions for pathogens – including coronaviruses – to spread.
Telangana State has recorded improvement in forest cover in all four categories – very dense forest, moderately dense forest, open forest and scrub. This is possible from the afforestation programme envisaged to plant and protect 230 seedlings over a period of four years.
Reacting to the report, Rakesh Mohan Dobriyal, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Haritha Haram and Social Forestry) said: "Efforts of several rounds of Haritha Haram and also the massive afforestation of forests undertaken by the government have started yielding good results. Actually, the forest land which is being taken for construction of irrigation projects has been compensated elsewhere on waste lands that otherwise would have remained barren.
Telangana had reported an extent of Recorded Forest Area (RFA) as 26,904 sq km which is 24 per cent of its geographical area. The reserved, protected and unclassed forests are 75.65 per cent, 22.07 per cent and 2.28 per cent of the recorded forest area in the State respectively. Main reasons for the increase in forest cover in the State are plantation and conservation activities as well as improvement in interpretation, the report said.
Telangana is the only State that has taken up a massive greening and save the nature programme, 'Telangana Ku Harita Haram' in the State to aim at achieving the twin objectives of increasing the forest cover and reduce pressure on the existing forest resources, through massive community participation by Vana Samrakshana Samithis (VSS) and Eco-Development Committees (EDCs) in protected areas and Watershed Development Committees in the watershed areas," the ISFR 2019 said.
The climate change plays a vital role in driving the degradation of forests and disturbances to forest dependent communities, environmentalists and foresters are now supporting the strategy of assisted natural regeneration also as an alternative to tree planting, which is low-cost, easy to adopt and a high-impact intervention to restore and rejuvenate degraded forests and biodiversity, and sequester carbon as well.
Dassarla Satyanarayana from Mothe is successful in creating the artificial forest in his 70 acres of land that is giving relief to more varieties and species of birds, insects and other reptiles. If we all convert our concrete lives to that system that is helpful in balancing the parity between the Nature and our ecosystem, then our lives will be ever green.
Linking tree planting programmes with wages and livelihood under various government schemes and incentives have resulted in wide acceptance and popularity of Haritha Haram.
This has helped not only to make all governmental organisations and other stakeholders responsible and empowered, but also provided them a good platform to address the challenges of climate change.
With the inclusive concept of Jungle Bachao, Jungle Badhao (Protect Forest, Expand Forest), the activities outside forest areas are centred on increasing greenery by way of planting in rural areas. Considering the vital role of green cover in both cities and villages, the recent focus of government has been to develop and create urban green spaces.
A great news from The Economic Intelligence Unit a survey conducted by the "Worldwide Funding for Nature" (WWF), is that, a huge response from the mankind for the consequences of imparity between the nature and the ecosystem in the recent past. There is 190 per cent of article searched in the topics like Diversity in the living world and the nature. People started thinking and the protection of our ecosystem and the nature thanks to the corona tsunami. This survey was conducted between 2016 and 2020.
This pandemic at least made us, "Awake Arise and Achieve" quotation to remember always in accepting the challenges thrown by the Nature and many more in future for nipping them in the budding stage and not allowing the tiny virus to threat our lives more. Even more interesting news is, that there are 550 tweets in the social media about the loss of ignoring the nature and diversification of our lives in the living with the nature. There is a great saying in English, that "Better Safe than Sorry". This enlightens us to protect our environment and the nature everyday by which, we can simply avoid these perils at large and our mother earth gives us a chance to celebrate everyday as Environment day.
(The author is Assistant Professor, AMS Arts & Science College for Women, Hyderabad)