Study underway on climate change in the northeast

Agartala: The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), an autonomous body under the union ministry of environment and forests, has undertaken a study to assess the impact of climate change in the northeastern region, a top official said here today.

“Like other parts of the world, there must be a climate change affect in the mountainous northeastern region. Rising population, developmental works and illegitimate activities are putting pressure on environment and forests,” ICFRE director general V.K. Bahuguna told reporters.

The crucial climate change study, which began recently, will help the authority to take apt action to protect the forest and environment of the northeast, the official said.

He said: “Besides the climate change study, the ICFRE has also taken a series of steps to sustain the livelihood of forest dwellers, focusing on forest-based income generation, promotion of non-timber forestry products, and development of cultivation techniques and value addition for forest produce.”

The ICFRE, an apex body in the national forestry research system, has been undertaking holistic development of forestry research through need-based planning, and coordinated research and education.

The council has eight regional research institutes and four research centres in different bio-geographical regions of the country to cater to forestry research needs of the country.

The ICFRE’s northeast regional office in Assam’s Jorhat district looks after the entire region; there are also two other centres recently set up in Tripura capital Agartala and Mizoram capital Aizawl.

Bahuguna, also the Chancellor of the Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute University, said that to quantify the socio-economic impact and living standards of those beneficiaries who received land under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, there was need to conduct impact assessment exercises and disseminate success stories in other parts of the country.

ICFRE is also planning to restore bamboo resources in Tripura, promoting the most preferred bamboo species of the state.

“The centre is committed to extending technical support to bamboo growers at every stage, from nursery to plantation management,” the ICFRE director general said.

He said the bamboo treatment techniques patented by ICFRE would also be transferred to users, to save time and money spent every year in the maintenance of their structure, besides conservation of bamboo resources by minimising consumption.

The latest report of the Forest Survey of India (FSI) holds that the percentage of forest cover of the total geographical area of the eight northeastern states — Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura — is 66.07 percent.


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