Strengthening forest fire management in India

Even as India has managed to increase its forest cover to over 20 per cent of its total geographical area, forest fires are a leading cause of degradation of the forest cover in the country says this new report released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change

At a time when India has managed to increase its forest cover to over 20 percent of its geographical area, forest health continues to show signs of strain. Regeneration is either inadequate or absent in about 45 percent of all forest areas and about 95 percent of all forest plots inventoried show some signs of degradation. The report, “Strengthening Forest Fire Management in India”, jointly prepared by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the World Bank says forest fires are today a leading cause of forest degradation in India. The report discusses policies on forest fire prevention and management (FFPM) at the national, state and local levels, underscoring the need for a comprehensive national policy and guidelines. It provides recommendations on five broad themes – policy, institutions and capacity, community engagement, technology, and data and information and looks at national and international best practices in FFPM.