What’s the news?
- A new research paper has found that large scale tree plantations may not improve forest cover or provide livelihood benefits to local people.
- The study was conducted by a team that included researchers from Florida State University, University of Chicago, and the Centre for Ecology Development and Research, Dehradun.
News in Detail
- The paper is based on a study that found that large scale plantations in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra since 1965 have not increased the proportion of forest canopy cover and actually shifted tree composition from broad leafed varieties used by local people for fodder and firewood to needle leaf species which are not as useful.
- India’s official definition of forests is “all land, more than 1 ha in area with a tree canopy density of 10% irrespective of ownership and legal status” that may not necessarily be recorded forest area” and “ includes orchards, bamboo and palm.”
- The percentage of each plantation area classified as having more than 40% tree canopy density did not increase after establishment of plantations and Tree canopy density did not improve even after trees that were planted matured.
- According to the paper, in 2015, the extent of global tree cover from planted forests was estimated at 280 million hectares, of which 12 million hectares was in India.
- The paper concluded that large-scale tree planting may sometimes fail to achieve both climate mitigation and livelihood goals.