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600 hectares of denuded forest to be regenerated

Shiva mahesh

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KOCHI: The Forest Department has launched a mission to regenerate the denuded forest lands in the State, amidst concerns of growing encroachments and depletion of the forest cover

According to officials, the Department plans to restore 600 hectares of forests this year, under the initiative. “It is an ongoing project, and we have prepared a plan for regeneration of 600 hectares of forest this fiscal year. Activities under the mission include large-scale plantation of saplings in degraded forest areas. The Department has earmarked `1 crore for implementation of the scheme,” said an official


Over the past few years, the Department initiated steps to restore a total of around 3,000 hectares of degraded forests in the State. “Under the project, the government aims to restore the lost forests and protect them. The project will be implemented with support of the Vana Samrakshana Samithis,” said Forest Minister K Raju


Earlier, the Indian State of Forest Report-2015 released by the Forest Survey of India under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change had revealed that the Very Dense Forest (VDF) and Moderately Dense Forest (MDF) cover across the State had decreased by 6 sqkm and 100 sqkm, respectively, between 2011 and 2015


The report further noted that though the overall green cover in the State increased by 1,317 sqkm during the period, the surge was due to ‘commercial plantation.’ “Currently, the total forest cover in Kerala stands at 19,239 sqkm, which accounts for 49.50 per cent of the State’s total geographical area. This includes 1,523 sqkm of VDF, 9,301 sqkm of MDF and 8,415 sqkm of open forest,” stated the report


600 hectares of denuded forest to be regenerated
 
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