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Jharkhand to Plant 2.5 Crore Saplings and Enhance Forest Quality this Monsoon Season

Jharkhand's plantation drives, awareness raising, and conservation activities are all aimed at reducing these threats, restoring ecosystems, and improving the overall forest health in the state.

Shivam Dwivedi
Jharkhand to Plant 2.5 Crore Saplings and Enhance Forest Quality this Monsoon Season (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Jharkhand to Plant 2.5 Crore Saplings and Enhance Forest Quality this Monsoon Season (Photo Source: Pixabay)

In order to improve the state’s forest cover and ecosystem health, Jharkhand government plans to plant 2.5 lakh saplings in this monsoon season to improve the soil quality and improve the overall quality of the forest. This is part of the larger plan to enrich the ecosystem and increase the forest cover in the state.

Jharkhand already boasts an impressive 23,721 square kilometers of forest cover, which accounts for 29.76 percent of its total geographical area. This percentage is notably higher than the national average of 21.71 percent forest cover in India. Recognizing the importance of preserving and expanding these vital ecosystems, Jharkhand's Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Head of Forest Force (HoFF), Sanjay Srivastava, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming plantation drives and awareness campaigns.

Srivastava stated that they would be having plantation drives across the state, including Van Mahotsav, and awareness plans to enrich ecosystems and increase the forest cover in the state. It was mentioned that as part of these efforts, the city of Ranchi alone aims to plant one lakh trees. Moreover, the state intends to concentrate on planting trees along river banks, with a target of more than 110 kilometers of river bank areas.

While there has been a recent increase of approximately 110 square kilometers in forest area within the state, Srivastava highlighted the need to maintain the quality of the forests. He acknowledged the challenges posed by the pressure on forests from the local communities, who rely on them for their livelihoods and daily needs. Forest fires also pose a significant problem in the state. Thus, alongside the plantation drives, the authorities are determined to address these issues and ensure the sustained quality and health of the forest ecosystems.

The Forest Survey of India (FSI), based in Dehradun and under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, conducts biennial assessments of forest cover since 1987. The findings are published in the India State of Forest Report (ISFR). According to the latest ISFR 2021, the total forest cover in India is 7,13,789 square kilometers, which accounts for 21.71 percent of the country's geographical area.

Notably, Jharkhand stands well above the national average with a forest cover of 29.76 percent. Between the ISFR 2019 and ISFR 2021 assessments, the country's forest cover increased by 1,540 square kilometers, with Jharkhand contributing 110 kilometers to this growth.

Recognizing the pressures faced by the forests and the incidence of forest fires, the state is implementing various conservation activities this year. Moisture conservation in the soil is a crucial aspect of facilitating natural regeneration in forest areas. Therefore, efforts are underway to ensure optimal soil moisture levels. Moreover, continuous endeavors will be made to control forest fires and protect the valuable flora and fauna of Jharkhand.

Srivastava emphasized that they were in the advanced stage of an integrated forest action plan in the state, which would be financed by the Government of India. This indicated a comprehensive approach to tackle the challenges faced by Jharkhand's forests and ensure their long-term preservation.

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