NEW DELHI: Climate change will be an additional stress on Indian forests, especially in upper Himalayan stretches, which are already subjected to multiple challenges including over-extraction, livestock grazing and human impact, a government report said here on Wednesday.
India’s second National Communication to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, released by environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan said that the assessment of climate impacts showed that at the national level, 45 per cent of forested grids are likely to undergo changes. In the report, a digital forest map of the country was used to determine spatial location of all the forested areas.
This map was based on a high-resolution mapping, wherein the entire area of India was divided into over 165,000 grids. Out of these, 35,899 grids were marked as forested grids – along with the forest density and forest types. Vulnerability assessment showed that sensitive forested grids are spread across India. “However, their concentration is higher in the upper Himalayan stretches, parts of Central India, northern Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats,” said the MoEF report towards fulfillment of reporting obligation under the convention.