Explained Snippets | Forest fires: most frequent in Northeast, largest affected area is Central

Two-thirds of the country’s forest cover is concentrated in these two regions, the Northeast accounting for 36%; Central India for 28%.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: October 12, 2018 10:21:40 am
Forest fires, forest fires india, northeast forest fires, World Bank report on climate change, IPCC report on climate change, pars climate deal, global warming, indian express In terms of frequency of forest fires, 16 of the top 20 districts are in the Northeast. (Source: AP/File)

A joint report on forest fires released recently by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change and the World Bank (The Indian Express, October 10) contains two telling findings on the distribution of such fires. In terms of frequency of forest fires, 16 of the top 20 districts are in the Northeast. And in terms of area, almost half of the affected area is in just 20 districts; the largest affected area is in Central India.

READ| ‘60% districts in India affected by forest fires each year’: Report

Two-thirds of the country’s forest cover is concentrated in these two regions, the Northeast accounting for 36%; Central India for 28%. The 20 districts that had the largest number of fires (40% of total) during 2003-16 , however, account for only 16% of India’s forest cover (and 3% of the land area). Of the 20 districts, 5 are in Mizoram, 4 in Manipur, 3 in Meghalaya and 2 each in Assam and Tripura. The 4 districts outside the NE are in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh (2) and Odisha.

Of the total area affected by forest fires during 2003-16, 56% was in Central India, and 48% (24,000 sq km) in 20 districts. These districts account for just 12% of the country’s forest cover (as calculated for 2000) and 7% of its land area. The report cited an estimate that nearly 49,000 sq km of forests — an area larger than Haryana — were burnt in 2014.


Tip for Reading List | Understanding populism’s global rise

Yascha Mounk, a 36-year-old rising academic star at Harvard, is widely acknowledged as one of those who predicted the rise of populism in America long before the 2016 presidential election. His first book, Stranger in My Own Country: A Jewish Family in Modern Germany, was a memoir about Germany’s attempts to reconcile with its past, and his second, The Age of Responsibility: Luck, Choice, and the Welfare State, looked at how a growing obsession with the concept of individual responsibility had transformed western welfare states. His latest, The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger & How to Save It, is a study of the causes of the rise of populism, and an exploration of the ways how liberal democracy can be renewed.

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