India’s State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021 has been issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
The Forest Survey of India’s biannual report is an evaluation of the country’s forest resources.
The Report includes the following:
In the previous two years, India’s forest and tree cover increased by 2,261 square kilometres, with Andhra Pradesh gaining the most forest cover at 647 square kilometres.
The country’s total tree and forest cover have increasedincreased by 1,540 square kilometres of forest cover and 721 square kilometres of tree cover since the 2019 report.
India’s entire forest and tree cover presently cover 80.9 million hectares or 62% of the country’s geographical area.
Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km), Telangana (632 sq km), Odisha (537 sq km), Karnataka (155 sq km), and Jharkhand(110 sq km)are the top five states in terms of increased forest cover.
Increased forest cover or an increase in forest canopy density may be ascribed to improved conservation measures, protection, afforestation efforts, tree planting campaigns, and agroforestry.
Among the country’s megacities, Ahmedabad has lost the most forest cover.
States having the most forest cover:
In terms of area, Madhya Pradesh has the country’s biggest forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Maharashtra.
17 states/UTs have more than 33% of their geographical area covered by forest.
Among these states and union territories, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, and Meghalaya have a forest cover of more than 75%.
The country’s mangrove cover is as follows:
The country’s mangrove cover has increased by 17 square kilometres since the last evaluation in 2019.
The total area covered by mangroves in the nation is 4,992 square kilometres.
Odisha (8 sq km) is the state with the highest growth in mangrove cover, followed by Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km).
Carbon stock levels:
The country’s total carbon stock is anticipated to be 7,204 million tonnes, an increase of 79.4 million tonnes over the last assessment in 2019.
The carbon stock increases by 39.7 million tonnes every year.
The northeast did not fare well, with the latest assessment indicating a loss of forest cover of 1,020 square kilometres in the area.
Arunachal Pradesh lost the most forest cover (257 square kilometres), followed by Manipur (249 square kilometres), Nagaland (235 square kilometres), Mizoram (186 square kilometres), and Meghalaya (73 square kilometres).
Across all, 902 square kilometres of forest cover were lost in the country’s 140 hill districts during the previous two years. According to the 2019 study, forest cover in the hill areas grew by 544 square kilometres.
Efforts by the government to expand the country’s forest cover:
To help India accomplish its goal of developing new carbon sinks of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent by 2030, the Nagar Van Yojana was launched to enhance tree cover and would be integrated into the Green Mission’s second phase during the following five years.
Study on Topography of Kachchh
Why in News?
According to research, massive earthquakes over the previous 30,000 years have altered the topography of the Katrol Hill Fault in Gujarat’s Kachchh area dramatically.
Seismicity in the Kachchh District
The Kachchh region’s seismicity is very complex since it is characterized by various seismic sources in the form of fault lines that periodically release accumulated tectonic stresses, resulting in earthquakes.
Since the 2001 Bhuj earthquake, real-time monitoring of earthquakes has shown that the majority of the region’s faults, including the Kachchh Mainland Fault (KMF), the South Wagad Fault (SWF), the Gedi Fault (GF), and the Island Belt Fault (IBF), are seismically active.
Seismic activity, on the other hand, is absent along faults such as the Katrol Hill Fault (KHF).
What is the purpose of this geologists’ study?
The research was conducted to get a better understanding of the seismic activity along the Katrol Hill Fault (KHF) in Kachchh.
The research was primarily supported by the Department of Science and Technology’s FIST Program.
The Fund for Improvement of Science and Technology Infrastructure (FIST) Program was established in 2000 to develop science and technology infrastructure via proper financing and accompanying flexibility.
What are the study’s major findings?
During the last 30,000 years, the Katrol Hill Fault (KHF) has caused earthquake occurrences of great magnitude. These earthquake episodes altered the terrain dramatically, as indicated by the disruption and rearrangement of the Gunawari River’s course inside the fault zone.
As a result, it has the potential to be a credible seismic source capable of causing surface rupture hazards in the Kachchh Basin.
What is the study’s significance?
The study’s conclusions need a revision of the Kachchh Basin’s seismic hazard assessment and mitigation techniques, given to the basin’s closeness to industrial routes and significant towns, notably Bhuj.
India and the United Kingdom Begin Negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement
Why in News?
India and the United Kingdom (UK) have begun official discussions on a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA).
What would be the purpose of the India-UK free trade agreement?
The pact intends to help India’s goal of tripling bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2030.
What would the India-UK free trade agreement contain?
Initially, an interim free trade agreement would be inked, followed by a complete agreement by the end of the year.
The interim agreement will eliminate tariffs on 60–65 percent of traded products, while the final accord would eliminate tariffs on more than 90 percent of commodities.
This implies that delicate topics, such as permitting talented workers from India to roam freely, may be addressed within the final contract.
Additionally, Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) on Pharma might be struck, allowing for expanded market access.
What is the relevance of the India-UK free trade agreement?
To begin, it is anticipated that our exports of leather, textiles, Jewellery, marine items, and processed agricultural products would expand.
Second, India is not a signatory to any regional trade agreement. As a result, FTAs such as this one will help the government to meet its ambitious $1 trillion goods export objective by FY28.
Fisheries Startup Grand Challenge launched
Why in the News?
The Fisheries Startup Grand Challenge was recently launched by the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairy, in collaboration with Startup India and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The competition was developed with the goal of providing a venue for local start-ups to present their creative ideas in the Fisheries and Aquaculture sectors.
Solutions should be developed to address difficulties across the fisheries value chain, including raising aquaculture production from the present national average of 3 tonnes per hectare to 5 tonnes per hectare, doubling export revenues, and lowering post-harvest losses from 25% to 10%.
To encourage a start-up culture within the industry and to provide a solid basis for the entrepreneurial model, the Department of Fisheries has allocated Rs. 3.44 crore for the challenge.
Other Related Initiatives:
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana: The initiative seeks to increase fish output to 22 million tonnes by 2024-25. Additionally, it is planned to provide employment for 55 lakh people.
Blue Revolutionaimsto provide an enabling environment for the integrated and comprehensive development and management of fisheries in order to benefit fishers and fish growers socioeconomically.
Extending Kisan Credit Card (KCC) services to fishermen and fish growers in order to assist them in fulfilling their working capital requirements.
MPEDA is a central coordinating, state-owned body involved in fisheries production and related operations.
Marine Fisheries Bill seeks to restrict fishing permits in the Exclusive Economic Zone to boats registered under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. (EEZ).
Seaweed Park: A multipurpose seaweed park in Tamil Nadu would serve as a hub and spoke model for the manufacturing of high-quality seaweed-based goods.
Why in News:
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully executed a 720-second qualification test of the cryogenic engine for the Gaganyaan project at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.
Throughout the period of the test, the engine’s performance satisfied the test goals and its parameters matched the projections accurately.
This successful long-duration test is a significant milestone for the Gaganyaan Human Space Programme. It assures the cryogenic engine’s dependability and resilience for integration with Gaganyaan’s human-rated launch vehicle.
When was the announcement made?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the formal introduction of the Gaganyaan initiative during his Independence Day speech on August 15, 2018.
The intended goal was to launch the human spaceflight before India’s 75th independence anniversary on August 15, 2022.
India will become the fourth country in the world to launch a human spaceflight mission with this launch, joining the United States, Russia, and China.
The Gaganyaan programme’s purpose is to show the capacity of sending people into low earth orbit on an Indian launch vehicle and safely returning them to earth.