Forest fires causing global warming in a big way:Experts

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New Delhi, Nov 13 (UNI) Noting the contribution forest fires make to the rate of climate change by emitting greenhouse gases, experts today called for making greatest use of latest technology to control, monitor and prevent the fires.

Participating in a national workshop here, they also stressed the need of collecting adequate data on the incidence of forest fires, and involving the local people in their management.

Delivering the key note address, well-known forest expert and Chattisgarh Planning Board Vice Chairman DN Tiwari said there was extreme lack of adequate data on forest fires which should be addressed at the earliest before formulating any management strategy.

He also called for creating a wildfire network in south Asia and a national nodal agency to coordinate fire fighting, prevention and monitorng.

Dr Tiwari said an early warning system was a must to keep track of forest fires. Besides, there was the need of developing satellite driven products.

He called for using airjet extinguishers, adding that its use in China was so common.

Dr Tiwari also advocated construction of check dam and water bodies to make water locally available to put out fire, as most of the time it is not to be found when a fire breaks out.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Minister of State for Forest and Environment S Regupathy said forest cover was very necessary for climate security.

Forests both impact and are impacted by climate change. Forest fires not only contribute significantly to GHG emission but loss of resource renders the area more vulnerable to climate change.

He said a wide array of technology should be used for reporting and monitoring the fire.

The Minister said forests were under increasing biotic pressure and globally 350 million hectare of forest area was affected by fire annually.

In India forst fires were leading to degradation of forest land and damaging the ecosystem.

Poining out that there were about two lakh Joint Forest Management(JFM) commitees, he said they should be invloved in forest fire management, adding that those affected by the firest most would naturally be the best ally in this fight.

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