FSI takes up project on mapping country's forest types

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New Delhi, Mar 1 (UNI) The Forest Survey of India(FSI) has undertaken a project on mapping forest types in the country.

Taking district as a unit, the exercise, which covers the whole country, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The FSI in its 10th State of Forest Report released here recently says the methodology used includes GIS analysis of spatial layers such as rainfall, temperature, altitude zones, thematic maps, interpreted remote sensing data and related data.

The FSI is also proposing to switch over to a new method for refinement in methodology of forest cover assessment. Called the vector based approach, the new method will help map the changeas more accurately and make the output avaialable in GIS-ready format.

Besides, the Survey proposes to undertake periodic studies on production and consumption of timber, fuel wood and other forest products at national level in association with the state forest departments.

The accurate knowledge of production and consumption of wood and other forest produce was a must for rational planning of the forestry sector. Though a few states in the country have undertaken wood balance study in last decades, there was no reliable estimate at the national level of all the forest produce from different sources and their consumption by different users and wood-based industries.

The Ministry of Forest and Environment has also asked the FSI to develop a monitoring mechanism for young plantation using high resolution satelleite imagery. All the planting agencies will be asked to provide the details of their plantations.

The actual forest cover of the country could be known for the first time in 1987, when the FSI carried a survey with the satellite imagery. Since then the FSI has been regulary assessing the forest cover every two years.

India is the first country in the world to start an operational system for monitoring forest cover.

The country has at present 67.71 million hectare of forests, which is 20.60 per cent of its total geographical area, and it aimes at increasing the forest cover to at least 33 per cent of its geographical area.

UNI NAZ AKJ AS1537

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