India to launch forest satellite in 2013: Jairam

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Jairam Ramesh
New Delhi, Aug 9: India will soon launch a forest satellite, exclusively devoted for monitoring the country's forest areas on a daily basis.

Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh informed Rajya Sabha on Monday, Aug 9 that India will launch a dedicated forest satellite in 2013.

"India is adding to its green cover. We do our own satellite imaging and as per the 2007 information, when the imaging was done last, we have added 3 million hectares of forest cover in the last 10 years. In fact we will be launching a dedicated forest satellite in 2013 which would monitor our forest cover on a daily basis," he said.

Jairam said "though there is a separate ministry of tribal affairs which caters to interests of tribals, some portion of my ministry is also related to forest population, which include tribals."

Ramesh also added that it is a big challenge to ensure livelihood and protection to endangered tribal groups like Jarawas, Great Andamanese and Onges, as there numbers have come down to around 2,000. "We will try and provide them protection to the best of our abilities," he added.

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