Forests are considerably important to mitigate the challenges of climate change despite this fact India is witnessing enormous degradation of forests and deforestation.
State forests report infers; every year on average nearly 1.57 lakh hectares of forests are degraded mainly due to anthropogenic pressures including encroachment, grazing, fire, and since 1980, 1.5 million hectares of forest have been lost to developmental activities and 1.48 million hectares to encroachers.
Sustainable management of forests for conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks will help aid steps in the race toward net zero.
To achieve the net-zero target by 2070 along with reducing quantum emission comparable emphasis should also be given to all land-based sinks especially forests. More effective strategies need to be devised and implemented along with the engagement of local communities. Local communities should be incentivized suitably and fund flow should also be guaranteed for additional initiatives.
Furthermore, an appropriate inclusive approach is needed to protect and manage forests and to restore wastelands.
Besides improving forest cover this will help reduce emissions and protect our biodiversity too.