The National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi and Forest Research Institute, Dehradun began a training programme for the officers of forest department and officers of Eco-Task Force, ITBP, CISF, BSF and wildlife experts in FRI. The topic of training is forestry, wildlife and disaster risk reduction.
Inaugurating the training, the FRI director, AS Rawat, advised participants to learn new methods and technologies developed by various institutions like GIS and remote sensing for prevention and control of forest disasters. He said that forest fire continues degrading forests as frequency of forest fires is increasing in the country. Forest departments should be well prepared before fire season for controlling forest fires.
He emphasised that fire lines and any fuel materials lying on the forest floor should be cleared before fire season so that fire may not be extended in larger areas.
For that, sufficient funds should be provided by the State Governments. The crew members and local community should participate actively for combating forest fire to safe guard forest for generations. The departments should use remote sensing and GIS technologies during fire season. The course director Arti Chaudhary welcomed participants and emphasised on advance preparation for mitigation of disasters especially in the Himalayan regions. Professor from NIDM, AK Gupta, said that the mix group of forest officers and officers of the paramilitary forces would be best preference in managing disasters especially in difficult areas.
He also requested participants and officers for participation in Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) symposium on “Disaster Resilient and Green Development for Sustainability” being organised by NIDM, New Delhi. Senior faculty at NIDM, AD Kaushik highlighted the various training programmes being organised by the National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi in collaboration with various research institutions of the country.
According to FRI, the expansion of population near forest areas can cause forest disasters like forest fire, landslides and man-animal conflicts which can damage lives and properties of the people especially in the Himalayan regions.
The normal fire season in India is from mid March to mid June. Uttarakhand witnessed the most severe forest fires in the recent time during April, May and June in 2019. According to the report of Uttarakhand forest department, total number of fire events were 2100 recorded up to June 31 this year which affected 2412.45 hectare of forest area wherein 70 per cent of the chir forest is affected by forest fires.
Every year, many people residing near forests are killed by leopards, elephants and tigers in the country.
The frequency of cloud bursts, landslides and flash floods in the mountainous terrains are now increasing in the rainy season.
This year, cloud bursts and flash flood have caused deaths and damaged the properties of the
local people in Uttarkashi and Chamoli districts of Uttarakhand. People have migrated from their native villages due to disasters. The basic purpose of the training is to sensitise the officers of forest departments, wildlife experts and paramilitary forces to the extent of damage caused by the disasters due to natural calamities in the forest areas.
The reasons for occurrence of forest fire and landslides, the steps that can be taken to prevent or minimise the losses due to fire and landslides by use of various remote sensing and Geographic Information System tools and developing a strong network between other departments of the government and Joint Forest Management Communities (JFMCs) will be deliberated upon in this week long training.
To enlighten the participants on the issues, lectures of experts from Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Forest Survey of India, National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi, forest department, ICFRE and FRI have been arranged.