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Environment

Is it a farm or a forest? Why there’s something to be worried about India’s increasing “green” cover

First, the “green” is not that of forests, but of agricultural produce. Practices such as multicropping, aided by increasing use of fertilisers and irrigation, have resulted in more green area. Second, the high, and often irresponsible, use of fertilisers is a source of greenhouse-gas emissions.
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17 Jan 2020 4 Mins Read 2 comments
An agricultural field before harvesting in Odisha’s Kandhamal district on November 23, 2019. Getty Images
An agricultural field before harvesting in Odisha’s Kandhamal district on November 23, 2019.
Last week, in an analysis of the India State of Forest Report 2019, we argued that our forests are not in good shape: even though the government data shows a minor increase in forest area, it furnishes no data either on forest health or forest type. Merely becoming greener may not always be a good thing. India is,
the need for climate-change mitigation with that of food security is an urgent need. It will need a battle on multiple fronts: proper fertiliser use; appropriate water and electricity use; reducing food wastage in storage; and a more accurate assessment of forest health — key aspects the State of Forest Reports have been missing. (Graphics by Mohammad Arshad)
Last week, in an analysis of the India State of Forest Report 2019, we argued that our forests are not in good shape: even though the government data shows a minor increase in forest area, it furnishes no data either on forest health or forest type. Merely becoming greener may not always be a good thing. India is, the need for climate-change mitigation with that of food security is an urgent need. It will need a battle on multiple fronts: proper fertiliser use; appropriate water and electricity use; reducing food wastage in storage; and a more accurate assessment of forest health — key aspects the State of Forest Reports have been missing. (Graphics by Mohammad Arshad)

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