To stimulate the economy, build a green future

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The total geographic area of ​​Jammu and Kashmir is 101.38 lakh ha, of which 63.57 lakh ha are under permanent snow cover, glaciers and cold deserts. The potential land resources of this state have thus been restricted to 37.81 lakh ha. The demarcated forests occupy 20.23 lakh ha of potential land resources with permanent pastures comprising 1.28 lakh ha. The wooded land (TOF) is about 67,000 ha and 1.5 lakh ha are fallow. The area not available for cultivation and fallow land is 5.85 lakh and 88,000 ha respectively, with the net seeded area being only 7.39 lakh ha (Land Use Statistics, Ministry of ‘Agriculture, GOI, 2013). In addition, the usable land area of ​​this state increased from 4.505 million ha in 2005 to 3.781 million ha in 2013. As a result, the area of ​​forests in Jammu and Kashmir decreased by 2.74 million ha. ha to 2.023 million ha during this period. of their potential, the ecosystem services of our forests have been reduced from Rs 987 billion in 1850 to 267 billion in 1950 and 118 billion in 2011 (calculated on current values). The forests of Jammu and Kashmir are thus the largest unmanaged industry and, being so, are currently not considered the mainstay of the state economy with a contribution of only 0.7% to the GSDP. This decline; however, must be seen in the context of the overall decline in the share of the agricultural sector in the GDP as a whole due to high growth rates in other sectors. Nevertheless, given their importance, they have been described as the green gold of the state and there is not a single facet of modern life for which these forests are not indispensable to provide tangible or intangible benefits. . Despite this importance, disturbance and overexploitation has been very extensive with natural regeneration inconsistent with deforestation which poses a threat to the very existence of our forests. The reforestation program, which is urgently needed, has not been resumed on a large scale because it requires a significant human resource base which is absent on the ground.


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