Forests provide the basic life support system to all the living entities of mother earth including mankind. Forest ecosystems provide fresh air, water resources, fertile soil and agriculture, bio-diversity andenvironment. Vast sections of rural society, including a majority of the tribal, are directly dependent on forests for their livelihood. Forest degradation will have adverse impact on these life supporting systems The Government of Tamil Nadu recognizes the prospects of a balanced ecosystem in advancing the socio-economic development of the State. The pursuance of policy of environmental stability mandating afforestation and biodiversity conservation through people’s movement has led to an increase in forest cover.
As per the latest India State of Forest Report, 2019 (ISFR), the forest cover in the State is 26,364 sq. km. which is 20.27% of the State’s Geographical area. Tamil Nadu has achieved an increase in forest cover of 83.02 sq. km. as compared to ISFR 2017. The achievement is quite significant keeping in view the continuous challenge faced by the Forest department because of increasing population pressure on the forest resources.
Tamil Nadu has achieved an increase in tree cover of 159 sq. km. as per the India State of Forest Report, 2019 (4830 sq. km.) as compared to India State of Forest Report, 2017 (4,671 sq. km.) Tamil Nadu stands a leading State (among large States) in continuously increasing its area under forest and tree cover.
Tamil Nadu has been a pioneer State in the Biodiversity conservation particularly in Protected Area management, including conservation and improvement of terrestrial/ marine flora and fauna. The State’s sincere efforts in establishing range of Tiger habitats in Western and Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu have resulted in the increase of tiger numbers from 229 in 2014 assessment to 264 in 2018 as per the ‘Status of Tigers, Co-predators, and Prey in India’ report released by the Union Ministry for Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Summit adopted an action plan in 2015 for people, planet and prosperity and framed seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a UN Initiative and are universally acceptable goals that balance three dimensions of Sustainable Development, namely, Environmental, Social, and Economic.
The Government of Tamil Nadu continues to be equally concerned about vulnerability of natural resources on account of climate change and is committed to sustainably manage, enhance the forests and wildlife on scientific principles, while meeting the livelihood needs of the forest dependent communities.
2014ஆம் ஆண்டில் தமிழ்நாடு அரசால் வெளியிடப்பட்ட தமிழ்நாடு தொலைநோக்குப் பார்வை-2023, மாநிலம் முழுவதும் சூழல் சமநிலையினைப் பராமரிக்க வலியுறுத்துகிறது. மாநிலத்தின் புவிப்பரப்பில் 33 விழுக்காடு வனம் மற்றும் மரங்கள் அடர்ந்த பகுதிகளாக இருக்க வேண்டும் என்ற குறிக்கோளினை எய்திட வனங்களுக்கு வெளியே மரங்கள் வளர்த்தல் என்ற உத்தியைக் கையாள வலியுறுத்துகிறது.
In 2014 Government of Tamil Nadu had launched “Vision Tamil Nadu 2023” which stresses on maintaining ecological balance across the State and it emphasizes tree cover outside forest as the single most important and cost effective strategy for achieving the goal of 33% forest and tree cover.
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