New Delhi: Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav on Thursday said that forest fires not only cause irreparable damage to flora and fauna but also affect the livelihoods of communities living at forest peripheries.
In his video message at the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) at Forest Research Institute (FRI) Dehradun Mr Yadav emphasized the importance of forest fire prevention, post-fire restoration and forest certification as a tool for sustainable forest management.
He emphasized that an important tool for the promotion of the sustainability of forests is forest certification, which nonetheless, presents numerous challenges notably for small-scale producers in developing countries.
“India has embarked on its national forest certification scheme to address these challenges” he added. The Minister called on all participants to work together to create a sustainable future that is equitable, just, and resilient.
Forest certification has received growing global attention in recent years. Between 2020 and 2021, the certified forest area increased by 27 million hectares, led mainly by Europe and Northern America.
However, developing countries and marginal forest managers continue to face challenges with the certification process.
The Forum is planned over two days of exchange on the thematic areas and will host sessions on how to live with fire in a warming world, policies needed for implementing integrated fire management, how to make best use of the newly developed Global Fire Management Hub, and Forest Certification and Sustainable Forest Management.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India has taken the initiative for hosting a United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), at Forest Research Institute (FRI) Dehradun.
More than 80 delegates are participating from 40 countries and 20 International Organisations, both in person and online, are attending the programme, including Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), along with delegates and organisations from India.
Speaking at the event, Director, UNFF, Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo said that issue of forest fires has been escalated as a global concern, and their detrimental impact on ecosystems, and communities makes action imperative.
She highlighted the impact of forest fires on ecosystem are more profound now and mentioned about the challenges of numerous stakeholders and upcoming regulations that need attention.
She stressed that the outcome of this Country Led Initiative (CLI) is very important and the success will lie in all our collective ability to identify areas for action and recommendations to UNFF 19.
This (CLI) focuses on two thematic areas: forest fires/wildfires and best practices on its prevention and restoration in fire-affected areas, and forest certification and sustainable forest management.