IMPHAL, July 5: Manipur Forest department has embarked on a major campaign to save forest and its wealth and as an endeavour to make the state green, DM College and Khuman Lampak Sports complex will be converted to green zones by planting trees. The department is also trying to make the Keibul Lamjao tiol park a world heritage site and works have started for it by clearing all encroachers and defining its exact territory. There is a strong need of preserving and conserving forest and to adapt to the environment, Sambhu Singh, Additiol Chief Secretary (Forest), Government of Manipur said today addressing the media during the series of press conference held at Directorate of Information of Public Relations. Highlighting the achievements of the department with Principal Chief Conservator, PN Prasad and other officials of the department said the flora and fau available in the entire South East was available in a single district like Sepati in Manipur.
Prasad said the Langol reserve will be free of all encroachers. Forest magement was directly controlled by Kings of Manipur who gave the land to the local Chiefs in return of revenue and services.
The abundance in the diversity of the forests and its resources are attributed to the ideal location of the state in the junction of two world’s hotspots of bio-diversity, the Indo-Myanmar hotspot and the Himalayan hotspot. The forest cover of the state is 16,994 sq km which is 76.11 per cent of the state’s total area. The tree cover of the state is 243 sq km. About 721 sq km is under very dense forest cover and 5,426 sq km under moderately dense forest area. The area under reserved forests including Wildlife Protected area network is 1,467 sq km. An area of 4,171 sq kms is recorded as protected forests and the rest as unclassed.
Manipur is the only state in the Northeast where the entire forests are maged under the working plans prepared under tiol Working Plan Code 2004.
The state has six major forest types and ten sub types. Majority of the population in the hill districts are directly or indirectly dependent upon the forests for their livelihood. The department has urged Village Chiefs not to sell away forest area to the contractors who fell all the trees and the plants without caring for the forest area.
Due to scarcity of scarcity of water there is a greater awareness for conservation of forests. This year within this month of July, the entire DM College and Khuman Lampak Sports complex will be made green areas as part of conservation of Vamahotsava. The observation this year will be on the theme, ‘one family,one tree’.
Manipur has two hotspots out of four in the country and 34 in the world. Manipur has unique distinction of possessing flora and fau from the Himalaya to Manipur on one side to Chi . Forests in hill areas are under stress due to shifting cultivation and illegal felling and extraction of other forest produces. Deforestation in the hill areas has led to soil erosion, landslides and siltation of rivers. The department is trying to maintain a balance between conservation and fulfilling people’s need. The department is trying to evolve a people friendly mechanism to reduce jhuming cultivation as it can’t be stopped.
The Keibul Lamjao tiol park was declared as a Ramsar site and the population of Sangai is increasing. The state has also Shiroi Lily tiol park, Yangoupokpi Lokchao wildlife sanctuary, Kailam Wildlife sanctuary , Jiri- Makru wildlife sanctuary, Bunning wildlife Sanctuary and Zeilad wild life sanctuary , some of which are now under fil stages of constitution . About 788.10 sq km area falls under the conservation sites. Manipur Zoological garden and Orchid preservation centre maged by the department cover 1.18 sq km. The Keibul Lamjao tiol park has been declared as an eco sensitive zone and the government is trying to make the park as a World Heritage Park. The forests of Manipur have been classified as floristic composition, altitudil variation, tropical semi-ever green and sub tropical pine forests.
Forest Conservation Act, 1980 was ected to control diversion of forest land for non –forestry purposes. Prior approval from the central government is required to take up works in the forest land. During 2015-16 ten cases of forest land diversion were cleared by the central and the state governments.
Forest department is no longer considered a revenue earning organization and more emphasis is given on conservation of environment and tural resources. This year Rs 370.58 lakhs was collected as revenue. This year 25 state plan schemes were taken up with an outlay of Rs 1159 lakhs. The department also took up six centrally sponsored schemes, tiol Afforestation Programme, tiol Bamboo Mission, Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat, Development of Orchid Preservation centre at Khonghampat and Green India Mission. The total expenditure for 2015-16 is Rs 7220.36 lakh. This was stated in a press release.