Motive Project

Article alert: Forest policies and programs affecting vulnerability and adaptation to climate change

by: Ulla Vänttinen

Afreen, S., Sharma, N., Chaturvedi, R.K., Gopalakrishnan, R., Ravindranath, N.H., 2011. Forest policies and programs affecting vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 16 (2) pp. 177-197.


Due to large scale afforestation programs and forest conservation legislations, India's total forest area seems to have stabilized or even increased. In spite of such efforts, forest fragmentation and degradation continues, with forests being subject to increased pressure due to anthropogenic factors. Such fragmentation and degradation is leading to the forest cover to change from very dense to moderately dense and open forest and 253 km2 of very dense forest has been converted to moderately dense forest, open forest, scrub and non-forest (during 2005-2007). Similarly, there has been a degradation of 4,120 km2 of moderately dense forest to open forest, scrub and non-forest resulting in a net loss of 936 km2 of moderately dense forest. Additionally, 4,335 km2 of open forest have degraded to scrub and non-forest. Coupled with pressure due to anthropogenic factors, climate change is likely to be an added stress on forests. Forest sector programs and policies are major factors that determine the status of forests and potentially resilience to projected impacts of climate change. An attempt is made to review the forest policies and programs and their implications for the status of forests and for vulnerability of forests to projected climate change. The study concludes that forest conservation and development policies and programs need to be oriented to incorporate climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation. 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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