Tree planting pushes out pastoralists in the Himalayas

Large scale tree planting is being promoted worldwide to mitigate the impacts of climate change and increase forest cover. However, afforestation projects can displace pastoralists and threaten their livelihoods. The disappearance of pastoralists and their animals can also lead to further degradation and environmental damage in these areas.In a recent paper, researchers from India and the US have shown how tree planting programmes have badly affected the lives of Gaddi pastoralists in the winter grazing areas of the western Himalayas in India over the past five decades.Their research, carried out in Gaddi populated areas in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh between 2018 and 2019 and published in the journal Ecology and Society, was sponsored by the NASA Land Cover and Land Use Change program. The area in focus encompassed 64 plantations over 658 hectares.The paper points out that between 1950 and 2005, India’s government reported afforestation of an area equivalent to 10 per cent of the country’s land area, or just less than half of its total forest cover.Data from the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department indicate a similarly widespread distribution of plantations along the migratory routes of the Gaddis.What is more, India aims to increase forest cover from the current 21 to 33 per cent under its UN climate commitments, without visible thought given to the impacts on rural livelihoods such as pastoralism.Responding to this, Rajesh Sharma of the Himachal P…. Read more:
#animal_rehabilitation #animal_sanctuary #asia_news #echo #ecosystem #nature #phuket #thailand #wildlife #phuketnews #thailandnews #asianews

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