Forest Fire in Simlipal Biosphere Reserve

Forest Fire in Simlipal Biosphere Reserve

  • Simlipal Biosphere Reserve, located in Odisha, has recently witnessed a severe fire.
  • However, the core area of the biosphere reserve in the fire remained untouched by this fire. But such incidents are very fatal to biodiversity.
  • Forest fires occur mainly due to human activities or due to lightning.
  • According to studies, about 90% of forest fires are man-made.

Effects of fire in the forests:

  • This results in loss of valuable timber resources and erosion of catchment areas.In addition, biodiversity and the fear of extinction of plants and animals and the rise in global temperature are also included.
  • Ozone layer depletion, loss of carbon sinks resource and increase in percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere.
  • Changes in microclimate (climate of a particular small place).
  • Soil erosion affects the productivity of soil and production.

Government efforts for prevention and management of forest fire:

  • Forest in India comes in the concurrent list given in the seventh schedule of the constitution.
  • It is also managed by the “National Action Plan on Forest Fires, 2018”, of The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change oversees forest fire prevention and management measures, under the centrally sponsored “Forest Fire Prevention and Management Plan”.

Simlipal Biosphere Reserve:

  • This biosphere reserve is located in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. The name of Simlipal is derived from the tree of Simul (silk cotton).
  • Similipal Biosphere Reserve consists of a National Park and Tiger Reserve. Apart from tigers and elephants, various types of birds are found in this biosphere reserve.
  • The Similipal Biosphere Reserve has been part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2009. The Government of India conferred the status of the Biosphere Reserve to the Similipal Biosphere Reserve in 1994.
  • There are two major tribes named Erenga and Mankirdiyah.
  • It is a part of Similipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve, known as Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve. It consists of 3 protected areas i.e. Simlipal Tiger Reserve, Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • This biosphere is spread over 4,374 sq. km, comprising a core area (tiger reserve) of 845 sq. km, a buffer area of 2,129 sq. km and a transition area of 1,400 sq. km.
  • There are 1,076 flower species and 96 species of orchids in Simlipal. It consists of tropical semi-evergreen forests, tropical moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous hilly forests and vast grasslands.

Biosphere Reserve

  • Biosphere Reserve It is a special category of protected areas. The Biosphere Reserve also represents the natural and cultural landscape.
  • It involves the protection, maintenance, management or restoration of wildlife and natural resources under the in-situ conservation method.
  • These are usually large protected areas of more than 5000 sq. km. The Biosphere Reserve consists of 3 parts – core, buffer and transition zone.
  • The core area is quite sensitive, human activities are not allowed here.
  • Scientific research is allowed in the buffer zone. It lies between the core area and the transition zone.
  • The transition zone is the outermost part of the biosphere reserve. It is not generally a delimited area but a collaborative area.
  • This area includes human settlements, cropland, managed forests, recreation area and other economical areas.
  • Biosphere reserves are selected by the Central Government, which have the minimum standards set under UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) Program and, they adhere to the regulations set to join the global network of biosphere reserves.

Source – The Hindu

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