New Delhi: TERI School of Advanced Studies is hosting a three-day international workshop and meeting on Sustainable Forestry in South Asia: Current Status, Science and Conservation Priorities from 7th to 9th November 2019 in New Delhi.
The meeting is being held as part of the NASA Land Cover/Land Use Change Program funded South/Southeast Asia Research Initiative and in collaboration with several international partners including Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC–GOLD), Virginia Tech University, University of Maryland College Park, USA, Michigan State University, USA, Columbia University, USA, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA, NASA SERVIR, START, etc.
The first day of the conference began with inaugural addresses by various stakeholders. In his welcome address, Prof. Manipadma Datta, Vice Chancellor, TERI SAS, started with a quote by Rabindranath Tagore: Give back the forest, take your town. He added, “Forests mean nature and we are the products of nature. It is difficult to over emphasize the role of forest in human civilization. We must be respectful to nature as we’re the beings of mother earth”. Congratulating all the delegates he remarked, “Forest is the integral part of nature, and there needs to be a conscious effort in reconnecting humanity/human development with nature.”
The day included some very thought-provoking sessions. The session on Status of Forest Cover/Resources in South Asia Countries included technical presentations on forest cover/resources status from Forest Department representatives of India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
This was followed by an engaging panel discussion on Remote Sensing of Forestry Research Priorities, where regional priorities were identified. These are as follows: i) Need of capacity building in using advanced remote sensing technology to improve accuracy of forest map; ii) Integration of remote sensing data with non-remote sensing data sets such as census data and migration data; iii) Validation of global forest products for use at national level.
The day culminated with a session on Mapping and Monitoring of Forest Cover and Wetlands Including Degradation, where J K Garg, Senior Fellow, Department of Natural Resources at TERI SAS remarked, “Forest integrity is paramount to preservation of ecosystem integrity of wetlands. And the EBV’s (Essential Biodiversity Variables) are of immense use in establishing a strong link between wetland biodiversity and catchment health”.