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Preserving forests and protecting wildlife are interlinked

by In-house Editor

The relationship between forests and wildlife is interdependent, and it’s crucial to recognize this synergy during National Wildlife Week from October 2 to 8. Recent data from the World Meteorological Organization paints a grim picture, with 2023 poised to become the hottest year on record, surpassing the 1.5°C limit set by the Paris Climate Accord. Developing nations bear the brunt of climate consequences while receiving little support for transitioning to green energy. Capturing carbon and preserving forests are vital in combating global warming, afforestation being a key strategy that benefits both carbon sequestration and wildlife habitat restoration.

India’s commitment to restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 is a significant step toward creating a carbon sink. Nevertheless, challenges like illegal logging, wildfires, and encroachments continue to degrade forests and displace wildlife, leading to human-wildlife conflicts. Restoration efforts, exemplified by Karnataka’s initiatives, offer hope by reestablishing habitats and corridors.

Despite some successes, such as increasing tiger and elephant populations, the loss of their habitat remains concerning. Global forest fires, including those in Canada, Italy, Greece, Spain, China, and Russia, release massive amounts of carbon and disrupt ecosystems. Climate change’s far-reaching impacts highlight the urgency of preserving forests, underscoring the essential role of wildlife conservation in this critical endeavor.

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