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On the new forest diversion norms

Last week, India’s environment ministry overhauled the process it follows for identifying forests where industrial activities can be permitted. Instead of using six parameters — forest type, biological richness, wildlife value, density of forest cover, integrity of the landscape, and hydrological value – for deciding whether a forestland can be given over for, say, mining, ministry officials told the media that the ministry would henceforth use four parameters. According to media reports, ministry officials said biological richness would be dropped as that is accounted for under wildlife value. Similarly, the ministry clubbed hydrological value with forest cover. In the process, the ministry has mixed up concepts which, as forest ecologist Harini Nagendra says, are related but not replaceable.

– for deciding whether a forestland can be given over for, say, mining, ministry officials told the media that the ministry would henceforth use four parameters.

Accor ..

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