Mongabay series: The Indian Forest Story
India is the second-most populous country in the world, and one of the most biodiverse. The constant juxtaposition of people and forests has resulted in a 'conservation versus development' narrative, which needs to change. The fact that a forest is much more than a stand of trees needs to be communicated, to people and policymakers alike. The positive impacts of forests are diverse and far-reaching, a testimony to the interconnectedness of the environment we live in. India’s size and geographical location makes the country’s forests unique. The country straddles the tropical and temperate latitudes, resulting in the rich biodiversity of the tropical evergreen and deciduous forests, and the temperate forests of the northern latitudes. Home to the world's tallest mountains - the Himalayas - rising above the snowline, the temperate forests turn into tundra and Alpine meadows. The Himalayas stretch into the northeastern part of the country, from where other mountain ranges turn perpendicular and run right down into the Irrawaddy delta and beyond in Myanmar and Thailand. Ensconced between these ranges, the forests of the northeast pack their tropical character in the temperate latitudes. As if to compensate, in the tropical latitudes of peninsular south India, the higher ridges of the Western Ghats rise to become temperate sky islands. Thus the shola forest plus grassland ecosystem of the upper Western Ghats plateaus add as much to the India’s forest matrix as the tropical rainforests in the lower-level valleys. Stretching over the Deccan Plateau, the dry and moist-deciduous teak and sal forests of the central plateau and the Eastern Ghats complement the mosaic of forest types in the country. In the southern reaches of the Eastern Ghats it is the dry evergreen forests that hold sway. The mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, Gujarat coast, Tamil Nadu coast and peri-urban Mumbai complete India’s forest mosaic. Through this series, Mongabay-India will strengthen the nuance and depth of the discussions around forests — in maintaining ecological security for ecosystems, livelihood security for communities, climate resilience and for the provision of ecosystem services.
MP’s Baigachak region, the first to receive Habitat Rights, is yet to understand what the rights mean
Celebrating tiger numbers in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, while tribal residents await their rights
[Video Explainer] What is the significance of the Biological Diversity Amendment Bill and why did it face opposition?
- [Commentary] India establishes the largest network of Ramsar Sites in South Asia
- [Commentary] Wetland champions: Promise from the grassroots
- The story of Jakkur lake sets an example for inclusive rejuvenation projects
- Welcome to Tsomgo lake: Please don’t litter
Environment And Health
- Gig workers in India are exposed to highly polluted air and carcinogens, finds preliminary study
- [Explainer] Living with microplastics, is not fantastic
- Residents in Haryana point to stone crushing units for their respiratory troubles and drop in crop yield
- As heatwaves projected to worsen across India, do vulnerability assessments and heat action plans suffice?
Almost Famous Species
- From abundance to endangerment to revival, Kachchh’s guggal comes a full circle
- [Commentary] Why are evolutionary scientists studying the crawlies?
- The silent trade of elusive small cats in Mizoram
- Researchers study the elusive dugongs of the Andamans with help from community stakeholders
- Green pilgrimage model balances faith and conservation
- [Video] Restoring the perennial Thamirabarani river with people power
- [Interview] Conservation scientist Joli Rumi Borah on integrating traditional knowledge in research
- [Interview] Scientist Ruth DeFries on deforestation: There isn’t one driver, there’s a different context in different places
India's Iconic Landscapes
- Studies reveal impact of land use on species diversity in rock outcrops
- Improved tiger numbers come with hidden messages on invasives, habitat connectivity
- Gymnosperms that are critical for coniferous forest health may be steadily declining in response to climate change
- Experts call for coexistence, sustainable development as tiger population is close to saturation
Beyond Protected Areas
- Megaherbivores could be a potential solution to manage invasive plants, finds study
- Darkness-loving bats are being nudged out of the shadows
- Bioinvasions are a global threat to ecosystems, says IPBES report
- Artisanal fishers wary of coastal aquaculture regulation amendments that legalise past violations
- Excavating farmlands for highways
- Increasing carbon dioxide is making our food less nutritious
- Ecosystem-based adaptation takes nature-based, people-centric approach to agriculture
- [Commentary] How grassroots-led natural farming at the landscape scale can support communities and heal the planet
- Climate action not on track to meet Paris Agreement goals, says Global Stocktake report
- [Interview] Suravee Nayak on why transformative justice for women, Dalits is key for a just transition
- Promised rehabilitation eludes residents living near one of India’s earliest coal mines
- As e-mobility gains traction, what’s in store for the friendly neighbourhood mechanic?