AIZAWL: Over 1,300 forest fire incidents were reported in Mizoram last year (2020), officials have revealed.
Out of total 1,300 cases, around 1,090 forest fires were caused due to slash and burn jhum cultivation, while 210 forest fires were caused for natural causes.
To spread awareness about the cause and prevention of forest fire and other fire incidents, fire prevention week was inaugurated across Mizoram on February 8.
Addressing the programme, chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said that the traditional method of jhum cultivation is still practiced by a large number of agriculturists in the state despite interventions by successive governments to introduce settled cultivation. “Thus, it is of the utmost importance to observance of fire prevention week and awareness on the matter,” he said.
He appreciated the efforts of civil organizations such as the Young Mizo Association (YMA) and village councils for their dedication to working on fire prevention measures and activities with government agencies.
The chief secretary said that that progress has been made on this front, but he noted that “greater awareness” is the need for the hour. Three fire incidents have been reported this year, he added.
On the other hand, Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (EF&CC) minister T.J. Lalnuntluanga addressing a programme in Champhai said that afforestation of the denuded hills Champhai district project which will be funded by North East Council (NEC) will be launched in the district.
Mizoram’s existing forest cover is 85.41 percent against 86.26 percent in 2017, according to the India State of Forest Report (ISFR)-2019 released by the Forest Survey of India (FSI).
Champhai district has the lowest forest cover at 78.09 percent. Mizoram has 6 forest types out of 16 forest types.
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