Mountain Ecosystem Preservation stressed for Kanyakumari District
Mountain Ecosystem Preservation stressed for Kanyakumari District. Mountain ecosystem is the key to the maintenance of other ecosystems right up to the sea coast and the wealth of the plains depends upon the health of the hills. Most of the streams and rivers originate from forested mountains. Forest streams are the important habitat for fish and fish food organism. Undisturbed forests yield prime quality water. Removal or reduction in forest cover expose the soil to pelting rain and erosion, the adverse result of which will be felt right up to the estuary. The following are some of the guidelines which can provide a series of alternatives aimed at prevention of substantial soil loss.
- Natural forest found in remnants should be left untouched, protected and preserved.
- Avoid clear felling of forests.
- Trees near river or stream banks should not be felled. i.e. to avoid erosion as well as blocking the flow.
- In the high mountain areas, logging operation should be carried out scientifically with greater care.
- Cutting small forest areas which would be well distributed will reduce peak floods.
- Reforestation with multipurpose trees preferably mixed tree farming should be carried out.
- Where water supply is inadequate all along water bodies, plant grass and shrub species instead of forest trees or raise slow growing indigenous trees spaced wide apart.
- Develop agro-forestry by planting perennial crops and fruits it trees of people’s choice besides silvi pasture in steep slopes.
- Wild life reserves already created are to be maintained.
- More studies are urgently required to have better insight into the rich flora and fauna of the district representing typical Western Ghats.
The situation created by the changes in land use in these mountainous areas has naturally roused the concern of many thinking people. It has now been amply demonstrated that in the fragile ecosystems, agriculture alone would not be a stable enterprise, and therefore, it has to necessarily look to the support of forestry into the farming system in order to confer stability and generate assured income. A great deal of hope lies in an integrated land use for a sustainable land management such as agro forestry, social forestry and allied schemes. A radical change in the Indian Forest Policy based on sound ecological security for posterity aiming at a well managed ecosystem in which plants, animals and human beings co-exist harmoniously in a mutually symbiotic manner is suggested. Importance of soil and water conservation measures and proper land use have been emphasized for maximum sustained yield per unit area per annum without losing the fertility of the land.
Integrated studies among scientists particularly Foresters, Botanists, Ecologists, Sociologists and zoologists, are immediately necessary in order to give us a comprehensive and balanced picture of the quantitative ecology of the kanyakumari district.
Dr. P. Sam Raj
(Former Principal Scientist (Forestry) & Head CSWCRTI, ICAR, Ooty, Nilgiris) Natural Resource Management (NRM)
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