Forest policy ignores shola grasslands
shola grassland
TRIVANDRUM, March 21, 2007: The draft forest policy, released by the Forest Minister Binoy Viswam on March 21, largely ignores shola forests.

There is no specific reference to shola forests in the 20-page policy. The general reference is limited to a resolve to protect climatic climax and critical ecosystems.

These will cover evergreen forests including shola forests. But, some scientists consider shola grassland systems as degraded forests. Shola grasslands, however, is critical ecosystem with a bearing on the water security of the State.

The policy promises to prevent fragmentation and isolation of ecosystems and ensure contiguity. A buffer zone will be formed for Silent Valley National Park which has some shola forests.

The policy has many proposals that would keep the top heavy Forest Department occupied. However, excessive management could prove to be detrimental to the forests.

Draft Forest Policy 2007

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