Bainbridge Island, WA (PressExposure) November 25, 2011 -- Forestry Research Associates (FRA) has spoken out in support of the Indian Environment Minister, Jayanthi Natarajan, who has opened the Forest Congress event taking place in New Delhi with calls for measures to cut forest degradation in the sub-continent.
FRA, a research and analysis consultancy, said it welcomes the statement of intentions from Ms Natarajan, who, it claimed, seemed committed to improving the situation in India.
She did not skirt around the subject of forest degradation, instead opting for a direct approach, telling delegates attending the Forest Congress that the loss of forested land is taking place on an "unprecedented scale". She called for some major changes to take place to remove the bureaucracy that prevents measures being implemented. The minister stated, "We need to completely reform our infrastructure so that it can be geared up to face these important challenges."
"I think we need to reorient our institutions," she added.
She explained that the introduction of strict forest management policies should be a major part of the changes taking place to try to protect the precious assets that are India's natural forests. FRA agreed, adding that countries like Brazil have seen a positive reduction in deforestation levels through government policy as well as measures to encourage foreign investment in sustainable forestry schemes.
Sustainable plantation schemes, like those run by Greenwood Management in Brazil, provide alternative timber to the valuable native timbers found in Brazil's vulnerable rainforests. Investors can invest in these projects and reap the benefits financially and with the knowledge that they are investing in an ethical programme.
FRA claims that India is a demanding example as the people themselves are putting increasing pressure on the forests. The organization's analysis partner, Peter Collins, stated, "In developing countries it's important to raise awareness among the people that there is value in standing forests as well as in timber."