Forest fire engulfs 10 ha in almora
19 February 2017
published by http://www.nyoooz.com
India — Summary: It took 50 personnel of the forest department
more than six hours to douse the flame. The forest department had last year
moved a proposal to establish a mini safari in the forest and promote the area
along the lines of Corbett National Park.Bishan Singh Tanwal from Kalika near
Dalmothi forest range said, “We are worried that animals fleeing wildfires may
invade populated areas. The forest department said that the fire, which erupted
late on Saturday night, is estimated to have engulfed up to 10 hectares of
forest land but was doused on Sunday.Umesh Chandra Pandey, Dalmothi range
officer, said, “Around 8 to 10 hectares could have been gutted in the fire. It
poses a danger to our lives as well as our crops which are often destroyed by
bears.”Range officer Pandey said that the forest department had taken
precautionary measures to keep such incidents at bay. Nainital: In yet another
incident of forest fire to be recorded in the hills, a blaze broke out in the
jungles of Dalmothi - also known as Mini Corbett among local residents for its
rich biodiversity - in Ranikhet, Almora.
Nainital: In yet another incident of forest fire to be recorded in the hills, a blaze broke out in the jungles of Dalmothi - also known as Mini Corbett among local residents for its rich biodiversity - in Ranikhet, Almora. The forest department said that the fire, which erupted late on Saturday night, is estimated to have engulfed up to 10 hectares of forest land but was doused on Sunday.Umesh Chandra Pandey, Dalmothi range officer, said, “Around 8 to 10 hectares could have been gutted in the fire. It took 50 personnel of the forest department more than six hours to douse the flame.
The fire could have been caused by a lit beedi.”The memory of last year’s devastating fires in the upper reaches of the state’s forests is still fresh in the minds of residents and the administration. Forest fires had ravaged the state's jungles leading to estimated losses of around 4,500 hectares of green cover and loss of over half a dozen lives.The fact that fires have begun well ahead of the expected period of high summer - during which outbreaks are at their peak - has people on edge.Residents in villages near Dalmothi fear that fires may drive wild animals closer to human territory. Dalmothi has a robust population of leopards, Himalayan black bear, deer and Monal among other species.
In total, they are willing to pay US$643.5 million (RM2.8 billion) a year — large enough to make a “substantive impact on the problem” if used for land conservation and restoration, the researchers state in a paper published in February’s issue of the journal, Environmental Research Letters.
The paper’s authors, Yuan Lin, Lahiru Wijedasa and Dr Ryan Chisholm, wrote: “Our results indicate that Singaporeans experience sufficiently negative impacts of air pollution (in) their day-to-day life, or personal health during haze periods, that they are willing to trade off personal financial gain for improvements in air quality.”
Transboundary haze is a long-standing problem in the South-east Asian region, largely caused by the drainage of carbon-rich peatland as well as companies and farmers in Indonesia using fire to clear land.
Singapore experienced its worst haze episode in 2015 from September to November, with the Pollutant Standards Index hitting hazardous levels.
Since then, Indonesia has renewed efforts to prevent fires, although a state of emergency was declared last month in Riau province over forest and land fires.
The economic impact of haze pollution here has been estimated using cost-benefit analysis before, but the researchers said that the figures could be an under-estimate because they exclude impacts — such as non-hospitalisable health effects — that are difficult to infer from economic data.
The 2015 haze episode was estimated to have cost Singapore S$700 million (RM2.19 billion) in losses.
The NUS researchers surveyed 390 people in public areas from November 2015 to February 2016 on their willingness to pay, should the Singapore Government be able to guarantee good air quality year-round.
The participants, from various age and income groups, were given options ranging from 0.05 per cent to 5 per cent of their annual income, after they indicated if they were willing to support such a haze mitigation fund.
The average person’s willingness to pay was an estimated 0.97 per cent of his/her annual income.
However, about three in 10 respondents were unwilling to pay even the minimum option of 0.05 per cent of their annual income.
Wijedasa said that one of the solutions proposed for the haze problem is payments for ecosystem services.
“This could take the form of richer nations aiding better land management and restoration by making regular payments.
“Indonesia has estimated that it needs US$2.1 billion to help restore two million hectares of peatland in (the country). They have currently only received US$50 million from Norway and US$17 million from the United States.
"Could this shortfall be filled by Singapore (and other countries in the region)?”
Tan Yi Han, who is not involved in the study and is co-founder of non-governmental organisation People’s Movement to Stop Haze, said that the findings are helpful and “should motivate the Singapore Government to spend on measures to prevent haze, such as a subsidy on certified sustainable palm oil, as well as aid to support peat restoration and protection efforts in Indonesia”.
His organisation’s survey last year found that more than nine in 10 respondents were willing to pay more for certified sustainable products to help mitigate the haze, Tan said.
Most were willing to pay 5 to 10 per cent more.
Consumers game to chip in to avoid any haze include Steven Lim, who is in his 40s and self-employed. How much he is willing to contribute would depend on the amount needed to make an impact.
“Maybe S$10? Multiplied by many individuals, it would be a lot,” Lim said, preferring that the money goes to the Indonesian government.- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/money/article/singaporeans-willing-to-fork-out-1pc-of-income-to-ensure-no-more-haze#sthash.CRhWHQHj.dpuf