India is planning to have a dedicated forest satellite by 2013 to monitor the country’s forest cover on daily basis.
Announcing this in the Rajya Sabha, Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh said that India’s forests cover had increased in the last decade. He said, “We do our own satellite imaging and as per the 2007 information, when the imaging was done last, we have added three million hectares of forest cover in the last 10 years. In fact, we will be launching a dedicated forest satellite in 2013 which would monitor our forest cover on a daily basis”.
The minister also highlighted his ministry’s commitment towards protection of forest cover and forest dwellers. “Though there is a separate ministry of tribal affairs which caters to interests of tribals, substantial portion of my ministry is related to forest population, which include tribals," he said.
“The Island Development Authority, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is also looking at the issue of providing protection to such tribal groups,” he added.