Western Ghats is considered to be one of the global biodiversity hotspots, with its lively climate and its scenic geography, but studies done by Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore have found through remote sensing data available that Kerala have lost 906,440 hectares of forest land.
This new study by IISc named, ‘Four decades of forest loss: Drought in Kerala’ which was co-authored by Dr. Ramakrishnan R. and T. V. Ramachandran of Centre for Ecological Science, IISc, states that the forest cover as a percentage of total land area has been reduced from 66.2% to 42.15%. The study has found that Kerala has diverted more than 50% of its total forest area for other purposes since 1973. It pins the blame on these actions for the eroding forest cover.
“Kerala use to have one of the highest rate of rain fall, but now large scale conversion of forest into plantations and other forms of encroachments has reduced the rain during the monsoon seasons,”says Dr. Ramachandran, Professor at IISc. “Kerala has the highest number of endangered species of plants and animals as well, if they carry on with development with no regards to the environment, there won’t be any water left in this State for the survival of these species and our future generation,” he added.