PANJIM: The Goa State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) in 2020 itself had cautioned authorities on vulnerability of Goa’s forests to fires that could get triggered due to climate change by 2040. According to the plan, the temperature rise in the coastal State is predicted to be up to 3-4 Degree Celsius.
The plan, which was recently approved by the Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), has proposed multipronged strategy involving both prevention and timely effective control of forest fires.
“Forest fire is a phenomenon that can get intensified due to climate change. Though enough documented proof is not available on whether forest fire incidents have increased in Goa due to climate change or human activities. The trend depicts the vulnerability of Goa’s forests to fires and this can get exasperated due to climate change by 2040,” the report stated.
The report mentioned that forest fire is common in summer season from March to June primarily due to anthropogenic factors. Since 2014 till 2019, over 200 forest fire incidents have been reported in the State, as per the report.
SAPCC said that climate change has resulted and will further result in a change in temperature and humidity in Goa.
Goa, much like the rest of the country, has been witnessing above average temperatures since February with the maximum temperature ranging five to six degree above normal. February, this year, turned out to be the hottest in more than 50 years.
On Tuesday, the maximum temperature recorded was 37 Degree Celsius.
Meanwhile, SAPCC has recommended preparation of State Action Plan on forest fire with mitigation strategies to be reviewed every three years. It has also proposed creation of effective and efficient task force of forest staff and fire watchers by regular training and capacity building, supported by adequate communication, firefighting equipment.
Periodic creation of new firelines clearing of fire lines, removal of dry bamboo, other inflammable materials from forest floors, controlled burning, Design and implement appropriate awareness campaigns for pre fire season sensitization of local communities are among other measures recommended by SAPCC. A total budget requirement is around Rs 10 crore.