Cameras to assess climate change in Karnataka forests

Karnataka is home to the largest portion of the fragile and UNESCO-designated heritage site, the Western Ghats.
Cameras to assess climate change in Karnataka forests

BENGALURU: Climate change is real, and so is its impact. To assess this effectively, three cameras are being installed, and centres are being established in the forests of Karnataka for the first time.

Karnataka is home to the largest portion of the fragile and UNESCO-designated heritage site, the Western Ghats. The ghats is also not spared from the impact of climate change, rapid urbanisation, a decline in green cover, and a change in land use.

To study the impact of climate change, the Department of Science and Technology under the Ministry of Science and Technology, along with the Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute (EMPRI) and Karnataka Forest Department, came together for a five-year-long climate change study by setting up centres in the evergreen and dry deciduous forests of Nagarahole, Dandeli, and Shivamogga.

“It is a five-year-long study starting in 2023–24. Last year, a baseline data base was prepared for the study, the locations were studied, and areas were shortlisted. By the end of May, the cameras will be installed. Earlier, Bannerghatta National Park was identified for the study but was dropped as it did not fit the required criteria. The entire project costs Rs 2.19 crore, and each camera costs Rs 15 lakh. The cameras will be installed in anti-poaching camps and inspection bungalows. The natural habitat of the area is not being disturbed for this. They are being set up at canopy level,” an official told The New Sunday Express.

The study will be done all 365 days of the year, 24x7. Teams from the State and Union government agencies are part of the study. They will be collecting data and images on a daily basis for assessment. Detailed workshops and training have been done for the study over the last year.

The official added that 42 government departments, including agriculture, horticulture, energy, and even irrigation, have been involved in the study, and EMPRI will be the nodal agency. “Each department was told to prepare a database. This study will help them assess the impact of climate change on their sectors and, hence, help in preparing better management plans. “Through the study, soil, nutrients, vegetation, leaf change and leaf litter, carbon in the soil, change in cropping pattern, season change, and seasonal impact will be studied,” the official added.

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