India to launch dedicated forest satellite in 2013

India will launch a dedicated forest satellite in 2013 to monitor the country`s forest cover.

Last Updated: Aug 09, 2010, 15:41 PM IST

New Delhi: India will launch a dedicated
forest satellite in 2013 which will monitor the country`s
forest cover on a daily basis, Environment and Forests
Minister Jairam Ramesh informed Rajya Sabha on Monday.

"India is adding to its green cover. 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," he said.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, he said
that as his ministry caters to protection of forest cover, it
is sensitive towards the issues of tribals, who inhabit the
forest.

"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.

Ramesh said it was a big challenge to ensure livelihood
and protection to endangered tribal groups like Jarawas, Great
Andamanese and Onges. "We are sensitive towards the issue of
these primitive tribal groups. Their numbers have come down to
around 2,000. We will try and provide them protection to the
best of our abilities," he said.

Ramesh said that the Island Development Authority led by
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also looking at the issue of
providing protection of such tribal groups.

PTI