Published: 15th March 2023
IISc researchers to study forests, ecosystem of Goa and how they have changed over past five decades
The study started in January and is scheduled to be completed within just six months
A team of researchers from the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, is undertaking a detailed study of the biodiversity, forests and ecology of Goa.
The study is being undertaken to know how the forests and ecosystem of Goa have changed in the past five decades and the reasons behind it. Since January, teams of researchers are studying the reasons behind the change and documenting them. With the help of ground data, satellite images and historical documents are also being studied, stated a report by The New Indian Express.
The study started in January and is scheduled to be completed within six months. “The study will also help in knowing how much forest land is with the government and how much is with private firms and individuals. Interestingly, in Goa, large chunks of land, especially forest land, is owned by individuals. Goa has more of private forests because back then, the Portuguese gave away a lot of forest land to individuals. While some of them have used parts of the areas for tourism and recreation, some others have left it and moved to other parts of the country. We have come across cases like where a man, now settled in Bengaluru, owns over 400 acres of land in Goa. As per the Land Ceiling Act, 1975, one person cannot hold such large chunks of land, this is what we are studying and identifying,” Prof TV Ramachandra, from the Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, told The New Indian Express.
The researchers also found that in Goa, a lot of forest land has been diverted for cashew plantations and other crops. The teams are studying the anthropogenic pressure on the areas, changes in biodiversity, list of existing species, how the species have been affected and how many have been lost.
“The entire forest ecosystem of Goa is being documented. The forest fire situation will also be studied and understood. Around 10 per cent of the land in Goa is forest cover, which is around 340sqkm. The pressure on this region is being studied. This is the first study the team is doing on Goa,” he added.