Department of Environmental Science

Objective:

  1. To be a lead centre of excellence in environmental science and technologies that
    1. Facilitates transfer of knowledge and skills from academic knowledge base to various non-academic beneficiaries at all levels.
    2. Addresses the challenges of creating a safe and healthy environment.

Faculty:

        

Areas of research:

  • Biofertilizers and Biopesticides
  • Biodiversity Studies
  • Environmental Policy Analysis
  • Urban Pollution Analysis
  • Rainfall Anomalies and Climate Change

Forestry:

Man is the Trustee of natural Resources and is not supposed to utilize all the resources for his benefits at the cost of other living beings. The irreparable damages to the Nature have made our life difficult. Forests are the expressions of Nature where vegetation grows, serves as filters for the polluted system around our mother earth. Forests provide renewable raw materials and energy, maintain biological diversity, mitigate climate change, protect land and water resources, provide recreation facilities, improve air quality and help alleviate poverty.

The sun peeps over the horizon and a rim of light begins to penetrate the trees. The ground mist clears and within moments, the great Indian jungle has come alive with music of birds and insects. Calls of mynahs and drongos, he incessant chatter of monkeys, pierce the soft gurgle of forest streams.

As the sun goes down, the jungle falls silent once again. Still mysterious and forever fascinating, the forests of the world offer unique opportunities to escape from the pressures of urban living and for adventure seekers from every corner of the globe.

 

Map of Worldwide Forest Cover
Wind EnergyForests cover some 3.9 billion hectares (or 9.6 billion acres) which is approximately 30% of the World's land surface. FAO estimates that around 13 million hectares of forests were converted to other uses or lost through natural causes annually between 2000 and 2010. Their estimated annual rate of forest area increase was 5 million hectares.



Map Of Africa Forest Cover
Africa's forest cover is estimated at 650 million hectares or 17 per cent of the world's forests. The major forest types are dry tropical forests in the Sahel, Eastern and Southern Africa, moist tropical forests in Western and Central Africa, subtropical forest and woodlands in Northern Africa and mangroves in coastal zones of the southern tip. FAO sees "enormous challenges, reflecting the larger constraints of low income, weak policies and inadequately developed institutions" in Africa.



Map Of East Asia and Pacific Rim Forest Cover

Asia and the Pacific region accounts for 18.8 per cent of global forests. Northwest Pacific and East Asia has the largest forest area followed by Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, South Asia, South Pacific and Central Asia. FAO concludes that "while forest area will stabilize and increase in most of the developed countries...demand for wood and wood products will continue to increase in line with the growth in population and income.


Map Of Europe Forest Cover
Europe's 1 million hectares of forests comprise 27 per cent of the world's total forested area and cover 45 per cent of the European landscape. A wide variety of boreal, temperate and sub-tropical forest types are represented, as well as tundra and montane formations. FAO reports "Forest resources in Europe are expected to continue to expand in view of declining land dependence, increasing income, concern for protection of the environment and well-developed policy and institutional frameworks."

Map of Latin America and Caribbean Forest Cover
Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the World's most important forest regions, with nearly one-quarter of the world's forest cover. The region contains 834 million hectares of tropical forest and 130 million hectares of other forests. FAO suggests that "Central America and the Caribbean, where population densities are high, increasing urbanization will cause a shift away from agriculture, forest clearance will decline and some cleared areas will revert to forest...in South America, the pace of deforestation is unlikely to decline in the near future despite low population density."

Map Of North America Forest Cover
Forests cover about 26 per cent of North America's land area and represent more than 12 per cent of the world's forests. The United States is the fourth most forested country in the World with 226 million hectares. Canada's forest area has not grown during the past decade but forests in the United States have increased by almost 3.9 million hectares. FAO reports that "Canada and the United States of America will continue to have fairly stable forest areas, although the divestment of woodlands owned by large forest companies could affect their management."

Map Of West Asia Forest Cover
Forests and woodlands of West Asia occupy only 3.66 million hectares or 1 per cent of the region's land area and account for less than 0.1 per cent of the world's total forested area. FAO sums the region up by saying, "adverse growing conditions limit the prospects for commercial wood production. Rapidly increasing incomes and high population growth rates suggest that the region will continue to depend on imports to meet demand for most wood products.

Map Of Polar Region Forest Cover
The northern forest circles the globe through Russia, Scandinavia and North America, covering approximately 13.8 million km2 (UNECE and FAO 2000). This boreal forest is one of the two largest terrestrial ecosystems on Earth, the other being the tundra - a vast treeless plain that lies north of the boreal forest and stretches to the Arctic Ocean. The boreal forests are an important resource for the Arctic countries but have little commercial value.

Introduction to Forest in India
Total geographical area of India is 32, 80,500 sq. km (328.8M ha)
Total forest area 7, 50,500.00 sq. km (75.06 M ha)



















Different types of forests
India has a diverse range of forests: from the rainforest of Kerala in the south to the alpine pastures of Ladakh in the north, from the deserts of Rajasthan in the west to the evergreen forests in the north-east. Climate, soil type, topography, and elevation are the main factors that determine the type of forest. Forests are classified according to their nature and composition, the type of climate in which they thrive, and its relationship with the surrounding environment.

Forests can be divided into six broad types, with a number of sub types.

















Moist tropical forests

Wet evergreen
Wet evergreen forests are found in the south along the Western Ghats and the Nicobar and Andaman Islands and all along the north-eastern region. It is characterized by tall, straight evergreen trees that have a buttressed trunk or root on three sides like a tripod that helps to keep a tree upright during a storm. These trees often rise to a great height before they open out like a cauliflower. The more common trees that are found here are the jackfruit, betel nut palm, jamun, mango, and hollock. The trees in this forest form a tier pattern: shrubs cover the layer closer to the ground, followed by the short structured trees and then the tall variety. Beautiful fern of various colours and different varieties of orchids grow on the trunks of the trees.

Semi-evergreen
Semi-evergreen forests are found in the Western Ghats, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the Eastern Himalayas. Such forests have a mixture of the wet evergreen trees and the moist deciduous tress. The forest is dense and is filled with a large variety of trees of both types.

Moist deciduous
Moist deciduous forests are found throughout India except in the western and the north-western regions. The trees have broad trunks, are tall and have branching trunks and roots to hold them firmly to the ground. Some of the taller trees shed their leaves in the dry season. There is a layer of shorter trees and evergreen shrubs in the undergrowth. These forests are dominated by sal and teak, along with mango, bamboo, and rosewood.

Littoral and swamp
Littoral and swamp forests are found along the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the delta area of the Ganga and the Brahmaputra. It consists mainly of whistling pines, mangrove dates, palms, and bulletwood. They have roots that consist of soft tissue so that the plant can breathe in the water.

Dry tropical forests
Littoral and swamp forests are found along the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the delta area of the Ganga and the Brahmaputra. It consists mainly of whistling pines, mangrove dates, palms, and bulletwood. They have roots that consist of soft tissue so that the plant can breathe in the water.

Dry deciduous forest
Dry deciduous forests are found throughout the northern part of the country except in the North-East. It is also found in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. The canopy of the trees does not normally exceed 25 metres. The common trees are the sal, a variety of acacia, and bamboo.

Thorn
This type is found in areas with black soil: North, West, Central, and South India. The trees do not grow beyond 10 metres. Spurge, caper, and cactus are typical of this region.

Dry evergreen
Dry evergreens are found along the Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka coast. It has mainly hard-leaved evergreen trees with fragrant flowers, along with a few deciduous trees.

Montane sub tropical forests

Broad-leaved forests
Broad-leaved forests are found in the Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats, along the Silent Valley. There is a marked difference in the form of the vegetation in the two areas. In the Silent Valley, the poonspar, cinnamon, rhododendron, and fragrant grass are predominant. In the Eastern Himalayas, the flora has been badly affected by the shifting cultivation and forest fires. These wet forests consist mainly of evergreen trees with a sprinkling of deciduous here and there. There are oak, alder, chestnut, birch, and cherry trees. There are a large variety of orchids, bamboo and creepers.

Pine
Pine forests are found in the steep dry slopes of the Shivalik Hills, Western and Central Himalayas, Khasi, Naga, and Manipur Hills. The trees predominantly found in these areas are the chir, oak, rhododendron, and pine. In the lower regions sal, sandan, amla, and laburnum are found.

Dry evergreen
Dry evergreen forests normally have a prolonged hot and dry season and a cold winter. It generally has evergreen trees with shining leaves that have a varnished look. Some of the more common ones are the pomegranate, olive, and oleander. These forests are found in the Shivalik Hills and foothills of the Himalayas up to a height of 1000 metres.

Montane temperate forests

Wet
Wet montane temperate forests occur in the North and the South. In the North, it is found in the region to the east of Nepal into Arunachal Pradesh, at a height of 1800–3000 metres, receiving a minimum rainfall of 2000 mm. In the South, it is found in parts of the Niligiri Hills, the higher reaches of Kerala. The forests in the northern region are denser than in the South. This is because over time the original trees have been replaced by fast-growing varieties such as the eucalyptus. Rhododendrons and a variety of ground flora can be found here.

In the North, there are three layers of forests: the higher layer has mainly coniferous, the middle layer has deciduous trees such as the oak and the lowest layer is covered by rhododendron and champa.

Moist
This type spreads from the Western Himalayas to the Eastern Himalayas. The trees found in the western section are broad-leaved oak, brown oak, walnut, rhododendron, etc. In the Eastern Himalayas, the rainfall is much heavier and therefore the vegetation is also more lush and dense. There are a large variety of broad-leaved trees, ferns, and bamboo. Coniferous trees are also found here, some of the varieties being different from the ones found in the South.

Dry
This type is found mainly in Lahul, Kinnaur, Sikkim, and other parts of the Himalayas. There are predominantly coniferous trees that are not too tall, along with broad-leaved trees such as the oak, maple, and ash. At higher elevation, fir, juniper, deodar, and chilgoza can be found.

Sub alpine
Sub alpine forests extends from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh between 2900 to 3500 metres. In the Western Himalayas, the vegetation consists mainly of juniper, rhododendron, willow, and black currant. In the eastern parts, red fir, black juniper, birch, and larch are the common trees. Due to heavy rainfall and high humidity the timberline in this part is higher than that in the West. Rhododendron of many species covers the hills in these parts.

Alpine

Moist
Moist alpines are found all along the Himalayas and on the higher hills near the Myanmar border. It has a low scrub, dense evergreen forest, consisting mainly of rhododendron and birch. Mosses and ferns cover the ground in patches. This region receives heavy snowfall.

Dry
Dry alpines are found from about 3000 metres to about 4900 metres. Dwarf plants predominate, mainly the black juniper, the drooping juniper, honeysuckle, and willow.

Karnataka Forest
The state of Karnataka in South India has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It has a recorded forest area of 38720 km2 which constitutes 20.19% of the total geographical area of the state.These forests support 25% of the elephant population and 15% of the tiger population of India. Many regions of Karnataka are still unexplored and new species of flora and fauna are still found. The Western Ghats mountains in the western region of Karnataka are a biodiversity hotspot. Two sub-clusters of the Western Ghats, Talacauveryand Kudremukh in Karnataka, are in a tentative list of sites that could be designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The Bandipur and Nagarahole national parks which fall outside these subclusters were included in the Nilgiri biosphere reserve in 1986, a UNESCO designation. The state bird and state animal of Karnataka are Indian roller and the Indian elephant respectively. The state tree and state flower are sandalwood (Santalum album) and lotus respectively. Karnataka has more tigers than any other state in India.

























Karnataka is bestowed with very rich fauna & flora because of variety of habitats in the form of Western ghats, Eastern ghats, Eastern plains, and Coastal areas. Several of the species are endemic to the State. Increasing population and faster developmental activities as a part of globalization process have put immense pressure on the flora and fauna. Effective conservation measures taken up have resulted in protection and increase of wildlife populations in certain pockets. Invading trend of human activities combined with spilling of wildlife populations out of their habitat has resulted in severe man wildlife conflicts. To achieve co-existence of human and wildlife it is necessary to improve the wildlife habitat to contain the wildlife in the forest areas. It is also necessary to provide protective barriers not to allow the spilling of increased wildlife populations beyond the forest areas.



















Nature Camp to Shivanalli and Bannerghatta Zoological Garden-December 10th 2014
Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Energy and development, on 10.12.2014 organized an education trip to Ramakrishna Mission, Shivanalli as a part of Nature camp Activity to Students from Parikrama humanity foundation. Executive Director of the Institute, Faculty members and School teachers visited the campus Travelling through Bannerghatta National park after crossing Ragi Halli Village.

Ramakrishna Mission, Shivanalli along with Karnataka forest Department is contributing its effort to bring awareness to students and other individuals to preserve nature and its components. Identifying it as a natural treasure house students were taken there for an exposure of the forest (Private). Head of the Ashram Shri. Swamiji addressed every one about the place, activities of the Ashram, the Facilities they are providing to Government School Children of Adjoining villages of the Ashram. Students were Practically shown various types of trees Species ranging from Ficus Tree to Bamboos. They were provided with the knowledge of History, leaf, fruits, flowers characteristics of a individual tree species. The Ashram forest Area Constituted of Tectona Grandis, Saraca shoka, Swetaenia maahagani, Santalum album, Emblica officinalis, Terminalia Indica etc… Spineless bamboos caught attention of the visitors making them feel a Natural Forest wilderness view. An artificially Created Water Hole inside the campus served to be the major attraction for the Wild Animals and Birds.

Afternoon Students were taken to Bannerghatta Zoological Garden Where they had an Practical view of Wild animals in their natural habitat, wild animals like Elephant, gaur, leopard, jackal, fox, wild pig, sloth bear, sambar, chital, spotted deer, barking deer, common langur, bonnet macaque, porcupine etc.. They were briefed about the food habits, habitats and features of individual animal by zoo instructors. After Thanking Concerned officials Students were brought to their School campus.