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More than 50 lakh trees disappeared in India between 2018 and 2022, research made a big revelation

New Delhi: More than 50 lakh trees from large agricultural lands in India are set to disappear between 2018 and 2022, partly due to changed farming practices, which is worrying. This has come to light in new research published in the magazine ‘Nature Sustainability’. The researchers said a noticeable trend is emerging in which agroforestry systems are being converted into paddy fields, even though a certain loss rate may naturally occur.

Big trees were removed

He said that within these agroforestry areas, large trees have been removed and trees with lower ecological value are now being planted in individual block plantations. Block plantations usually include fewer species of trees. Its numbers were found to be increasing and this was confirmed by some villagers interviewed in Telangana, Haryana, Maharashtra and other states. The team, including researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, said that the decision to remove trees is often motivated by the perceived low benefits of trees. This is also linked to concerns that shade from trees such as neem may adversely affect crop yields.

More than 50 lakh trees disappeared

The researchers said agroforestry trees are an important part of India’s landscape as they are a natural climate solution as well as generate socio-ecological benefits due to their ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the air. The study, excluding block plantations, mapped and monitored trees from nearly 60 crore agricultural lands over the past decade. They found that about 11 percent of large farm trees disappeared by 2018. Additionally, more than 5 million large farm trees could disappear during the period 2018-2022, partly due to changed farming practices, the researchers said. Because trees within fields are considered harmful to crop production.

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