Environment is the most essential part of our sustenance. Kashmir valley is known world over for its natural beauty and pristine environment .Lush green gold in form of forests consist of wide variety of plant species like pine, cedar and Chinar, world famous water bodies like Dal and Wullar Lake, globally known wetlands, lofty mountains, eye catching glaciers have been symbols of kashmir’s huge environmental heritage. But since past few decades constantly a death blow is being lent to these great environmental resources of Kashmir on account of human greed and official apathy. Worrying statistics clearly prove this point.
. The last 2-3 decades have seen destruction of forests in almost every country, except for a few exceptions, mostly in the continent of Europe. Now, there are two kinds of countries: one, that have successfully reversed the trend of deforestation, and, second, that live with the sorry reality of declining forest cover. Dejectedly, we belong to the second category. The impact of deforestation is visible in urban areas too. Besides the rapidly increasing number of hotels and residential places around some of the lakes, silt washed from the mountains during the rains is described as the main reason for shrinking of the lakes. An effective forest cover would have prevented this.
All this environmental degradation has resulted in causing havoc to our nature and giving rise to abnormal climate patterns.
As a matter of fact, we had a forest cover of 21,000 sq. km. in 1930, which went down to 13,000 sq. km. in 1980. It is estimated that we lost another 15 to 20 per cent during the previous 20 years. The declining forest cover has also meant increase in man-animal conflict. Hearing news about man-wild animal conflict has become a usual affair in our part of the world.