Patna: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Bihar Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change today jointly launched a new forest monitoring tool to 
improve forest monitoring, planning, and management utilising satellite images and geo-analytics.

While launching  the tool USAID/India Deputy Mission Director Karen Klimowski said here today that  in India, USAID invests in forest conservation, management, and restoration to build a sustainable and climate-resilient future for people and nature. USAID is hopeful that this new tool will increase the accuracy and consistency of forest landscape monitoring in the state of Bihar, he added.

State Principal Secretary (Forest) Mr. Dipak Kumar Singh  thanked USAID and said, “the Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change will scale up the use of the monitoring tool--which was tested in Gaya--to other parts of Bihar.”

Around the world, healthy forests provide food, jobs, clean water, and resilience to climate-related shocks, while storing carbon. Effective and consistent forest monitoring and management is critical, given the complex nature of each ecosystem. 

USAID, in partnership with the Government of India, is improving the rehabilitation and management of more than one million hectares of India’s forests. These better managed forests pull more carbon out of the air, enhance water yields, and improve livelihoods for indigenous and tribal communities. With a quarter of India’s population dependent on forests, support for these communities is critical not only to combat climate change, but advance inclusive development and economic growth for communities in rural areas. 

USAID/Indias forestry activities, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, supports important priorities of U.S. and Indian governments, contributing to the Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue of the U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership. The forestry pillar of the Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue will strengthen U.S-India collaboration on nature-based solutions, with a focus on managing forests to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon sequestration.

The new tool launched today provides reliable baseline information through remote sensing, instead of relying solely on field visits, which will help the Bihar Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change significantly reduce the time and resources required to implement and plan forestry interventions. Importantly, the tool is also low cost and easy to navigate.

The tool has been developed under USAID’s Forest-PLUS 2.0 program, which is a five-year joint program with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. Forest-PLUS 2.0  works in Bihar, Kerala, and Telangana to manage forests, which are an  important component of broad-based, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth that meets local needs and addresses global environmental challenges.