Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) on 11 November 2014 launched Geographical Information System (GIS)-based Decision Support System to help take informed decisions. The portal was launched to bring the transparency and reduce delays in forest-related regulatory clearances.
The first phase of system will incorporate geo-referenced layers of forest cover as per the latest State of Forest Report by Forest Survey of India, forest types, biological richness, landscape integrity, protected areas, tiger reserves and corridors.
The second phase of the system will incorporate GIS layers of Net Present Value (NPV), hydrological layers and forest cover as per the previous state of forest reports. Besides, it will also cover almost 500 Eco Sensitive Zones (ESZs) across the country.
Importance of GIS-based Decision Support System
• It will help fast track the process of regulatory forest clearances for speedier economic growth while ensuring that development and protection of environment go hand-in-hand.
• It will help officials in getting relevant information while it will have the satellite imagery and details about the forest cover. Projects and other activities being carried out in the forests can be monitored.
• It will also help save time and will facilitate in taking merit based decisions without delay and in a transparent manner.
• It would facilitate informed and objective decision on forest clearance applications and it would also facilitate the ministry to identify the inviolate forest areas
• It would also facilitate the government to classify forests of the country based on ecological significance.
The launch of the system is in line with the spate of initiatives taken by the Environment Ministry since June 2014 to make the regulatory process more transparent and provide speedy clearances to the stalled projects that hampered development.
Earlier in mid-2014, the Ministry had launched portals for online submission of applications for grant of environment and forest clearance and zoo authority.
When: 11 November 2014
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