2021 was a record-breaking year for environment and forest clearances

Data from the environment ministry shows that the number of forest, environment and wildlife clearances keeps rising every year, even as regulations are being weakened.

It’s like death by a thousand cuts. In a dense forest, vegetation along a straight line is cleared and the ground is laid bare. On it a road, a railway line, or a canal is built. On paper, and even to the casual observer, this looks like a small dent to the forest cover. A small line of orange surrounded by green. But as scientists are increasingly finding out, lines cutting through the forest can have damaging effects on a large area, because of the way ecosystems are interconnected. When wildlife and plants can’t cross them, even narrow paths have …


Nihar Gokhale

Nihar Gokhale led the Chaos coverage at The Morning Context. Nihar wrote on the environment, the economy and resource conflicts in India. He has reported from across the country on everything from displacement, pollution and environmental violations to land regulation, corruption and human rights. He was earlier associate editor at Land Conflict Watch, and his work has appeared in Scroll, The Wire, IndiaSpend, The Caravan and Mongabay India.

Editor, Chaos