Forest Conservation in Indian Subcontinent
Forests have an intricate interrelationship with life and environment. Forests not only provide wood but they directly control floods, drought, soil erosion etc. These provide numerous direct and indirect advantages to our economy and society. Conservation of Forests is of vital importance for the whole world.
Hence, conservation of forest is of vital importance to the survival and prosperity of humankind. Accordingly, the Government of India proposed to have a nation-wide forest conservation policy and adopted a forest policy in 1952, which was further modified in 1988. According to the new forest policy, the Government will emphasize sustainable forest management in order to conserve and expand forest reserve on the one hand and to meet the needs of local people on the other. The forest policy aimed at:
(i) Bringing 33 percent of the geographical areas under forest cover;
(ii) Maintaining environmental stability and to restore forests where ecological balance was disturbed;
(iii) Conserving the natural heritage of the country, it’s biological diversity and genetic pool;
(iv) Checks soil erosion, extension of the desert lands and reduction of floods and droughts;
(v) Increasing the forest cover through social forestry and afforestation on degraded land;
(vi) Increasing the productivity of forests to make timber, fuel, fodder, and food available to rural population dependant on forests, and encourage the substitution of wood;
(vii) Creating a massive peoples movement involving women to encourage the planting of trees, stop felling of trees and thus, reduce pressure on the existing forest.