Measures of Forest Conservation

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Definition

  • Afforestation: Planting trees on lands which are not previously covered with forest vegetation. 
  • Agro-forestry: The sustainable system of managing a piece of land through combined production of agricultural crops and forest crops and animal rearing, to ensure the most efficient land use in accordance with socio-cultural practices of the local people. 
  • Deforestation: The clearing or thinning of forests by humans for wood, crop lands and grazing land. 
  • Farm forestry : The practice of growing trees on farm land to produce saleable products like timber, tannin, charcoal, etc. and to provide shade and shelter for stock and crops. 
  • Reforestation: Re-establishing a forest by planting trees in an area from which forest vegetation has been removed. 
  • Social Forestry: The management and protection of forests and afforestation on barren lands with the purpose of helping in the environmental, social and rural development. 

Notes

Measures of Forest Conservation 

To stop deforestation and prevent forest lands from being diverted for non-forest uses, the following conservation practises must be implemented:

  1. lncreasing the Area Under Forests: Forest loss can be resolved by a massive tree planting programme. Planting trees on degraded and unfit for agriculture lands will not only help to improve the environment, but will also ease harvesting pressure on these forests.
  2. Afforestation around Industrial Units: Pollution levels are much higher in areas where industries are located. Pollutants are produced in greater quantities in cities with Iron and Steel Plants than in other cities. This is because air emissions from steel plants emit particulate matter, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and hydrogen fluoride, all of which pollute the air. Furthermore, these steel plants emit significant dust levels of around 20 kg per metric ton of steel. To stop pollution, trees are planted around cities with Iron and Steel Plants. The trees serve as a dust barrier and purify the air.
  3. Stopping Indiscriminate Felling of Trees: The felling of naturally growing trees should be strictly prohibited. If a tree must be cut down, the necessary permission must be obtained. Furthermore, proper tree replacement should be undertaken by planting saplings at a ratio of at least 1: 10 (1 tree to 10 saplings).
  4. Establishing Corridors between Different Reserved Forests: Wide corridors should be established in various reserved forests to allow wild animals to migrate. This will also assist numerous animal species in using these corridors for dispersal and migration.
  5. Using Alternative Sources of Energy: Trees are cut down in many parts of the world, including India, to provide firewood. To conserve forests, we must use non-conventional or renewable energy sources such as solar energy, tidal energy, hydel energy, and so on.
  6. Proper Legislation and its Implementation: To combat deforestation, strict laws should be made. Care should be taken to ensure that these laws are strictly enforced.
  7. People's Participation: Participation of the local community is critical if any plan is to be implemented because the local residents are the ultimate users. Local communities are now involved in the planning, decision-making, and implementation of the majority of programmes.
  8. Developing badlands and barren lands into vegetation belts. 

Draft National Forest Policy 2018

The Draft National Policy 2018 aims for sustainable forest management by incorporating elements of ecosystem security, climate change, forest hydrology, a strong framework for monitoring and developing forest cover, and a stronger overall environmental balance.

  • The overall objective and goal of the policy is to protect the ecological balance and livelihood of people, both present and future generations, through sustainable forest management.
  • The country should have at least one-third of its total land area covered by forest and tree cover, with the remaining two-thirds in hills and mountainous regions. This will aid in the prevention of soil erosion and land degradation, as well as make sure the stability of delicate eco-systems.
  • Reverse forest degradation by rehabilitating it without compromising its natural profile.
  • By using integrated watershed management techniques and practises, we can reduce denudation and soil erosion in river and wetland catchments.
  • Forest vegetation and soil health must be maintained in order to improve water supplies through recharge of underground aquifers and regulation of surface water flows.
  • Protect forest land by limiting diversion for non-forestry purposes and closely monitoring compliance with the conditions.
  • Manage protected areas and other wildlife-rich areas with the primary goal of conserving biodiversity and improving other ecosystem services.
  • Increase substantially the tree cover outside forests by promoting agro-forestry and farm forestry.
  • Integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation measures into forest management through the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus) mechanism to reduce the effects of climate change.
  • Managing and expanding green spaces in urban and peri-urban areas (outskirts or hinterland) to improve well-being of citizens.

Social Forestry

  • It refers to the management and protection of forests and afforestation on barren lands with the purpose of helping in the environmental, social and rural development. 
  • Social forestry is people-oriented, value-based joint management of forests with the primary goal of meeting the needs, wants, and aspirations of both the people and the government. It encompasses a nearly limitless range of activities on uncultivated land, reducing the strain on the nation's forest resources.
  • Social Forestry is also known as extension forestry, mined forestry, urban forestry, tree farming, Vanamahotsava, recreation forestry, livestock forestry, etc. Most of these names indicate utility of the forest features of Social Forestry.
  • Social forestry is forestry for community development. It consists of:
    a. restoration, reallocation, reorganisation of existing forest lands for the total development of the land and the people living on it;
    b. joint management of the forest and its production processes; and
    c. developing the socio-economic structure that makes the above two possible.  

Objectives of Social Forestry 

The main objectives of Social Forestry, as recommended by the National Commission on Agriculture, include the following: 

  • Providing rural people with fuel wood, cattle fodder, timber, and minor forest products.
  • Utilising the available land according to its productive capacity. 
  • Providing raw materials to local cottage industries to help them grow.
  • Providing efficient conservation of soil and water.
  • Providing employment opportunities to the rural people.
  • Increasing agricultural production by using cow dung a s manure.
  • Fulfilling the recreational needs of the people.
  • Improving the aesthetic scene of the area.
  •  Achieving all-round rural development as a part of integrated rural development programme. 

Agro-Forestry 

  • Agro-forestry is a part of social forestry and constitute a transitional stage between forestry and agriculture.
  • Agro-forestry refers to "the sustainable system of managing a piece of land through combined production of agricultural crops and forest crops and animal rearing, to ensure the most efficient land use under a management system in accordance with socio-cultural practices of the local people."
  • Agro-forestry aims to provide land conservation and improvement in order to achieve a combined produce of forest and agricultural crops.

Objectives of Agro-Forestry

  • To reduce pressure on natural forests for obtaining timber as well as non-timber forest produce.
  •  To check soil erosion and to maintain the natural fertility of the soil. 
  • To maintain ecological balance along with proper utilisation of farm resources. 
  • To make the best use of all the available resources like land, manpower, livestock, ecological factors, etc., to obtain a variety of forest products such as food, fuel, fodder, livestock, recreation and a variety of forest products sustainably from the same land. 

Agro-forestry differs from traditional forestry in the sense that it is not vulnerable to population pressures. It is created in accordance with the  sociocultural practises of population. In fact, agroforestry collaborates with local population and lessen population pressure on traditional forestry.

Sustainable Agroforestry To Combat Hunger In India

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