We have seen that resources are in limited amount on our planet and many people or stakeholders need them. But we also cannot exhaust everything right now, because then what would be left for our generations?
So the concept of sustainable management comes into picture. It states that we should use our resources such that our present needs are met, while saving enough resources for future generations.
The Chipko Andolan (‘Hug the Trees Movement’) originated in a remote village called Reni in Garhwal, during the early 1970s. There was a dispute between the local villagers and a contractor who had been allowed to fell trees in a forest close to the village. On a particular day, the contractor’s workers appeared in the forest to cut the trees and the women of the village reached the forest quickly and clasped the tree trunks thus preventing the workers from felling the trees. The Chipko movement quickly spread across communities and media, and forced the government, to whom the forest belongs, to rethink their priorities in the use of forest produce.
The case of West Bengal
In west bengal, Sal forests had been degraded due to improper use. An officer, A.K. Banerjee, saw this and started involving villagers in the protection of badly degraded sal forest. In return for help in protection, villagers were given employment, 25 per cent of the final harvest, and allowed fuelwood and fodder collection on payment of a nominal fee. With the active and willing participation of the local community, the sal forests of Arabari underwent a remarkable recovery – a previously worthless forest was valued Rs 12.5 crores.