Reckless denudation of forest wealth in India
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It has been shown in recent surveys, that in India there is an upward trend in the area of open forest, which has grown from 10.06 million ha to 26.32 million ha in a few years. But the closed forests of India have registered a fall from 36.02 million ha to around 33 million ha. The latter fact is both significant and disturbing. It proves that in spite of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, the process of degeneration of forests, in India, constantly continues. It is obvious that a part of the open forests must have come from closed forests due to the reckless denudation of forests, carried out in the name of development. A massive afforestation/reforestation programme is desired to achieve the target of one third of the geographical area of the country to be under forest cover for proper ecological balance. India has to develop a sound National Forest Policy to meet the requirements of the country, to produce industrial wood, for forest based industries, defence, communication and other public purposes, and small timbers fuel wood and fodder for the rural community. In this context the decision taken by the Control Board of Forestry in December, 1987, is quite encouraging. It was resolved that the extraction of wood from the forests would be stopped and the country's need for timber and fuelwood would be met by importing wood and by means of farm forestry. The reconstitution of the National Wasteland Development Board and the planting target of 5 million ha p.a. are other positive steps in this direction. Extensive research is needed for a better and new approach to social and commercial forestry.
KeywordsTimber Forest Cover Economic Geology Fuel Wood Forest Conservation
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