Here is a compilation of essays on the ‘Community Movements for Conservation of Environment’ for class 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Community Movements for Conservation of Environment’ especially written for school and college students.
Community Movements for Conservation of Environment
- Essay on Van Mahotsava
- Essay on Chipko Movement
- Essay on Silent Valley Project
- Essay on Joint Forest Management (JFM)
- Essay on Afforestation Including Social Forestry and Agro-Forestry
Essay # 1. Van Mahotsava:
Forests control soil erosion and landslides. In hilly areas trees along river banks keep soil intact. Trees arrest rain torrents and maintain soil stability. Top soil erosion can be prevented by afforestation. In a grassland, cattle eat the green parts of plants with the result that underground parts become weak. This makes the soil weak. Thus grazing should be controlled.
There are many methods to control the soil erosion like:
(i) To cover the soil with thick vegetation.
(ii) Keeping the soil rough.
(iii) Rotation of crops.
(iv) Extensive plantation of trees to develop shelter belts.
Forests recycle moisture back into their immediate atmosphere by transpiration where it again falls as rain. In 1950, Sh. K. M. Munshi, then minister of food and agriculture started Van Mahotsava. This was done to increase forest wealth of country and thereby reducing soil erosion. It is celebrated during first week of February and July of every year.
Plantation done to raise the forests prevent soil erosion due to:
(i) Their roots bind soil particles.
(ii) Their fallen leaves decrease the speed of water flow.
(iii) These also decrease the wind velocity.
Essay # 2. Chipko Movement:
In December, 1972, the illiterate tribal women of a small hilly village of upper reaches of Himalayas commenced this unique movement against the exploitation of forests by the timber merchants. This demonstration transformed into first Chipko movement in Mandel village of Chamoli district in April 1973, when people declared that they would cling to trees if trees were felled by a sport goods company.
This movement was led by Shri Sunder Lai Bahuguna and Shri Chandi Prasad Bhatt. Later a voluntary institution called Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sangh was formed and a massive membership campaign was launched to demonstrate against removing trees and upto 1978 this movement spread over entire Tehri-Carhwal area of Uttaranchal.
Main features of chipko movement were:
i. It was based on Gandhian thought and persuaded the men and women not to indulge in violence.
ii. This movement remained non-political though several political parties supported it.
iii. It raised certain fundamental issues and questioned the development based on the ruthless butchery of nature. The common people were made aware that deforestation leads to landslides which may threaten the human beings.
iv. It was a totally voluntary movement and relied upon the motivation and morale of small groups of people.
v. It was concerned with the ecological balance of nature. It propagated the idea that ecology as permanent economy.
vi. Main aim of Chipko movement was to give a slogan of five Fs – Food, fodder, fuel, fibre and fertilizer trees; and to make communities self-sufficient in all their basic needs.
i. It stimulated an all-round debate on the problems of economic and social development. Mr. Bahuguna presented the plan of conservation of soil and water through ban of tree-felling at the UNEP meeting held in June 1982 in London.
ii. It inspired similar movements in other parts of country as well e.g. “Appikko movement” was started on September 8, 1983 against the felling of trees in the Kalese forest of North Kanara district of Karnataka. This movement was led by Shri Fanduranga Hegde.
Essay # 3. Silent Valley Project:
The Silent Valley Hydro-Electric Project was aimed to generate more energy for the power-deficit people of Palghat and Mallapuram districts of Kerala, enhancing irrigation facilities to increase agricultural production manifold and to generate employment for thousands of people.
But this project required the large- scale deforestation of large area of silent valley, the forests of which have over 900 species of flowering plants and ferns, large number of rare species of plants and animals, it was one of the world’s richest biological and genetic heritage. KSSP (Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishath) highlighted the wrong policies of distribution of electricity by the electricity board and advocated the increasing irrigation potential by alternative means. Environmentalists asserted the silent valley as home to one of the few remaining rain forests in Western Ghats.
Under the pressure of KSSP, the Kerala Government abandoned the project and declared the silent valley and adjoining areas as Bisphere Reserve.
Essay # 4. Joint Forest Management (JFM):
Joint Forest Management (JFM) committees have been set up as a partnership between the Government and local communities to recover degraded forests. The JFM involves the people’s role in the development and protection of forests. So for 17 states have issued their resolutions for JFM.
JFM involves the management of forests in following manner:
i. State Forest Department and voluntary village community/NGO should work together to implement JFM.
ii. Village community etc., (beneficiary) are entitled for share prescribed by state Government.
iii. Ownership should not be given to beneficiary.
iv. The beneficiaries can use products like grasses, tops of branches and minor forest produce. On successful protection of forests, they may get the benefit from sale of trees.
v. The working scheme should be prepared in consultation with beneficiaries.
vi. Suitable grant should be given to beneficiary for raising nurseries, preparing land and protection of plants etc.
vii. Grazing in such areas is not permitted.
viii. Fruit trees can also be grown in such identified places.
Indian JFM was initiated in 1990 with guidelines drawn from National Forest Policy document of 1988.
About ten to fifteen thousand participatory forest protection committees (FPC) covering about 1.5 million hectares of forest lands are involved in JFM. The scheme is still at initial stage of universal implementation. JFM has the objectives of providing fuel wood, fodder and small timber to village communities. Simultaneously, it also looks at development of forests.
Essay # 5. Afforestation Including Social Forestry and Agro-Forestry:
Different afforestation programmes. Man has now realised the importance of forests and the need for their conservation. The ideas of growing trees as a regular crop is fast spreading. Foresters agree that all our requirements of wood can be met if the forest conservation programmes are properly implemented.
The following steps can help to conserve the forest wealth:
(i) Social Forestry:
National Commission on Agriculture in 1976 for the first time embarked upon social forestry with the aim of taking the pressure off the forests and making use of all unused land. The trees of one type or different types of Indian or the foreign (exotic) species are planted on private land by people for use of society is referred to as social forestry.
Social forestry also aims at raising plantations by the common man so as to meet the growing demand for timber, fuel wood, fodder, etc., thereby reducing the pressure on the traditional forest area. This concept of village forests to meet the needs of the rural people is not new. It has existed through the centuries all over the country but it was now given a new character.
Mostly the multipurpose trees i.e., those that give products for more than one purpose wood, food, fodder etc., are planted e.g., Mango, Shisham, Safeda, Neem, Subabool etc.
Objectives of social forestry according to National Commission on Agriculture (1976) are:
(a) Fodder supply.
(b) Fuel wood supply to replace cowdung.
(c) Timber supply up to some extent.
(d) Protection of agricultural fields against winds.
(e) Recreational needs.
Social forestry was earlier under National Rural Employment Programme. It has been merged now with Integrated Rural Development Programma (IRDP). Social forestry programmes are implemented through District Rural Development Agencies.
The term social forestry was introduced by NCA (1976) to denote tree raising programmes to supply firewood, fodder, small timber to rural people.
Social forestry programmes have been further classified into:
(a) Farm Forestry.
(b) Community Forestry.
(c) Extension Forestry.
a. Farm Forestry:
Trees are grown by farmers or the individual land holder for their personal use or for income. Individual farmers are being encouraged to plant trees on their own farmland to meet the domestic needs of the family. In many areas this tradition of growing trees on the farmland already exists.
Non-commercial farm forestry is the main thrust of most of the social forestry projects in the country today. It is not always necessary that the farmer grows tree for fuel wood, but very often they are interested in growing trees without any economic motive. They may want it to provide shade for the agricultural crops; as wind shelters; soil conservation or to use wasteland’.
Plants like safeda, poplar, shisham, kikar, mango and jamun are commonly planted for farm forestry. The Government should stop subsidies on its own supply of wood to industries, thereby forcing the industry to buy from the farmers at a realistic price.
Farmers should have a range of other short rotation high value species besides Eucalyptus and Acacia (Kikar) on their land, which meet their various needs and spread the risk of their income from the collapse of any one in market.
b. Community Forestry:
Another scheme taken up under the social forestry programme, is the raising of trees on community land and not on private land as in farm forestry. All these programmes aim to provide for the entire community and not for any individual. The government has the responsibility of providing seedlings, fertilizer but the community has to take responsibility of protecting the trees. Some communities manage the plantations sensibly and in a sustainable manner so that the village continues to benefit.
Some others took advantage and sold the timber for a short-term individual profit. Common land being everyone’s land is very easy to exploit. Over the last 20 years, large-scale planting of Eucalyptus, as a fast growing exotic, has occurred in India, making it a part of the drive to reforest the subcontinent, and create an adequate supply of timber for rural communities under the augur of ‘social forestry’.
c. Extension Forestry:
Planting of trees on the sides of roads, canals and railways, along with planting on wastelands is known as ‘extension forestry’, increasing the boundaries of forests. Under this project there has been creation of a wood lots in the village common lands, government wastelands and panchayat lands.
Schemes for afforesting degraded government forests that are close to villages are being carried out all over the country.
Here trees are deliberately incorporated in the agricultural fields in temporal or sequential manner for both ecological and economic gains.
Planting of trees on and around agricultural boundaries, and on marginal, private lands, in combination with agricultural crops is known as agro- forestry.
Agroforestry is indeed a new name for an ancient land practice where land is used for agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry. Agro-forestry has been considered advantageous than traditional forestry.
In traditional forestry population explosion creates pressure and requires surveillance to prevent illegal grazing, illegal cutting and illegal clearing. On the other hand agro-forestry responds to population pressure and needs no surveillance, needs no unfamiliar technology. It conserves the environment, produces fodder, fuel, crops and timber.
Plants like Kikar, Mango, Safeda, Poplar, Siris are grown for this type of programme.
Some advantages of agroforestry are:
(i) It does not require any special care to prevent illegal cutting, grazing and clearing.
(ii) It is a cohesive approach to meet both food and non-food demands.
(iii) Few other types of forestry programmes are:
(a) Urban Forestry:
Growing of trees in urban areas in gardens, parks, along roadsides etc. for shade, aesthetic sense and maintaining ecosystem. Plants like Lagerstroemia, Gulmohar, Amaltas, Kachnar, Jacaranda, Bottle brush, Cassia etc. are planted.
(b) Village Forestry:
Trees are grown in village in the houses or in the common land for shade, for cattle and also maintain ecological balance etc. Plants like Neem, Kadamb, Amaltas, Kachnar etc. are famous for this forestry.
(c) Temple Forestry:
It is growing of trees in or around the compound of temples for their sacred value. Plants like Peepal, Bargad, Mango and Pagoda are grown for temple forestry.
(d) Institutional Forestry:
Planting of trees in blocks in the lawns or along boundary wall of institutions for shade, protection, beauty and maintenance of ecosystem etc.