After reading this article you will learn about the awareness of forestry programmes in India.
There are various forestry programmes regarding forest conservation in India. Though the forestry programmes are taken in all the states of the nation, they are successful only in certain areas. The reasons may be the lack of co-operation from the people or lack of dedicated staff.
The recent trend in the increase of awareness of the forestry programmes in India can be attributed to various reasons. The major reasons can be attributed to the spread of mass media and the success of the programme itself.
The important aims of increasing the awareness of forestry programmes in India are:
(i) To create an awareness among the general public about the environmental problems.
(ii) To motivate people to conserve the resources.
(iii) To promote understanding and co-operation among the foresters.
(iv) To conserve indigenous knowledge, tradition and culture that are friendly to the environment.
i. Principle of Forestry Programmes:
The basic principle of the forestry programme today, is: Think Globally, Act Locally’.
The principle of forestry also encompasses the realms of the following areas:
(i) To improve the quality of our environment,
(ii) To create an awareness on environment problems,
(iii) To create a milieu, so as to make people participate willingly in the programmes.
ii. The Role of State:
Almost all the forests are owned by the government and it is the responsibility of the government to initiate the process of forestry in India. Moreover, the government has the strength of the legislations with it, not to forget a huge capacity for spending on the forestry programmes.
Hence, it is the duty of the government to initiate the process of forestry, which would set a good precedent to others. Also, the government’s success in the forestry effort will stimulate many private land owners to try this method. Besides its regulatory activities, the state must also prove to be a harbinger of good forestry practices.
The National Forest Policy of 1952, only put forward the target of achieving 33% of forest cover in India. It did not give any specific ways to achieve this target.
But the National Forest Policy of 1988 was more comprehensive and dealt with both targets of getting 33% of forest cover in the plains and also 66% of forest cover in the hilly regions. Along with it, this policy also suggested the use of good forestry programmes for the achievement of the targets.
iv. Reasons for the Growth of Awareness of the Forestry Programmes:
There are many reasons for the spread of awareness of the forestry programmes.
It could be attributed to the following factors:
(i) There has been an whole-hearted effort from the government.
(ii) There is a surge of participation from the transnational companies.
(iii) There has been a spread of information and knowledge through the mass media revolution,
(iv) There is an increased participation of NGOs in this area.
(v) The people are sometimes motivated to participate in the programmes, which leads to better co-operation among the officials and the masses.
v. Environmental Education and Awareness:
Environmental Education has a fundamental role to play in motivating people to adopt enviro-friendly practices. The aim of such an endeavour should be to provide knowledge about the environment and to sensitize the people about the various controversies in environmental protection. The education process should also be able to instigate the people to be action-oriented.
There are two ways of imparting environmental education to the people:
(a) Formal Education:
This is made up of:
(i) Primary Education or
(ii) Secondary Education or
(iii) College Education
(b) Informal Education:
This consists of:
(i) Adult Education,
(ii) Conservation Development Corps (CDCs),
(iii) Tribal Orientation Programme, and
(iv) Clubs or eco-groups.
vi. Areas of Concentration:
The awareness of forestry programmes, (though aimed at the rural sector), has been a success only in the rural areas. This is, no doubt, a positive sign but it is imperative that the urban sector also participates in this programme, for only then will the targets be achieved.
In terms of topography, the plains have received lesser emphasis with regard to forestry development, while the hilly regions have always been the priority areas for forest development. In terms of the regional differences, there has been an emphasis on the western parts of the nation, viz., Rajasthan and Gujarat, as these states have an arid landscape.
vii. People’s Participation and Environmental Awareness:
Today it is generally recognized that most, if not all, non-destructive uses of forest are valid. Some areas may be set aside as parks; others for wildlife habitat or as wilderness. Still others will be managed for timber harvest or multiple benefits.
Today, conflicts arise primarily over where these different uses will be dominant. In the National Forests, such decisions are made through a land-use planning process in which the public has ample opportunities for input and involvement. Moreover, no forestry programme can succeed without the participation of the people.
Future of the Awareness Programme:
The Tiwari Committee Report, 1980, said in its report that there was a “…need to cultivate sound, well organized interest in the environment…” Considering the depletion of the forests from this point of view, there is a great need to promote environmental awareness among the people.
What has happened till now towards the creation of environmental awareness, with special regard to the awareness generated in the forestry area, needs to be considered as a welcome step.
Though, there might not be many forestry programmes that are large-scale, one cannot discount the impact of the smaller programmes, as they will be the torch-bearers for the future large-scale forestry efforts. Hence, it would be too early to brand any of the forestry programmes as a success or a failure.
Forests are considered as the mother of a country. It is our treasure of genetic-pool. It is like a factory continuously producing soil, oxygen, water, food and shade and other innumerable services. This valuable wealth has been bequeathed by our ancestors to the present generation.
But, in the recent years, a lot of change in the forests has taken place and that too in the negative sense. Hence, there arises a need to conserve the forests as they are the sole means of life-support system to this biosphere.