Suresh Limbachiya


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International Year of Forests 2011 : Celebration in India

Posted by Suresh Limbachiya on 21/04/2011

The United Nations General Assembly designated 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise understanding on sustainable management, saving and sustainable growth of all types of forests.

Forests for People” is the main theme of the Year, highlighting the full of life association between forests and the people who depend on them.

Forests 2011 provides an extraordinary opportunity to bring concentration to the interconnectivity between people and forests.  National, regional and local organizations around the world are encouraged to plan Forests 2011 events in line with their own interests and, in particular, to reach out to those in fields not traditionally considered directly related to forests. In fact, forests are important to nearly all kinds of human activity: providing shelter to people and locale to biodiversity; as a source of food, medicine and clean water; and play a vital role in maintaining a stable global environment and atmosphere.

The map below shows indicative location of the forests in India

Everything Green, Trees and what goes on under the trees, Understanding the Northern Ontario forest, Observations of the Natural Environment, Learning and teaching, Listening talking and listening again, Growing strong straight and healthy, Taking care of the saplings.

The basic objectives of the National Forest Policy, 1988 are  (1) maintenance of environmental stability  (2) preservation of the remaining natural forests; (3) checking soil erosion and in catchment areas to mitigate floods and droughts   (4) a substantial increase in forest cover through forestation and social forestry programmes  (5) meeting the fuel wood, fodder, NWFP and small timber needs of the rural population  (6) increasing the productivity of forests to meet essential national needs  (7) encouraging efficient utilization of forest products and maximizing substitution of wood  (8) Creation of a people’s movement, involving women, for achieving these objectives.

The campaign’s theme seeks to connect the concept of trees and forests to health in the everyday lives of Indian citizens. Trees impact our health in several areas. The campaign’s focus is on the role trees and forests play in: (1) Clean Air and Water (2) Ecosystem Health (3) Economic Health (4) Community/Personal Health.

Challenges to the Forestry Sector in India:

 With 17% of world’s population, and 18% livestock population over 2.4% of world’s total geographical area, India’s forests are facing severe biotic pressures as nearly 40% of domestic fuel wood needs of the people and 30% of fodder needs of the cattle population in the country are met from forests. The demand and the supply gap of timber, fuel wood and fodder is widening. Shifting cultivation (slash & burn cultivation) practiced over about 1.2 m ha., though associated with socio-cultural, legal and bio-physical characteristics, is also cause of degradation of forests predominately in eastern & north- eastern India. To deal with the stupendous task to overcome the problems forests are facing, National Forest Commission has recommended allocation of minimum 2.5% of national budget to the forestry sector.

Suresh Limbachiya, Librarian

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