and its Importance
Forests are an important
component of our environment and are dominated by microorganisms, flowering
plants, shrubs, climbers, dense trees and provide a vast habitat for wild
animals. Forests also contribute to the economic development of our country.
Forests are vital for human life, it is a source for a wide range of renewable
natural resource. They provide wood, food, fodder, fibre and medicine.
Forests are major factor
of environmental concern. They act as carbon sink, regulate climatic
conditions, increase rainfall, reduce global warming, prevent natural hazards
like flood and landslides, protect wildlife and also act as catchments for
water conservation. They also play a vital role in maintaining the ecological
Deforestation is the
destruction of large area of forests. This happens for many reasons like
intensive agriculture, urbanization, construction of dams, roads, buildings and
industries, hydroelectric projects, forest fires, construction of mountain and
forest roads. It is a threat to the economy, quality of life and future of the
environment. India is losing about 1.5 million hectares of forest cover every
Deforestation gives rise
to ecological problems like floods, drought, soil erosion, loss of wild life,
extinction of species, imbalance of biogeochemical cycles, alteration of
climatic conditions and desertification.
India has an area of
752.3 lakh hectare classified as reserved forests and 215.1 lakh hectare
as protected forests. The important measures taken for conservation of
forests are as follows
Afforestation: Activities for
afforestation programme (Van Mahotsav) includes planting and
protecting trees with multiple uses which help in restoration of green cover.
Destruction of trees should be curtailed.
programme: It should be undertaken on a large scale with active
participation of the public and utilization of common land to produce firewood,
fodder and timber for the benefit of the rural community. This relieves
pressure on existing forests and to safeguard future of tribals.
through Laws: Adopting stringent laws and policies to conserve and
protect forests are through National Forest Policy, (1952 and 1988) and Forest
Conservation Act, 1980.