Remedies of Deforestation
Change in the Forest Policy:
It should be specifically laid down in the National Forest Policy that the first change on the produce of the forests will be of the tribal, forest dwellers and other communities living in the vicinity of the forests, especially for the families living below the poverty line. The forest resource should be so managed that tribal and other poor forest dwellers become partners in their management so that they may have a sense of belonging to the forests not only for themselves but for their succeeding generation.
Launching a Massive Tree Planting Programme:
As will be apparent from what we have described above, if the remaining forest resource are to be maintained for scientific management, there is no escape from launching a country wide programme of tree planting not only in the degraded and barren forest areas under the contract of forest department but also on other suitable areas under the control of the revenue department, in community lands, along the vacant strips of land either side of roads, canals and rail tracks and in private lands belong to farmers.
Improvement of Livestock and Grassland:
The problem is essentially that of holding live stock in large numbers, far in excess of the carrying capacity of the pasture land available. While attempts are to be improve pasture land and grow more fodder, tree species for increasing production of fodder, the population of poor quality animals need to be reduced drastically and these should be replaced by a smaller number of animals of improved breeds. Public involvement in such a program is necessary especially in protection and subsequent management of improved grazing lands.
Regulation of Rights and Privileges:
Forest areas nearby the villages should be managed to meet the demands of the local population irrespective of the status of the forest. Since the areas around villages are almost bare, massive afforestation of these areas with fuel and fodder species should be taken up.
Modification for Central Act of Mining:
A mining cess should also be created to raise necessary funds required for replacement of mine spoils.
Guidelines for Road Construction: The roads are well-planned with minimum destruction to the area in the watershed.
Preparation of Environmental Impact Statement of Developmental Projects: Self-Sufficient in Raw Material for Wood Based Industries:
The industries should be encourages raising plantations to meet their raw material requirements. Such a project would not only release the pressure of industries from the existing forest resource but will also help in augmenting the resource.
Regulation of Shifting (Padu, Jhooming) Cultivation:
Shifting cultivation is a socio-economic problem. In order to lessen the hazards on this practice, as many of the people as possible engaged in this should be provided with an alternative source of living.
There are 188 preservation plots distributed over all the important forest types throughout the country covering an area of 8,422.35 ha have already been established. In addition, there are 205 Sanctuaries and 9 National Parks covering an area of a few thousand sq. km. These serve to some extent, as a base line or standard for monitoring changes that are taking place in similar ecosystems due to biotic activities.
The conservation of the existing forest resources will only be possible if we are able to meet the existing needs of the rural population.