Forests and Wildlife

Introduction

Forests are the biodiversity hotspots help in preserving the rich heritage of our mother nature. Some of the organisms including birds, flora, fauna and many other non-living entities must are safeguarded only if the forets are being tracked and maintianed. Biodiversity is the cohabitation of a diverse variety of plants, animals and microorganisms together in a specified geographic area. The variety of lifeforms can be bacteria, fungi, ferns, flowering plants, nematodes, insects, birds and reptiles among others. Preserving forests help the balance of ecosystem by keepin gthese creatures comfortable.However, on the other side, damage to the ecosystem’s biodiversity results in the loss of ecological stability. Hence, it is the duty of every individual and the respective governments to preserve the biodiversity hotspots.

 

Tree exposed to sunlight

 

Sustainable forest management strategies

Sustainable forest management is a practice in which everyone should contribute to the conservative ways of saving the forests. This will help to maintain the forest’s environmental, social and economic values which can benefit us sustainably for our future generations. The strategic operations and agenda of forest management must aim at long-term schemes. Many individuals, groups, and local communities have been working for the conservation of forests and other natural sources. You might have heard of the dedication from Saalu marada Thimmakka who planted thousands of trees. She was well known as an environmental enthusiast who planted and nurtured thousands of trees on the roadside. Magsaysay Award recipient Sunderlal Bahuguna who gave momentum to the Chipko Andolan also played a major role in preserving our rich heritage of forests. The Andolan was started in Reni in Garhwal by the women residents of village. Women tried to stop the commercial wood contractors from cutting the trees by symbolically expressing their resistance by hugging the trunk of the trees. The campaign has gained a lot of accolades from the government. Forest management strategy is the team -effort requiring some of the common strategies to save forests.

 

  1. Applying the principle of 3Rs, reduce, reuse, and recycle while managing the wastes.

  2. Use of renewable resources such as clothes and papers wisely as these sources consume lot of plant resources as their raw material.

  3. Policy parameters from the government must be stringent so that the perpetrators are given an appropriate imprisonment.

  4. All the office furniture, stationery, and other reusable materials must be wisely borrowed, shared and donated. Some of the material which can be shared instead of buying every time are books, papers, files, etc.

  5. Inculcate the habit of  planting a tree in the neighbourhood which can definitely help to preserve the greenery.

  6. Teaching school kids about the importance of natural sources through awareness camps by visiting the forest.

  7. Bush fires have been the burning issues in the recent past. The concerned department must actively work to prevent and manage them.

  8. We all must encourage silviculture  as it can  entertain cultivation of trees in a large scale.

  9. Red Data Book is helpful in preserving endangered species. It is a document for recording the list of the endangered and rare species of animals, plants and some indigenous species.

 

People’s Participation in the Management of Forests

A positive mindset of the locals who live in harmony with natural resources is vital for the conservation of forests. In 1972, the West Bengal forest department found that they have failed in maintaining the degraded Sal forests. Surveillance and policing had led to the complete alienation of the people which led to clashes between forest officials and villagers. So, to overcome this, the department was forced to change the strategy. Forest officer A.K. Banerjee involved the villagers to protect 1272 hectares of badly degraded Sal forests in Arabari forest range of Midnapore district. In return, he allowed villagers to collect fuel-wood and fodder on payment of a nominal fee.  Also, 25% of the final harvest was given to the village community.

 

1. Stakeholders of forest and wildlife conservation

  1. People who live nearby the close vicinity of the forest and who are dependent on forest produce for livelihood.

  2. The forest department of the respective Government which owns and controls all the resources from forests.

  3. Industrialists who use various forest produce for their business, but are not dependent on the forests in any one area.

  4. Wildlife and nature enthusiasts who want to conserve nature in its pristine form.

 

2. The local people and their role in forest management

The local people need construction material for the houses, wood for fire and bamboo for various purposes. On the other side, they use a lot of medicinal plants, fruits, honey, and cattle for their daily needs which would impose a greater burden on the natural sources. There may be a chance of exhaustion of these resources if the government fail to frame an agenda as per the local laws. However local culture and their sentiment are still helping to preserve some specific plant population that are believed to be precious by these locals. For example, the Bishnoi community, one of the minority group living in Rajasthan think that the  conservation of forest and wildlife is a religious practice and they are doing it effectively.  

 

3. The Forest Department and their influence on the diversity of plant life

The Forest Department plays a tremendous role in preserving the forests. Unfortunately, they alone cannot stop the exploitation of the forest resources. Their efforts must be complemented by the  people from many industries to develop a plan of action and implement it in a timely manner. Industrial purpose material such as woods of pine, teak or eucalyptus has been cut very frequently. It is advisable to implement a structured legal propaganda that help in growing plants.  

 

4. Industries and their influence on forest destruction

Some of the industrial owners are lobbying the governments resulting in the misuse of forest resources. Industries such as papers, clothes, bags, shipyards and some construction firms are actively involved in exploiting the forest resources for their raw materials. Although it is an unavoidable situation, the owners must be given a responsibility to plant and nurture trees on the other end.

 

5. Role of nature lovers in forest management

Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts may depend on the forests, but who may have considerable say in managing them. They work hand in hand with local people and governments to report the actual scenario and also to administer some awareness campaigns to discourage deforestation and other harmful activities.

 

 

Read more

1.    

Deforestation and its effects

2.

Forests and wildlife

3.

Preservation of water

4.

Sewage treatment

5.     

Management of natural sources                  

 

 

Questions

  1. Why do we need to save the forests?

  2. How can forests serve as biodiversity hotspots?

  3. Explain the sustainable forest management strategies.

  4. Mention the interested parties saving forests.



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