National Forest Policy in India | 1894, 1952 and 1988

National Forest Policy

Forest Policy

National Forest Policy is a system of principles, rules, and regulations established by a government or organization to control the management and use of forest resources within a specified geographic area. Forest policy seeks to combine environmental, economic, and social goals of forests.

Importance of Forest Policy

Forest policy is important because it provides a comprehensive framework for conserving biodiversity, mitigating climate change, ensuring sustainable resource management, protecting watersheds, preserving cultural and social values, promoting human health and well-being, creating jobs, and facilitating responsible global trade.

Forest Policies in India

Forest policies in India include the National Forest Policy of 1894, the National Forest Policy of 1952, and the National Forest Policy of 1988.

National Forest Policy 1894

The Forest Policy of 1894 was developed by the Government of India based on Dr. Voelker’s report, “Improvement of Indian Agriculture.” This is India’s first national forest policy, implemented before to independence.

Main features

1. The primary goal of forest management is to improve the overall well-being of the country.

2. The preservation of enough forest cover is emphasized in order to preserve climatic and physical conditions and to meet people’s basic needs.

3. Government owned forest have been classified as follows:
a) Preservation forest: Forest whose preservation is required on climate and physical grounds
b) Commercial forest: Forest for supplying valuable timber and other commercial products
c) Minor forest
d) Pasture lands

4. This approach prioritizes permanent cultivation over shifting cultivation.

5. It prioritizes meeting the basic requirements of the local population.

6. Instead of maintaining forest reserves, the primary purpose is to maximize earnings.

Draw backs

1. It was created to meet the requirements of the British government.

2. It gives priority mainly to agriculture than forestry.

3. This makes it easier to divert forestlands for non-forestry purposes.

4. No guidelines for research and training in forestry.

5. Less stress is emphasized on the problems like shifting cultivation, forest fire, etc.

6. No guidelines on conservation and preservation of biodiversity.

7. There are no particular provisions for wildlife management. 8. There is less attention on catchment and forest management.

National Forest Policy 1952

It was independent India’s first forest policy, and it addressed the faults of the 1894 policy. This policy is based on our country’s long-term needs, which are as follows:

1. Need for evolving a system of balanced and complementary land use.

2. Need for checking the denudation in mountain region, soil erosion in riverbanks and invasion of sea sands on coastal tracks and shifting sand dune in deserts.

3. Need for the establishment of tree lands wherever possible.

4. To manage the progressively increasing demands (grazing, wood and firewood).

5. Need for the sustained supply of timber and other forest produces.

6. Need for the realization of the maximum annual revenue in perpetuity

Main features

1. The forest is to be for the maintenance of physical conditions of the country.

2. This policy classifies the forest as follows:

a) Protected woods are those that are necessary for the preservation of the country’s physical and climatic conditions.

b) National forests are those that are maintained and managed for national objectives (defence, communication industry, and so on).

c) Village forests are ones that are kept in order to provide fuel, small timber, and other forest products to local peoples, as well as grazing for cattle.

d) Tree lands are those areas through which the scope of the ordinary peoples outside the forest is satisfied. These are essential for the amelioration of physical condition of the country.

National Forest Policy 1988

The goal of this forest strategy is to preserve environmental stability and the preservation of ecological balance for the survival of all living forms, including humans, animals, and plants. This national forest policy was established in response to the following need:

1. To fulfil the population’s expanding energy demands.)

2. To follow the new directive principles and responsibilities outlined in the Indian constitution.

3. 1976 constitutional amendments and their emphasis on the environment.

4. Significant expansion of forest-based industry throughout this period.

5. The requirement for wildlife conservation guidelines.

Basic objectives

1. To preserve the ecosystem and restore its ecological balance.

2. Controlling soil erosion and denudation in catchment areas, as well as flood mitigation

3. To assess the extent of sand dunes in desert and coastal areas.

4. To improve forest and tree cover in deforested and degraded areas.

5. To fulfil the needs of tribal peoples

6. Preserving the ecological heritage

7. to boost forest productivity in order to suit varied needs 8. Encourage wood substitution and decrease in wood usage

9. To create a massive people movement and minimize the pressure on existing forest.

Essential of forest management

1. Existing forests should be conserved and increased in production.

2. It should be discouraged to convert agricultural lands to forests.

3. Biodiversity conservation should be boosted by the establishment of national parks, wildlife refuges, and biosphere reserves.

4. Encouraged afforestation initiative to address local demand for fuel wood

5. MFP manufacturing is encouraged in order to increase tribal employment and revenue.

Management strategy

1. Forests should cover at least one-third of the overall geographical area. Which hills and mountainous region should have two-thirds coverage?

2. Afforestation, social forestry and farm forestry Programme are encouraged.

3. Rights and concessions of the local peoples are suitably addressed.

4. Diversion of forest lands for non-forestry purposes is discouraged.

5. Wildlife conservation is given more importance.

6. Shifting agriculture practises are discouraged, but perennial crop cultivation through horticulture and tree farming is encouraged.

7. Special emphasis is paid to fire and grazing management.

8. Forest based industries are advised to meet their raw materials requirement from outside the forest.

9. Forest extension, research and personal management are more emphasized.

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