Forest-A Gift of Nature to The Mankind
“In Indian mythology Forests are not known simply a resource of wood or other things but it is worshiped and regarded as ‘God of Forest’ (VAN DEVTA).”
Forests that cover nearly one-third of the world’s land are the very important and invaluable gift of nature to the mankind. Since times immemorial, forests are considered as the universal and unending source of many sorts of raw material by the men. From eatables to cooking wood, from clothing to housing facilities, everywhere we are being directly or indirectly benefitted by the forests.
Forests play very important role in the economy of a country. In India, our approximately half the population even today depend on the forests for their fuel needs. The fodder demand for the cattle are met from the forests. From the economic point of view, the paper manufacturing industries are mainly depend upon the forests for the need of the wooden pulp. The soil erosion and flood control are only possible with the existence of forests. Even the rain, on which the Indian agriculture depends, is possible with the forest. Even the rain, on which the Indian agriculture depends, is possible with the forest. The eco-balance means the conservation of the environmental purity is mainly done with the conservation of the forests. Forests rescue the mankind by absorbing the Carbon dioxide and exhaling the life gas, .the oxygen.
India is one of the few countries which has a forest policy since 1894. It was revised in 1952 and again in 1988. The adoption of the National Forestry Policy in 1988 was one of the first steps in checking the depletion of the country’s forest cover. At that time the average forest cover in the countries of the world stood at 27% while India’s forest cover stood at 19.49%. The first step towards probing any problem is inevitably the unraveling of all the threads in it, i.e., finding out the root causes and the magnitude of the problem. The Forest Survey of India, Dehradun was given the mammoth task of finding out the state of the Environment and report it every two years. After a lot of thought, the initiatives that were introduced to combat the shrinking forests were mainly two-pronged, it was decided to not only create new areas of green cover, it was also realized that a participatory approached to the problem was essential. As part of the first approach, large block plantations were made in the existing forest. Part of the second approach was the introduction of the practice of Joint Forest Management where the local people share both the responsibility for managing the resource and the benefits that accrue from this management. This motivates the local to identify themselves with the development and protection of the forest from which they derive benefits. However, practices such as shifting cultivation, continued falling of trees and encroachment remain the main hurdles in our achieving and ambitious target of having a forest cover of 33%. The slogan of Each one plant one’ needs to be put into practice for our land to breathe again with its green lungs. Community based forest management is the latest rage in many countries of the region. Although the details differ from country to country, the rhetoric calls for (i) ending the state monopoly of control over significant tracts of forest land, (ii) recognizing how community needs and knowledge about forest management can complete scientific foresty management, and (iii) relinquishing control over forest management to community based used groups. The rhetoric is full of “participation” “environmental sustainability”, “Cooperation”, and even “equity” and “gender sensitivity”.
Some of the articles in Indian constitution are also related to the protection of Forests. According to Article 48-A the state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environments and to safeguard the forest and wildlife of the country Articles 51-A(g) confers a fundamental duty upon every citizen of India to protect the environment . It shall be duty of every citizen of protect and improve the national environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.
Forests have great values in our live and are important regulators of the ecosystem. Forest have productive, protective and aesthetic values for all living creatures. forest are productive because they provide us with fire factors- food, fodder, fruit, fibre and fertilizers. Forests also generate a healthy environment and help in the conservation of moisture, soil and surface run – off water. Needless to say, our very existence depends on the forest cover we have as forest absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reducing atmospheric pollution. They maintain a carbon dioxide and oxygen balance in nature. It is time to be careful and cautious while undertaking further deforestation.
Forest not only help the mankind but also a source of livelihood for the wild life and the birds. These beautiful creatures of the Almighty are given full shelter and protection by the forest. Had there been no forest, this earth would have been destroyed since long. No body could have find the Lions, The Tigers, the Zebras, the beautiful birds which have been a source of inspirations to many poets and writers. The merciless destruction of forests must be stopped if the mankind wants to save itself from the curse of the nature. The man has now become aware to the vagaries of the nature and understand the reasons thereof. The need of intensive foresty is being realized in India, we worship the trees and treat them as living creatures. For preservation of this precious gift of the nature in the shape of the forest common needs the general awakening. The presentation and conservation of the forest is essential of the well beings of every creature on this earth.
The great lover of nature, Wordsworth has rightly written :
“One impulse from the vernal wood May teach you more of man Of moral evil and of good Than all the sages can.”