Forest Conservation Essay in India (Geography)
An Overview of Forest Conservation
Forests may provide a variety of ecosystem services including as converting carbon dioxide into oxygen, functioning as a carbon sink, assisting in climate regulation, purifying water, reducing natural dangers such as floods, and acting as a genetic reserve. Forests are also used for timber production and as leisure places.
Large-scale deforestation is occurring in the world’s tropical and sub-tropical countries as a result of rising population pressures in developing countries and over-industrialization, urbanization, and consumerism in industrialized countries.
Factors Responsible for Deforestation in India :
- Rapid population expansion in underdeveloped countries.
- Land extension for agricultural and grazing purposes.
- Increased demand for lumber, timber, paper, pulp, fuel wood, charcoal, and other forest products.
- In both developed and emerging countries, industrialization, urbanisation, and consumerism are occurring.
- Raw material demand for the forest and agro-based sectors.
- Land demand for infrastructure (roads, highways, trains, airports, irrigation, power, and telecommunication services) and civic amenities.
- Worldwide construction of multi-purpose dams.
- A shift in eating habits
- Third-world nations have a high rate of poverty. Poverty is considered to cause deforestation, either directly or indirectly.
- Erosion of soil,
- Biodiversity loss,
- A reduction in forest goods such as fruits, nuts, medicinal plants, wood, and timber.
- The drying up of mountain springs,
- Changes in the rate of albedo
- Disease spread as a result of global warming
- Loss of aestheticChanges in the weather.
India’s Forest Conservation Movements:
Chipko Movement In India
a. The Chipko movement, also known as the Chipko Andolan, was primarily a forest conservation movement in India that began in 1973 and went on to become a rallying point for many future environmental conflicts and movements around the world; it established a precedent for nonviolent protest in India.
b. The movement occurred at a time when there was little environmental movement in the developing world, and its success meant that the world took notice of this nonviolent movement, which was to inspire many such eco-groups in time by helping to slow down rapid deforestation, expose vested interests, increase ecological awareness, and demonstrate the viability of people power.
a. It was a revolutionary environmental conservation movement in India.
b. The Chipko (Hug the Trees) initiative in Uttarakhand, Himalayas, prompted locals in the Uttara Kannada area of Karnataka State, southern India, to initiate a similar effort to safeguard their forests.
c. Led by Panduranga Hegde, Salkani men, women, and children “hugged the trees” in Kalase forest in September 1983. (The Kannada word for “hugging” is appiko.) The Appiko movement sparked a fresh wave of awareness throughout southern India.
Forest Conservation Methods
i. Regulated and Planned Tree Cutting
Commercial tree cutting is a major cause of deforestation. Although trees are considered a perpetual resource, their recovery is impossible when utilised on a wide basis.
Using the following strategies to control cutting: I clear cutting, (ii) selective cutting, and (iii) shelter woodcutting.
The clear cutting approach is beneficial in locations where the same sorts of trees may be found throughout a big area. In this example, trees of the same age group are felled in a specific region and then tagged for replanting. However, only older trees are chopped down in selective cutting. This procedure is to be repeated in a loop.
Shelter woodcutting is the process of removing worthless trees first, followed by medium and highest grade timber trees.
Only one-tenth of the forest area is used in controlled cutting, and a rotating method is always used to safeguard it. This is known as the’sustained yield’ approach.
ii. Forest fire control
Fire is a typical cause of forest destruction or loss because trees are very flammable and difficult to manage once started.
Sometimes a fire is started by a natural mechanism, such as lightning or friction between trees in high winds, but most of the time it is started by man, either purposefully or accidently. To rescue forests from fire, modern firefighting tactics and well-trained personnel are required.
Some fire suppression strategies include creating three-metre-wide fire lanes around the perimeter of the fire, backfires, arranging for water spray, and spraying fire retardant chemicals from back tanks and, if feasible, aircraft.
iii. Reforestation and afforestation:
According to the maintained yield idea, anytime wood is removed, whether by block cutting or selective cutting, the denuded land must be reforested. Likewise, any wooded land that has been devastated by fire or mining should be reforested. Aerial seeding is the preferred option in difficult terrain.
Aside from that, new afforestation programmes should be launched. This would boost forest cover while also aiding in the restoration of the eco-balance. Trees should be chosen according on the geographical characteristics of the area.
iv Forest Clearance for Agricultural and Habitat Purposes:
Forestlands have been removed for the establishment of villages, towns, and cities, and this process continues to this day, resulting in the loss of forest cover. This should be investigated, and green belts surrounding cities should be built.
The majority of today’s agricultural land was previously wooded and later removed for agricultural use; it has progressed to the point where additional clearing would be hazardous to the entire ecosystem.
According to estimates, over 40 million square kilometres of land are utilised for shifting agriculture by 200 million tribals worldwide.
v. Forest Protection:
Aside from commercial cutting, one of the causes is disorganised grazing. There are various forest diseases caused by parasitic fungus, rusts, mistletoes, viruses, and nematodes that cause tree death.
Forests should be safeguarded by the use of chemical sprays, medicines, or the establishment of disease resistant tree strains.
vi. Appropriate Use of Forests and Forest Products:
Generally, trees are cut for logs and the rest, including stumps, limbs, branches, and foliage, is discarded as waste. Sawmills generate additional garbage. As a result, there is a need to make use of this trash.
Forests, too, can be utilised or developed as tourism destinations. The terms ‘national park’ and ‘game refuge’ are now widely used. This is a fantastic way to conserve forests.
vii. The Government’s Role in Forest Management:
The necessity of the hour is for policies to be implemented effectively.
(i) Pass promotes forest protection.
(ii) Inventory of forest resources,
(iii) Forest area categorization and correct delimitation of restricted forest areas
(iv) Determine the regions suitable for replanting.
(v) Control the commercialization of forest goods.
(vi) Protect the forest against wildfires, mining, and other natural disasters.
(vii) Create national parks.
(viii) Promote forest development activities such as social forestry, agroforestry, and so on, and
(ix) Create long-term and short-term master plans, among other things.
(x) The administrative framework for forest management,
(xi) Training programmes for those involved in forest conservation efforts,
(xii) Research and development of novel approaches for forest conservation,
(xiii) Forest research for efficient use and conservation, and
In summary, forest resource conservation may be accomplished via the collaborative efforts of the government, non-governmental groups, and the general people through a competent management system.