Saturday, 6 June 2015

Forest and Wildlife Resources

Importance -
India has immense diversity
Forms a complex web of ecological system, necessary for our existence
Recreates the quality of Air, Water and the Soil without which we cannot survive
Forests are the primary producers on which all other living beings depends
Are repositories of some of the country's most valuable forest products, minerals and other resources that meet the demands of the rapidly expanding industrial-urban economy.

Flora & Fauna in India
One of the world's richest countries
Nearly 8 % of the total number of species in the world
10% of India's recorded wild flora and 20% of mammals are on the threatened list

Classification according to International Union for Conservation of Nature & Natural Resources
Normal Species - population levels are considered to be normal for survival
Rare Species - population has declined to levels from where they can get into Vulnerable
Vulnerable Species - population has declined to levels from where they can get into Endangered
Endangered Species - population has declined to levels from where they can get into Extinct
Extinct Species - are not found after searches of know or likely areas where they may occur
Endemic Species - area specific

Negative factors that have caused fearful depletion
Transformation of nature into resources
Damage inflicted during British rule
Agricultural expansion (shifting cultivation)
Large scale development project (River Valley Project, Mining)
Grazing and Fuel wood collection
Habitat destruction, hunting, poaching, over exploitation, environmental pollution, poisoning and forest fires
Unequal access, inequitable consumption of resources and differential sharing of responsibility for environmental well being

Cultural and Social impact of decline of Biodiversity
Increasingly marginalized and changes in many indigenous and other forest dependent communities
Women with the responsibility of collection of fuel, fodder, water are affected more than men
Has led to serious health problems, negligence of homes and children
Severe drought or deforestation induced floods hit the poor the hardest

Conservation -
Why - Preserves the ecological/genetic diversity and our life support system
Steps taken - Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972
Establishment of National Park, Wildlife Sanctuaries
Several Projects - Project Tiger, Project Rhino
Full of partial legal protection against hunting and trade throughout India
Wildlife Act of 1980 & 1986
Six species of plants were added in this list in 1991

Classification of Forests
Reserved forest - half of the total forest land, most valuable
Protected forest - one-third of the total forest area
Unclassed forest - forest and wastelands belonging to government and private individuals and communities
(Reserved and Protected forests are often termed as Permanent forest, MP has the largest)

Community and Conservation
Villager in Sariska Tiger Reserve have fought against mining by citing the Wildlife Protection Act
Five villages in Alwar district have declared 1200 hectares of forest as the Bhairodev Dakav Sonchuri
Chipko Movement, Beej Bachao Andolan and Navdanya
Joint Forest Management, Odisha became to first to launch this programme in 1988

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