Forest Conservation in Jharkhand and Bihar
In the present era of global warming and drastic climatic changes the conservation of forest resources is an important topic. When we consider the case of Forests in Bihar, the forest cover in the state is very low as compared to the national geographical are under forest cover. Bihar has only 6.8 % of its total geographical area under forest cover while the national percentage is 23. So steps should be taken to prevent the natural disasters climate changes by increasing the area under forest cover. The main features and methods of forest conservation are discussed here.
Forests play a very important role in the life and economy of the nation. Forests vegetation and its occupying soil organisms make up as much as 90 % of the total biomass on land. Due to many reasons forests are destroyed in a large extend by the people in such a manner that the replenishment is not possible. Due to the deforestation the stability of many ecological subsystems has been greatly destroyed.
Once the forest cover is destroyed, severe soil erosion will take place and it will disturb the whole ecosystem. Dams will be clogged with silt and it will result in the increased chances of flooding. Floods damage crops, properties and public utilities. A forest also helps in conservation of soil and prevents desertification of the arable land. The forests also have a role in influencing the local climate of a place and ensure adequate rainfall year after year. Hence it is important to conserve the soil.
Steps taken by Government to conserve forests in Bihar and Jharkhand
The government is taking many steps to prevent the deforestation and to conserve the forest resources. The forest act of 1980 has been enacted primarily to check indiscriminate deforestation of forest lands for the purposes other than forestry. An amendment made in 1988 made the law more strict by prescribing punishments in case of violation of these rules.
Guidelines have been framed for stopping the felling of trees in forests and for the protection of the forests. The main features can be summarized as follows:
1) Working plans should be up to date and must stress conservation of forests.
2) Preliminary working plan should have a multi disciplinary approach.
3) Tribal rights and concessions should be highlighted along with control mechanisms.
4) Grassing should be studied in detail and specific prescriptions should cover fodder propagation.
5) Shifting cultivation and encroachments need to be controlled.
6) Banning all felling of trees above 1000 meters of altitude for a few years to allow recovery of areas.
7) Critical areas in hills and catchment areas prone to landslides, erosion etc.., should be totally protected and quickly forested.
The government has now set up a National Forest Fund. Initially its funds will be used for the unemployed youth, ex-service men and tribal people for planting trees.
The main element in the forest conservation process is to create awareness in the minds of people. People should be aware of the potential dangers they could face due to the deforestation and then only they will come forward to the conservation of resources. The awareness programs in the schools will be of great help.
What is Afforestation : It is important to provide the needs of the community for fuel wood and water. Planting of more and more trees will help to cater these needs and decrease the dependence of forest. Planting of trees will help in reducing soil erosion, floods, landslides and most of all. The important watershed areas should be found and reserved. Trees should be planted in the slopes of the mountains and areas prone to soil erosion.
What is Social Forestry : It is an important approach towards the conservation of forests. It involves the raising of fast growing trees to meet the demands of the community for fuel wood and fodder and reduce the stress on forests. Trees are planted on waste lands, common village lands and shelter belts in arid regions. Quick growing trees can be planted in the sides of the roads canals and the railway lines.
What can we do to presreve forests in Bihar and Jharkhand
Each and every person is responsible for the conservation of forests and it is to be always remembered that it is a matter concerning with our happy living in this planet. We can also give our contribution to these forest and soil conservation programs. Instead of making fences in the borders of your land plant a line of trees there. Make sure that in every special occasion like birth days or anniversaries you plant a sapling.