In this article, we will discuss The National Forest Policy. So, let’s get started.
The National Forest Policy
India is one of the very few countries of the world where forest policy 1s in operatıon since 1894 in 1952and 1988, revisions were made in the forest policy of 1894. The National Forest Policy of 1952 recommended that the country should aim at a coverage of one-third of the total land area under forest (60% in hilly and mountainous areas, and 25% in the plains). It has suggested the extension of tree-lands on river/canal banks, roads, railways, culturable waste and in such areas which are not suitable for cultivation.
The National Forest Policy 1952 classified the forests of the country into four categories:
(i) Protected forests essential for physical and climatic needs.
(ii) National forests to be utilised for the economic needs of the country.
(iii) Village forests to meet the fuel and domestic needs of villages and neighbouring towns.
(iv) Tree lands. The policy envisaged the annual organisation of Van-Mahotsava and tree
plantation week in the month of July/August.
The National Forest Policy 1952 lays emphasis on :
(i) Weaning the tribal people by persuasion to desist from shifting cultivation.
(ii) Implementation of forest laws more effectively.
(iii) To provide adequate facilities for the management of forest resources.
(iv) To control grazing of cattle, sheep and goats in forest areas.
(v) Providing fuel-wood to rural areas.
(vi) To improve the availability of timber wood for industrial purposes.
(vii) To increase the area under social forestry.
(Viii) To promote research in forestry.
The National Forest Policy 1988
The main emphasis of the National Forest Policy 1988 is on the protection, conservation, regeneratiom and development of forests. The main points of the National Forest Policy 1988 are:
(a) Maintenance of environmental stability through the preservation and restoration of ecological balance.
(b) Conservation of forests as a national heritage with vast varieties of flora and fauna.
(c) Control of soil erosion and denudation in catchment areas of rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
(d) Check on the extension of sand-dunes in desert areas of Rajasthan and along sea-coasts.
(e) Substantial increase in forest cover through massive afforestation and social forestry
(f) To meet the needs of fuel-wood, fodder and minor forest products for the rural and tribal people.
(g) Augment the productivity of the forests to meet national needs.
(h) Encouragement of efficient utilisation of forest produce and optimum substitution of wood.
(i) Steps to create massive movement of people with the involvement of women folk to achieve these objectives and to minimise pressure on existing forests.
(j) Involvement of people in forest management under joint forest management.
The National Forest Policy 2018
(a) The emphasis in this policy has been laid on the timber and forest based industries.
(b) The sections of Rights and Concession and ‘Tribal People and Forests’ have been replaced
by ‘Production Forestry’, Increase the productivity of forest plantations” and “Facilitate Forest industry interface that focus on increasing the timber yield
(c) It aims to use the degraded land available with the forest corporations for the production of quality timber.
(d) It emphasizes on bringing at least one third of India’s total geographical area under forest
cover through scientific approach.
(e) Focus is laid also on the international challenge of climate change.
(f) Monitoring of wild life to be adopted on long term basis inside and outside the forests for
maintain a balance.
(g) The commercial important trees ‘Paplar and Euclyptus’ have been encouraged in the draft ,though these are deep rooted and water demanding. These cause depletion of the
(h) The policy has not highlighted in detail the issues of diversion of forest land for mining
and other purposes and issues for projects in the region.