FOREST POLICY, 1988
- · In resolution No. 13/52/F,
dated 12th May 1952, the Government of India in the erstwhile
ministry of food and agriculture enunciated a forest policy to be
followed in the management of state forests in the country. However,
over the years, forests
in the country have suffered serious depletion. This is attributable
to relentless pressures arising from ever-increasing demand for
fuel-wood, fodder an d timber; inadequacy of protection measures;
diversion of forest lands to non-forest uses without ensuring
compensatory afforestation and essential environmental safeguards;
and the tendency to look upon forests as revenue earning resource.
The need to review the situation and to evolve, for the future, a
new strategy of forest conservation has become imperative.
Conservation includes preservation, maintenance; sustainable
utilisation, restoration, and enhancement of the natural
environment. It has thus become necessary to review and revise the
national forest policy.
- The basic objectives that should
govern the national forest policy are the following:-
Maintenance of environmental stability through preservation and,
where necessary, restoration of the ecological balance that has been
adversely disturbed by serious depletion of the forests of the
Conserving the natural heritage of the country by preserving the
remaining natural forests with the vast variety of flora and fauna,
which represent the remarkable biological diversity and genetic
resources of the country.
Checking soil erosion and denudation in the catchment areas of
rivers, lakes, and reservoirs in the interest of soil and water
conservation, for mitigating floods and droughts and for the
retardation of siltation of reservoirs.
Checking the extension of sand dunes in the desert areas of
Rajasthan and along the coastal tracts.
Increasing substantially the forest/tree cover in the country
through massive afforestation and social forestry programmes,
especially on all denuded, degraded and unproductive lands."
Meeting the requirements of fuel-wood, fodder, minor forest produce
and small timber of the rural and tribal populations.
Increasing the productivity of forests to meet essential national
Encouraging efficient utilisation of forest produce and maximising
substitution of wood.
Creating a massive people's movement with the involvement of women,
for achieving these objectives and to minimise pressure on existing
- The principal aim of forest policy
must be to ensure environmental stability and maintenance of
ecological balance including atmospheric equilibrium, which are
vital for sustenance of all lifeforms, human, animal and plant. The
derivation of direct economic benefit must be subordinated to this
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