o FORESTS IN
o WHAT'S NEW ?
National Forest Policy, 1988 envisages the people's involvement in development and protection of forests. The mechanism of Joint Forest Management (JFM) was adopted by the government in 1990. Its objective is to regenerated and develop degraded forests for environmental needs and to provide fuelwood, fodder, NWFPs and timber to local people living in and around forests. The JFM has since been institutionalised by most of the states. The emphasis has been on the formation of a village institution such as Village Forest Committees (VFCs) and empowering them for participatory management of degraded forests on a benefit sharing basis. By September, 1998, Twenty-one States had issued resolutions for JFM and around 7 million ha. of degraded forests were being managed by about 35000 VFCs.
ROLE OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS (NGOs)The NGOs being private, voluntary, non-profit organisations have the requisite strength to support community/participator activities- i.e. to organise people, provide training, deliver extension services, identify income earning activities and facilitate market access. They will also be able to provide an independent view and comment on development proposals and their impact. NGOs can also provide useful inputs in support of sustainable forest management. NGOs, therefore, should be suitably involved in Forestry-Development activities.
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENTForestry is multi-disciplinary, and the array of skills needed should be turned to the specific needs of the sector from those of the highly professional staff to sub-professionals and field technicians. It also pre-supposes public education in forestry. The personnel administration in Government departments is based on the provisions of the service rules, which is not the HRD for a sector. The forestry sector in India is looked after by Government Forest Service; and its Human Resource Development is inadequate affecting the quality of performance in the sector. The appropriate expertise is necessary for efficient performance.
HRD is a crucial aspect requiring urgent attention. There is need to inculcate a development/enterpreneurial culture and conservation ethic into the profession, involving refresher training and retraining. Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA), Dehra Dun and other institutes provide professional training in forestry. These have recently taken various curriculum of HRD.