Utilisation of Denuded/Degraded Forests

The Government has formulated four major Centrally sponsored schemes for the regeneration and afforestation of denuded/degraded forests. These schemes under the Ministry of Environment & Forests provide for people s participation on usufruct sharing basis. The schemes are -

  1. Integrated Afforestation and Eco-Development Scheme (IAEDS) : The scheme follows an integrated approach to promote afforestation and development of degraded forests on watershed basis. During the Eighth Plan, central assistance worth approximately Rs194.51 crore was released to the states under the scheme. The area covered by this scheme was approximately 2.98 lakh hectares.

  2. Area Oriented Fuel Wood and Fodder Projects Scheme (AOFFPS) : This scheme aims to augment the production of fuel wood and fodder in identified districts. During the Eighth Plan, central assistance worth approximately Rs 154.19 crore was released to the scheme. The scheme covers an area of approximately 4.04 lakh hectares. This scheme has been implemented on a 50:50 sharing basis with the states.

  3. Conservation and development of Non-Timber Forest Production, including medicinal plant scheme (NTFP) : The scheme aims to increase production of NTFP with special focus on the tribal population. During the Eighth Plan, central assistance worth approximately Rs 56.48 crore was released to the scheme. The scheme covers an area of approximately 1.08 lakh hectares.

  4. Association of Scheduled Tribes and Rural Poor in Regeneration of Degraded Forests on Usufruct sharing basis: This scheme promotes association of tribals and rural poor in protection and rehabilitation of degraded forests. During the Eighth Plan, approximately Rs 7.35 crore was released as central assistance to nine states. The area covered under the scheme is 10,570 hectares.

The Minister of State for Environment & Forests, Shri Babu Lal Marandi gave this information in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on December 21, 1998.

Joint Forest Management Cell

The Forest Protection Division (FPD) has created a Joint Forest Management (JFM) Cell to monitor the impact of JFM on the protection and development of the forests in the country. A Standing Committee has been set up by the Ministry on JFM to advise the Government on JFM matters also. Eminent scientist Dr TN Khoshoo is the chairman of the committee. The terms of references of the committee are as follows:

  1. To review the implementation of JFM programmes in the country and advise on its operational aspects, including institutional mechanism.
  2. To review the existing JFM arrangements and suggested appropriate changes in the approach of implementation to achieve the essence of the programme and submit annual recommendations.
  3. To suggest approach and mechanism to be adopted for expansion of JFM on other wastelands from time to time.
  4. To go through the reports prepared by various international and national agencies of JFM and advise on their adaptability in the system.

The central component of the scheme, Modern Forest Fire Control Methods, is being revised. A new element of people s participation in forest fire prevention and control through the institution of village forest protection committees is being included in the scheme. Apart from this, forest fire incidents will be monitored on a continuous basis and the information on losses from forest fire would be collected so as to develop a sound data base on forest fire statistics in the country. Independent agencies will be commissioned for monitoring, for generation of information and for the implementation of the scheme. Research organisations will be given grants and training for extension purposes.