It is said that participation of the local people can indeed lead to the efficient managagement of forests .To what extent this holds true? Explain briefly with the help of an example
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Asked by Anirudh | 28th Jun, 2017, 09:52: PM

Expert Answer:

It is indeed true that people’s participation in the management of forests can help in increasing forest produce as well as in their conservation.

Instances of People’s Participation in the Management of Forests:

The Case of Khejri trees

  • Conservation of forests and wildlife has been a religious belief for a Bishnoi community in Rajasthan.
  • In 1731, Amrita Devi Bishnoi led a group of 363 people who sacrificed their lives for the protection of Khejri trees in Khejrali village near Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
  • The Government has recently instituted an ‘Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award for Wildlife Conservation’ in the memory of Amrita Devi Bishnoi.

The Chipko Andolan

  • The Chipko Andolan also called the ‘Hug the trees movement’ was organized to stop the destruction of forests. The movement began in 1970s in a remote village called Reni in Garhwal in the Himalayas.
  • A logging contractor was given the permission to cut trees from the forest close to the village. One day, when the men folk were at work, the workers of the contractor entered the forest to cut trees. The women of the area rushed to the forest and hugged the trees, thereby preventing them from being felled. The contractor had no option but to withdraw.
  • Cutting of trees would not only have affected the availability of natural resources, but also the quality of soil and sources of water.
  • The Chipko Movement spread quickly and the Government was forced to rethink their priorities with respect to the use of forest produce. Under the leadership of Sunderlal Bahuguna the movement spread to other parts as well. 

Answered by Sheetal Kolte | 29th Jun, 2017, 10:22: AM