Afforestation is the process of establishing a forest on land that is not a forest, or has not been a forest for a long time by planting trees or their seeds. The term may also be applied to the legal conversion of land into the status of royal forest.
Since the industrial revolution many countries have experienced centuries of deforestation, and Governments and Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) directly engage in programs of afforestation to provide the benefits of a forest.
Both the United States and Europe now have considerably more forest cover than they did at the beginning of the twentieth century. However, large deforestation in South and Central America and in South Asia continues, although several nations such as Malaysia have worked hard to create a "green" environment.
Government of India, on 1st June 1990 issued guidelines to the state governments for involving local communities in the protection and development of the degraded forests. Based on this, the Joint Management programme has been widely adopted in twenty-two states of the country.
These states are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.