During the sixth plan, the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 was enacted primarily to check indiscriminate deforestation of forest lands for various purposes. The Act was amended in 1988 to make it more stringent prescribing punishment for violations.
The main activities supporting deforestations are forest grazing, shifting cultivation, felling of trees and forest fire. Guidelines have been framed for preparation of working plans and to check felling in forests.
(i) Working plans should be up-to-date and stress conservation.
(ii) Tribal rights and concessions commission should be highlighted along with control mechanisms,
(iii) Grazing should be controlled with developing alternative source for fodder propagation.
(iv) Shifting cultivation and encroachments should be strictly prohibited.
(v) Banning all felling above 1,000 mt. for a few years to allow these areas to cover.
Measures for Improvement of Forest and Its Ecology:
(i) Natural mixed forest should be allowed to grow.
(ii) Forest areas should never be used for agriculture crops.
(iii) Pollution creating industries should not be established near the forest,
(iv) Co-operation and collaboration of local people must be sought at each and every policy formulation and implementation.
(v) Special attention should be given for the tribal people’s source of income while formulation any policy on forest as they intimately depend on it.
(vi) Farmers should be encouraged to go for plantation crops in marginal soils instead of traditional crops,
(vii) Biogas, solar power and wind mills should be encouraged to ease pressure on forest,
(viii) Burning of any material in forest should be strictly prohibited.
(ix) Research work should be carried out on tissue culture for quick multiplication of seedlings of forest plants.
(x) School, college and university students and teachers should involve themselves actively in community plantation.
(xi) The National Forest Policy of the country should be directed for creation of social forestry for meeting domestic needs of rural communities, production forestry for generating income and Environmental Forestry for restoring ecological balance.
The nature has stored enough for the needy, but enough is not enough for greedy. The rich destroy the forest due to wasteful overuse of resources. There is a saying that “Forests precede civilization and deserts follow it.” Unless we are not aware of the forest problem now, this may come true.