Social Forestry Essay Example
Social Forestry Essay Example

Social Forestry Essay Example

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  • Pages: 9 (2317 words)
  • Published: September 3, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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In India, rural development is heavily focused on social forestry, which involves growing trees and associated products like bamboo and grasses. Significant financial and human resources have been dedicated to implementing social forestry initiatives, with approximately Rs.10 billion (US $1 billion) invested during the 6th Five Year Plan period of the 1980s. Social forestry also goes by other names such as "forestry for local community development" or "participatory forestry," reflecting its emphasis on active community participation in achieving rural development objectives. The FAO Forestry Paper 64 titled "Tree Growing by Rural Peoples" provides a comprehensive discussion of these concepts and highlights social forestry's crucial role in promoting rural development.In India, social forestry has five primary components: farm forestry, farmer leasehold, village woodlots or community forestry, strip plantations along roadsides, canals and railways. The reforestation or rehabilitation of damaged forests is typically involved in soc


ial forestry plans with variations based on land ownership and responsibilities for planting. Tree cultivation takes place on lands owned by private farmers, industries, municipalities and commercial sectors while planting responsibility lies with farmers' co-ops, voluntary organizations,rural developmental groups and schools. Participation of rural populations in decision-making and benefits is a key aspect of social forestry. Commercial or territorial forestry differs from this regardless of ownership or responsibility. Farm forestry involves individuals planting trees on leased or rented land for incorporation into agroforestry with agricultural crops or on agricultural/barren lands. Farmer leasehold grants leases for public lands to grow trees with varying degrees of public support for poor farmers/landless laborers.Village woodlots are communal plantations on government lands that benefit the whole town occasionally addressing underprivileged groups' needs specifically.Strip plantations along roadsides,rivers,canales,and railroa

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tracks provide wood products to local people as well as serve as exhibition areas established by the Forest Department.Rehabilitation projects for large plantations on degraded public lands in environmentally critical areas can also be considered social forestry if local communities are involved in their development. The goals of social forestry vary according to the type, but the primary objective is to increase tree production and reduce environmental damage. Depending on the product involved, there are different advantages and management approaches. Farm forestry aims to assist rural families in producing fuelwood, fresh fish, and poles for personal or commercial use like poles or pulpwood; Tree Patta Forestry aims to boost income for poor households by selling wood products while meeting demand for fuelwood and fresh fish; Village woodlots offer tree products such as fuelwood and fresh fish for local communities while generating revenue for village panchayet. Strip plantations and reforestation aim to provide fuelwood and fresh fish while conserving and enhancing the environment. These aspects focus primarily on benefiting disadvantaged individuals, particularly rural women who are disproportionately impacted by a lack of tree products.The integration of poverty reduction goals with production objectives has sparked widespread debate on the social, economic, and environmental implications of social forestry. The National Wastelands Development Board, headed by the Prime Minister, oversees India's extensive social forestry programs which involve numerous government agencies, private and voluntary organizations working toward national targets. To facilitate these efforts, State Forest Departments have transformed their structure and allocated staff to central offices and fieldwork. This shift away from traditional practices extends beyond forestry to other departments as well. Developing nations are grappling with energy challenges due

to escalating oil prices that deplete foreign exchange reserves for oil-importing countries. Deforestation exacerbates this issue by causing fuel source shortages such as fuel wood and wood coal leading to higher costs. While recent estimates of deforestation in developing countries vary significantly, this paper examines the correlation between deforestation rates and possible causes using three different estimations from 1968 to 1978 compared via rank order correlation across developing countries. Cross-national analysis validates the most commonly cited reasons for deforestation.The text discusses deforestation in 39 African countries between 1968-78 and identifies a limited number of countries affected. Two estimates agree on deforestation occurring in closed wood and damp tropical forest, but differ on open forest and renewed forest. The study suggests that population growth correlates with wood exports in 1968, while agricultural expansion and per capita GNP do not have a direct relationship. Short-term deforestation is primarily due to population growth and agricultural expansion, which worsens over time as fuel and export demand increase. Julia C. Allen's article analyzes more than 140 economic models to identify the causes of tropical deforestation; it notes uncertainties about conventional hypotheses such as the impact of changes in input prices, household income levels, tenure security, macroeconomic factors - including population growth, poverty reduction, national income, economic growth, foreign debt - on deforestation trends. Despite policy reforms aimed at economic liberalization efforts that may intensify pressures on forests remain unclear.Insufficient methodology analysis and low-quality information contribute to uncertainties about the causes of deforestation, despite the rise in modeling which has provided new insights. Kaimowitz argues that this results in questionable consequences for numerous theoretical accounts. Deforestation refers to the removal of

trees and plants from forest areas at a faster rate than they can naturally grow back or be replanted, causing significant problems as trees play a crucial role in supporting climate, atmospheric composition, and soil structure. The causes of deforestation vary depending on the region but include human activities such as agri-business (the largest driver of deforestation), industrial logging for various products, mining for metals, road building, and hydroelectric dams. These activities endanger wildlife habitats, fragment landscapes, and encroach into woodlands. Industrial logging pollutes forest ecosystems with its overflow while mining clears large natural forests areas. Lastly, hydroelectric dams cause widespread loss of forests when upstream forests are flooded. Deforestation leads to habitat degradation and displacement of forest communities along with their wildlife ultimately impacting the greenhouse effect on the environment.During photosynthesis, carbon dioxide is absorbed while oxygen is released. Deforestation diminishes these important carbon "sinks" and, combined with the emission of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, results in an increase of this gas in the atmosphere. This creates a layer around Earth that traps solar radiation heat leading to an elevation in average temperature - known as the greenhouse effect. If this trend persists, melting polar ice caps may cause devastating floods. Moreover, deforestation causes soil erosion; however, trees and shrubs protect land from being washed away by rainwater. Leaves intercept falling raindrops whereas shrubs and leaf litter prevent excessive water runoff from damaging soil. Bare soil exposed to rainfall directly undergoes erosion and loses significant nutrients necessary for its fertility. Deforestation disrupts hydrological cycles affecting local climates by reducing evaporative cooling that takes place through both plants and soil ultimately leading to

decreased evapotranspiration, cloud formation, and precipitation thereby posing a threat to remaining forest flora's survival. Additionally, deforested areas contribute significantly to flooding since flood-water is absorbed into the soil where tree roots are found in wooded areas.Transpiration is a process that releases H2O into the atmosphere, eventually forming clouds. However, deforestation can hinder this process since water runs unimpeded across land without flora to absorb it. This leads to topsoil erosion carried away into rivers and increases silt levels, causing frequent flooding. Moreover, there is a decrease in vaporization which results in more energy absorption by surface & air above leading to rising temperatures.

Deforestation has multiple negative impacts on the environment beyond these environmental factors. It includes reduced biodiversity as tropical rainforests provide habitat for half of Earth's plant and animal species making them particularly vulnerable to extinction threats due to deforestation. The destruction of these forests also leads to the loss of medicinal plants that can treat diseases.

Furthermore, when certain species become extinct due to deforestation, food webs are disrupted which may cause further extinctions. An increase in mosquito-borne diseases like malaria is another consequence of deforestation since eroded sites create ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes such as Anopheles darlingi.

Regeneration after deforestation becomes crucial especially in tropical rainforests where vital nutrients are found primarily in plants and trees rather than soil like northern or temperate forests.Tree stumps left from agricultural purposes are often burned to release soil nutrients. However, after approximately three years, the land becomes unable to sustain crops, causing farmers to abandon the area. This abandonment can lead to the area reverting back to a rainforest, which may take up to 50

years without proper care. Shade agriculture is an alternative method that sustains some original trees while also allowing for faster growth (around 20 years) of shade-loving crops like java and cocoa by keeping most of the forest intact. Intensive agricultural practices relying on pesticides and fertilizers can negatively impact ecosystems by killing off living beings, while irrigation systems can disrupt water balance in an area. If left abandoned, it could take centuries for a forest to naturally re-establish itself.

Afforestation differs from reforestation as it involves planting trees or seeding seeds in areas without any existing trees whereas reforestation aims to increase tree numbers in existing forests. Afforestation helps address natural resource reduction caused by human activities such as deforestation, pollution and clear-cutting with minimal environmental destruction due to factors such as population growth and pollution during industrial revolution leading towards global warming and climate change promotion.Despite afforestation's ability to meet commercial demands while preserving remaining natural resources, the commercial use of natural forests must be carefully managed due to their sensitivity to overuse and slow growing rate. In many countries, afforestation is widely promoted by governments and non-government organizations as a solution to prevent over-exploitation of nature. This involves planting trees on empty land, which supports the rapid growth of specific types of trees for the wood industry. The rise in demand for wood fuels and building materials makes this procedure crucial as it helps meet these demands without depleting natural forests. Deforestation can lead to the depletion of trees in water catchment and riverside areas, making afforestation necessary to protect trees and plants that help retain soil in these sensitive areas. Many countries have

adopted agroforestry practices by planting trees alongside agricultural crops in croplands. Agroforestry presents several benefits such as supplying lumber, fruit, fresh fish for livestock apart from crop production; preventing soil erosion; enabling better water conservation;and shielding crops from excessive wind and sun damage.Planting trees also has environmental benefits regardless if they are planted on barren lands or used to regenerate low forests.The government of India established the National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (NAEB) to encourage afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration, and eco-development activities. Large-scale afforestation initiatives combat problems caused by fossil fuel combustion and industrialization by regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions. Protected areas such as National Parks and sanctuaries are essential in degraded forest regions and ecologically sensitive zones like the Western Himalayas, Aravallis, and Western Ghats. The NAEB's functions and maps are detailed below. To support this initiative, the Ministry of Environment and Forests reimburses the establishment and operational costs of Eco Task Force (ETF) Battalions raised by the Ministry of Defence. State Forest Departments provide saplings, fencing, professional guidance, and managerial assistance to ETF Battalions formed by ex-servicemen from within the country with regular military personnel making up their core. Some ETF Battalions have successfully restored highly degraded sites like limestone excavation areas in Mussoorie Hills. Therefore it is crucial for human survival to combat deforestation because most environmental issues today stem from it; however we must understand its causes and effects before discussing ways to tackle it.Let's explore some information about deforestation and possible solutions to promote environmental sustainability. These solutions include afforestation efforts, legislation against tree-cutting, wildlife sanctuaries for animal and tree protection, systematic city expansion management for ample green cover,

incentivizing corporations through tax cuts for re-afforestation participation, establishment of commercial forest plantations in a regulated environment, and effective water management. Improper water management impacts the ecosystem causing significant deforestation. To ensure fairness in planning new dikes, no country should be deprived while another has an abundance of water. It is essential to implement these solutions seriously and effectively due to deforestation being a pressing environmental issue needing urgent attention as it already causes significant impacts on the planet. Research on social forestry issues highlights factors driving deforestation such as population growth and agricultural expansion compounded by wood harvesting for fuel and export plus an increase in living standards. To prevent harm to green areas during expansion town planning can be implemented seen in Thailand and Singapore.

It is important for companies to adopt eco-friendly techniques and plant at least one tree for every one they cut down for commercial purposes. Governments also have a role in forest protection. Rainwater harvesting should be prioritized wherever possible, and vertical development of cities can help reduce space usage. While natural resources are important for the success of our population, conservation methods must be implemented alongside an economic approach to achieve optimal outcomes. Environmental preservation and renewal require collaboration among governments, individuals, and states. Ultimately, conservation is a responsibility that everyone shares.

For additional information regarding the causes and solutions of deforestation, various resources are available including an article from the Oxford Journal and Taylor & Francis Online. These can be accessed at:,,,,, and Furthermore, both sources highlight that deforestation results in severe consequences such as loss of biodiversity, climate change, and soil degradation.

The study published by the Oxford Journal emphasizes economic factors, government policies, and international cooperation in mitigating deforestation while Taylor & Francis Online suggests education and public awareness campaigns as effective methods to reduce deforestation rates. Additional information is also available at: and

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