Natural Resources: Forests
Forests form the fundamental resource for upholding the ecological services, soil and water regimes, thus optimizing efficiency of forest means expanding pliability of soil, water & agriculture, which are the posts of rural livelihood refuge. Green cover is sign of pliability of natural resources & a primary prerequisite for sustainable agriculture fabrication. Therefore forest cover needs to be documented as the “Natural Resource Infrastructure for agriculture / rural economic growth / primary production”. Good density forest will therefore offer required ecosystem services, but also material products in plethora for communities. Consequently investment in forest domain is an investment for development.
Per capita forest area is 0.064 ha – 1/10th of world average. Under grave pressures of animal and human populations, about 41 % of forest cover of India is degraded. Thick forests are losing their crown density & productivity incessantly, the current efficiency being 1/3rd of that of the world average. The use of forests beyond their carrying capability, compounded with the trouncing of nearly 4.5 m ha to agriculture & other uses since 1950 & nearly 10 m ha of forest area being subjected to uneven cultivation, is the major root of incessant degradation of forests.
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