Describe how communities have conserved and protected forests and wildlife in India.

  • Forests in India are the home to some of the traditional communities.
  • To secure their own long term livelihood, local communities have been struggling to protect their habitats.
  • By citing the Wildlife Protection Act, villagers have fought against mining in Sariska Tiger reserve. 
  • In the Himalayas, afforestation with indigenous species was carried out through the famous Chipko Movement. The community managed to resist the deforestation in some places.
  • In the state of Rajasthan (Alwar), 1200 hectares of forest have been declared as Bhairodev Dakav ‘Sonchuri’ by the inhabitants of five villages. They protect the wildlife against any outside encroachments with their own rules and regulations. They do not allow hunting of animals.
  • By avoiding the use of synthetic chemicals, diversified crop production was achieved by farmers and citizens groups like Beej Bachao Andolan in Tehri and Navdanya.
  • Through involvement of local communities, degraded forests have been restored and managed through the Joint Forest Management (JFM) Programme.
  • The first resolution for joint forest management was passed by Odisha. From 1988, this programme has been in existence.
  • As per JFM, local (village) institutions are formed to undertake protection activities managed by the forest department in the degraded forests.
  • In return for their protection activities, intermediary benefits like share in the timber harvested by successful protection, and non timber forest produce are given to the members of these communities. 

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