India has been unable to properly and suitably exploit its forest resources. The reasons for this are many, mainly and specifically. 1) Over-grazing. 2) Indiscriminate felling of trees. 3) Depletion of forests through fires. 4) Vast areas of un-classed forests awaiting rehabilitation. 5) Manner of utilizing forest products for fuel and charcoal. 6) Increased demand of forest produce, land hunger by increasing population and poverty. 7) Lack of proper transport and paths through the forest land. 8) Ignoring the commercial value of forests. 8) The reliance upon natural growth rather than planting of trees. 9) Lack of information on forest resources and inadequate research facilities.
Forest Development: for the development of forests following measures are to be taken 1) intensive a forestation on degraded forest lands, non-forest lands including farm lands various planting programmers. 2) Association of communities depending on forests in management and development of forests and judicious harvesting of forest resources.
Wild Life Resources: Wild life refers to the wild undomesticated animals and plants living in their natural habitats as forests, deserts, grassland etc. India’s wild life reserves are dispersed across the country. The northern part of India, however, has a greater animal’s population. The wild life reserves are two types, i.e., the wild life sanctuaries for the protection of birds and animals and national parks for safeguarding the ecosystem as a whole. The network of protected areas now comprises 447 wild life sanctuaries and 83 national parks covering about 1.50 lakhs sq. km. areas.
Uses: Wild life provides many direct and indirect benefits to humans. Wild life helps in promoting economic activities that brings money through tourism. It also serves as source of food, medicines, pharmaceutical drugs etc. Wild life contributes towards the maintenance of biodiversity and acts as a source material for breeding improved varieties. The domesticated species are cross bred with their wild relatives to improve their traits. Genes of wild species are used to confer new properties in domesticated species. They are also very important in maintenance of ecological balance.
The destruction of habitats is the primary reason for the loss of wild life when people cut down trees, fill a wet land and plough a grass land or burn a forest, the natural habitat of a species is changed or destroyed. These changes may kill or force out many plants, animals and microorganism as well as disrupt the complex interactions among the species. Wild life is also affected by natural disturbances, such as fire, free fall and defoliation by insects. Man-made disturbances differs form natural disturbances in intensity rate and spatial extent. For example, man by using fire more frequently may change species richness of a community. Pollution is another cause of loss of wild life that may reduce and eliminate population of sensitive species.
Wild life protection in India was given statutory status its the adoption of the wild life (protection) Act, 1972 by all the Indian states except Jammu and Kashmir which has an act of its own. The Act was later amended to make it more stringent. The act prohibits trade in endangered species of flora and fauna. After UNESCO in 197374 introduced the concept of biosphere reserves, the first such reserve was setup in the Nilgiris in 1986. The national wild life Action plan of 1983 explains the program me strategy to conserve Indian wild life. The aim is to increase the total area under wild life reserve to 5.1% (from 4-5%). Trade in endangered species is subject to strict rules under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered species of Wild Flora and Fauna, to which India is a signatory. For ensuring proper management infrastructure protection in the reserves, control of illegal activities in reserves and conservation of endangered spices, states are financially aided by the center.
Design by Mohit Bhardwaj
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