Particpatory Forestry: Indian Experience in Community Forestry and Joint Forest Management

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From the Introduction: "In India, forests and village commons are subjected to degradation and loss with adverse impacts on biodiversity, natural regeneration and biomass production. The degradation is caused by conversion of forests and village commons to other uses as well as from non-sustainable extraction of biomass. To conserve the forests and to meet the growing biomass demands, a number of policies such as Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and programs e.g. social forestry and farm forestry, promotion of efficient cooking devices, and participatory management of degraded and regenerating forests have been initiated in India. "India is experimenting with diverse management systems for protection, regeneration and biomass production in forests, village commons and degraded lands. Apart from Forest Department (FD) managed systems, Joint Forest Management (JFM), industry promoted forestry, community forestry, and farm forestry are promoted and practised. Land reclamation, forest regeneration and afforestation programmes are being implemented at an unprecedented scale. A large diversity of community initiated forest management systems has evolved recently in response to severe degradation of forests and grazing land and biomass shortages. Thus, there is a need to understand and learn from the diversity of community forest management systems along with the emerging JFM system and generate information for policy makers, FDs, NGOs and local communities."
IASC, common pool resources, community forestry, forest management, participatory management, conservation, joint management, village organization