Sharing to conserve

Publié 16 février 2014 no picture kavya_GEMConnect_Chennai_India

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A collective initiative to protect our forests.

A collective initiative to protect our forests.

In the Arabari forest range of West Bengal, Amit Bannerjee, a silviculturist was working on a project involving a type of hardwood tree. His experiments were constantly disturbed by the illegal grazing and harvesting of wood by the area's local population.

At that time, the government viewed locals as a thieving nuisance .Mr.Bannerjee decided to take a different approach. He contacted representatives of various local communities of the area and drew up an agreement that discussed the sharing of work and resources of the forest.
The success of this experiment gave birth to what now is called Joint Forest Management (JFM). It involves the local people of an area and the state government to make an agreement, where the people help the government in safe guarding the forest. In turn, they get a share of the profits from the sale of timber products. The joint commitment between government officials and local people led to an innovative way to prevent degradation of forest lands by ensuring fair distribution of resources.
The committee of local people now protect the forest from illegal activities such as hunting, poaching and forest fires by keeping the forest officials informed about such occurrences. The forest department and locals are jointly involved in conservation activities such as planting of indigenous trees, installing carbon sinks and waste management. The ideas, aspirations and traditional knowledge of locals are considered when making such plans. Workshops are arranged for the locals to be educated about farm forestry, biodiversity, silviculture, resource management and so on. After the initial success of JFM, it has been given national importance in India and over 27 states have been introduced to such programs. This endeavor has provided a source of livelihood for locals and has also paved a path to sustainable development to forest departments.

Environment GEM GEM Sustainable Development forest




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