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Forest Policy

Patches of green

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2000
It is introspection time. As the country's forest bureaucracy sits down to assess the progress of the joint forest management (JFM) programme, a decade after it was introduced in 1990, what comes out clearly is that its success has been limited to only some parts of the country. Even today, some states are yet to launch this programme.

Forest rights and wrongs

Issue Date: Jul 15, 2000
India's forests have been a site of conflict for centuries. But it is only over the last decade that their history has become the subject of serious enquiry. The first wave of work focussed on the struggle put up by resistance movements against imperial and post-independence power structures from the grassroots and secondly, on the structure and motivations of policy from above.

Changes in Act

Issue Date: Jun 15, 2000
the ministry for environment and forests has proposed several amendments to the Indian Forest Act enacted in 1927. The proposal has been sent to the Cabinet for approval. Official sources said that the proposed amendment will facilitate setting up of a forest board and make attempts to contain shifting cultivation in forests and ridge areas. The provisions of the existing National Forest Policy of 1998 will be linked to the act.

Regreening of Japan

Issue Date: May 31, 2000
If there is one thing that a visitor to Japan cannot miss, it is the greenery. More than two-thirds of the country's land area -- 68 per cent, to be precise -- is forested. No other country has as much forest in terms of percentage of land area. And all this is despite the fantastic industrial growth and very high density of population. But it is not that Japan has always had large, healthy forests.

And forests shall follow

Issue Date: May 31, 2000
Once again we have a new minister and once again we have pious statements. For the first time, however a minister has admitted that 350 million people in India are dependent upon the forest for their livelihood. While all this is fine and a lot of the right words have been uttered about people's participation including praise for the Joint Forest Management ( jfm ) projects carried out in 22 states, they are still only words. What we are seeing once again is a lot of rhetoric. This happens whenever a new minister takes over.

Future of our forests

Issue Date: May 15, 2000
in a recently conclude three-day seminar on India's Forests Beyond 2000 held in New Delhi, minister of environment and forests Thiru T R Balu pointed out: India and other Commonwealth countries need to critically analyse the evolution of forest policies, their management and institutional regimes."

The cutting edge

Issue Date: Nov 15, 1999
it is an attempt to achieve environmentally-friendly logging. Mil Madeireira, a Brazil-based forestry company, has evolved a way to cut trees in such a way that when a tree is cut, it falls in an area where few other trees would be affected. The company's logging method has been acknowledged by conservationists in their fight to stop the devastation of the world's largest tropical rainforest.

Industrial blackmail!

Issue Date: Sep 30, 1999
grasim industries ltd ( gil ), an Aditya Birla group company, sought the permission of the Kerala government to close down its viscose plant located on the banks of the river Chaliyar at Mavoor, Kozhikode district. The company also posted copies of the notice to the trade unions on August 23, 1999. The closure threatens to render about 3,000 people jobless.

Fights for space

Issue Date: Sep 15, 1998
Harvest of terror Come harvest time and tense villagers begin preparing for the next elephant raid

Rights over forests

Issue Date: Jul 15, 1998
traditionally, forests have been viewed as public goods, subjected to the tragedy of commons, as incentives to a "free ride" are enormous. However, Hardin's idea that there are only two sustainable policies either the commons should be privatised or it should be brought under the control of the government is no more the popular perception.
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