Kerala released its draft State Forest Policy on March 21, 2007. The policy has critical implications, given most of Kerala's forests are in the Western Ghats--a biodiversity hotspot.
The draft outlines "a universally accessible state forestry reporting system" for greater accountability and transparency. It also plans to focus on the 'ecosystem approach' and has made provisions for ecological audits and other such innovative measures to bring about an order in the system. It envisages an iso 9001 certification for its forests.
However, there are doubts on whether the state has sufficient capacity to implement the policy. Also, the draft has been termed 'ambiguous'. "High on jargon and vision, there is a clear lack on 'how to execute' aspect--be it good governance or personnel management. Words like 'appropriate measures' do not elaborate the specific nature of the planned measures", says T R Manoharan, senior coordinator of Forest Policy and Economics with the Worldwide Fund for Nature-India. "The ISO certification calls for a huge task," he adds.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.