Forests are our renewable resources and help in maintaining ecological balance, reduce pollution, maintain humidity, purify air and are a source of timber, fruits, flowers and fuel. The forests prevent soil erosion and provide habitat to a variety of wild animals, birds and insects.
The reports of the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) indicate that the country is losing about 1.3 million hectares of forest cover every year.This will be detrimental to our national interest. Hence the urgent need for conservation of forests. Forest resources of India are facing a serious threat by her own people. The Government of India has taken serious view of this problem and as such has introduced a programme to protect, conserve and develop the forest area. This is call "Program of Forest Conservation". The measures taken under this programme are -
1.Preventive act on this destruction of forests.
2. Various research programmes to prevent various diseases of trees and make the forests more productive and useful.
3. Prevention of wildlife as many species have become extinct and many are on the verge of extinction. This is being done by promoting Biosphere reserved forests.
4. To protect both trees and species, several forest regions have been declared "Reserved forests" in Rajasthan, Nilgiri, Cochin and Meghalaya. Under Biosphere reserved forests, "Reserved forests" cover about 400 lakh hectares, whereas protected forest area covers about 200 lakh hectares.
5. To protect the forests from fire, a strip of land between two sections of the forest is cleared to prevent the spread of fire this is called fire line.
6.Planting more trees for the development of environmental forestry to maintain ecological balance.
7.To get sustained yield of timber, Silviculture is being practiced. Silviculture means timber farming i.e. the preparation of the soil to grow trees at the same time so that all the trees mature together and make a clear cutting possible. Foresters use latest genetic information to have improved growth rate and greater resistance to pests and diseases. This would stop the indiscriminate cutting of the trees for timber trade.
Apart from these measures of forest research institute of Dehradun conducts research in "forests and forest products".
1.They are the storehouse of timber for house making and furnitures, fuel, fruits, herbs, honey, bamboo,canes and fibres.
2. They provide employment to thousands of people.
3. They are a source of income to the government.
4. Forests help in maintaining ecological balance.
5.Forests provide clean environment. Hence, it is advisable to have forests around the industries as the trees take in the carbon dioxide and provide the surrounding with oxygen.
6.Forests help in checking the wind erosion.
7. Roots of the trees absorb much of the rain water and use it slowly during the dry season. Thus they regulate the flow of water and help in controlling the floods.
8. Forests help in purifying the atmosphere, aid in climate control, act as natural watershed and are a source of livelihood for many people.
Forests are thus important for the survival of the mankind. From the fresh air we breathe to the wood we require to build the bed we sleep on – Everything is derived from forests.