with an example explain how the participation of local people can lead to the efficient management of forest
Active participation of local people to save forests is another activity toward the conservation of forests and wildlife. The following are some examples of people’s participation in the conservation and management of forests.
Khejri tree case
Nature is an intrinsic part of the religious beliefs of certain communities and people in our country. One such example is the Bishnoi community of Rajasthan. This community’s belief revolves around the motto “worship nature in all its manifestations”. This belief has led to the protection and conservation of natural habitat in their area since a long time. In 1731, Amrita Devi Bishnoi from Khejrali village near Jodhpur established a group of 363 people, who sacrificed their lives for the protection of khejri trees. This saved the ecosystem of the village. Recently, the Indian government instituted the ‘Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award for Wildlife Conservation’, in her memory.
Chipko Andolan (Hug the Trees Movement)
This movement originated in a remote village called Reni in Garhwal, in the early 1970s. A contractor was given permission to cut down the trees in a forest near the village. However, the villagers were against the decision. They were aware that diminishing forest cover would disturb the ecological balance. Therefore, there was a dispute between the contractor and the villagers. On a particular day, when the men folk in the village were away at work, the employees of the contractor visited the forest to cut down the trees. The women of the village then reached the forest and each one wrapped her hand around a tree trunk; thus, preventing the workers from destroying the forest.
Arabari forest range of Midnapore district, West Bengal
Another example of active participation of people toward the conservation of biodiversity is found in an incident related to the Arabari forest range in Midnapore district, West Bengal. A forest officer, A. K. Banerjee, involved the villagers for the protection of the 1,272 hectares of badly degraded Sal forests. In return, the villagers were provided with employment opportunities in silviculture and harvesting. They were also allowed to collect firewood from the forest. The effect of this involvement was that the forest became dense and green within a period of 10 years.