Causes of environmental destruction

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Causes of environmental destruction


  • Solving environmental problems
  • Rise of environmental consciousness and movements

Environmental issues such as global warming, depletion of ozone layer, export of waste to third world countries, deforestation for cattle grazing, loss of biodiversity, premature extinction of human species are discussed, debated and heated. Is. Contested each day in newspapers, magazines, radio and television news reports, and various Internet sources. These problems are due to the way humans interact with and perceive their environment. These problems force mankind to ignore, abuse, and manipulate their environment with little or no regard for the consequences. Obviously, this has many bad effects on the inhabitants of the earth including mankind. Humans harm their own natural environment and the reason for doing so is a perceived understanding by mankind that they are somehow superior to nature. This behavior seems to stem from the fact that man forgets that he himself is a part of nature. The concepts of dominion over nature and victory over nature are daily reminders of this observation. Human populations depend on the bio-physical environment for survival, and this in turn necessitates a closer look at the functions that the environment serves for humans.


  environmental work

The biophysical environment serves many essential functions for human populations, as it does for all other species (Daily 1997), but three basic types can be identified.

First, the environment provides us with the resources that are necessary for life, from air and water to food to shelter, materials needed for transportation, and the vast range of economic goods we produce. Thus human ecologists view the environment as

Providing a ‘subsistence base’ for human societies, and we can also think of it as a ‘supply depot’. Some resources, such as forests, are potentially renewable while others, such as fossil fuels, are nonrenewable or finite. When we use resources faster than the environment can supply them, even if they are potentially renewable (such as clean water), we create resource depletion or scarcity (Catton, 1980).

second, in the process of consuming resources, humans, like all species, produce ‘waste’ products; In fact, humans produce far greater quantities and different types of waste products than other species. The environment must act as a “sink” or “waste reservoir” for these wastes, either absorbing or recycling them into useful or at least harmless substances (as when trees fix carbon dioxide). absorb and return oxygen to the air).


When the land was sparsely populated and resource use was minimal, this was rarely a problem. Modern and/or densely populated societies generate more waste than the environment can process, and the result is various forms of pollution that are prevalent around the world.

The third function of the environment is to provide “living space” or habitat for the human population. Human beings, like other species, must have a place to live, and the environment provides us with our home where we live, work, play, travel and spend our lives. When too many people try to live in a given space, it results in overcrowding, a common phenomenon in many urban areas (especially in poor countries). Some analysts suggest that the entire planet is now more populated by humans, although attempts to determine how many people Earth can support have proved difficult and controversial (Cohen, 1995).

When humans overuse the environment’s capacity to perform these three functions, environmental problems result in the form of pollution, depletion of resources, and overcrowding and/or overpopulation. However, not only must the environment fulfill all three functions for humans, but when a given environment is used for one function, the ability to fulfill the other two is often impaired. Such situations of functional competition often give rise to new, more complex environmental problems.

Competition between environmental functions is particularly evident in the conflict between living space and waste-storage functions, as the use of an area for a waste site usually renders it unsuitable for living space. when a field is u

place the waste in a landfill or as hazardous

Waste sites, for example, people don’t even want to live near (Freidenberg, 1997). Similarly, if hazardous material leaches from a waste repository and contaminates the soil, water or air, that area may no longer serve as a supply depot for drinking water or growing agricultural products. Finally, converting agricultural land or forests into housing subdivisions creates more living space for people, but also means that the land is no longer used as a supply depot for food or timber (or as habitat for wildlife). Can’t function as is.




solving environmental problems


automatically, it seems that we

Humans are at a disadvantage by creating social structures and neglecting the larger omnipresent societies of the animal and plant regions. If humans are to be thought of as an integral part of nature, and therefore inherently natural, then many of the problems associated with environmental abuse should have a positive effect. Classical sociology was primarily concerned with humans as a part of systems. These systems were mainly confined to the social and economic spheres of human society. Environmental sociology has gone through several phases. Originally a response to public attention to environmental problems, for many years the field of environmental sociology was essentially a repackaging of much of the already existing literature. However, within a decade, environmental sociology became integrated to a significant degree around



Contributions from Dunlap and Catton, Schneeberg, and a handful of others.

Environmental sociology approaches have not been able to adequately account for how environmental problems are defined, articulated and implemented by social actors. For example, why did environmentalism remain relatively on the backburner for half a century, from the 1920s to the 1970s? Why have global environmental problems such as ozone depletion, global warming and biodiversity loss displaced local problems such as groundwater pollution and urban sewage disposal as the main priority of the government, the media and more?

environmental movement? The antisocial constructionist perspective on the environment has several advantages over other theoretical approaches.

Unlike most existing sociological literature on the environment, social constructionism does not uncritically accept the existence of an environmental crisis brought on by uncontrolled population growth, over-production, dangerous new technologies, etc. Instead, it focuses on the social, political and cultural processes by which environmental conditions are defined as unacceptably risky and therefore actionable. As noted by Thompson (1991), environmental debates reflect not only the existence of a lack of certainty (eg about energy futures, the extent of the hazardous waste problem, the health affects of low-level radiation) but Existence of conflicting certainties: having profoundly different and mutually irrelevant beliefs about both the environmental problems we face and the solutions available to us.

However, it is important to note that environmental risks and socially constructed problems need not reduce valid claims about the state of the environment to the point of depriving them of an objective reality. As Annual (1992: 186) has observed, demonstrating that a problem is socially constructed is not to undermine or dismiss it, as both valid and invalid social problem claims have to be constructed. Similarly, social constructivism, as conceptualized here, does not deny independent emergent forces of nature, but rather claims that the ordering of these problems by social actors does not always correspond to actual necessity. To a large extent, this reflects the political nature of agenda-setting. As Bird (1987) has argued, understanding environmental problems socially and politically gives them ‘enormous normative weight’. Second, much of environmental problems are created in fields that are populated by communities of experts: scientists, engineers, lawyers,



medical doctors, government officials, corporate managers, political activists, etc., instead of being seen in full view of the general public. As a result research representations that focus exclusively on public discourse fail to fully capture the details of environmental agenda-setting and policy-making. The antisocial constructionist approach, in contrast, recognizes the extent to which environmental problems and solutions are end-products of any dynamic social process of definition, negotiation, and legitimation in both public and private settings.


A notable sociological study was Dirksen and Gartrell’s (1993) investigation of recycling in Edmonton, Alberta, which found that individuals’ level of environmental concern (and, by implication, knowledge about the importance of recycling) predicted recycling behavior. was not as important as having ready access to the curbside recycling program. While sociologists have conducted many field experiments and evaluations of community environmental programmes, they have generally omitted national level examinations, usually examining the efficacy of one or more of the above mentioned ‘reforms’.


and International Environmental Policy Making for Political Scientists and Economists. However, sociologists have begun to focus on efforts to negotiate international agreements to reduce greenhouse gases (Radclift and Sage, 1998), and we look forward to more sociological work in this direction.


As was true for the causes of environmental problems, early work by environmental sociologists interested in solutions to these problems often involved the search for and use of dominant approaches.

Criticism included. Early on Haberlein (1974) described a “technical solution” or developing and



Applying new technologies to solve problems like air and water pollution. Clearly popular in a nation with a history of technological progress, such a solution is attractive because it avoids mandating behavioral and institutional change. Unfortunately, solving problems with new technologies sometimes creates even more problems, as evidenced by attempts to solve the energy shortage with nuclear power. As a result, as the seriousness and prevalence of environmental problems became more apparent, various types of “social reforms” or efforts to change individual and institutional behavior were considered.

Expanding on Haberlein’s analysis, other sociologists (eg, Dunlap et al. 1994) have identified three broad types of social reform, or implicit policy types:

(1) The cognitive (or knowledge) fix, which assumes that information and persuasion will be sufficient to produce the necessary change in behavior

or, illustrated by campaigns encouraging energy conservation and recycling;

(2) structural reform, which relies on laws and regulations that mandate behavior change, reflected in highway speed limits or enforced water conservation; And

(3) mediated behavior reform, which employs incentives and disincentives to encourage behavior change, as illustrated by pollution taxes (fines) and tax credits (rewards) for installing pollution-preventing technology (see Gardner and Stern 1996 for a more sophisticated typology of policy approaches and detailed examples of each).

Environmental sociologists, along with other behavioral scientists, have conducted many studies that look at the efficacy of these different strategies for solving environmental problems, ranging from field experiments to evaluating alternative strategies for energy and water conservation. Motivating includes testing the effectiveness of information campaigns. Creating participation in recycling programs (see Gardner and Stern 1996 for a good summary).




  Rise of environmental consciousness and movements

A second problem that is addressed centrally in environmental sociology literature is why environmental consciousness and movement have grown so dramatically in both Europe and America since the early 1970s. There are four main explanations put forward: the reflection hypothesis; post-materialism thesis; New Middle Class Thesis; and regulatory/political closure approach.

reflection hypothesis

The reflection hypothesis begins with the observation that environmental degradation in Western industrialized countries first began to climb after World War II, reaching its peak by the late 1960s. The dramatic surge in environmental consciousness and concern after the 1970s is interpreted as a directional response to this worsening situation.

Circumstantial evidence for this position is provided by Dunlap and Scars (1990), whose analysis of twenty years of polling data indicates that a majority of the American public perceives a wide range of environmental problems as a threat to their personal health and overall health. Started seeing as. environmental quality, and this threat has increased markedly. Furthermore, this majority perceives the quality of the environment as deteriorating and is likely to continue to do so.

More specifically, Zhlicka (1992; cited in Martel 1994) argues that green concern in Western Europe varies directly according to the severity of ecological conditions. Thus, environmental concern is highly developed in southern Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, northern France and Switzerland, where pollution of rivers, forests and works is most intense. In contrast, in the UK and Scandinavia where environmental degradation is less obvious, environmentalism is more moderate and embedded in mainstream politics.

However, other data have not supported this reflection hypothesis. While the quality of the environment has been steadily deteriorating for most of this century, the public has ignored them


development for most of this period. When the Izaak Walton League, an established American conservation organization, sponsored a National Clean Air Week in 1960 to try to acquaint the public with the existence of the national crisis, it encountered little popular interest or support. Instead, the perception of environmental problems may be independent of the magnitude of the problems themselves. For example, concern about air pollution in the United States arose in the late 1960s at the same time as declining levels of several common air pollutants in a broad sample of urban areas. This suggests that public concern is at least partially independent of actual environmental degradation and is shaped by other considerations; For example, the extent of mass media coverage.

Furthermore, most modern environmental problems, especially second generation problems such as acid rain, global warming, ozone depletion and toxic contamination, are likely to be invisible. with the naked eye except in the most extreme cases. As a result, the public perception that environmental problems have reached ‘crisis’ proportions is not necessarily the actual problem.

It reflects the reality of the states but also the particular point of view of scientific experts, environmentalists and the media.

Post – Materialism Thesis

A second explanation locates environmental concern as part of a more widespread shift in values among certain sectors of Western societies. The touchstone of this approach is the post-materialist theories of Inglehart (1971, 1977 and 1990).

Englehart’s interpretation is derived from the ‘hierarchy of needs’ proposed by the humanistic social psychologist, Abraham Maslow (1954). Englehart proposed that the economic concerns experienced by the older generation during the Great Depression and the two world wars had little meaning for the latter. The post-World War II ‘Baby Boom’ generation had the financial security that allowed them to satisfy their non-material needs and for personal fulfillment. This group was less interested in promoting economic growth and progress, instead pursuing materialistic values such as concern for ideas, the pursuit of personal growth, autonomy in decision-making, and improving the quality of the physical environment. Significantly, post-materialism was not just a life-cycle phenomenon, when the post-war generations settled down and started families of their own, but a permanent value change took place.


Thus, in contrast to the reflection hypothesis, the increase of environmental consciousness and concern is not seen as being directly related to the actual extent to which the environment has deteriorated. According to Cotgrove, ‘objective facts’ about pollution and environmental damage and depletion do not and cannot exist in some kind of cognitive and moral vacuum, but arise from an ethical debate on the nature of the good society which is called ‘ cannot be easily resolved’ {a} by appeal to facts and reasoned argument.

The post-materialist thesis has recently been challenged by Brechin and Kernpton (1994), who demonstrate that public environmental concern is not limited to advanced industrial countries but is present on a global scale. They present two types of evidence to support this: widespread grassroots environmental activism and a pair of cross-national opinion polls. Brechim and Kempton’s survey data analysis shows that higher percentages of respondents in some third world countries (India, Mexico, Uruguay) are willing to buy higher prices and taxes to protect the environment, compared to some such as Finland and Japan. and compared to industrialized countries. , Environmentalism, they conclude, should not be viewed as the product of a post-materialist shift in values, but rather appears to be a more complex phenomenon emerging from multiple sources in rich and poor countries alike.

The problem is that it is never made clear where these post-materialistic values originate from. It can be inferred that they are a function of interests; For example, industrialists might be expected to oppose an ideal society which, among other things, has a philosophy of no growth or is predominantly socialist. It is not easy to trace where post-materialists, including environmentalists, get their values from. Cotgrove promises to answer this question in the conclusion of his second chapter, but only then tells us that commitment to non-material values in adolescence is part of a long-term drift away from any strong allegiance to the culture of business. And they are more likely to occur in homes where parents have already adopted post-materialistic values. However, he believes that environmentalism is an expression of the interests of a new middle-class fraction who disagree with traditional paradigms that emphasize pro-business values. This is the basis for a third sociological explanation of the development of environmental consciousness and concern, the new middle class thesis.




new middle class thesis

The new middle class thesis is a companion to the post-materialism thesis but it places more emphasis on the social place of those who adopt the ethics of an environmentalist. According to this view, environmentalists are drawn disproportionately from that part of society that are called social and cultural specialists – teachers, social workers, journalists, artists and professions that work in creative and/or public service-oriented jobs. Huh.

It is not entirely clear why this occupational segment should be more inclined than other sections of the middle class to produce environmentalists with post-materialistic values. One possible explanation lies in the nature of their involvement and interactions with their customers. By virtue of their position, they are socially situated so as to witness firsthand the predation of the powerless by the harbingers of industrial progress. For example, doctors working in a community health clinic are level-headed.

High levels of soil in neighborhoods built around polluting, inner-city factories are effectively situated to see adverse effects on school children. As a result, they become personally involved in environmental problems to the extent of becoming advocates for the interests of their patients. Alternatively, it may simply be that people who enter occupations that have a significant creative or social welfare component are deliberately seeking to enter occupations that are already in their present state.

Jude may have been guided by a post-materialistic value orientation. In contrast, those who are more interested in technical or financial goals choose to work in banks, engineering firms, public works departments, etc. In fact, it is probably some combination of these that is the explanation that is operative here.

A useful comparison can be made to the widespread involvement of Catholic religious orders in movements for social change in Latin America, the Philippines and other Third World countries, initially guided by some altruistic values, it is only when Ireland and other European Missionaries from countries so directly confronted with the often violent realities of life among shirtless people in despotic regimes that they take an apparently activist and often radical approach. Similarly, members of the new middle class may enter their jobs with few inclinations, but it is the fact of being in the firing line of environmental injustice that pushes them toward a more pronounced ecological consciousness.

An alternative explanation that is associated with Peter Berger (1986) suggests



That this new knowledge class is not so much altruistic as intensely conscious of its own interests. Since they are most likely to enjoy the positive organizational fruits of NSM activism – jobs in universities, government departments, regulatory agencies and pressure groups, research grants, conference travel, etc. It is not surprising that members of the new middle class constitute the bulk of the constituency of support for environmentalism, feminism, anti-nuclearism, etc. Steinnett identifies two major difficulties in attempting to explain environmentalism such as the NSMS in the context of the rise of a new middle class.

First, he notes that recent research has indicated that the social composition of NSMs is more diverse than the class explanation suggests. For example, he cites evidence from public opinion and voting patterns in Germany in the late 1980s that indicates that the distribution of support for der Grünen (the Greens) was actually flatter. This is consistent with recent research in the United States on the environmental justice movement which reports increased attendance at environmental protests by members of disadvantaged groups. Steinmetz cites Beck’s observation that ‘need is hierarchical, haze is democratic’ to illustrate that in the contemporary ‘risk society’ we are all centrally affected by environmental problems, a fact that sooner or later everyone realizes. Will enhance environmental consciousness in the classes.

Second, he observes that even if the thesis that the new middle class is over-represented may be supported empirically, it may indicate that this group is equally capable of understanding and mobilizing against problems such as environmental degradation. Capable of, but with fewer positive resources are the lower classes. As it happens, segments of the middle class were similarly over-represented in many ‘old’ social movements – another indication that they have the resources (flexible time, leadership skills, etc.) that enable them to participate more intensely. allow.

Regulatory/Political Completion Approach

Finally, efforts have been made to lead to the rise of environmental consciousness and action by identifying tensions in the political system of some Western European countries.

From this perspective, new social movements are said to arise as a defensive reaction against the intrusion of the state into the daily lives of ordinary citizens – what Habermas (1987) calls the ‘colonization of the life world’, while it Generally fits. Better



It can also be seen as having some relevance to the environmental field, as an explanation of the growth of social movements organized around alternative sexual identities and lifestyles. For example it can be argued, as Beck (1992) does, that the proliferation of new chemical and nuclear, and more recently, biogenetic technologies has brought many new risks into the daily lives of modern citizens, governments, and governments. the originators of these risks; At other times henchmen of those who are the ones creating the risk. Hoffmann and Japp (1993; 438) argue that modern social movements such as the environmental movement choose as their targets risks that represent the ultimate threat to our ‘chance at life’ because they appear uncontrollable and irreversible: Nuclear power plants, deranged ecosystems, the arms race and biotechnology

Another level of this structural interpretation presents the rise of environmentalism in the context of ‘neo-corporatism’. Corporatist-type political systems exist when the state enters into partnership with private industry, and sometimes large labor unions, to bypass formal democratic processes and make important political and economic decisions behind closed doors. Oftentimes, this form of limited decision-making can result in damage to the environment, especially since corporatism is based on sustained economic growth and high levels of employment. For example, the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, which were held under the auspices of a public limited company that combined private capital with regional and state governments, resulted in environmental damage in several places, including the Natural Park of Collserola. damage caused. many plants

and remaining habitat for animal species.

It is argued that the political closure imposed by corporatist systems has given rise to new forms of ecological protest. The NSM is called upon to address grievances and topics (including ecological destruction) outside mainstream politics in civil society, which have been systematically marginalized by the corporatist state. Such issues are officially excluded because they are of no importance or challenge to the interests of the dominant parties in the corporatist partnership. Scott (1990) holds that nations in which political debate is subsumed by real or apparent consensus and decision-making dominated by a small group of ‘social partners’ (i.e. Austria, Germany, Sweden) are ecological. movements, especially the Greens, have been most active in the political arena.





In West Germany, for example, bureaucratic policy-makers had, by the 1970s, increasingly avoided parliamentary institutions, preferring to make important decisions together with industry representatives behind closed doors. The rise of Die Gruns can be interpreted as an attempt to re-establish the democratic political link between the state and the citizenry, first through the formation of extra-parliamentary citizen initiative groups, and later alternatively again in parliaments. parties with the goal of helping to restore parliamentary legitimacy by entering from.

While these normative/political closed interpretations have the advantage of placing the rise of environmentalism in a wider historical and cultural context, they tell us more about the structural sources and challenges of the complaint than it does about any individual motivation by environmental activists. Tells more than comparisons. Adopt a ‘green’ view of the world (Steinmetz 1994: 195-6). Furthermore, while it is possible to understand why the center of gravity of environmental discourse in some European countries was to be found in ecological movements rather than politics, it is less clear how environmental grievances built into full-blown claims within these. New emerging green networks. This is particularly relevant as these decentralized NSM groups work on their new collective meanings and identities in a pre-political or private context rather than in the full glare of politics and public policy-making.

Forest Ecology and NTFP

Human life depends on forest for many purposes like shelter, subsistence, livelihood, timber, medicine, agriculture, aesthetics and many more.


  Forests are the primary source and protector of natural resources. Indian forests are home to a wide variety of flora with about 600 species of hardwood trees including ‘sal’ and ‘teak’. Due to such great diversity, India is considered to be one of the mega biodiversity hotspots in the world.


Indian forest types include tropical evergreen, tropical deciduous, swamp, mangrove, subtropical, montane, scrub, sub-alpine and alpine forests.

In this module we will explore the world of forest ecology and one very important component of it, non-timber forest produce. We will try to understand the interlink between forest ecology, governance and livelihood. Let us see with the help of some case studies

  1. Changing Roles of NTFPs.
  2. How NTFPs are used by the community in different ways.


Historical Understanding of Forestry:


Historically before the colonial period, forests in India were largely ignored for the purpose of trade or economic exchange, but they had cultural, spiritual and social value. We often see narratives revolving around the forest in mythological texts and inscriptions which indicates the age-old relationship between man and the forest. Even today there are places called ‘sacred groves’ which are part of the forest but are considered sacred places by the people living there. The history of his dynasty is connected with these places.

The value people attach to a forest largely depends on their proximity to the forest, their economic dependence, and their historical, physical and cultural ties to the forest. For those who live close to forests and who depend on them for their livelihood, direct material needs and cultural and spiritual values prevail. People far away (for example urban populations) place more importance on aesthetic and recreational values, whereas on a global scale concerns are related to ecological and economic values.1

A major part of our population lives in forests located across the country. With a large population still living in villages and forest areas, it becomes extremely important for us




Understand the lifestyle of our people living in those areas and intrinsically related to forest resources. There have been many changes in the way forests were linked to communities and the role of the state in that dynamic. Forests play different roles in different spheres of life like social, economic, political and cultural. All these relationships and roles evolve over time and are constantly influenced by the role of different actors.

Forestry under British India:


British India saw dramatic changes in forest use, depletion and the role of the state in forest management. During the colonial rule in the country the requirement of timber and the requirement of land for crop cultivation

Yakata resulted in large-scale deforestation and conversion of forest land to agricultural land. India was one of the major suppliers of timber to the British in the late 1790s. The large-scale use of forest resources, especially timber, to facilitate the expansion of industries led to a supply shortage as the natural breeding system could not match the pace of demand. The increasing need for industrial development gave way to higher demands for natural resources, of which timber was the main one. The timber requirements were met from all over the country. For example, teak was used for shipbuilding industries and sal was used for railways.


The process of massive extraction and depletion of resources culminated in the advent of scientific forestry in 1864 and the establishment of the Indian Forest Service. Dietrich Brandeis, a German forester, was appointed as its first Inspector General. The colonial government restricted user rights to its own domain. Local communities were denied access to protect forests from overuse.


This was done through the Indian Forest Act 1865 amending the Indian Forest Act 1878 and later the Indian Forest Act 1927. Interventions were also made to change the forest structure, the slow growth of natural vegetation could not meet the requirements of the growing trade. , The best known example is the transformation of a mixed oak-coniferous forest into a single species of pine. This type of interference affected the livestock of the area, resulting in non-availability of food as the entire food chain got thrown into disarray. The needs of the colonial government were given high priority over the needs of the community and local people. These disturbances were at the root of many discontents in communities across the country and often resulted in rebellion against the government. one of the most famous rebel

There is a lakh chipko movement.




After Independence:


After independence, the government was still following the colonial law – the Indian Forest Act of 1927. Emphasis on this only after the implementation of Forest (Conservation) Act 1980


Shifted from an extraction oriented approach to conservation. It gave authority to the state in relation to the center as it gave space to the state governments to function without the permission of the central government. The Forest Policy came into existence in the year 1952 which was the successor to the Forest Policy of 1894. After the formulation of the Forest Policy in 1988, the thrust of the policy was directed towards the protection of the environment rather than the user-based embeddedness of its successors.


  This involved participation of various levels of participation in the decision-making process by local level governance mechanisms such as panchayats, local communities, individuals. Several initiatives through various legislations and schemes like Joint Forest Management, Van Panchayat, Forest Conservation Committees, National Wasteland Development Board etc. have been launched for conservation purpose as well as to recognize community members as stakeholders. Forest related governance issues (of any nature: legislative, judicial or executive) have a major impact on a large section of the population as they not only live in forests but also depend on forest resources. Cultural and social traditional ties. An understanding of forestry and the lives of the communities concerned with it becomes an essential condition for understanding forest governance. Most of the communities dependent on forest products are tribal groups. They generally depend on minor forest produce or what is often called non-timber forest produce.



Forest Governance in India:


“Forestry provides a useful entry point for governance programs because of its focus that links the global with the national and the local; The higher level of income and other benefits it generates, and its importance in rural livelihoods and poverty alleviation. In addition, themes of public participation, accountability, transparent government, and pro-poor policy change have been at the heart of the Forest, which are also important dimensions of governance.

Forests fall under the Concurrent List in the 7th Schedule of the Constitution of India, which implies that both the Center and the States can make policies as long as the State’s policy does not come in conflict with the Union’s. Forest governance is mainly done in three ways

  1. Governance by the State
  2. Governance by Civil Society
  3. Governance, jointly by both the state and civil society.3





Governance by the state is done at the central level where national policies on forests are made. Operated through legislations passed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, State Forest Departments and the Central Government. Governance by civil society refers to the cooperatives that make up the community and the management of resources. The most desirable form of governance today is governance where both the state and civil society jointly manage resources. Most legislation now focuses on the management of this type of resource where local people are treated as stakeholders through legal means, creating a sense of ownership by acknowledging their socio-political and economic rights over forests.

There are many laws in the country that have been passed and are ongoing. They have different specialties that focus on different aspects of forest ecology. below is the table



Source: Changing Models of Forest Governance in India: Development or Revolution? Line

SN Forest policy and act

Main characteristics

First Constitution of India (42nd Amendment) under Article 10

Act 1976 Article 48A The State shall endeavor to protect and improve and safeguard the environment

forests and wildlife

2 Under the Constitution of India

Section 11 (42nd Amendment) Act 1976 Article 51A Protection and improvement of the natural environment

It is one of the fundamental duties of every citizen including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife.

3 Forest Act, 1865 The first Forest Act was enacted in 1865 primarily to facilitate the acquisition of forest areas, which could supply timber to the railways.

Undermining the existing rights of the people.

4 Forest Policy, 1894 The objective of the first policy statement was to manage the state’s forests for the public benefit. Granted rights and restrictions to neighboring populations. local communities allowed to under-manage

forests to meet the needs of fodder and grazing

5 National Forest Policy, 1952 A resolution on the first forest policy after independence was issued in 1952. It emphasized the balance of economic, ecological and social benefits from forests. proposed as


Classification of forests on functional basis (i)



Conservation Forests, (ii) National Forests, (iii) Village Forests, and (iv) Tree Land. The provision of centralized management was continued in this


6 The National Commission on Agriculture (NCA) 1976 ushered in major changes in this sector. Emphasized the need to focus on production of industrial wood for forest based industries, defense and communication. The need for business management skills in forest managers to meet current and future demands for protective and regenerative


7 National Forest Policy, 1988 It was only after almost 25 years that the Forest Policy 1988 outlined community participation in the conservation and development of forests. The policy is effective from the date It is a comprehensive document with instructions on afforestation, agro-forestry, management of forests, rights and concessions, forest land wildlife protection, tribal communities, forest fires and grazing, forest based industries, forest extension, education, research, personnel management, . data base, legal and

financial help.

8 National Wildlife Action Plan, 2002 The National Board for Wild Life was constituted in September 2003 with full powers of law and land. responsibility to emphasize

conservation activities.

9 Joint Forest Management, 1990 (as per the provisions of the 1988 Policy) The primary objective of the National Forest Policy, 1988 is to ensure environmental stability and ecological balance. The policy also emphasizes the need to meet the domestic demands of rural people for forest products and involve them in the conservation and management of forests.

Forest. National Forestry Action



The Programme, 1999 also addresses the concern of the government towards sustainable forest management. Forest management became the joint responsibility of the communities and forestry personnel marked a paradigm shift. By 2005, all 28 states adopted 84,000 committees in September 2003, overseeing 17 million hectares of forest land. This figure has increased significantly due to central funding through the National Afforestation Program (NAP) and externally funded projects. Forest area is being seen as an important component in alleviating rural poverty and providing livelihood to the people.

communities living in and around forests.

The presence of legislations has made a lasting impact on the lives of the people. But many challenges exist for them as it depends heavily on the interaction of societies with legal provisions. There are various overlaps and disconnects in the legislations. For this, different bodies and authorities may be held responsible for proposing and making different laws.

Challenges to Forest Governance:


The major factor affecting forest administration is population which has created immense pressure on natural resources in general and NTFP in particular. The situation is even more dire in India as with only 2% of the world’s forests the country has to serve about 15%. of the world’s population. While about 45% of energy in the Third World comes from wood, in India more than 85% of rural energy is met from biomass and about 50% of this is collected from forests.4

Most of the NTFPs have been nationalized and there is very little room left for operations in a market expansion way.


Middlemen get the most out of NTFPs for two reasons:

  1. The state is unable to reach the people directly and thus depends heavily on middlemen who facilitate the market. 2. The laborers engaged in collection and processing are ignorant of the market value of the produce and have little bargaining power. these factors cause




4 Hegde, Ng. “Development of non-timber forest product species to provide sustainable livelihoods in India”. Paper presented in the International Workshop on Global Partnership on Non-Timber Forest Products for Livelihood Development. International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Morocco. December 1–3, 2005



Disconnect in the volatile dynamics of labor, state and market and the process of development.

NTFPs are traced to economic exchange with the changing economic structure and higher integration of the population into the formal economic structure. This has converted NTFPs into commodities and to some extent encouraged people to protect and enhance them for their livelihood

Is. Kishore and Bayle (2004) argued that income had a statistically significant negative effect on deforestation, where increasing income is more likely to reduce deforestation and concluded that “improvement in governance can improve forest cover”. Curbing logging can have an indirect but strong effect”.5 He also argued that forest governance depends. Concentration of authority (centralization/



There is a clear lack of a comprehensive policy approach, this is basically because the NTFP produced and differentiated state regimes vary greatly. bamboo can be ta

Cane is taken as an example as it is considered as ‘minor forest produce’ under the Forest Rights Act 2006 and is treated as a wood product under the Indian Forest Act 1927. The provisions and privileges under PESA and Wildlife Protection Act are contradictory to each other. Regarding minor forest produce. These contradictions often lead people into problems and conflicts. Coherence and coordination are needed to utilize NTFP to the maximum possible extent in a sustainable and equitable manner.

Non Timber Forest Produce (NTFP):


Traditionally non-timber forest products refer to all organic material other than wood extracted from natural forests for human and animal use and having both consumption and exchange value. Globally NTFP/NWFP is defined as forest produce, which includes goods of biological origin other than forest, obtained from forest, other timberland and trees outside the forest. There is a broad category of 6 NTFPs based on their usage and importance.

  1. NTFP for Food Security: It includes the products that people use for their diet and livelihood. Honey for example.
  2. NTFP for Wood and Biomass: This refers to the use of wood for fuel, furniture and other such works and purchase of fodder and manure.




5 Kishore, Nalin and Aarti Bele. “Does Better Governance Contribute to Sustainable Forest Management?” Journal of Sustainable Forestry 19, no. 1–3 (2004): 55–79.

6th Report of Sub-Group II on NTFPs and their Sustainable Management in 12th Five Year Plan, 2011


  1. NTFP for drugs and plant protection: NTFP has a traditional use for medicinal and healing purposes. Many new NTFPs are being discovered for this purpose. It is always used for human and animals. They are also used as insecticides and crop supplements. for many plants
  2. NTFP for Aromatics, Dyes and Oilseeds: These are mostly used for industrial purposes.



NTFPs have constituted an important component of rural livelihoods in India, especially in tribal-dominated forest areas, besides they have constituted an important source of forest revenue in the country and have, therefore, been under the control of the Forest Department. Public and private interests have become increasingly interested in NTFP over the past few decades, as the case of the state of Chhattisgarh shows. 7 Non-Timber Forest Product Case Studies from India: Aajeevika School

The importance of NTFP is widely acknowledged by policy makers, economists, sociologists and others in various fields, as it plays a role as a ‘safety net’, especially in the lean season. Yet, most policies related to forests often undermine NTFP, which is estimated to account for about 68% of total exports from the forest sector. The NTFP currently accounts for the major income earned by the forest departments as several restrictions have been imposed on the felling of trees. The state often finds itself in a dilemma of protection and need of the people. If not kept under control, commercial use leads to over-extraction by the communities, while if a complete ban is imposed, it disturbs the life and ecosystem. alternative. They fail to make choices mainly due to poverty and unavailability of affordable alternatives.




In Chhattisgarh where 11185 out of total 19720 villages are covered by forest, the importance of NTFPs in livelihood security of rural population has prompted the state government to declare seven NTFPs viz. Tendu leaves, Sal seed, Harra, Gum (Khair) Is. , Dhwara, Kullu and Babul) and established the CGMFP Federation with the objective of promoting trade and development of these minor forest produce in the interest of MFP collectors, mostly tribal. The remaining other MFPs were left free to trade because their distribution and production varied by time and place. As a result, villagers will get assured minimum price for nationalized NTFPs, but less collection price for non-nationalized NTFPs due to inadequate market facility development in remote rural areas and often exploited by middlemen. Therefore, the state government issued a new state forest policy in 2002 declaring the state as a herbal state, with the objective of conserving NTFP based industries for processing of MFP.

To generate additional employment opportunities and provide health cover in the state. Accordingly, the CGMFP Federation developed a comprehensive program as “Sanjeevani” focusing on organized production, collection, processing and marketing through community based institutional and marketing arrangements

, A separate multidisciplinary task force under the chairmanship of Conservator of Forests (CF) has been set up within the federation to translate this program into reality. The present study is an attempt to understand the intervention in detail and its impact on the livelihoods of the rural poor.

The Chhattisgarh State Small Forest Produce Cooperative Union Limited came into existence in October 2000 as an apex organization with a three-tier cooperative structure after bifurcation of the erstwhile Madhya Pradesh State. The federation comprises an apex body at the state level, 32 district federations at the district level and 913 primary forest produce cooperative societies at the village level. At present there are about 10000 collection centers spread across the length and breadth of the state and covering about 9.78 lakh forest produce collectors, the union is engaged in nationalized activities like sal seeds, tendu leaves, hara and gum through this three-tier cooperative society. Collects and markets NTFP. structure. A task force was constituted under CF along with the Federation to achieve the objective of Herbal State following the new State Forest Policy. The major functions being carried out by the Sangh are:

  1. a) Collection and trading of nationalized forest produce.
  2. b) Assured market tie up with collection and trade of non-nationalized minor forest produce, including medicinal and aromatic plants.
  3. c) Promotion of MFP-based processing units
  4. d) Conservation Development and Sustainable Use of MFP
  5. e) Promotion of cultivation of MFP species including medicinal, aromatic and dye plants.



(Livelihood Promotion through Non-Timber Forest Produce: A Case from Chhattisgarh State, Gautam and Sharma)

sanjeevani mart case

Sanjeevani Mart in Raipur is run by a ten member SHG formed in the year 2005. Over the years it involved saving and helping each other through small cash transfers. It was like a Home Savings Group (HSG). But since the group did not have its own source of income, it was difficult for them to deal with it and gradually it started disintegrating. The CGMFP federation developed Sanjeev Mart using funds from the European Commission supported project and invited expressions of interest from self-help groups to operate Sanjeevani. The year 2007 brought a new dimension to this SHG when it joined CGMFP Federation to run Sanjivani Mart. The Self Help Group did not make any investment. All the herbs and herbal products were supplied by Raipur Mart. SHG members received training in group dynamics record keeping in mind Ayurvedic medicines and information

Ten hours a day are divided among 10 members working in three shifts to run Sanjeevani. They have a mutual understanding about the timing and find two members running the shop at a time. Since the Mart is also attached, they get support from the authorities as well. Presently Sanjivani has 38 drug products which are supplied by Raipur Mart to the group on demand. Tie up with two local Vaidyas who sit twice a week at Sanjivani and prescribe herbal medicines to the customers. The usage of different medicines is also explained to the customers through technical pamphlets. by group members.


The group members also set up stalls for the sale of herbal products in the main Sanjeevani store as well as exhibitions and rentals. The SHG gets a commission of 15% on the total sales in the month. Monthly sales of herbs and herbal products in Raipur Sanjeevani ranges between INR 125000 and 150000 with commission ranging from 18750 to 22500. This amount is distributed equally among the members. They take pride in contributing 25-30 per cent of their family income. The Chairperson of the Self Help Group has started sending her children to convent school with the income from Sanjivani. Self Help Group members see this as a life changing opportunity. Now they also train other SHG members to plan to start Sanjeevani in their city/town. During the discussion, the members of the self-help groups told that the sale of herbal products is increasing every day. They also use their personal network to advertise and sell herbal products. However, the members also pointed out that many medicines which are in high demand by the consumers are not available at their Sanjeevani stores and this affects their relationship with the consumers. They demand regular supply from the market.






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