Review of National Forest Policy, 1998 — Inviting Comments

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The National Forest Policy stresses the protective role of forests in maintaining ecological balance and environmental stability
Ramki Sreenivasan

The National Forest Policy, 1988 is being reviewed. The Ministry has constituted a Core Drafting Group for review of National Forest Policy. In this context, Members of the Core Group i.e. all the concerned Ministries, State Forest Departments, Forestry Institutions and other stakeholders are requested to send their comments / views / suggestions on the National Forest Policy to the Ministry in hard copy as well as through email at Subhaash Chandra or by fax at 011-24363974. Read the official memorandum on the MOEF website.

The National Forest Policy, 1988 is attached for download. You can also find it here on the MOEF website.

The Indian National Forest Policy of 1988 emphasised the protective role of forests in maintaining ecological balance and environmental stability. The basic objectives that should govern the National Forest Policy were enlisted as follows:- (i) Maintenance of environmental stability through preservation and, where necessary, restoration of the ecological balance that has been adversely disturbed by serious depletion of the forests of the country. (ii) Conserving the natural heritage of the country by preserving the remaining natural forests with the vast variety of flora and fauna, which represent the remarkable biological diversity and genetic resources of the country. (iii) Checking soil erosion and denudation in the catchment areas of rivers, lakes and reservoirs in the interest of soil and water conservation, for mitigating floods and droughts (iv) Checking the extension of sand dunes in the desert areas of Rajasthan and along the coastal tracts. (v) Increasing substantially the forest/tree cover in the country through massive afforestation and social forestry programmes, especially on all denuded, degraded and unproductive lands. (vi) Meeting the requirements for fuelwood, fodder, minor forest produce and small timber of the rural and tribal populations. (vii) Increasing the productivity of forests to meet essential national needs. (viii) Encouraging efficient utilisation of forest produce and maximising substitution of wood. (ix) Creating a massive people’s movement with the involvement of women, for achieving these objectives and to minimise pressure on existing forests. [courtesy: wikipedia].

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