The principal aim of National Forest Policy, 1988 is to ensure environmental stability and maintenance of ecological balance including atmospheric equilibrium which are vital for sustenance of all life forms, human, animal and plant. The derivation of direct economic benefit must be subordinate to this principal aim. The basic objectives of the Forest Policy 1988 are given at Annexure. There is no proposal presently to review the National Forest Policy, 1988 since the National Forest Commission in its report published in 2006 has recommended that there is no need to change the National Forest Policy, 1988.
Since, inception of the Forest Policy 1988 the forest and tree cover in the country has increased from 19.7 % of geographical area (State Forest Report, 1987) to 23.4 % of the geographical area (State Forest Report, 2005) and is indicative of the facts that the forest policy prescriptions are helping gradually towards achieving environmental stability and maintenance of the ecological balance. The major achievements of National Forest Policy, 1988, inter alia, are as follows:
The basic objectives that should govern the National Forest Policy- are the following:
- Maintenance of environmental stability through preservation and, where necessary, restoration of the ecological balance that has been adversely disturbed by serous depletion of the forests of the country.
- 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.
- Checking soil erosion and denudation in the catchments areas of rivers, lakes, reservoirs in the “interest of soil and water conservation, for mitigating floods and droughts and for the retardation of siltation of reservoirs.
- Checking the extension of sand-dunes in the desert areas of Rajasthan and along the coastal tracts.
- Increasing substantially the forest/tree cover in the country through massive afforestation and social forestry programmes, especially on all denuded, degraded and unproductive lands.
- Meeting the requirements of fuel-wood, fodder, minor forest produce and small timber of the rural and tribal populations.
- Increasing the productivity of forests to meet essential national needs. Encouraging efficient utilisation of forest produce and maximising substitution of wood. ·
- Creating a massive people’s movement with the involvement of women, for achieving these objectives and to minimise pressure on existing forests.
CGPCS Notes brings Prelims and Mains programs for CGPCS Prelims and CGPCS Mains Exam preparation. Various Programs initiated by CGPCS Notes are as follows:-