|Title||Can Institutional Framework Promote the Rehabilitation of Forest Landscape? An Empirical Study in West Bengal, India.|
|Affiliation||Raja Peary Mohan College, Uttarpara|
|Keywords||Joint Forest Management, Livelihood, Non-Timber Forest product, Rural Development., Sustainable NTFP Management|
Forest Landscape Rehabilitation is a forward looking approach and which focuses on how to restore forest functionality, i.e., the goods, the services and ecological process that forest can provide, at the broader landscape level. This approach seeks to put in place forest –based assets that are good for both people and the environment and approaches to restore forest functions to degraded landscapes. India has implemented a very large Joint Forest Management (JFM) program. Under Joint Forest management (JFM) program village communities are entrusted with the protection and management of nearby forests. The effective involvement of village communities in evolving sustainable forest management systems has been looked upon as an important approach to address the long-standing problems of deforestation and land degradation in India.
The objective of the paper is to examine how Joint Forest Management (JFM) helps to restore the degraded forest land and the conservation and management of forest landscape. Section I deals with the analysis of forest cover in the country along with all the states of India. In addition, the forest cover of 187 Tribal Districts and forest cover of 123 Hill Districts of India have been taken into the analysis. This section also discusses the trends in dense forest cover, the trends in natural forest cover and the trends in planted forest area in India over 20-year. In section II, the trends in the production of different varieties of NTFPs like Sal seeds, Bidi leaves, Grass & Fodder, and Bamboo etc during 1987-2000 have been analyzed. Section III discusses the case study on the impact of Joint Forest Management for two villages in the District of West Bengal in 2007. This paper recommends the sustainable NTFP management leading to livelihood of the poor households through which the restoration of forests can be made.