Protection and conservation of forests and wildlife are essential to maintain the earth’s health and environment. The earth is the only known living planet and it is because of its special environment and ecology which are life-supporting. Forests are part and parcel of our environment.
They are one of the most valuable resources and gifts of nature. They play a key role in the maintenance climate, rain-patterns, water and soil conservation.
They are the natural home of much type- of animals, birds, reptiles, insects etc. They supply timber, fuel, medicines, and wood for peeper-pulp and raw materials for many industries. The increasing depletion and destruction of wildlife is a source of great concern. One out of every seven persons of the world live in India.
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India has 16 per cent of the world’s population with only 2.4 percent of its land area. There is much pressure on our natural resources including forests. In these times of increasing consumerism and nature- hostile activities, the forest-cover is depleting and deteriorating very fast.
The conservation of wildlife which includes native plants and animals, depends on protection of forests. Wildlife is the direct product of the land resources and habitat conditions. The neglect of forests moans the destruction of the wild animals.
Wildlife, like we human beings, need food, water, and shelter. Destruction of forests, wetlands, marshes, points, grasslands etc. eliminates their sources of food, water and habitat. The National wildlife action Plan launched in 1983 provides the framework of strategy as well as programme for conservation of wildlife.
The protected area network till 1 993 consisted of 75 national parks and 421 sanctuaries covering 4.5 per cent of the total geographical area, which was proposed to be increased to 5.1 per cent. The wildlife protection Act, 1972 governs wildlife conservation and protection of endangered species. The Act prohibits trade in rare and endangered species.
India is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered species of Wild Flora and Fauna. Under this export or import of these endangered species is subject to strict control. Commercial exploitation such species is prohibited. The Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 has been suitably amended to make the provisions more effective. Endangered species of plants and animals have been brought under the purview of ten acts.
India is very rich both in flora and fauna but many plant and animal species are already extinct and many other are on the road to extinction. In spite of various acts and rules- regulations against exploitation of wildlife, the real conservation has one of the major wildlife producer counties of the world and yet there is a skeleton staff to safeguard the interests of wildlife. Poachers are on the prowl even in sanctuaries and protected forest areas.
They have become fertile hunting grounds for illegal hunting and killing of animals. The rich and influential people and traders in, animal-skins, horns, etc. have been indulging in hunting, killing and trading of wildlife with impunity. They carry telescopic rifles and other weapons, use traps and poison food and kill the animals.
As a result of ecological imbalances and depleting forest-cover, the wild animals come out at night in search of food in the villages and attack human beings and domestic animals and fowls. In some parts of Uttar Pradesh the hyena and wolf-menace was very much in the news. Many children were killed by the wolves and hyenas.
Similarly, in Pauri Garwal district of UP some leopards turned into man-eaters. Faced with the scarcity of animals for prey in the forest and continuing attacks from poachers, they become man- eaters. And once a man-eater is always a man- eater because man is the softest target.
On many an occasion, the villagers injure more animals then they kill and so the injured animals turn into man-eaters and attack villages at night for food. When a human kill takes place, every leopard or tiger is regarded as man-eater and there is indiscriminate killing consequently, the number of these felines is decreasing fast.
Thousands of snails, frog, rats, earthworms, cockroaches and other animals are killed for dissection in schools, colleges and laboratories for experiments. Snakes are also killed indiscriminately out of ignorance as greed. This destroys and disturbs the fragile ecological balance. Tigers are subjected to utmost brutality by man, the most intelligent and evolved animal on the earth.
There is mindless destruction of forests for timber, firewood and fuel. Every year there is a loss of about 1.3 hectares of forest area in India because of large and indiscriminate clearing of forests for cultivation, quarrying and large dams and irrigation projects.
Then there is intensive and indiscriminate logging for commercial purposes by contractors and timber-merchants. Over-grazing has also taken its toll. The result is serious ecological imbalance and environment degradation. There is much pressure on forests and the relation between men and forests has reached the lowest depth.
Conservation of forests and wildlife is also important from aesthete point of view. They make life beautiful and colourful. Without them human life will lose much of its beauty, charm and meaning. Their proper protection and conservation also means a continuous and adequate supply of food, fodder, medicines, timber etc.
Forests and wildlife and renewable resources which need to be diligently protected, preserved and increased in a planned way. There is a need to spread the awareness about forest and wildlife conservation. Social forestry can be taught in schools as a subject.
More and more trees should be planted, protected and seen growing and maturing. There should be a ban on mobile zoos and animal rights activists should come forward to wage a war on behalf of the mute and innocent animals.
The destruction and degradation of forests in upper reigns like Himalayas causes such other ruins as erosion of top soil erratic rainfall, and recurring floods. Deforestation is a great social and national evil and should be checked on priority basis. It results in loss of productivity and environment degradation among much other harm.
Encroachment on forests should also be checked and, if possible, banned, Non government agencies, village communities; trial’s etc. should be involved in social forestry and regeneration of degraded forest lands. They should be allowed to share the benefits of these schemes in a judicious manner. The forest and wildlife conservation laws should be made more stringent and practiced scrupulously.
Veerappan’s continued bloody trade in ivory and sandalwood trade upsets all concerned. Throughout the Nilgiris, it is now almost impossible to spot a large tusker. The full blown assault on forest and wildlife saddens all the Indians and wildlife lovers in foreign countries.
Competitive Exams Essay: Forests Need For Conservation
Trees are mankinds lifeline. If they are destroyed, there is no way that human beings can survive. From the oxygen that we breathe in, the food that we eat, to the clothes we wear, we owe it all to the trees. Not only this, trees act as purifiers of air and receptacles of our waste products. Trees have great economic value too. We get fuel, fodder, timber, medicines and numerous other valuable products from the trees. It is, therefore, not surprising that trees were given great importance in our culture, our tradition, our mythology and legends. The entire Panchatantra revolves around forests and its inhabitants. Tulsi plant is always found and worshipped in a traditional home. Pipal tree is revered by all. Neem is valuable as an insecticide, germicide and medicine, in the times when there were no coolers or air conditioners people comforted themselves in the cool shades of mango, neem and other trees during summer heat. The survival of entire wild life depends upon the health and well being of our trees and specially our forests.
Today, however, the forests are in danger. Their survival is at stake as man, in his blind pursuit of wealth and power, is bent upon destroying them. The urgent need today is to save our forests from extinction. For sustaining ecological balance, for environmental and other reasons, it is important that at least one third of our land is covered with forests. However, today we have less than 20% area under forests and much of it is degraded forest. Over felling of trees, hindering natural process of pollination and germination and diverting land for other purposes have all taken their toll on forests. So, the need of the hour is to work to save existing forests and help in bringing larger area under forests. The need to conserve forests and upgrade them was recognized decades back by the Indian Government. Subsequently, to promote research in forestry and allied sciences, a Forest Research Institute, and for forest management, an Indian Institute of Forest Management were opened. While Indian Forest Service was organized on an efficient basis by Sir John Strachedy, a new orientation was given to it after independence. The need to involve public was felt and so social forestry scheme was launched. The purpose was to make forestry a mass movement. One tree for every child, Trees for Eco-development and numerous other schemes were launched. To provide financial support, Forest Development Boards were set up. An innovative scheme to involve industries and private parties in afforestation drive was launched under Industrial Plantation. To make use of the waste lands, marginal lands and desert lands, energy plantations, fodder plantations etc. Were attempted. Under DDP, forests were sought to be promoted not only to restore fragile ecological balance but also to provide people with the means of livelihood. Similarly, DPAP was launched with afforestation as its cornerstone.
Despite all such efforts, we find very little tangible result. Forests are still getting cut and degraded and wildlife still being destroyed. Somehow, the awareness that forests are in danger and that we should do something about it has still not reached many of us. And many of us, who know the fact, do not know what to be done about it. Forestry is highly labor intensive primary activity. Unless, people are involved neck deep in the afforestation drive, little progress can be made. Spread of information by mass media, through social workers, in schools and colleges, at work places, all these are required for the drive to become a movement. While most of us know the importance of forests, we take them for granted. Conservation of forests does not mean that they should not be used for economic purposes but should be used efficiently and in a way that does not endanger the ecological balance and does not destroy the home of wild animals. Presently, forests are being used for mainly two purpose fuelwood and timber both involve felling trees.
This can be avoided by either developing alternative sources of energy there are many-solar, biogas etc. alternative means for construction CPWD has banned the use of wood in houses or by growing at least one if not two tree for each tree cut. Secondly, new, better means of using forests should be evolved. Sericulture, mushroom cultivation, bee keeping, horticulture, etc. Are not only viable but also very profitable alternatives. At the same time, forests should be protected as a system. This means that monocultures are avoided and variety of trees suitable to the local environs be grown.
The question today is not whether or not afforestation but how. Our very survival depends upon how successful we are in our mission. Let m think about future. In the greed for short term gains, 4et us not put our very survival at stake. We all have role to play in this movement. If each one of us grows just one healthy and suitable tree in his life time, the problem will be solved. To misquote Armstrong It is a small ask for each one of us but a giant task for the mankind.