Forest loss is directly-associated with human population growth. In 1921 human population was 25. 13 crores and forests cover was 104.05 million hectares. By 1989, forests cover reduced to 64.01 m ha, while human population in 1991 reached to 84.39 crores. Deforestation is due to diversion of forest land to agricultural land, river valley projects, roads, industiy and urbanization, transmission lines and activities like shifting cultivation, fuelwood and timber collection overgrazing fires and acid rains (vide Rana, 2006). Green wealth index (GWI) is an indicator of green wealth possessed by a State or Union Territory and Green Protection index (GP1) is a qualitative calculation of protection accorded examining forests cover, recorded forest area and protected area coverage. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are richest in their green wealth with GWI at 0.747, while Sikkim for protecting its natural heritage ranks highest on GPI scale with 0.903. All India GWI is a dismal 0.193 (Ghosh, 2004). A total of 0.397 m ha forests loss in Madhya Pradesh is recorded with tribal areas accounted for about 0.219 m ha. And in Andhra Pradesh forest loss was about 0.346 m ha in tribal areas. This trend continues in Northeast including Assam (State of the Forest report, 1999). Various ethnic groups practice various forms of agriculture as main stay of economy in NE region. Rice is major crop though maize and millets are grown. Traditional agricultural systems are Zabo, terrace construction and jhum or shifting cultivation. Zabo, an indigenous farming system of Nagaland combines agro-forestry and animal husbandry and is common to individually owned lands of about 2.5 ha. For terrace construction, the area is cleaned by cutting and burning forest vegetation. Jhum cultivation is practiced roughly by 5 lakhs tribal families. A total land area of 4.36 m ha is being affected by jhum cultivation, out of which 2.7 m ha is in NE region. Jhum cycle has reduced to 4-5 years in Meghalaya, 5-10 years in Mizoram and Tripura, 6-15 years in Nagaland and Manipur and 5-10 years in Arunachal Pradesh. Such cultivation results in soil erosion and loss of soil fertility. In areas, where bamboos are cut and burnt, K- rich ash accumulates for jhum crop. This fallow land invites several weeds and it takes a very long time for soil, to support crop plant growth. Modern agriculture with longer cycles of 10 or more years and agro-forestry system are suggested for control of jhum (Sharma. 2004). Problems relating to use and conservation of natural resources in developing countries are qualitatively different than those of developed countries. In developed countries, the primary issue is protection of what remains in nature, but in India conservation of natural resources must necessarily consider the claims of human population on these resources for their sustenance and livelihood. -------------------------------------------------
Such population is dependent on forests and is among the poorest, as forests form life support systems for them. Any legal and administrative regime must aim to judiciously utilize these resources for addressing the concerns of livelihood while ensuring sustainability of their use (Hazra, 2002).
Essay on Global Warming: Causes, Effects and Remedies
Global warming is the greatest challenge facing our planet. It is, in fact, the increase in the temperature of the earth’s neon- surface air. It is one of the most current and widely discussed factors. It has far-reaching impact on biodiversity and climatic conditions of the planet. Several current trends clearly demonstrate that global warming is directly impacting on rising sea levels, the melting of ice caps and significant worldwide climate changes. In short, global warming represents a fundamental threat to all living things on earth. Global average temperature rose significantly during the past century. The prevailing scientific view is that most of...