COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN FOREST MANAGEMENT IN DISTRICT MANSEHRA Supervised By
DR. AHMAD HUSSAIN
SYED RIZWAN AHMED KAZMI
M.Phil. Forestry & Wildlife (2012-14)
Forest has been defined as “An area with a high density of trees. These plant communities cover large areas of the globe and function as carbon dioxide sinks, animal habitats, hydrologic flow modulators, and soil conservers, constituting one of the most important aspects of our biosphere ". Forests are the storehouse of natural resources, without which the very sustenance of human population would be under threat. Yet forests have been the first to bear the brunt of civilization. Growing human population has consistently put pressure on the forest cover. While declaring state reserved and protected forest under forest act 1927 and 1936, the rights of the local people were readapted and converted into servitude and concessions. These forests were primarily managed for commercial purposes and local people remained alienated from any stage of planning and management. This way of management might have played a positive role at that time, but with the passage of time when the population increased it led to illegal destruction of the forests for domestic use and for income generation. The forest acts hindered the satisfaction of such requirements and this caused conflict between forest department and communities. The forest department had to register help of various law enforcement authorities, but could not bring any change in the situation. Experiences of joint forest management gained from Nepal, India and other south eastern countries were considered to be the solution of the problem. JFM was started on small scale in the Siran valley of district Mansehra during 1996. Generally it is argued that the success of new system of management highly depend upon the behavior of the partners, socioeconomic and political realities of the environment. Unless radical steps are taken for changing the organizational setup of the hierarchical forest department for building capacity, appropriate behavior and for supportive environment, the future of JFM is not secure, practical short, mid and long term steps have to be taken for success of the participatory forest management.
Joint forest management (JFM) is an approach to collaborative forestry, emanating from the desire to allow forest dependent people to obtain legitimate access to forest resources for meeting their livelihoods. It recognize the fact that proper forest management cannot be possible some level of cooperation of the local people.in this system surrounding communities are involved in the management of the state forest under a set of conditions spilt out at the begging of the program(Naira and Matose,1994). In Pakistan, JFM have been applied first in the Siran valley of district Mansehra where the survey reports revealed that half of the forest cover has disappeared between 1967 and 1988(SFDP, 1995). Such a catastrophe cannot be simply attribute to increasing pressure of the growing population, the miss management of private forests under cooperative societies system and traditional management of state forests are equally responsible. Past management of the state forest remained exclusively geared towards timber production. Local people remained alienated from any stage of planning and management except admission of certain locality specific concessions. This system worked when the local population was small, consumption was limited and resources were abundant. At the present stalemate attitude of protracting the forest against the resource dependent locals by law enforcement has rendered the forest department in a constant state of confrontation with them. Keeping in the view aforementioned scenario it was realized the affective forest management is not possible without...
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