Easier - Soil is the loose top layer of our planet's crust. It is dirt or earth in which plant life can grow. Harder - Soil covers a major portion of the earth's land surface. It is an important natural resource that either directly or indirectly supports most of the planet's life. Life here depends upon soil for food. Plants are rooted in soil and obtain needed nutrients there. Animals get their nutrients from plants or from other animals that eat plants. Many animals make their homes or are sheltered in the soil. Microbes in the soil cause the breakdown and decay of dead organisms, a process that in turn adds more nutrients to the soil.
Soil is a mixture of mineral and organic materials plus air and water. The contents of soil varies in different locations and is constantly changing. There are many different kinds and types of soils. Each has certain characteristics including a specific color and composition. Different kinds of soils support the growth of different types of plants and also determine how well that plant life grows. Soil is formed slowly, but can be easily destroyed. Therefore, soil conservation is important for continued support of life.
Forest Conservation: CONSERVATION OF forest is certainly a necessity that requires to be addressed as a priority. For the survival of human beings, a holistic approach is required to be adopted as regards protection of the plant kingdom as well as the wildlife with regard to the peaceful and mutually beneficial co-existence of all.
To prevent any kind of ecological imbalance a very pragmatic action plan has to be formulated. Towards achieving this many legislation have been enacted in India and elsewhere. At the international level also the world communities, being concerned with the deteriorating situation worldwide, have joined hands towards finding a lasting and sustainable solution by deliberating on the subject in various conventions like that in Rio-de Janeiro and the latest Doha round of talks. These are truly welcome moves taken by the world community.
Coming back to India, there are legislations galore to deal with the situation by way of wildlife protection, forest conservation, environment protection laws etc. No doubt, the aims and object of such legislations are in tune with the call of the hour. Forests are being denuded haphazardly. Deforestation in a rampant manner by various elements has depleted the forest areas forcing the wild life to lesser domains and as a result of this rampage of human habitat by wild pachyderms and other animals have become a regular phenomenon in certain areas.
Forests are being encroached by people who have been displaced from their original habitat for various reasons like construction of huge electricity generating dams, ethnic clashes, floods caused by breach of river embankments and dams etc. Being forced to the wall by making these people devoid of shelter, at a time when even the United Nations Organisation gives much priority to providing shelter to the homeless, they are compelled to establish their habitat by waging war with the nature by way of deforestation and environmental degradation.
The Union of India has passed the Forest (conservation) Act making it mandatory to obtain prior approval of the Union government for using forest land for non-forest purposes. Even for cultivation of tea, rubber, spices, and medicinal plants among others. In this regard, there is bar imposed in de-reservation of any reserved forests. For grant of any approval for such acts of using forest areas for non-forest purposes, an Advisory Committee is constituted under the statute. It thus connotes that with prior approval of the Central government, forest areas may be utilized for other purposes.
In Assam, India, in the not very remote past, the democratically established government demolished a great area of human habitation by engaging tuskers in the name of clearing reserved forest land...
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