Forest Management And Biodiversity Conservation

Conservation, management, and utilization of forests, biodiversity, and lakes in reserved forests, khasmal, gorucharan, and protected areas will be carried out in selected JFMC, EDC, and PSS areas. Some forestry and related activities will be promoted in private holdings as well. Committee members will be responsible for conducting these activities under the guidance of and in cooperation with the Forest Department. Activities will be identified in the process of microplanning and carried out according to the finalized micro plan.

Common Activities
The protection of forests, wildlife, and the environment should be made mandatory for all JFMCs, EDCs, and PSS?s. Activities should be undertaken based on the guidelines/manuals on implementation of activities. Examples of activities to be undertaken by all the target committees should include the following:
  • Boundary maintenance: The boundaries of reserved forests, protected forests, and protected areas will be maintained through the regular clearing of vegetation. The boundary between one joint management area and another will also be maintained by the committee members. Such boundaries should serve as firebreaks.

  • Fire prevention and control: Committee members will regularly patrol and watch for fires during the dry season. Each committee will be provided with fire-fighting equipment. Basic training on fire fighting will be given to the committee members through the capacity development subcomponent.

  • Monitoring and reporting of illicit activities: The areas to be managed jointly will be patrolled regularly by committee members. Illegal felling, poaching, encroachment, bio-piracy, and other criminal activities will be monitored and reported to the Forest Department by the committee members.

  • Range management: The committee will regulate grazing and fodder collection under the guidance of the Forest Department so that resources will be managed sustainable manner. Measures such as rotational grazing, prescribed burning, mechanical clearing, and seeding will be applied taking into account the local situations. 

Optional Activities
Other activities to be implemented by JFMCs, EDCs, and PSS?s will depend mainly on the type of committee, the area it looks after, and its needs concerning natural resources. For JFMCs, silvicultural activities such as planting trees and NTFP species, and thinning forests would be the main focus of activities. In higher-altitude areas, planting and harvesting medicinal herbs may become the main activities. For EDCs, management of the national park and sanctuaries including the maintenance and restoration of wildlife habitats, maintenance of gates, fences, and footpaths, and guiding of the visitors may be given emphasis. PSS?s will mainly look after the lake environment and the surrounding areas by making sure that they are not overused or polluted.
  • Artificial regeneration in reserved and protected forests: Trees will be planted in areas that have not had success in natural regeneration. Areas for planting will be identified by referring to the relevant working plan and through PRAs. In selecting the species to plant, the preference of local people should also be considered. This information has already been collocated in the process of developing the working plans for the East and West Districts and for the seven protected area management plans. These should be verified at the microplanning stage. Fences will be installed for protection in areas where the population density of animals is high.

  • Aided natural regeneration: Controlled burning and/or light soil working will be done to aid regeneration in sal (Shorea robusta) and other forests where the status of regeneration is poor.

  • Maintenance of forests: Weeding and climber cutting will be done where required. For plantation forests, weeding will be done for three years or more.

  • Thinning of plantation forests: Dhuppi (Cryptomeria japonica), sal, teak (Tectona grandis) Shorea robusta, and other plantation forests will be thinned as per the specifications given in the working plans.

  • Medicinal herb plantation: Herbs that have high commercial value will be planted in suitable areas. Species to be planted can be decided using the information provided by the State Medicinal Plants Board (SMPB).

  • Planting of bamboo, cane, and other NTFP species: Similarly to tree planting, the species that the local people prefer will be planted on suitable lands. This activity should mainly be promoted in khasmal, gorucharan, and private lands.

  • Tree planting on private holdings: Wherever there is demand, tree planting on private land will be encouraged by providing seedlings and technical guidance to propagate and plant trees.

  • Nursery: Interested committees will be encouraged to develop simple village nurseries and to propagate seedlings.

  • Management of the national park and sanctuaries: Activities such as the maintenance and restoration of wildlife habitats, control of invasive alien species, construction and maintenance of gates, fences, and footpaths, guiding of the visitors, collection of entrance fees, and collection of solid waste will be conducted by EDCs.

  • Mitigation of man-animal conflicts: The committee members will assist in the monitoring of wildlife with the Forest Department.

  • Soil and moisture conservation

  • Lake management: PSS?s will manage the lake environment. Visitors will be regulated, entrance fees will be collected, and business activities and littering will be controlled by PSS?s.

One or more than one plantation model can be adopted by JFMC/EDC/PSS depending on a choice indicated in the micro plan.

For activities that generate revenue, the benefit-sharing arrangement must be stipulated in the micro plan. For example, an EDC may manage visitors to a sanctuary and collect entrance fees. A JFMC may plant medicinal herbs or trees and then harvest and sell them. The working plans developed by the Forest Department envisage that thinning will take place in congested plantation forests and that the revenue generated should be shared according to the JFM rules once the plans are approved by the MOEF.

Central and Village Nurseries
For the village residents to carry out various planting activities, the Forest Department will produce seedlings in its nurseries for distribution. The villagers may, if they wish, develop a village nursery and produce seedlings.