Talking about renewable resources is the new swag of the town. Until Elon Musk started talking about saving earth no one knew about him. But today he is the poster boy of sustainable development with his Tesla electric car and SpaceX. How can we help to save the planet Earth? Afforestation!!!
Forest is one of the very important renewable resource which is answer to many problems we face today due to unsustainable approach of development we had in past. Forest is rich reservoir of biological resource. In a country like India with its very large rural population forest management is key to survival. We should start looking as forest as important resource rather a waste land.
India traditionally had been agricultural country. Still today major work-force is engaged in agriculture related jobs. But work in traditional agriculture fields are limited hence pose problem of disguise unemployment. Developing forest can provide answer to this problem. Forest can provide fruits vegetables, spices, honey, mushroom etc. which can make rural people self-dependent instead of buying these products from market. Other than these forests also provide commercial plants like Bamboo, Timber, Sandalwood etc. which can generate job and revenue. At present forest meet approx. 40% of energy need of the country 220 million tons of fuel wood/ annum and also provide 25% of fodder needs.
Employment created by forest is massive. According to studies sponsored by Ministry of environment 3000 to 5000 million man days of work/ annum for fuel wood collection is created. The less fortunate tribal get about 33% of their livelihood from forests and forest products. Apart from supporting rural economy forest also provide raw materials to industry namely Pulp and Paper Industry, Textile ,Food ,cellulose, packaging , pharmaceutical and cosmetic Industry etc. Some of the rare forest product help our country earn extra foreign exchange from Gum, medicinal herbs, natural products etc.
Tree cover influence Climate: reduce temperature, conserve soil, improve fertility of soil and reduced floods.
Bhutan is world’s most happy country because of their rich forests. If we focus more on gross happiness products instead of Gross Domestic Product may be one day we can also catch up to Bhutan the land of Happiness.