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Forest Resource Survey in Jharkhand

It is now widely accepted that the future of food, health and livelihood security depends upon the attention paid to the proper management of natural resources vis a vis much needed financial investments in the forestry sector. The forests are crucial for humankind, but there is an ever increasing demand for the forest resources for goods and services.

Natural resource management is expected to play a key role in the development of Jharkhand in the years to come. The government stands committed, to bring about a new ethos of people-centered, growth-oriented governance in the state. Forests resources constitute a critical lifeline for poor forest dwellers by providing them sustenance and livelihood. Therefore the government is trying to achieve maximum benefits to the poorest sections of the society living in the vicinity of the forest resources through the Joint Forest Management (JFM) of invaluable forest resources of the Jharkhand State .

The need of information base on the forest resources and on the closely associated Socio-economic variables are an integral part of appropriate analysis of the people & the associated forestry situation, making sound decisions on development plan /programme in forestry as well as taking realistic policy decision and accordingly the commensurate investments in forestry sector of Jharkhand. The effective management of the Joint forest management programme needs a concise and comprehensive information base of the forest resources at grassroots level, for an institutional approach to the goals of sustainable development by the planners, policy makers and forest managers.

The available information on natural resources, particularly at grassroots level, is missing or if available at all, is weak in relation to the linkages between management and the livelihood security of the poor. Attention must also be paid to the livelihood needs of the community, such as availability of grazing land for livestock. The development of forests has to be through the development of people.

Forestry information system evolved in India, concurrently with the advent of scientific forestry management. As Forest Department began to meticulously plan and organise forestry operations, a uniform pattern in maintenance of records pertaining to various forestry operations came into vogue. The data generated was authentic and found a very important input in Resource Management and Planning. A system of regular and periodic recording and transmission of information to Division, Circle and State headquarters became a standard practice in the administration process of all forest departments in the country. The collection, compilation of information and its transmission to higher level constituted an effective information system for forestry. The information gathering system deteriorated with time as much importance was not given to this activity as it deserved.

The National Forest Policy envisages regarding the Forest Survey and Data Base - “inadequacy of data regarding forest resources is a matter of concern because this creates a false sense of complacency. Priority needs to be accorded to completing the survey of forest resources on scientific lines and updating the information. For this purpose, periodic collection, collation and publication of reliable data on relevant aspects of forest management need to be improved with recourse to the modern technologies and equipments.”

The Forests Resources Circle is entrusted with the task of collection, collation, analysis and compilation of information pertaining to forests resources and allied subjects from the State, for use in Forest resource management & planning.

Taking the case of Bokaro Forest Division, the report prepared in 2006, have analyzed, both in a historical and a contemporary perspective, the forests resources of Bokaro along with the people living in and around these forests. Bokaro Forests Resources Survey 2006 report is based on 0.3% sample and gives an broad picture of species wise and girth wise number and volume of growing stock, general crop composition and related observation in accordance of the National working plan code. The Comprehensive assessment of the forests resources involves intensive sampling for variety of interplaying data.

The Forest Resources Survey 2006 report of Bokaro Forest Division, has attempted to bring out a broad and comprehensive details of forests resources available in various strata i.e. from the lowest units of villages/ PF to the forest Division level in an ecological and socio-economic context which will be of interest to various executing agencies of development at grassroots level, policymakers as well as researchers & scholars.

This information is put as a reference not only for practicing foresters but also to guide non-government organizations, cooperatives, private agencies, students and farmers.