DMPQ Premium-Give the detailed analysis of forest policy of Himachal pradesh.

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The Himachal pradesh Forest Sector Policy 2005 suggests some specific policy measures with strategies to support such measures. However, it is to be noted that the strategies given are illustrative and inclusive and not limited to them. The essentials of the new policy measures are enumerated below:

  • A new classification of forestswhere conservation needs, production needs urban and aesthetic value of forests and most importantly the livelihood needs of the communities have been recognized.
  • While the government of Himachal Pradesh is committed to bringing more area under forest and tree coverit pragmatically recognizes the uniqueness of Himachal Pradesh as a hill state and considering the uncultivable, barren land, snow covered peaks -which cannot sustain forests, has set a target of 35.5% of the total geographical area under forest and tree cover.
  • Systematic planning and implementation of afforestationand equally important rehabilitation programme in degraded and open forests and available non-forest lands have been envisaged. The policy re-emphasizes the need for integrating the forest sector into the larger land use planning process.
  • Realizing the increasing human and cattle population and increasing demands and commercial needs the rights and concessions in forest areas will have to be reviewed in a participatory mannerand significantly the right holders will have the responsibility to identify themselves with protection, development and management of forests to ensure the continuity and sustainability of such rights and concessions. Consequently, the timber distribution rights will be routed through the institution of Gram Sabha and the periodicity, quantity and rates for TD rights will be rationalized. Similarly, for grazing rights of both, migratory and otherwise, population, a consultative mechanism will be evolved along with the Gram Sabha.
  • As regards biodiversity and wildlife management the thrust of new legislations such as the Biodiversity Act, 2002 and the new amendments in the Wildlife Act will be followed where linkage of biodiversity conservation to livelihoods, traditional knowledge systems, equitable benefit sharing and recognizing the unique role of women will be the guiding principles.
  • Watershed management is integral to sustainable forest management and therefore watershed approachesthrough concerned departmental and non-governmental synergies will be promoted through a nodal agency.
  • A special focus on medicinal and aromatic plantsas a part of non-wood forest product management would be developed with an emphasis on livelihood security in both public and private lands.
  • Demarcation and settlementstill awaits urgent attention of the state which has resulted in maximum encroachment and illegal occupation on forest land. Thus the survey, settlement and demarcation of un-demarcated and unsettled notified forests will be taken up on high priority.

The requisite institutional support to implement the new forest sector policy has also been outlined. A key feature is the strengthening and re-constitution of an independent, autonomous and multi-sectoral Centre for Policy and Planning.

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