JOACHIM SCHMERBECK1, BHAGIRATH BEHERA2
1Technical University of Munich, Chair of Silviculture and Forest Management, Germany
2Centre for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Department of Economics and Technological Change, Germany
Scientific forestry with the aim of sustainable supply of products from the natural resource forest was introduced in India more than 100 years ago. The rapid degradation of forest resources under the regime of state control has been a major concern for national and international agencies. As a result, forest policy in India got shift from traditional command and control approach to participatory forest management approach with local fringe communities. It is focused on sharing both responsibilities to protect the forest and benefits from the forest resources. This is popularly known as Joint Forest Management (JFM).
Recently the Centre for Development Research in Bonn (ZEF) conducted a study on ``Determinants of Sustainable Management of Forest in Indian State of Andhra Pradesh'' in order to identify the crucial factors that determine the effective management of forest resources under the JFM program. An intensive research has been conducted in 55 villages in three districts representing three different ecological conditions to evaluate socio-economic and ecological outcomes of JFM programs.
This paper makes an attempt to assess how effectively the forest management activities have been carried out under the JFM program. The major findings of the study are that the implementation of forest management activities has often not been done on the basis of site conditions and the state of the forest. Mostly a stereotype approach has been adopted while carrying out different silvicultural practices. As a result, most of the examined sites show that potential growth of the forest has been far below expected levels, and applied management systems have been rendered wasteful. This paper presents the main factors that hinder forest development and improvements in the livelihood of local people. It concludes with suggesting new ways to make the established programme more efficient.
Keywords: Andhra Pradesh, fire, forest, India, joint forest management, Silviculture