Forest play a vital role in the ecological balances as habitats for flora and fauna, anchors for soils, and tamers of climates. Forests constitute one of our principal natural resources. Forests Play a crucial role in the global cycling of carbon. They are essential in maintaining environmental stability. They provide raw materials for a range of industries that contribute to the evolution of a sound national economy. Above all , forests provide the rural poor with some of the essentials for survival fuel for cooking, building materials for shelter, fodder for their livestock and protection for their food crops.
The other important way in which a forest can benefit the rural poor is through the potential it offers for increasing food production. Classical forestry viewed the forest and the field as sepatate items; one of the aims of community forestry is to integrate agriculture and forestry. A range of agroforestry possibilities exists in which trees, crops and livestock are grown symbiotically, each benefiting the other. Where agriculture and forestry are combined, the practice is called agrosilvicultrue, silvopastoral systems involve the combination of forestry and livestock, and the agrosil-vopastoral system is a combination of agriculture, forestry and livestock.
The oldest form of agrosilviculture is shifting cultivation- a technique in which an area of forest is felled and burned, crops grown on the cleared land for two or three years, and the forest then allowed to return over a fallow period of 10-15 years, during which soil fertility is restored, before it is cut again. This kind of agroforestry is much to be recommended, and in fact, is a balanced and ecologically sound way of using forest land.
These new dimensions to forestry depend on the application of new knowledge, additional skills as the creation of modern administrative structure. There is a possibility that sustainable and profitable uses of trees and forests will become as much a part of rural life as the raising of live-stock an the growing of crops. To rally support for the conservation of forestry resources and to increase recognition of their role in rural development, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) had declared 1985 as the International Year of Forestry.
1. Forestry in India
2. Forests and Eco