Social Forestry in Meghalaya
Genesis of Social Forestry & Environment Wing
The post of Conservator of Forests, Social Forestry Circle was created in the year 1981-82 whose jurisdiction encompasses the whole State of Meghalaya. The Govt of Meghalaya renamed Forest Dept as the Forest & Environment Department in the year 1991 and transferred Environment Planning Cell from Urban Affairs Department on 15 th March, 1991. The post of Conservator of Forests Social forestry Circle was redesignated as the Conservator of Forests Social Forestry and Environment Meghalaya. The post of Chief Conservator of Forests Social Forestry and Environment was created in the year 1993. The creation of the post of Officer on Special Duty Conservator of Forests level for Garo Hills in the year 2002 led to bifurcation of Social Forestry Circle into 2(two) i.e. Khasi and Jaintia Hills Social Forestry Divisions and Garo Hills Social Forestry Divisions.
Objective of Social Forestry & Environment Wing
Afforestation outside the conventional forest area for the benefit of rural and urban communities. The main objective is to:-
- Improve the environment for protecting agriculture from adverse climatic factors,
- Increase the supply of fuel wood for domestic use, small timber for rural housing, fodder for livestock, and minor forest produce for local industries,
- Increase the natural beauty of the landscape; create recreational forests for the benefit of rural and urban population,
- Provide jobs for unskilled workers and
- Reclaim wastelands. Finally, its object is to raise the standard of living and quality of life of the rural and urban people.
- To carry out a need based and time bound programme of afforestation with special emphasis on fuel wood and fodder development on all degraded and denuded lands/forests.
- Afforestation of abandoned jhum lands and mined areas.
- Linear strip plantation of fast growing species on sides of public roads, rivers, streams and irrigation canals.
- Afforestation on unutilized lands under State/Corporate, institutional or private ownership.
- Green belts in urban/industrial areas.
- Shelter belt (generally more extensive than the wind breaks) for the purpose of shelter from wind and sun covering areas larger than a single farm on a planned pattern.
- Farm forestry in the form of raising rows of trees on bund or boundaries of fields and individual trees in private agricultural land as well as creation of wind breaks round a farm or orchard by raising one or two lines of trees.
- Raise flowering trees and shrubs mainly to serve as recreation forests for the urban and rural population.
- Elicit people's participation involving women and young people in conservation of forests, wildlife and environment.
- Environmental awareness generation and celebration of vanamahotsava, environment day, wildlife week etc.
The Social Forestry & Environment Wing looks after the plantations raised on lands which are outside Government Reserved Forest, National Parks and Sanctuaries. Since 1980, the circle has been engaging in afforestation works in clan and community owned lands throughout the State under the State Plan schemes and the Centrally Sponsored schemes. The lands are temporarily taken over by the Forest Department for a period of 10(ten) years under an agreement with the land owners and the Department is expected to hand over the land back to the land owners along with a working scheme which would indicate the felling regime to be mutually executed by the State Forest Department and the land owners.
|Year||Area in hectares|
|Timber||Khasi pine, Birch, Titachap, Gamari, Poma, Sal, Makri sal, Kokon etc.|
|Fuelwood||Khasi pine, Alder, Oak, Wattle etc.|
|Fruit||Jackfruit, Mango, Baelfruit, Amla, Guava, Myrica, Prunus, Moringa, Tamarind, etc.|
|Fodder||Jackfruit, Gamari, Bauhinia, Broomstick grass, bamboo|
|Avenue/roadside||Silver oak, Gulmohar, Amalthus, Cassia spp., Cryptomeria, Acacias|
|Medicinal||Bohera, Rauwolfia, Amla, Tamarind, Dalchini, Tezpatta, Black pepper, Neem, Taxus, Tulsi, Hollarhena, Solanum, Vinca rosea, Adhatoda vasica, Clerodendron, etc.|
The Social Forestry & Environment Wing have been implementing the following schemes under the State Plan during the year 2002-2003 to 2005-2006.
|Serial Number||Budget Head||Amount Allocation||Amount Utilized|
|1||2406-01-Forestry & Wildlife-003-Mass Education General Plan||1,00,000.00||1,00,000.00|
|2||102-04-Social Forestry Forest Nurseries General Plan||9,00,000.00||7,64,401.00|
|3||800-Other Expenditure (02) Ecology & Environmental General Plan||10,00,000.00||5,76,344.00|
|4||102-Social Forestry & Farm Forestry(01) Sixth Schedule||8,00,000.00||4,90,745.00|
|5||102-(02)-Environmental Forestry (24) MW Sixth Schedule||8,00,000.00||8,29,325.00|
|6||03-Recreation Forestry (02) Wages Sixth Schedule||6,00,000.00||5,07,168.00|
|8||Ecological Restoration of Cherrapunjee||5,00,000.00||4,99,920.00|
|9||800-Other Expenditure (02) Ecology & Environment Sixth Schedule||45,00,000.00||27,89,713.00|
|Serial Number||Budget Head||Amount Allocation||Amount Utilized|
|5||Ecological Restoration of Cherrapunjee||4,99,728.00||4,99,643.00|
|6||Environment and ecology||25,25,925.00||25,10,193.00|
|8||Environmental and Ecology G.P .||6,63,072.00||5,46,117.00|
|9||Social Forestry General Plan||10,50,000.00||10,14,962.00|
|10||Mass Education General Plan||50,000.00||50,020.00|
|Serail Number||Budget Head||Amount Allocation||Amount Utilized|
|1||2406-01-102-Forest Nurseries||4,00,000.00||Rs.20,000/- transfer from 102(01)Forest Nurseries to 102(02) Environmental Forestry|
|2||2406-01-102(020 Environmental Forestry||8,00,000.00||11,52,870.00|
|5||Ecological Sohra Restoration Project||5,00,000.00||5,99,000.00|
|6||Environment & Ecology Sixth Schedule||44,00,000.00||29,25,845.00|
|7||Ward's Lake Establishment||4,00,000.00||5,00,000.00|
|Serial Number||Budget Head||Amount Allocation||Amount Utilized Upto 31st March 2006|
|1||2406-102(01) Forest Nurseries||10,00,000.00||4,99,863.00|
|2||2406-02-102(02) Environmental Forestry||13,00,000.00||12,06,200.00|
|3||2406-02-(02)(030 Recreational Forestry||8,50,000.00||8,50,000.00|
|4||2406 - 02 -102 - (04) - Social Forestry - General Plan||15 ,00,000.00||15,63,380.00|
|5||2406 - 02 -102 - (04) - Social Forestry - VI - Schedule (Part.II) Areas||1,98,70,000.00||1,63,67,784.00|
|6||2406-02-102(27)Ecological Restoration of Cherrapunjee Project||80,00,000.00||6,99,600.00|
|7||2406-02-800(02) Environment & Ecology - General Plan||10,00,000.00||7,52,400.00|
|8||2406-02-800(02) Environment & Ecology - VI - Schedule (Part.II) Areas||60,00,000.00||55,43,058.00|
|9||2406-02-112(04) Ward's Lake||8,00,000.00||8,00,000.00|
National Commission on Agriculture (1976) coined the phrase "Social Forestry" which attracted the attention, sympathy and patronage of the Government, politicians and administrators alike.
The main thrust of the N.C.A. in this programme was to develop tree resources largely outside the recognized forest boundaries in the neighbourhood of rural areas irrespective of whether the lands earmarked for producing such resources are community, private or Government, thus, conceptually it has a broad base.
The N.C.A. defined the scope of social forestry as follows:
A) Farm forestry
- Raising rows of trees on bundhs or boundaries of the fields and individual trees in private agricultural lands
- Wind breaks
B) Extension Forestry
- Mixed forestry, comprising raising of grass and leaf fodder fruit trees and fuelwood trees on suitable wastelands, panchayat lands and village commons
- Shelter belts
- Raising of plantations of different quick growing species on sides of roads, canal banks and railway lines
- Reafforestation in degraded forests
- Recreation forestry