Implementation of Social Forestry Programme in the State of Meghalaya started during the year 1981 with the creation of a separate Social Forestry Circle. The main task of the Social Forestry Circle was to carry out afforestation programme in the areas outside the Government Control Forest areas which include the Reserved Forests, Protected Forests, Wild-life Sanctuaries and National Parks. The task of the Social Forestry Circle was therefore, to afforest the degraded areas falling outside the jurisdiction of the State Forest Department. This was achieved by negotiating with the Land owners, consisting of private individuals, Clan members and Community members to arrive at a consensus, execution of an agreement and followed by the actual afforestation of the area. Therefore, it can be said that the concept of Joint Forest Management was started in Meghalaya right from the inception of the Social Forestry Circle though the same was not officially called as the JFM. The wing is also set to play an important role in other environmental matters of concern for the state including reclamation of sites affected by human activities.The afforestation programmes with participation of private sectors undertaken by the Social Forestry Wing of the Department include Schemes sanctioned under State  Plan  and Compensatory Afforestation or CAMPA  being  implemented  in  the  entire  state.

Social Forestry wing is headed by an officer of the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests rank who is assisted by the CCF (SF&E),Shillong and the Conservator Forests (SF&E) Khasi & Jaintia Hills, Region, Shillong and the Conservator Forests (SF&E) Garo Hills,  Tura. There are 7(seven) Divisional Forest Officer under Social Forestry wing, namely:-

Sl. No. Office Jurisdiction Contact No.
1 Divisional Forest Officer, Social Forestry Division, East Khasi Hills, Shillong East Khasi Hills District 2500245
2 Divisional Forest Officer, Social Forestry Division, West Khasi Hills, Nongstoin West Khasi Hills & South West Khasi Hills Districts 280279
3 Divisional Forest Officer, Social Forestry Division, Jaintia Hills, Jowai East Jaintia Hills & West Jaintia Hills Districts 223946
4 Divisional Forest Officer, Social  Forestry Division, North Khasi Hills, Nongpoh. Ri-Bhoi District 232317
5 Divisional Forest Officer, Social Forestry Division, East Garo Hills, Williamnagar East Garo Hills & North Garo Hills Districts 220397
6 Divisional Forest Officer, West Garo Hills Social Forestry Division, Tura West Garo Hills & South West Garo Hills Districts 232776
7 Divisional Forest Officer, Social Forestry Division, South Garo Hills, Baghmara South Garo Hills District -

The Social Forestry & Environment wing concentrates on the following activities:-

  1. Creation and maintenance of Nurseries and plantation areas for sustainable development and management of forest resources.
  2. Improvement of existing forest areas by way of Aided Natural Regeneration and afforestation in degraded lands to increase and improve forest and tree cover through JFMCs.
  3. To organize awareness programmes on forest and environment conservation by way of promoting Tree planting programme specially during World Environment Day celebration and Vanamahotsav.
  4. Rehabilitation of degraded forests and other areas by institutionalizing participatory forest management and supplementing livelihood improvement processes for long term participation of local community in forest management.
  5. To maintain and improve the Recreational Parks and Gardens like Ward’s lake, Thangkharang Park, Ialong Park, Laitlawsang Park and other similar Parks and gardens located inother districts.
  6. To sponsor and facilitate construction of Eco- friendly Crematoria or Fuel-efficient Crematoria with local technology designed by the enterprising, (Late) Ma KambelShullai to reduce consumption of fire wood, reduce emission of smoke and minimise the period of burning of the mortal remains.
  7. To serve as the secretariat to the SEIAA in discharging its statutory duties.
  8. To plan and undertake reclamation activities including plantations in areas affected by human activities.
  9. To serve as the Nodal Department for organizing the Cherry Blossom Festival in the State.
  10. To review the progress of implementation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986/Actions taken by concerned Departments/ Agencies regarding environmental issues. The Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (APCCF), Social Forestry &Environment wasnominated as the Member Secretary of the Co-ordination Committee to monitor on implementation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Rules and Guidelines framed there under as amended from time to time.

Environment & Ecology

The Govt. of Meghalaya renamed the ‘Forest Department’ as the ‘Forest & Environment Department’ in the year 1991 and transferred Environment Planning Cell from Urban Affairs Department on 15th March, 1991. It was subsequently again renamed in 2014 as ‘Department of Forest & Environment & Climate Change’. In the year 2015, the administrative control of the State Pollution Control Board was transferred to this Department. In August 2015, the Govt. of Meghalaya has notified the o/o the Addl. PCCF (SF & E) as the secretariat of the newly re-constituted SEIAA (State Environment Impact Assessment Authority) and also made the CCF (SF & E) as its ex-officio Member Secretary.  Currently, the staff of ‘Environment Cell’ has been assisting the SEIAA, in addition to other duties.     

The Social Forestry & Environment Wing concentrated its effort on raising forest nursery, roadside plantation, block plantation on community and private land with an objective to ameliorate environmental degradations. Thus to a great extent such afforestation measures helped to maintain overall satisfactory forest cover for the State as may be seen in the India State of  Forest Report.