First published http://vidyanaukri.blogspot.in/2015/06/how-forests-are-destroying-in-india.html
In our culture forests are considered as “Van Devta” means the God of forest. In Indian epics, forests have a significant role. But nowadays things are changing nobody cares about forests.
1. Worldwide forest cover is about 31% of Earth’s land surface.
2. 36% of those forests are primary forests which have taken hundreds of years to grow and in our lifetime we can’t regrow them.
3. Only about 5% of our forests are rain forests.
Coming from a village and agricultural background I will explain to you what is going in and around village boundaries and how these valuable forests are destroyed.
-Most of the rural people depend on forests for the timber they use as firewood but cut some branches and letting the trees remain.
-Those who are depend on forest timber will not like its end. So, in some parts they plant trees for their future purpose.
-Nobody entirely kills a tree they just cut dried branches and some green branches.
-Some countries encourage social forestry in order to conserve their forest area, where people are engaged for guarding their forest.
-Since timber is valuable some people cut and smuggle.
I have some explanations how this is done.
-Forest officials are blamed as corrupt but this is wrong. Persons involved in illegal activities have a huge following in villages. They play a crucial role in politics and officers are regularly harassed. Corruption is there but not in a big way.
-Based on the season this illegal activities are go on. If it is summer they don’t cut more trees in an area but cut trees in a zigzag manner. In rainy season lots and lots of trees are cut down and thrown in nearby rivers and collected somewhere else.
-The transportation of all these material is done when the forest guards cannot perform their activities normally like on hot summer days, cool winter nights or rainy days. All the commercial vehicles are checked at forest check posts. But illegal activities are highly through domestic vehicles only. Checking all vehicles is impossible.
-Forest officers and guards are also humans. They are living in hard conditions where their life is in danger and are not provided with adequate facilities to control illegal activities.
-There are so many techniques for smugglers. The only remedy is giving employment to the rural youth of that area, who know in and out of surrounding forests. Then a drastic change can be seen.
-Normally people who are carrying these activities will not use any machinery they just use natural means for destroying trees.
Techniques they follow to destroy trees
-People used to put fire under large trees which was common.
-Nowadays techniques are changing. Some follow techniques like using alcohol and some chemicals to kill aged trees naturally.
-Some trees have been destroyed by employing natural means like termites and even ants. I was shocked by seeing people use such methods to destroy age-old trees.
Poaching of animals
-Poaching is done by native guns using lead bullets and many other chemicals. lead is collected from some country fishing net and shaped into bullets.
-Some chemicals are inserted in body parts of animals and used as a bait for animals.
-Electric current is also employed for this process. Trained dogs are used for catching animals.
-At night, people use large electrical lamps focused on animals to get their attention and shoot them.
-In summer for killing animals, they employ traps near ponds and lakes in forests. It’s a heart touching to see even pregnant animals being killed. Skin of these animals is taken off carefully in a series of dipping and drying in chemicals such that every single hair on the skin is preserved. Forest Officials can easily control these activities by controlling chemicals sold in nearby market.
-Its not enough just to say “preserve environment”. Measures have to be taken so that people support tribal cottage industries resulting in tribal employment. This will stop tribal helping poachers.
-Educating people against superstitions are a must to stop deforestation and poaching. Superstitious are being encouraged to kill a tiger to take its skin to sit and pray to attain moksha. To wear a tiger nail to get lucky for the lifetime. I am a Hindu but do not support these superstitions. People pay a lot to buy horn of deer , grind it and apply on the baby skin baby to make it strong.
-Educating people will stop such businesses and render poaching less lucrative. Why environmental activists are not against these superstitions is my question to all. Since my childhood onwards I have seen many such incidents. Till now no NGO is coming forward for conserving forests in my area.
-There is no ban on videos showing how to cut animals.
People who are engaged in aquaculture firms kill a large number of eagles , endangered birds and also some migrating birds.Community lakes have been taken from forest villages where they are doing this. At night people climb trees where these birds are living and catch hold of them if they miss they destroy nests and sit near the trees to shoot them. Measures should be taken to have a modern aquaculture farm protected from birds. This will stop fishermen killing birds. Birds are killed and sold in local markets. Forest department can stop the sale of such birds to stop poachers killing them.
Poaching is encouraged by locals because of animals like boar, deer damage fields. People should be educated for not encouraging it. Human settlements should be away from forests and live fence should be there to avoid wild animals entering into villages.
Even educated youth are diverted to illegal activities because they unemployed.
Government should take appropriate measures to control these type of activities. It’s a never ending topic, but I should end it here…..
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