Nadimul Haque speaks on Inadequate and Dwindling Forest Cover and Rights of Forest Dwellers | Transcript

I wish to mention that inadequate and dwindling forest cover has been a major concern for a country like India. The aim of 33% of the geographical area under forest and tree cover as set by India’s National Forest Policy, 1988 has not been achieved even after 27 years.

But there is some good news from my home State, that is, West Bengal, where despite various adversities like high population density, huge demand for land for non-forest purposes and other reasons, the State has contributed nearly 64% to the 5871 sq km increase in the forest cover of India, as per the latest report of the Forest Survey of India.

Sir, this brings me to the main proposition, that what should be our future course of action with regard to saving our forests and the rights of forest dwellers? Here again, I have the example of West Bengal, which, under the inspiring leadership of our Chief Minister, has shown the way towards efficient forest management. The State Government has engaged local people for safeguarding the forests. The Forest Rights Act, which has partially addressed the traditional rights of tribals, has been sincerely implemented here. This has brought another positive effect, that of reduced Left Extremist violence in Jangalmahal area, which could be replicated as a model in other States.

Sir, I wish to conclude by saying –

Agar badhte hain jangalo ke dayire, toh badh jane do unhe,
Agar badhte hain jangalo ke dayire, toh badh jane do unhe,
Yeh bhi aashiane hai kisike, hamare tumhare aashiano ki tarah.


Thank you, Sir.