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What Do you Mean by Stakeholders?

Stakeholders of Forest: A stakeholder is a person who has an interest in a particular business. A forest stakeholder is someone who uses forest resources one way or the other. They can be:

  • People who depend on forest resources and live in nearby forest areas.

  • The government forest department who owns the forest land.

  • Any company which uses forest resources for industrial purposes

  • Enthusiasts for nature and wildlife conservation.

The people who stay nearby forest grounds use firewood, that and small timber from the forests. Bamboo is used in making huts and baskets for collecting food.

Forests are also treated as hunting and fishing sites and a source of raw materials for many industries. Before independence, the stakeholders were free to use forest resources. After the British took over, access to forest resources was restricted only to forest dwellers. After independence, the government took over the forest departments, but the interest of the people staying in forests was still ignored. 

Forest Resources Definition

It can be defined various types of vegetation and other materials and products which generally grow on forestland, harvested products and the associated residues and including grass, logs, trees, seedlings, trees etc

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Who are the Stakeholders of Forest?

There are 4 main stakeholders in forest management and their functions are as follows:

  • The Tribals: They live in or around the forests. Depending upon them for commodities and livelihood. They collect wood, fruits and vegetables, medicinal herbs, gum, nuts, bamboo and other utilities from the forests. The tribals protect the forest from any kind of exploitation and pollution from industries.

  • The Forest Department: The forest department which operates under the government, owns the land and resources provided by forests. They are responsible for proper usage of forest resources and conserving them.

  • Industries: Industries depend on forests as a resource provider and exploit all the resources to the maximum without any scope of conservation.

  • Ecological Enthusiasts and Conservationists: Their main aim is to protect the forest and wildlife of a particular region from any harm due to industries. They don't depend on forests for resources. Local people and tribals work with ecological enthusiasts to conserve forests and protect the environment.

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Local People and Forest Conservation 

There are many examples which suggest that the involvement of local communities is necessary for any managing and conserving a forest. The Bishnoi community in Rajasthan is one such example. Amrita Devi Bishnoi is still remembered for the way she fought for protecting the khejri trees in Khejarli village. Along with 363 other people, she sacrificed her life for the protection of khejri trees in 1731. The ‘Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award for Wildlife Conservation’ is named in her honour.

Another example is of the nomadic herders of the Himalayas. They used to graze their animals near the Great Himalayan National Park. Every summer, they brought their herds down the valley so that the sheep could get plenty of grass to eat. When the National Park was made in that area, the nomadic herders were not allowed any more for grazing their sheep in the protected area. Now, in the absence of grazing by the sheep, the grasses grow very tall in the region. Tall grasses fall over and prevent the growth of new grass. This is a classic example that by excluding and alienating the local people from forests, proper conservation efforts cannot be carried out.

Chipko Movement

The Chipko Movement began in the early 1980s from a small village; Reni in Garhwal district. The village women began hugging a tree to prevent the cutting of trees by the contractors. The Chipko Movement later spread across India. It had been instrumental in stopping deforestation to a large extent.

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Arabari’s Example of People’s Participation in Forest Management

In 1972, the forest department realised its mistake while reviving the degraded sal forests of Arabari forest range in Midnapore district of West Bengal. The earlier methods surveillance and policing were a total failure as they often led to frequent clashes with local people. It also led to the alienation of people from the conservation programme. 

Then forest officer A K Banerjee involved local people in the revival of 1,272 hectares of forest. The villagers were employed in silviculture and harvesting resources. They were also provided 25% of the harvest. They were also allowed to gather firewood and fodder against a nominal payment. Due to active participation of the local community, there was a remarkable revival of the Arabari sal forest. By 1983, the value of the Arabari sal forest rose to Rs. 12.5 crores.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1: List Four Stakeholders of Forest

The 4 stakeholders of forest are:

  • The tribals

  • The forest department

  • Industries

  • Ecological enthusiasts and conservationists

Q2: What Does Forest Resources Mean?

Forest resources meaning: Forest resources mean anything that is harvested from the forest and used in any format. It can be wood, honey, wax, vegetables, fruits, raw materials for other products, bamboo etc.