Forest Resource Management
The state forests are scientifically managed through working plans. Considering the importance of MFP in the state economy, the State Govt. has declared the state as ‘‘Herbal State’’ to focus on the activities of conservation, sustainable utilization, processing and marketing of MFP. Accordingly CGMFP Federation is taking the needed steps.
Conservation of Ecosystems - rich in MFP Through PPA’S
People's protected areas are rich in MFPs which is conserved and managed with the concept of ecosystem management aiming at increase in total biodiversity and biomass. In People's protected areas of respective forest divisions of the state conservation and intensive management activities are carried out with active involvement of local communities. The minimum area under each PPA is not less then 3000 ha. Every year 1000 ha. of forest is brought under in-situ conservation with effective protection against illicit felling, enchroachment, fire and grazing etc. The total area identified and brought under PPA's is more than 2 lacs ha. with more than 1 lac ha. under intensive management till now. Every year about 20000 ha. additional forest area is brought under intensive management. The various components under PPAs program are as follows :-
Minor Forest Produce Resource Inventory and Assessment
Main objective of Resource inventory is to identify the species, density, yield of both wood and non-wood species occurring in the area. This information enables planners in identifying the target species for conservation and sustainable harvesting besides estimating safe yield, impact of management practices so as to decide future course of action.
Resource inventory covers all the three canopies of forest i.e. top canopy, middle canopy and ground flora. The procedure of inventory is narrated in brief below :-
The main outputs of the resource inventory and assessment can be summarized as
This is the area under intensive management. Main operations carried out in this area are cultural operations to promote the growth of threatened and vulnerable species and soil moisture conservation measures to enrich the biodiversity and enhance biomass of the species. Entire area is demarcated and brought under strict protection against fire and grazing etc. with active involvement of forest protection committees of local peoples.
Non Destructive Harvesting
The rural communities/forest committees are involved and motivated to harvest the forest produce adopting non-destructive practices on sustainable basis to improve the quality of the produce and maintain the health of forest. Social customs/practices are also used to sustain the non destructive harvesting practices. For example, in some part of the state the collection of Amla is started after amlanavmi by that time Amla Fruits are mature.
The local communities are being trained in primary processing of forest produce near the source of origin for value addition so as to get the better price. Drying sheds / platforms are constructed in all PPA's for this purpose. Equipment such as pulverizers, oil extraction units, and honey filtration units are established for processing. Now some of the forest committees have acquired skills of producing some herbal products, such as triphala, various powder, tikhur powder, baichandi chips, filtered honey and mahul leaf plates and cups. It is being attempted to involve experts for further development in this sector.
Local Herbal Medication Practices Through Van Aushadalayas
Van aushadalayas are knowledge dissemination and health care centers of the traditional herbal medication practices. Local vaidyas having traditional knowledge on herbal medication practices are identified and promoted. These methods and practices are being documented for future research and development.
Capacity building of local communities along with forest staff is the important component of this programmes in which training, field visits and other extension activities are organized by involving experts.