Forest resources have been regulated since early times. The roots of
legislations, policies and guide lines for natural resource management in India
can be traced back to the days of British colonialism. The relevant
constitutional framework at the backdrop of management of forest resources are
briefly enumerated as follows.
The Constitution of India :
Article 48 A one of the Directive Principles, which state that the State
shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the
forests and wildlife of the country.
Article 51 A deals with the fundamental duties of citizens, which
includes the citizen's duty to value and preserve the rich heritage of our
composite culture and
to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers
and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
Article 246 points towards the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution,
which enlists (in the union list, and the concurrent list) the subjects that the
Central and State
Governments are to legislate upon. Forest is one of the subjects placed in the
Concurrent List on which both the Central and State Governments shall legislate
The National Forest Policy :
In 1952, the erstwhile Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Government of India
enunciated a Forest policy to be followed in the management of state forests in
the country. The need for this Policy was to highlight the changes since the
enunciation of the Forest policy of 1894. Forest, however. continued to be
viewed as source
of revenue. While recognizing that the proportion of land to be kept permanently
under forest would naturally vary in different regions, the policy said that
practical consideration suggests, "that India, as whole, would aim at
maintaining one third of its total land area under forests." Emphasis was laid
on the conversion of low value mixed forests to high value plantation of
Large-scale deforestation and diversion of forest land for non-forestry uses finally led
to the formulation of a new Forest
Policy of 1988. The National Forest Policy, 1988 enunciated nine
basic objections and identified five essentials of forest management
and sets the strategy to attain the goal. Unlike the previous "user
approach " Policies, the Forest policy of 1988 was a pro people
document, placing greater emphasis on the ecological role of forests
and recognising for the first time the rights of the people, especially the tribals, with the
direction that " heir domestic requirements of fuel-wood, fodder, minor forest produce
and construction timber would be the first charge on forest produce.
The North East Forest Policy:
For the North East Region of India, having a special status for rich natural
heritage, a separate North East Forest Policy is being framed by the Ministry of
Environment and Forests, Government of India.
Need of Revision of policy due to 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments:
The 73rd and 74th amendment to the Indian Constitution in 1992 made it mandatory
for all the States to introduced democratic decentralization of governance
through 3 tier structures of Panchayati Raj (Local Self Government) institution (PRIs). The spirit of the constitutional
amendment is to promote participatory democracy through empowering Gram Sabhas
to have a decisive say through open and transparent decision making at the
village level instead of the concentration of decision-making power in a few
elected representatives. The 29 functions recommended for decentralization to the Panchayat Raj Institutions listed in the
11th schedule include "Agricultures,
Land reforms, Land improvement and management. Minor irrigations, Water
management, Watershed development, Animal husbandry, Fisheries, Social and Farm forestry, Non – Timber
Forest Produces (NTFPs) and maintenance of community assets, Management
of state owed forestlands is not included but may be specifically notified by individual State Governments. These
objectives are endeavoured to be implemented through empowerment of the village
level Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMCs).
PREAMBLE: WHY A SPECIFIC FOREST POLICY FOR ASSAM?
Assam falls under one of the recognized mega
biodiversity zones of the world. Despite having priceless treasure of flora and fauna together with the most suitable natural conditions
sustainable growth of forestry , the State has been progressively losing its
biodiversity as well as a vast expanse of forest due to various reasons including excessive biotic pressures. While the problems
affecting the forestry sector of Assam are largely home grown and unique, the most damaging factor for steady depletion of Assam's
forest cover has been the unabated encroachment in the reserved forests over the
last few decades. The protection and conservation measures deemed to be
implemented with the sole responsibility hitherto vested in the Forest
Department appeared to be inadequate, more so, in the matter of last two decades
as the unique ground realities that have emerged in the 80's onward reduced the
efficacy of the role assigned to the forest personnel in the State. The glory of
the forestry sector of the days gone by has been undermined mainly due to the
following reasons :
(I) The aftermath of the great Earthquake of Assam in1950, annual recurring
floods in the Brahmaputra and its tributaries, changing river courses and
erosions result in lakhs of displaced people. The reserved forest of Assam
throughout the 60's, 70's and even today seem to be targeted as the most
suitable space for the rehabilitation of human as well as cattle population.
(II) Massive population increase and organized group encroachment in the
reserved forests, at times backed by groups of armed militants from the 80's
(III) Grazing and poaching in the protected areas.
(IV) Inadequacy in addressing the needs of the people from the forestry sector.
In view of the diminishing natural resource base in the state which has become
insufficient to meet the genuine demands of the people, illegalities thrived
forming various nexus leading to forest destruction.
In view of the perceptible shortfalls in protecting and conserving the forest,
time has come to take a hard look at the lacunae in the existing Policies. As
such, it has become imperative to review the situation and adopt new strategies
of forest conservation in Assam., including preservation , enhancements ,
maintenance , and evolution of management strategies for improved productivity ,
utilization and overall quantitative and qualitative improvement of stand
composition and structure for enrichment of the environment.
Accordingly, the Government of Assam has decided to adopt an environment and
peoples friendly State Forest Policy of Assam.
2.1 The basic objectives that govern the Assam Forest Policy, 2004 are :
Maintenance of environmental stability through preservation and where necessary,
restoration of ecological balance that has been adversely disturbed by serious
depletion of forests in the State.
Conserving natural heritage of the state by preserving the natural forests and
wetlands with vast variety of flora and fauna which represent the unique
biodiversity and genetic resources of the State.
Checking the denudation of forests and soil erosion in catchments areas of
rivers and reservoirs for soil and water conservation; reducing the fury of
floods and droughts; recharging of water bodies, aquifers and arresting
siltation of the reservoirs.
Promoting non consumptive use of Protected Areas for the purpose of providing
livelihood support to the fringe dwellers by encouraging sustainable eco-tourism
Enhancing the quality of forests/tree cover in the denuded and degraded land of the
State through the involvement of people and symbiosis of traditional knowledge
and modern technology.
Increasing the forest/tree cover in forest deficient areas of State like
chars, chapories permanently established along the course of the river
Brahmaputra , through community afforestation and suitable agro-forestry and
farm forestry models.
Meeting the bonafide livelihood needs of fuel wood, fodder , bamboo, canes ,
small timbers and other N.T.F.Ps of the rural poor and the tribals in particular,
with due regard to the carrying capacity of the forests.
Increasing forest productivity through shift of accent from major to minor
forest produces; from top canopy to lower canopies and from flagship species to
smaller denizens of the forest.
Encouraging efficient utilization of forest produce and maximizing value
addition to the timber and non-timber forest produce in the State. The use of
non-durable secondary species as constructional timber is to be encouraged after
inducing durability through wood preservation techniques.
Creating a massive people's movement with special involvement of women for
achieving the objectives and to minimize pressure on forests under the community
based conservation programme.
Demarcation of all forest lands, irrespective of ownership, for the purpose of
scientific management through special measures.
Understanding the forest dynamics and encouraging the researchers from the
region to undertake quality research works on forest conservation and its
Encouraging conservation of genetic resources and development of traditionl
ethic knowledge repository of Assam.
2.2 The principle aim of this policy is to ensure progressive sustainable
development of the forests of Assam, to meet the twin objectives of
environmental stability and ecological balance together with improved livelihood
support system for her people. The Management Paradigm as envisaged in the
policy given below.
2.2.1. The mega-biodiversity existence in Assam will be protected and developed
with the active involvement of the communities.
Without compromising the basic tenets of forest conservation-the forestry sector
will be selectively opened to the people of Assam for income and employment
2.2.3. The Forest cover of Assam will be progressively increased and maintained
through scientific sustainable forest management practices giving emphasis on
the traditional knowledge and understanding of the ethnic communities of Assam.
3. The essential of forest management:
3.1 Exciting forest and forest land, including unclassed State Forests and Community
Forest would be protected and their productivity improved through latest
technological inputs. Forest and vegetal cover would be maintained and where necessary, increased rapidly with open forests being to dense forests,
particularly on hills slopes and in catchments areas of rivers and reservoirs.
(Unclassed State Forest means any lands at the disposal of the Government and
not included in a reversed or village forests as defined in the Rule made under
the provisions of Section 34 (1) of AFR, VII of 1891 vide notification No.
1443-R, dtd. 20.5.1922)
3.2 The network of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, conservations reserved,
community reserves, biosphere reserves, world heritage sites and other forest
areas would be strengthened and extended adequately with the involvement and
meaningful participation of communities.
3.2.1 The existing rhino bearing areas and potential rhino habitats would be
conserved as glorious heritage of Assam.
3.2.2 The Tigers Reserves would be protected to ensure maintenance of a viable
population of tiger in the State for scientific, economic, aesthetic, cultural
and ecological values.
3.2.3 To strengthen Elephant Reserves to ensure peaceful co-existence of man and
elephant through ecological restoration, scientific and planned management of
natural habitat and migratory routes in order to maintain viable population of
Wild Asiatic Elephants in the State. It would also be endeavored to promote
measures for mitigation of man–elephants conflict in crucial areas,
strengthening the measures for protection of wild elephants from poachers and
un-natural causes of death, set up public awareness and educational programmes
and veterinary care.
3.2.4 To conserve all other species of threatened endemic wildlife and their
habitats including golden langur, hoolock gibbon, river dolphin, swamp deer,
gaur, wild buffalo, pygmy hog, hispid hare, spot-billed pelican, white-bellied
heron , greater adjutant stork, white winged wood duck, greater spotted eagle,
phallus's fish eagle, swamped francolin, slender billed vulture, blyth's
tragopan, purple wood pigeon rufous-backed hornbill, marsh spotted babbler,
jordon's babbler, black -breasted parrot bill, gharial, endangered turtles etc.
Development of sufficient fodder, fuel and pasture bamboo, canes and other N.T.F.P. resources in areas
adjoining forests, minimise harvesting of forests beyond
sustainable limit. Since fuel wood continues to be the predominant source of energy
in rural areas afforestation would be intensified with special emphasis on augmenting
wood production to meet the requirement of rural people. Fast growing fuel wood
production programme has to be initiated in the fringe areas through JFMCs.
Similarly alternative source of energy will be identified propagated and
3.4 N.T.F.Ps including medicinal and aromatic plants provides sustenance to the tribal and other people residing
in and around
the forests. Such produce would be sustainably managed and production enhanced with the objective of
generating employment and income opportunities for the local people.
of timber and small woods to urban centers from non-forest sources is necessary to reduce pressure on natural
forests. Therefore, Agro-forestry, Farm-forestry and Non-Farm cultivation of timber trees would be encouraged in
3.6 Trade of bamboo and other N.T.F.Ps including medicinal and aromatic plants
such as Agar wood and Patchouli etc. after adequate value addition and
development of market facilities would be actively promoted. Surplus raw
materials could also be exported after meeting local needs, within the limit of
3.7 Considering the inherent advantage , positive brand image as well as
suitability of soil and climatic condition of Assam for commercially profitable
Agar wood cultivation-the people of Assam would be given opportunity to grow
Agar trees abundantly and trade/value additions be facilitated by liberalizing
and suitably modifying existing rules and procedures .
3.8 Targeting on broad range of goods and services in terms of physical,
material, human, social, cultural and environmental assets in conjunction with
appropriate entitlement regime, peoples protected area (PPA) envisions a
pro-active and people's friendly framework to ensure long term protection and
maintenance of biological diversity and providing at the same time a sustainable
flow of natural products and services to meet local community needs. Therefore,
a network of PPA would be established as people's pool of assets for
strengthening livelihood security of forest dwellers.
4. Strategy :
4.1: The national goal is to have a minimum of one-third total geographical
area of the country under forest or tree cover. In Assam , the total forest
cover is 27,714 Sq. Km , which is 35.33% of the total geographical area of
the State. This being so emphasis is to be laid on the
consolidation and preservation of the existing forest cover and increases their
Existing forest cover would be maintained and enriched (open forest would be
resorted back to dense forest ) consistent with the developmental needs of the
4.1.2 Enrichment plantations in open forests and protection of natural
regeneration through Forest Development Agencies , which are confederation of
Joint Forest Management Committees and Eco-Development Committees in respective
4.2 Management of State , Autonomous Council, Community and Private forests:
4.2.1 The activities which interfere with forests that clothe steep slopes,
river catchments, reservoirs and geologically unstable areas would be restricted
. Tropical wet and moist forests would be cautiously and sustainable managed
consistent with their role in preserving the biodiversity and hydrological cycle
and meeting the livelihood needs of the people of the State.
4.2.2 No forest would be permitted to be worked without a duly approved
working/management plan which should be in a prescribed format and in keeping
with National Forest Policy/ North East Forest Policy/ State Forest Policy on the
principle of sustainable forest management. The effects of forest management on
forests would be periodically measured with the help of set criteria's and
indication (C & I). The State would issue necessary guidelines to put in place a
monitoring mechanism to regulate compliance of management/working plan
4.2.3 In order to meet the growing need of people for essential goods and
services that the forest provide , it is necessary to enhance the forest cover
in forest deficient districts and enrich the bio-diversity of the existing
forests through appropriate scientific and technical inputs.
4.2.4 No exotic species would be introduced through public or private source ;
unless long term scientific trials undertaken by specialists in ecology,
forestry , sociology and agriculture have established that they are suitable and
would have no adverse impact on indigenous vegetation , ecology and bio-cultural
environment of the State.
4.2.5 Joint Forest Management (J.F.M.) practices would form the basis of forest
management in the State. Necessary provisions would be made in the Working
Plans/ Management Plans for participation of forest fringe dwellers.
The abundant potential of people living in rural and forests areas would be
tapped for sound participatory forest management. Efforts would be made to
facilitate assistance from financial institutions to the forest dwellers engaged
in forest based economic activities for furthering for mitigating their plight
to the extent possible.
4.2.6 There is an increasing emphasis on greater stake of communities in forest
management and benefit sharing. Joint Forest Management has to graduate to
Community Forest Management C.F.M.) aiming at Sustainable Forest Management
S.F.M.). The Forest Department shall initiate steps to upgrade the JFM Cell to SFM
4.2.7 The Autonomous Council Forests and the forest areas owned by community and
private individuals shall also be managed under the same policy as laid down
above for the State Forests.
Forests in the area covered by the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution namely,
Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council , North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council and
Bodoland Territorial Council (hereinafter mentioned in Councils) are located in
geographically , geomorphologically and ecologically fragile and sensitive areas
and provide a back drop to the plains of the Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys.
Viewed in this context , management of forest areas in these areas attracts
It shall be the endeavour of the State Government to seek co-operation and
involvement of the Council authorities is framing measures to avert any possible
and anticipated adverse impact on-
(a) the vulnerable areas in the plains of the Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys
prone to inundation and other natural calamities;
(b) generation of adverse market forces due to incompatible market prices
vis-a-vis royalty rates;
c) large scale diversion of forest areas for non-forestry purposes .
Emphasis needs to be laid on enrichment of the total forest areas to maximize
the benefits as acquired from large compact forest against the demerits of
fragmented forest areas including conservation of bio-diversity both flora and
fauna of the region as a whole , without infringement or curtailment of rights
and legal status vested upon the Councils by the Constitution.
4.3 Forest Protection :
Forests being an open access resource are vulnerable to various kind of
pressures, like (a) encroachment; (b) illicit felling and smuggling of timber ;
(c) fire ;
(d) grazing, (e) shifting cultivations etc .
4.3.1 Encroachment :
Encroachment is one of the main causes of depletion of valuable forests in
Assam. The encroachment of forest land is mainly for the following reasons:
Rehabilitation of flood and erosion affected people in the forest land for
settlement in the past as well as aggressive and organized group encroachment
under compulsion of such vagaries.
Heavy biotic pressures on the Reserved Forests due to high growth rate in
Inter-state boundary disputes with the neighbouring States, like Nagaland,
Mizoram, Meghalaya , Arunachal Pradesh .
220.127.116.11 Government of Assam shall endeavor to identify pre-1980 encroachers who
were allowed to enter the forest area by any competent authority, with a view to
finding a solution to their land related problems.
18.104.22.168. The encroachers who belong to the ethnic communities of Assam and who
have traditionally and characteristically dependent on the forests would be
motivated to join the
forest protection activities as economic stakeholders . Providing sustainable
livelihood support to the people who live in the fringe villages would be a
major thrust activity of the forest department so that fringe villagers would
work as real protectors of forests.
22.214.171.124 Action Plan would be formulated for demarcation and consolidation of
reserved forest boundaries by permanent measures.
126.96.36.199 These areas would be treated as People's Protected Area (PPA.) inside
forests where the settlers create community assets of forest along with the
services require for their livelihood. These P.P.A. shall act as people's pool
of asset for strengthening livelihood security of forest dwellers.
188.8.131.52 The Government of Assam in Forest Department shall also take necessary
steps to convert the Forest Villages to Revenue Villages as per the guidelines
of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India.
4.3.2. Illicit felling of trees in -forest and smuggling of timber:
184.108.40.206. The Forest Department with involvement of people would endeavour to meet
the basic demands of people from the factory sector by providing legal and
bonafide avenues so that illegalities do not thrive.
Protection mechanism would be strengthened by involving local people through
village level Joint Forest Management Committees. These Committees would be
empowered and provide special incentives to prevent forest offences.
220.127.116.11. Forest officers would be well equipped to prevent/ detect/
investigate forest offences with all logistic support.
18.104.22.168. For tackling the crimes and criminals of forest offences, forest
officers would be provided with adequate legal powers.
22.214.171.124. The Assam Forest Protection Force (AFPF), would be modernized with
proper training and arms.
126.96.36.199. Steps would be taken for establishment of Special Courts at the
district level for quick disposal of forest offence cases. The proposal for
establishment of Green Bench in Gauhati High Court would also be pursued for
swifter and judicious disposal of environment related cases.
4.3.3. Forest Fire :
The incidence of forest fire in the State of Assam is not so much pronounced but
the same causes considerable damage in plantation and regeneration areas.
Special precautions would be taken during the fire season. Improved and modern
management practices would be adopted to deal with the forest fires. Community
association in fire management will be strengthened.
188.8.131.52. The grass land management technique by artificial firing as practiced
inside the Wild life Protected Areas such as Kaziranga would be scientifically
appraised for protection of flora and faunal diversity.
4.3.4 Illegal grazing in forests :
Grazing in forest areas would be regulated by raising awareness in the
communities and with their active involvement. Special conservation areas, young
plantations and regeneration areas
would be fully
protected. Grazing and browsing in forest areas need to controlled. Adequate
grazing regulation would be enacted to meet the genuine needed of the people
while at the same time discouraging people in forest areas from maintaining
large herds of under productive livestock.
4.3.5 Shifting cultivation :
One of the difficult problems in the gamut of shifting cultivation is to the
'Jhumias' away from this age old tradition recognizing the
fact that Jhuming is an emotional heritage mainly with the Hill Tribes.
The integrated Area Development Programme (IADP) with due reagard to local tradition and culture will be the mainstay in tacking
the problem related to jhumming. This programme would aim at -
Raising awareness among the communities about the benefits of more sedentary
land use systems.
2 Forest Development Works generating sustained employment ;
i. Containing jhumming
through short term and long term project implementations and their constant and
monitoring, facilitating re-orientation and improvement of the initial project
parameters to suit the local requirements.
Rehabilitation of shifting cultivation sites through innovative community based
reafforestation in forest areas . Agro-forestry schemes with a significant input
of horticulture and specifically approved cash crop cultivation on gentle slopes
would be Introduced on affected community lands. The Nodal agency would be the
Forest Department to ensure primary of rehabilitation and conservation.
4.4 Right and concessions :
4.4.1 Rights and concessions including grazing should
always remain related to the carrying capacity of the forests. The capacity
itself would be optimized by increased investment, silvicultural research and
appropriate interventions. Stall feeding of cattle would be encouraged. The
requirements of the community, which cannot be fulfilled by the rights and
concessions so determined, would be met by development of Social Forestry
outside the reserved forests.
The holders of customary rights and concessions in forest areas would be
motivated to associate themselves with the protection and development of forests
from which they derive benefits . The rights and concessions from forests would
primarily be for the bonafide use of the communities living within and around
forest areas, especially, the tribals, scheduled caste and other indigenous
4.5 Management of Bamboo and Canes :
4.5.1 Bamboo being a multipurpose, eco-friendly crop abundantly available, yet
an under-utilized natural resource, needs to be managed and exploited for
sustainable use. Bamboo is conceived as the thrust area in the industrial
development of Assam and for economic and ecological security of people. This
precious resource needs to be fully tapped as an industrial raw materials, as
substitute for wood in rural/urban housing , engineering works, handicrafts,
furniture through appropriate value addition aimed at meeting national and
international markets. Undoubtedly bamboo can revolutionalise the economy of the
State ensuring employment opportunities to a large number of people, Extension
and awareness about bamboo sector development will be given renewed thrust.
Conversion of bamboo diversity, germ-plasm, sustainable management and use of dedicated bamboo forest and promoting bamboo cultivation in homesteads are the
key-trust areas of Bamboo Policy of Assam.
To enhance the productivity in bamboo sector, improved planting stock would be
developed through application and extension of modern techniques both within the
Forest Department and to the communities.
Forward and backward linkages between bamboo growers and bamboo enterprise,
industry and craft centers should be established to boost bamboo trade, industry
and marketing within and outside the State.
Harvesting of bamboo for paper mills would be properly monitored and
silvicultural practices would be strictly followed. Such industries would be
asked to procure atleast half of their requirement from village communities,
which will encourage them to grow more bamboo and also help their economic
upliftment. For all industrial use, the pricing would be done judiciously.
Appropriate interventions and association with NGOs working in the sector for
introducing modern technology catering to the current market requirements and
imparting necessary training to the local people of the State for optimum
utilization of the returns from this invaluable resource of Assam.
Canes are now in a very dwindling state in Assam because of large scale conversion of cane bearing areas or cane
brakes to paddy fields both in and outside the forest. The most important species of cane (rattans) available in Assam
are- (1) Jati/Hill Jati (Calamus tenuis); (2) Tita/Rangi
(Calamus leptospadix); (3) Raidang(Calamus flagellum); (4) Oyahing; (5) Lejai (Calamus
floribundus); (6) Jeng (Calamus erectus); (7) Golla (Daemonorops jenkinsiannus);
(8) Huka (Calamus latifolieus); (9) Sundi (Calamus guruba).
4.5.8 Joint Forest Management Committees are to be involved in propagation and
expansion of cane plantations in suitable areas- With proper value addition and
market linkages canes would be transformed as the most important raw materials
for the cottage industries specialized in handicraft and furniture.
4.6 Agar wood Plantation
Sanchi plant or Agaru or Agar wood is one of the precious gift of Nature to
Assam being deeply associated with the cultural heritage of our state since
ancient times. The soil and climate conditions of Assam are most suited for
large scale Agar wood plantation. The Agar wood oil of Assam enjoys an
international Brand Equity. As every state or region must have a mission for
socio-economic development of the people utilizing potential resources, Agar
wood or Aquilaria agollocha Roxb, has been identified as the most potential
species of wood which can generate large scale income and employment for the
people of Assam.
4.6.1 The Government would take measures for in-situ and ex-situ conservation
and development of Agar wood as a cash crop for large scale
ultivation (plantation) by the people.
4.6.2 As Agarwood grows abundantly and regeneration of this plant in Assam is
very easy because of suitable climate and soil conditions, the restrictions put
by various fora describing Agar wood as one of the endangered species need to be
reviewed. The Government shall take measures to create conducive atmosphere for cultivation and utilization of Agar tree followed
by trade of agar
oil/derivatives by reviewing existing provisions with
appropriate authorities so that optimum returns are forth-corning to the people of
Non Timber Forest Products (NTFP)
Rich flora of Assam yields various N.T.E.Ps, a list of which is at Appendix –I. Endeavour shall be made to conserve and
of forest with regard to these NTFPs. Screening of Non-Conventional NTFP shall be carried out.
4.7.2 Government of Assam Shall enact suitable policies endowing ownership rights of
Minor Forest Produce to the JFMCs taking e following points into consideration.
Minor Forest Produce ( M.F.P ), now more appropriately rephrased as Non Timber
Forest Produce (NTFP) covers species which can be harvested on nondestructive
basis and shall not include minerals and wild animals or their derivatives.
Protected Areas, Biosphere Reserves and the refractory areas in high hills would
not be used for harvesting NTFP as it would contravene the provisions of The
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Rights of ownership of NTFPs, to JFMCs may be exercised in a regulated manner
with advice of Forest Department so that germ plasma is not subjected to
irreparable damage and the usufructs are available on a sustainable basis. JFMCs
especially the women would be encouraged to take up cultivation of selected
NTFPs for commercial use, leaving the resource base in the Reserve Forests
intact for conservation purposes.
4.7.3 Since the time, people realized the preventive and curative properties of
the invaluable medicinal plants, they started using them for their health care.
In view of the richness of medicinal and herbal plants in the State, a mechanism
shall be developed for in- situ and ex-situ conservation, domestication and
sustainable harvesting with active association of local people including
traditional healers and local Bej/Baidyas to give due importance to the
traditional systems of medicine of Assam. The socio-cultural, spiritual and
medicinal areas of local populace, particularly the tribal would form the
backbone of community based conservation and utilization of medicinal and herbal
4.8 Bio-diversity Conservation Strategy :
4.8.1 Status of Bio-diversitv in Assam.
Plant Diversity :
The State of Assam represents the tradition zone between the India, Indo-Malayan
and indo-Chinese biogeographical region. It is, therefore, considered as one of
the most biologically diverse areas in the whole of South Asia. The vegetation
of Assam is primarily of tropical type covering areas of evergreen,
semi-evergreen, deciduous forests and grasslands. There are 3,017 species of
flowering plants, a good number of medicinal plants including several rare,
endangered and endemic species. The state is also rich in Bamboo and Cane
diversity have 10 genera and 42 species of bamboo and 14 species of cane. About
192 species of orchids are distributed in the plains and hilly areas of the
state. A large part of Assam is covered by wetlands rich in both flowering and
non-flowering plants. As many as 102 species belonging to 75 genera are
considered to be endemic.
Animal Diversity :
In Assam, the forests are extremely rich and diverse with wide varieties of
carnivores, herbivores and birds, about 190 species of mammals
and more than 800 species and subspecies of birds are so far reported
from Assam. The Wildlife areas of the state house nearly 44 types
of endangered and rare species of mammals and 14 types of reptiles and amphibia. Altogether around 230 forms of mammals
species and sub species have been recorded so far from Assam. There are 9 species of primates in Assam, which also includes
ape of India, the Hoolock gibbon (Hylobates hoolock). As many as
8 cat species are found in the state. Moreover, Assam holds the entire known world population of Pygmy hog (Sus salvanius),
75% of the world population of the Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) and wild Water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and a sizeable
populationm of Asian
elephant (Elephus maximus) and tigers (Panthera tigris).
Diversified habitats and various ecological associations have sigificantly enriched the avian
diversity in Assam with more than 800 avian species. The State represents 53.5% of total birds species
of Indian sub-continent. The White Winged Wood Duck (Cairina sculalata)
and Bengal florican (Eupodotis bengalensis) are two of the noteworthy endangered
constitute an important vertebrate group. Assam with its varies topography and habitat types supports a species rich reptilian
fauna. Members of three living orders, namely, Crocodylia (Crocodiles & Gharials), Chelonia
(Turtles & Tortoises) and Squamata (Snakes and Lizards) are found in the state. The records of reptilian resource
of Assam show the
presence of 2 species of crocodylia, 19 species of Chelonia and 77 species of Squamatas.
Assam has diverse amphibian fauna too, so far 185 species belonging to 98 genera under 34
families being recorded. This group has 33 representatives endemic to the
region-25 species of fish
have been identified as threatened.
The fresh water molluscs constitute an important part of the ecosystem. In
Assam, 10 species of fresh water snails are used as food by different tribal
communities. The family Thiariadae has the highest number (10) of species but
the family Planordidae, Archatinidae, Bithyniidae, Cyclophoridae, Ariophantidae
and Unionidae have the lowest number (1) of species.
In India about 1,500 species of butterflies have been identified so far and
amongst these about 50% species are reported from Assam.
The cultivated lands of Assam harbors large varieties of useful microbes. The
nitrogen-fixing bactaria and blue-green algae are abundant in the soils of the
4.8.2 The activities related to management of Bio-diversity shall have the three
a) Conservation of bio-diversity.
b) Sustainable use of biological resources and
c) Equity in conservation and use.
Protection, conservation and management of bio diversity shall also aim at both
(a) ecological security and (b) livelihood security.
(a) Ecological security refers to the maintenance of the diversity of
eco-systems and habitats; the activity of species/sub-species/varieties,
population and communities ; the interaction between species, population,
communities and their habitats and ecosystems; their integrity including
biological productivity of eco-system and taxa; the evolutionary potential of
natural system and critical eco-system service.
The policy of the state is to make and promote efforts for protection,
conservation and management of bio-diversity through maintenance of. critical eco-system
including Ecologically Sensitive Areas (E.S.As), Ramsay Sites. Heritage Sites,
Biosphere Reserves, Medicinal Plants Conservation Area, Gene Conservation Centre
Livelihood security refers to the security of human communities and individuals
critically dependent on biological resources including guaranteed access to and
control over such biological resources and related knowledge.
The status of forests with regards to its ecological functions and role in
livelihood security of the people would be monitored and evaluated.
184.108.40.206 Protected Area Network (P.A.N) including National Parks, Wildlife
Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves would be enlarged to
at least 5 percent of the geographical area of the State. Special management
plans will be drawn up for protection and habitat restoration.
Wetlands being the areas supporting highest level of biodiversity would be
identified and brought under P.A.N. prescribing efficient management plans. The
wetlands which are under heavy human use and at the same time ery important for
biodiversity and which could be included in
P.A.N will be covered by a separate agency, which may ,De called the "Wetland
State would persistently strive to improve the status of wildlife by
augmenting vigilance mechanism both through
Govt. functionaries and cooperation of communities to curb poaching and illegal
traffic of wildlife and wildlife products.
220.127.116.11 Action Plan for protection and management of wildlife in multiple use
areas shall be drawn up. N.G.0s., National and State Institutes will be called
upon to associate in the sphere of wildlife education, interpretation and
generation of public support for ensuring better protection and management of
18.104.22.168 Action plan for identification, classification and listing of endangered
and threatened species of plants and animals will be drawn up with an aim for
their rehabilitation, development and preservation. Herbarium may be established
at suitable sites for taxonomic studies
22.214.171.124 Research and monitoring activities would be geared up to keep pace with
global efforts to meet site specific requirements of wildlife management. High
priority to ethno-biological research involving plants and animals as well as
their derivatives would be ensured and endeavour would be made for
identification of useful species.
126.96.36.199 Studies on ecological risks in the important wildlife habitat including
the PAs be made mandatory after a period of 3 - 5 years. Knowledge of the
ecological sensitivity of the habitats can save resources or accelerate the
expenditure of the limited resources towards critical areas.
188.8.131.52 Eco-development works will be encouraged around the protected areas to
reduce dependency of the people on forests and forest products and generate a
friendly attitude among the communities on appreciation of the need for
preservation, protection and conservation of the protected areas in general and
the flora and fauna in particular.
184.108.40.206 Man-animal conflict resolution mechanism will be evolved through
innovative preventive measures, education, more effective compensation schemes,
insurance scheme and so on.
220.127.116.11 Ensuring viability of small sized protected areas through compatible
buffer zones and dispersal corridors. This would call for adjustment in forestry
operations to take care of the bio-diversity. Man-animal conflicts shall be
resolved through appropriate measures in the tension zones.
18.104.22.168 The State Government shall also give importance to establishment of
wildlife rehabilitation centre for temporarily disadvantaged wildlife saved by
Bio-cultural Diversity Conservation :
The diverse ethnic groups of Assam have mosaic of traditions and culture, which
are intrinsically associated with the biological diversity of the state. To
protect and promote the bio-cultural diversity of the State, Government of Assam
has declared the famous One Horned Rhino as the 'State animal', extremely rare
White Winged Wood Duck as the `State Bird', magnificent Hollong tree as the
'State Tree' and the beautiful Kopouphool, an orchid as the 'State Flower'. The
Government shall further endeavour to encourage preservation of bio-cultural
diversity of the State.
This diversity shall be preserved through action as under –
I. Intensification of survey and inventorisation of bio-cultural resources of
the various parts of the State will be carried out. The survey will include
information on the distribution pattern of various species/population/community
and the status of ethno-biologically important groups.
II. Legal and administrative measures shall be taken for the protection of the
State's bio-cultural diversity against bio-piracy and/or sustainable use of
plants and animal genetic resources. Intellectual property rights (I.P.R) of the
people of the State, specially the tribal shall be well guarded. Domesticated
species/ varieties of plants and animals shall be conserved as an integral part
of the State's rich genetic diversity.
III. The various ethnic groups of the State, having rich cultural tradition and
practices, living in the fringes of the forests and their age-old relationship
with the forests shall be studied and strengthened to be used as a tool for
conservation and preservation of the forests for the benefit of the indigenous
IV The Traditional Knowledge (TK) and the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)
systems shall be studied, documented and acknowledged, in conformity with
India's commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
22.214.171.124 Silvi-Muga Culture :
In Assamese culture, muga is intrinsically associated with our dresses and
costumes. Muga occupies a respectable birth in famous Bihu song "Atikoi Seneher
Mugare Muhura Production of muga, (sericulture) is practiced on host trees like
Som, Hoanlo, Mejankari etc. These tree species shall be promoted for plantation
in homesteads, wasteland to give a boost to muga production, silvi-muga
culture-proving a boon to the Joint Forest Management Programme.
126.96.36.199 In-vitro and ex situ propaganda of orchids for commercial exploitation:
"Bohag", the first month of the Assamese calendar brings thrill the Assamese
folk, particularly the women. This is the season for "Kapou Phool", an orchid (Rhyncostylus
retusa) declared the State flower by Govt. of Assam Orchids are the most
beautiful and wondrous among the flowering plants of the world and have the
potential of forming the basis of a lucrative industry in international markets.
Orchids occur in diverse agro-climatic conditions in Assam indicating the
potential of growing wide variety of orchids on a commercial basis through
intervention from biotechnology. The strategy for conservation and propagation
of orchids includes :
a) A pilot project for Agro-technological development from lab to field for
orchid and other cut flower production in Assam is to be established.
b) To use the Agro-technological development park for generation of data with
enormous practical and scientific utility to enhance the knowledge with regard
to orchids particularly the threatened and high valued species.
c) Development and demonstration of commercial exploitation to interested groups
to contribute towards socio-economic development.
d) Dissemination of information on orchids to bring awareness among people
regarding importance of orchids in commerce in the national and international
e) Transfer of technology for ex-situ conservation through cultivation of
orchids by entrepreneurs.
f) Development of gene bank for endangered species found in this part of the
4.9 Afforestation, Social Forestry and Farm Forestry.
4.9.1 A massive need based and time bound programme of afforestation and tree
planting with particular emphasis on small timber, fuel-wood and fodder
development would be initiated on all degraded and denuded lands in the State,
whether forest or non-forest land.
4.9.2 The Eco-Task Force is envisaged to be-constituted under the Territorial
Army Act, 1984 assisted by the local unemployed youth would be most suited for
carrying out the massive afforestation work for re-greening the fragile Bhabar
tract at the foot hills of Himalayas under hostile condition.
4.9.3 To encourage planting of trees along sides of roads, embankments, railway
lines, rivers, streams, canals and other fallow lands under State/ Corporate,
Institutional or private ownership. Green belts would be raised in
urban/industrial areas to check population and improve the micro-climate with
the assistance of NGOs, private, educational institutions and corporate sector.
4.9.4 Village and community lands or any other such lands not required for other
productive uses, would be taken up for development of tree crops and fodder
resources. Technical guidance necessary for initiating such programmes would be
provided. The revenue generated through such programmes shall deposited to the
respective JFMCs, where the lands are vested in them; in all other cases, such
revenue would be shared with the local communities in order to provide an
incentive to them. The vesting, in individuals, particularly from the weaker
sections (e.g. landless labour, small
and marginal farmers, schedule castes, schedule tribes and women) in general,
certain ownership rights over trees in these areas, would be considered subject
to appropriate regulation, beneficiaries being entitled to usufruct and in turn
be responsible for their protection and maintenance.
4.9.5 Land laws and the pricing structure of forest products would be so
modified and standardized so as to facilitate and motivate individuals and
institutions to undertake tree-farming and growing of fodder plants, grasses,
legumes and fuel wood on their own land. Whenever possible, degraded lands would
be made available for the purpose to JFMCs on t2rms of usufruct benefits so as
to make each Committee self reliant.
4.9.6 Laws relating to harvesting of trees from private lands would be reviewed
with a view to encourage the growers to undertake such plantations with more
4.9.7 Suitable market linkages shall be developed for disposal of the non-wood
forest products (N-WEPs) at remunerative prices, which would act as an incentive
to tribal and other rural folk in taking positive interest in growing such
4.10.9 Production of Biomass.
For the vast majority of the people in the State, the foremost need is fuel
wood, timber, fodder and fibre. The issue of enhanced production and sustainable
resource utilization would therefore be prioritized to meet the needs of the
188.8.131.52 The microplans dovetailed with working plan prescriptions would guide
the production of the biomass. Fuel-wood plantations and agro forestry would be
encouraged on community lands. Necessary steps to promote efficient conversion
and utilization of timber would be promoted
for maximization of resources use.
184.108.40.206 Promotion of alternative sources of domestic energy would be taken up
to reduce pressure on the forests. Use of non-conventional sources of energy
would also be encouraged in a big way.
4.11 Wood based industry -
In accordance with the directives of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, the
Government of Assam would like to work for a perfect equilibrium between
conservation and developmental activities. Following a scientific sustainable
Forest Management Model, the Govt. of Assam would also like to encourage wood
based industries wherever possible. Establishment of forest based industries and
supply of raw materials would be as follows :
4.11.1 All wood based industries would be located within approved industrial
4.11.2 The wood based industries would be encouraged to raise their own captive
plantations or alternately try to procure raw materials from JFM community
forests or private platations.
4.11.3 Government would encourage import of wood for the wood based industries
with suitable fiscal incentives.
4.11.4 Forest based industries would be encouraged to raise their own
plantations for the raw materials needed for meeting their requirements or
support individuals/communities to grow the raw materials with inputs including
credit, technical advice,
harvesting and transport services. Farmers, particularly, small and marginal
farmers would be motivated to grow on marginal/ degraded land available with
them, wood species required for industries. The industries would undertake
purchase of the outturn after a fixed number of years at a minimum prefixed
price capable of attracting growers.
4.11.5 The prescribed annual harvest from the State Forests as per the microplan
and Working Plan/ Management Plan prescription shall first serve the bonafide
domestic requirements of the fringe dwellers. The surplus only shall be made
available to the industry.
4.11.6 Forest based industries must not only provide employment to the local
people on priority but also involve them fully in raising trees and raw
4.12 Eco-Tourism :
Creating conductive atmosphere and facilitate for development of Eco- Tourism in
the state is considered a major thrust of the new forest policy of Assam.
Ecotourism that utilizes the forest scenic spots as well as the opportunities
provided by the Protected Areas for wildlife viewing are to be seen as a
community based conservation activity. This activity would in addition be
promoted as a revenue generating mechanism to benefit the rural communities
through their active involvement along with employment opportunities in various
sectors, like tour operator guide, hotel and restaurant, boating sites, bio-mass
based crafts and enterprises etc.
4.12.1 Consistent with the National Eco-Tourism Policy and Guidelines (1998),
the National Policy for Tourism, 2002 and the National Wildlife Action Plan
(2002-2016), the following steps will be taken on priority for development of
Eco-Tourism in the State.
1. Set up an Assam State Ecotourism Board/Authority/ Corporation that will plan,
regulate, and fund tourism activities in different parts of the state specially
in Protected Areas and Scenic spots in Reserve Forests and outside.
2. Develop tourism management plan in Protected areas in the State.
3. Put in place the stringent standards of waste disposal energy and water
consumption, construction plans and materials used therein.
4. Develop impact assessment techniques and standards to evaluate negative
impacts of tourism on soil, water resources, vegetation, animal life, sanitation
or waste disposal, and cultural environment.
5. Conduct orientation programme for tour operators and take up study of
carrying capacity for most visited PAs.
4.12.2 Forest Development Agencies (ED. As) constituted in Wildlife areas, which
is the cor-ederation of Eco-Development Committees would be the implementing
agency with State Tourism Development Corporation/ Tourism Department/Forest
Department of the state assuring supportive and supervisory roles.
4.12.3 The Forest Department would expand and revamp its own facilities for the
development of Eco-Tourism all over Assam.
4.13 Marketing, Supple and Utilization of Forest Produces :
The State Government would make all endeavours to utilize the forest produces
efficiently and extract maximum economic return from the forest produces in the
form of income to the stake holders and revenue to the State Exchequer. The
State shall take appropriate measures for procurement, marketing and supply of
forest produces to serve the social obligation.
4.13.1 Marketing and Supply of Timber from State Forests :
(a) The State Government shall arrange for proper marketing and supply of timber
to achieve maximum economic return from the available resources. The existing
administrative setup of the Assam Forest Department shall be re-organized
constituting a full-fledged Marketing Wing upgrading the office of the Forest
Utilization Officer of the state. The Forest Department shall evolve such
measures as to make the marketing of forest produce simpler and hassle free. The
Marketing Wing would in addition, also study and establish linkages for the
important N.T.F.Ps. for increasing the association of and benefits accruing to
the JFMC and its members.
(b) The Government shall promote education and training to the farmers, tribal
and others involved in
the growing of forest species on value -addition of timber and non timber
products, use by various industries, market price, market preference, etc. and
shall forecast the minimum prices of the forest products in the market analyzing
its supply and demand scenario.
4.13.2 Marketing of wood from Agro Forestry and Commercial Plantations :
(a) The Assam Forest Department shall promote education to the farmers on use of
timber by various industries, market prices, various sizes of timbers preferred
by users, value addition by proper processing and treatment, etc. These efforts
would include use of Radio and T.V. and other media on a large scale as is done
for agricultural crops. Whenever possible, the Government shall make reliable
forecasts of minimum wood price available to the farmers.
(b) The Government in order to check the slump in the market shall encourage
commercial and industrial enterprises to offer a minimum support or guaranteed
price for the wood produced by farmers and other tree growers and also take
steps so that State owned forests do not complete with farm forestry.
(c) The Government shall encourage the private sector and where appropriate,
make arrangement for the public sector entities to make quality-planting
materials available to farmers and other tree growers.
Marketing of of Non-Timber Forest Produces (N.T.FPs):
(a) The Government shall foster steps to improve the bargaining position of
local N.T.F.P. collectors by developing the capacity of JFMCs. These steps would
include (a) increasing the knowledge and awareness of prices, quality
differentials, purchaser preferences and possible marketing channels (b)
increasing value addition to various forest based products and (c) developing
financial and management capacities through training and arrangements to
establish revolving funds, etc. Depending on costs and benefits analysis of
possible options specific to various sites and products, steps might also
include participation of committees and/or co-operatives in N.T.EP processing
(b) The Government shall sponsor research to better understand N.T.EP marketing
chains and identify potential reforms affecting competition among market agents
and processors, transparency and availability of information, market linkages,
value addition (e.g. collection technologies, processing, packaging), consumer
demand, contract arrangements, etc. that would increase returns to N.T.EP
collectors, especially those who are participating in forest management. The
Government shall also sponsor research to analyze the environmental and economic
sustainability of N.T.F.P. supplies, market demands and harvesting levels to
make for a sustainable system.
4.13.4 Trade implications and Forest Certification:
One of the major implications of Sustainable Forest Management is in terms of
International trade. For trade in international market, it would be necessary to
certify the products for their origin from sustainability-managed forests.
Export items from India basically have rural origin with little or no quality
control. Among the major products exported under this category are - Bamboo
products, Cane products, handicrafts and N.T.F.Ps. Importers always insisting on
certification of these products. Thus, forest certification will promote these
products and at the same time will also result in higher economic returns.
The State of Assam has advantage of processing a very rich variety of
commercially useful medicinal plants and other non-timber forest products. ' It
also has abundant bamboo and other resources and dependant artisans capable of
producing exportable items. Most of these are in terms of cottage industries
employing thousands of rural people, skilled persons and artisans. With western
importers of these products insisting on certification, the State Forest
Department shall initiate a Forest Certification Process keeping in view global
4.13.5 Social obligation of meeting the local demand:
The Forest Department shall work out the estimated outturn of timber and forest
produces annually from the building permission issued by the Municipal Authority
other local bodies and try to meet the demand of local needs on no loss no
profit basis by installing Consumer Depots at District and Sub Division
4.13.6 Wood substitution and preservation:
More emphasis shall be given on wood substitution and efficient utilization of
wood. In all government construction, use of timber shall be minimized by
maximizing wood substitution.
Local entrepreneurs shall be encouraged to set up timber treatment plants for
increasing the durability of nondurable timbers to reduce the consumption of
traditionally used species.
4.14 Forests and Tribal.
The 10th Plan Approach Paper, 2002 of Government of India narrates the
unresolved issues in tribal development as below-
" From the view point of policy, it is important to understand that tribal
communities are vulnerable not only because they are poor, asset-less and
illiterate compared to the general population; often their distinct
vulnerability arises from their inability to negotiate and cope with the process
of integration with the mainstream economy, society, cultural and political
system, from which they were historically protected as the result of their
relative isolation. Post independence, the requirement of planned development
brought with them the specter of dams, mines, industries and roads on tribal
lands. With these cam and concomitant process of displacement, both literal and
metaphorical — as tribal institutions and practices were forced into uneasy
existence with or gave way to market or formal state institutions (most
significantly, in the legal
sphere), tribal found themselves at a profound disadvantage with respect to the
influx of better-equipped outsiders into tribal areas. The repercussions for the
already fragile socio economic livelihood base of the tribal were devastating
—ranging from loss of livelihoods, land alienation on a vast scale, to
As tribal grapple with these tragic consequences, the small clutch of
bureaucratic programmes has done little to arrest the precipitous pauperization,
exploitation and disintegration of tribal communities. Tribal respond
occasionally with anger and assertion, but more often in anomie and despair,
because the following persistent problems have by and large remained unattended
• Land alienation and their non restoration
• Tribal Forest Rights, Development of Forest Villagers and Shifting
• Involuntary displacement due to development projects and lack of proper
• Rehabilitation of displaced and disabled tribal.
• Survival, protection and development of the Primitive Tribal Groups.
• Effective and meaningful implementation of strategy of Tribal Sub plan.
To tackle the various unresolved problems of the tribal, the Tenth Plan shall
formulate a comprehensive National Policy
for Empowering Tribal through their integrated development, which will lay down
the responsibilities of the different wings of Government with appropriate
Therefore, the policy of the State emphasizes that while safeguarding the
customary rights and interests of tribal and scheduled caste people living
within or in vicinity of forests, forestry programmes would pay special
attention to the following :
Having regard the to the symbiotic relationship between the tribal people and
forests, a primary task of all agencies responsible for Forest Management would
be to associate the tribal people closely as partners in management, protection,
regeneration and development of forests as well as to provide gainful employment
to people living in and around forests.
Protection, regeneration and optimum collection of NTFP along with institutional
arrangements for marketing of such produces.
Such economic activities shall have linkage with State Bio-diversity Action
The contractors system of the Forest Department would be replaced by institution
such as tribal village councils and other institutions, tribal co-operative,
labour co-operative etc. This task is envisaged to be executed through the
involvement and empowerment of JFMCs.
To avoid the exploitation of the tribal, there would be proper market
development, fixing of a minimum price for important forest produces and
mechanism for dissemination of information.
Undertaking Integrated Area Development Programmes
to meet the needs of tribal economy in and around forest areas including
provision of alternatives sources of domestic energy on a subsidized basis to
reduce pressure on existing forests.
Family oriented schemes for improving the status of the tribal beneficiaries,
forest villagers in general and tribal and scheduled caste in particular.
Creation of a Forest Development Agency (FDA) for taking up integrated
development of forest resources for alleviation of poverty among the tribal and
other people dependant on forests.
The Forest Policy of Assam gives highest priority to the economic emancipation
of the ethnic and tribal communities who live in the forest fringe areas and who
would be the real protectors of the forests.
4.15 Forest Extension.
4.15.1 Forest conservation programmes shall remain a myth without active support
and co-operation of the people. It is therefore, essential to inculcate in the
people an awareness of the value of the trees, forests and wild life and their
contribution towards not only a healthy environment but also towards their
poverty alleviation. This may be achieved through involvement of educational
institutions, right from the primary stage. Study of forests and environment
would be included in school curricula. Teachers would be given orientation
training on environmental protection and its impact on social life. Raising of
fruit and other useful trees by the students on institutional land, their own
homestead land and nearby degraded areas would be encouraged. State awards would
be declared to felicitate the institutions doing best work in the sphere. Award
of credits would be given to the students showing special interest in matters
related to forestry and environment. Modalities would be worked out in
consultation with the authorities of education department.
4.15.2 Farmers and interested people would be provided opportunities through
institutions, like Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Trainers' Training Centres, Gram Sewak
Training Centres and Forest Research Institutes to learn agrosilvicultural,
Silvi-pastoral and Silvicultural techniques to ensure optimizing the
productivity of their land and water resources. Short term extension courses and
lectures would be organized to educate farmers and other interested persons.
4.15.3 Publicity and extension activities of the Forest department would be
intensified. Suitable programmes would be propagated through mass media,
audio-visual aids and extension machinery, which is essential for the purpose.
4.16 Forestry Education:
Study of forestry science has been considered as a part of environment study
Government would endeavor recruiting forestry professionals of academic and
professional excellence. Government would consider sponsoring larger number of
forestry personal for attending specialized and orientation training for
developing better management skills.
Institutes of Forestry Education of the State shall be upgraded and strengthened
to take up multi-disciplinary short and medium term courses including on the job
training in addition to regular programme.
4.17 Forestry Research:
With the increasing realization of the importance of forests for environmental
health, energy and employment, emphasis is warranted on scientific forestry
research necessitating adequate strengthening of the research base as well as
new priority formulation. Some broad priority areas of research and development
needing special attention are
▪ Increasing the productivity of timber and other forest produce per unit area
per unit time through modern scientific and technological inputs.
• Re-vegetation of barren/marginal/waste/mined lands and watershed areas.
• Effective conservation and management of existing forest resources (mainly,
natural forest eco-systems).
• Research related to social forestry and agroforestry for rural/ tribal
• Development of substitutes to replace wood and wood products.
• Research related to wildlife management in parks, sanctuaries, biosphere
reserves as well as wildlife outside protected areas. Research priorities are to
be identified as system level, community level and species level.
• Discovery of new indigenous species with hitherto unknown utility status.
• Research on marketing N.T.F.P.
• Research on processing and scope of developing cottage
industry with N.T.F.P. for marketing value added products.
• Research related to tribal-forest interface including development of site
specific viable models of rehabilitation of shifting cultivation lands .
For the above purposes linkage with universities and other institutions would be
4.18 Personal Management and Capacity Building
4.18 .1 Government policies in personal management for professional Foresters,
while aiming at optimum utilization of their professional skill, would endeavour
to enhance their status attracting qualified and motivated personal, keeping in
view particularly the arduous nature of duties performed, often in remote and
inhospitable areas. Posting of officers would be in keeping with their aptitude
for specific assignments.
4.18.2 Government policy would be to recruit grass root level forest workers
amongst people from rural areas, particularly living in vicinity of forests and
not habituated to urban life, as far as practicable.
4.18.3 Service rules would be scrutinized and notified for different categories
of forest employees.
4.18.4 Restructuring the Department with well defined duties and
responsibilities at each level of the departmental functionaries.
4.19. Application of Information Technology:
4.19.1 Development of comprehensive database.
The present state of forest information is unsatisfactory in terms of
availability, coverage, consistency and reliability.
There is urgent need for improving the forestry information base, with clear
definition of scope, sources and acceptable standards of accuracy and efficiency
in order to strengthen forestry planning process as well as implementation. A
Geographic Information System (G.I.S) Cell will be established to inventorise,
update and analyse the states natural resource base, its productivity and
related issues G.I.S. and Global Positioning system (G.P.S) technologies have
important applications in forestry. A full fledged G.I.S. Center for rapid
adoption of these technologies have important applications in forestry, A full
fledged GIS Centre for rapid adoption of these technologies into the planning,
implementation and monitoring of forestry plans and schemes would be
established. Forest Management Information System needs to be set up
simultaneously to optimize human resource development in the Forest Department.
4.19.2 Promotion of Electronic Governance in forestry.
Electronic Governance ( E- Governance), has assumed importance in all walks of
life. Forest administration would be encouraged to maximize the use of e-
technology in all its operation, especially that which pertains to public
dealings. Forest Department has recognized the power of I.T. to act as catalyst
in efficient governance and development of human resources. The policy of the
department is to draw detail plan for improving
transparency, providing information speedily to all citizens and improving
administrative efficiency. Official web sites will be specially dedicated to
promote E- Governance for the Assam Forest Department as a whole.
4.20 Legal support and Infrastructure Development:
Appropriate legislation would be undertaken supported by adequate infrastructure
in order to implement the State Forest Policy effectively. Every effort would be
made to frame Rules and Procedures within a reasonable period from the date of
policy coming into force for its effective implementation. In addition legal
literacy drives would be initiated to increase Knowledge base on environmental
4.21 Diversion of forest land for non - forestry Purposes:
4.21.1 Forest land or land with tree cover would not be treated merely as a
resource readily available to be utilized for various project and programmes but
as a national asset which requires to be properly safeguarded for providing
sustained benefits to the entire community. Diversion of forest land for
non-forestry purposes would be subject to most careful examinations by
specialists from the standpoint of social and environmental costs and benefits.
Construction of dams and reservoirs, mining and industrial development and
expansion of agriculture would be consistent with the needs for conservation of
trees and forests. It would be mandatory for project's which involve such
diversion to provide in their investment budget, fund for
4.21.2 User agencies who are allowed mining and quarrying in forest areas and in
land covered by trees would be required to repair and re-vegetate the area in
accordance with the established forestry practices in accordance with the Forest
(Conservation) Act., 1980 and its amendments. No mining lease would be granted
to any party, private or public, without a proper mine management plan appraised
from the environmental angle and enforced by adequate machinery.
4.22 Monitoring and Policy Review
A High Power Committee shall be constituted to monitor the progress of the
policy guidelines and to review the policy periodically so that essential policy
directives are evolved further from time to time .
4.23 Financial support for forestry :
The objectives of this revised policy cannot be achieved without investment of
financial and other resources on a substantially higher scale Considering the
contribution of forests in maintaining essential ecological higher level of
investment in forestry sector is the crying need of the day. To Government to
strive to channelise the resources from its own diverse sources, central
contribution and also from external sources through the Forest Department.
Forest would not be looked upon as a source of revenue . Forests are a renewable
natural resource . They are an asset to be protected and enhance for the well
being of the people of Assam.
Working Plan prescriptions would be backed by financial commitment by the State
Government. It must be ensured that a minimum level of funds (atleast 10 % for
hills and 5% for plains) from State Plan resources are made available for the
development and protection of forests of Assam.
A Partial List of N.T.E.P & Species available in
1) Oil yielding plants :
a) Oil from leaves - Chitronella grass , Patchouli Oil.
b) Oil from seeds - Sal seed , Nahar seed , Karach
Seed. Bhotera seed .
c) Oil from, wood - Agar wood, Sandal wood
d) Oil from flower - Nahar Flower, Champa flower, Keteki (Keora) flower , etc .
e) Oil from fruit - Salmogra, Dalmogra .
f) Oil from Rhizome- Gandhi/Gan-Kachu/Ganchena/ Sugandha Mantri.
2. Medicinal Plants :
(a) Medicine from leaves — Neem , Vasak , Nayantara , Nephaphu , etc .
(b) Medicine from bark — Ahoi, Arjuna, Ashoka, Chirota , Laham, Kaula. Bhatghila,
(c) Medicines from roots — Sarpagandha, Keturi,Chukchini,
(d) Medicines from seeds —Amlokhi , Hilikha , Bhoma Thekera , Makuri kendu , Bel
3. Resins and .gums :
Sal Dhuna , Dhuna , Katera Gum from Odal
4. Kutch and Katha :
5. Charcoal :
6. Broom grass
7. Roofing materials: Thatches, Takoupat , Jengupat.
8. Matmaking: Patidoi and Kuhila.
9. Fruit trees : Jamun , Bogori , Thekera , Taportenga, Nagatenga , Miricatenga
, Satkora etc.
10. Species :
Dalchini , Pipali .
11. Vegetables : Dhekia , Katchu , Ma-sundari, Hoklati, Manimuni, Khutora,
Jilmill, mati-kanduri, Kalmau, Tengechi, Narsinha.