Forests play an important role in enhancing livelihood requirements for rural community and also in maintaining ecological balance. Moreover, they provide many tangible and intangible goods and services viz., timber, fuelwood, Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), and have recreation and aesthetic value.

Sustainability of forest management comes through community participation at all levels of intervention from planning, intervention and monitoring. There should be a bottom-up approach in microplanning, which requires mobilization of the community to participate in all forestry related interventions and also continuous monitoring.

The Indian Institute of Forest Management has taken up a ITTO sponsored project on operationalisation of sustainable forestry development with community participation (following the C&I approach) in eight forest divisions in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. This document is a pioneer attempt to workout sustainability index based on indicators of forest management units of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states.