Future of our forests

in a recently conclude three-day seminar on India's Forests Beyond 2000 held in New Delhi, minister of environment and forests Thiru T R Balu pointed out: India and other Commonwealth countries need to critically analyse the evolution of forest policies, their management and institutional regimes.'

He further said that the future vision of forestry in India and elsewhere in the Commonwealth must evolve after carefully examining the problems confronting the society. Some of the problems are persistent degradation and deforestation, multiplying demands for forest products, and policy and legal constraints in achieving the aims of forest policies. "For this we have to harmonise the various conflicting policy declarations,' Balu said.

Organised by the Indian chapter of Commonwealth Forestry Association and Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, the seminar covered five themes: forest policy options, management regimes including organisational aspects, institutional mechanisms and national and international challenges.

Besides Balu, others who attended the seminar include deputy director-general of the Centre for International Forestry Research ( cifor ) Mafa E Chipeta and V K Bahuguna, secretary of the Indian chapter of the Commonwealth Forestry Association.