A group of probationers of the Indian Forest Service (2018-20 batch) called on the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, today (July 23, 2019) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Addressing the probationers, the President said that the Government of India and state governments are making considerable efforts to protect the forest wealth of our country and increase green cover. However, sustainability and success of ecological restoration and conservation lies in mass mobilisation. A large number of poor people, including tribals, live in and around the forests of our country. It is through forests that they fulfil their basic needs of food and fodder. These people are simple and hard-working – and they are very wise. They respect forests as part of their traditions and beliefs. Any measures to protect forests should be sensitive to the basic needs of these people and involve them as partners.
The President said that the joint forest management model that India has adopted envisages working with local people and communities in the management of forests. Linking livelihood opportunities with conservation efforts is important for ensuring effective participation of local people. The President said that once people and communities are involved in forest management efforts, the solutions the Forest Officers seek shall become more sustainable and effective.