FOREST AND WILDLIFE PRESERVATION DEPARTMENT, PUNJAB
In a state where Agriculture is the predominant land use, Punjab Forest & Wildlife Preservation Department is making efforts to increase the forest/tree cover in accordance with the National Forest Policy. Simultaneously, measures are being taken to protect & conserve the existing tree species and fauna to arrest and reverse ecological degradation.
Besides plantation of quality tree species and conservation of forests and wildlife, the Department undertakes scientific management of forest areas that helps to increase forest productivity, check soil erosion in hilly areas and improve ground water recharge.
AT CITIZENS SERVICE
The Department encourages farmers to take-up agro-forestry on their farm lands by providing technical guidance for plantation of tree species of economic importance. At times it cautions farmers against plantation of spurious variants of tree species available in the market. It also supplies saplings from forest nurseries at nominal rates to the public in general and farmers in particular.
The Department inculcates participatory approach amongst the rural poor living in the backward hill (Kandi) region of the State. To this end, in order to bring about an attitudinal change in department, its personnel have been trained in Joint Forest Management. Under this approach, the local stakeholders get a share of the forest produce in return for participating in forest development and protection. This would help in improving both the ecological condition of the forest and the economic condition of the people.
Under Punjab Apportionment of Tree Rules 2000, a benefit sharing mechanism has been devised for farmers who own their cultivable lands adjoining the Road Strip Forests. This mechanism entitles a farmer a reasonable proportion of revenue of the trees of Road Strip Forests in lieu of the responsibility rendered by the farmer by way of protection of those trees from theft or illicit felling or grazing or fire.