The different types of resources like Wood, Timer, bushmeat, medicines etc., provided by forests are termed Forest Resources. A forest is a dense growth of trees and other plants covering a significant amount of land. It is an ecosystem, a community of plants and animals interacting with one another and their environment. Forestry is the science involved in studying, preserving, and managing forests.
Forests are the predominant terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. Only five countries are home to more than 50% of the world’s forests (Brazil, Canada, China, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America). The tropical latitudes have the highest proportion of forests (45%), followed by the boreal, temperate, and subtropical domains.
Forests have a significant impact on the life of the planet. It not only protects diverse biodiversity but also has a positive effect on climate. As a result, forests have a multifaceted value. Forests are essential for various reasons. It has economic, ecological, and cultural significance.
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Types of Forest Resources
Based on the country’s average annual rainfall, India’s forests can be generally divided into five categories:
|S.No.||Types of Forest Resources|
|1.||Tropical Evergreen Forests
|2.||Tropical Deciduous Forests (Monsoon Forests)
Read about: Mangrove Forests in India
Forest Resouces Economic Significance
Forests are the foundation of many industries, including timber, processed wood, paper, rubber, fruits, etc. Forests supply various products and services, including food, fodder, lumber, rubber, latex, resins, waxes, steroids, lubricants, flavourings, dyes, incense, and fibres. Many of these substances may be acquired sustainably, which increases the forest’s long-term resource value.
The economic value of forest biodiversity is enormous. The forest’s diverse flora and fauna are critical to several life-sustaining things, like medications and insecticides. Forests have economic value because they help to stabilize the environment. For example, forests that prevent soil erosion save a potential cost of erosion management.
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Forest Resources Ecological Significance
Forest ecological services are environmental processes that directly benefit humans. Critical ecological services include carbon storage and absorption, watershed preservation, and biodiversity conservation. Plants absorb carbon from the atmosphere and return oxygen to the environment through photosynthesis. As a result, forests reduce and keep carbon out of the atmosphere. This maintains the earth’s suitability for life.
Forests also have a significant impact on hydrological processes. Forests with large water absorption and retention capacity can sometimes convert irregular precipitation into a more consistent water flow from catchment areas. As a result, if forests are nearby, flooding due to extreme weather and rainfall may be reduced.
Forests are essential for biodiversity as a habitat for other species. Forests are home to some of the most biodiversity-rich ecosystems on the planet. They provide habitat for an estimated 90% of threatened and endangered species. For example, Bangladeshi forests are home to approximately 5,700 vascular plant species, including 300 tree species.
Forest Resources Socio-Cultural Significance
Millions of people live in forests worldwide, and many of them rely on forests for survival. Furthermore, many people have strong cultural and spiritual ties to the forests. Many indigenous people understand how to sustain and use forest resources because of their long-standing connection to forests. For example, Sundarbans woodcutters and honey collectors have developed traditional cultural practices for customary resource use. They ensure that young bees are never killed.
Forest Resources Important Facts for UPSC
- The (Seventh Schedule) of the Indian Constitution’s Concurrent List includes forests.
- Forests and the protection of wild animals and birds were moved from the State to the Concurrent List through the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976.
- Every citizen has a fundamental responsibility to preserve and enhance the natural environment, including forests and wildlife, according to Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution.
- The State must work to safeguard the nation’s forests and wildlife as well as the environment, according to Article 48 A of the Directive Principles of State Policy.
- The National Forest Policy, 1988, which has environmental harmony and subsistence at its core, currently governs India’s forests.