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JOINT FOREST MANAGEMENT(JFM)

The National Forest Policy, 1988 envisages people’s participation and involvement in the development and protection of forests. The requirements of fuelwood, fodder and small timber such as house building material, of the tribals and villagers living near and in forests, are to be treated as first charge on the forest produce. The policy documents envisages it as one of the essentials of forest management that forest communities should be motivated to identify themselves with the development and protection of forests from which they derive benefits.

                        Nagaland has only 11.7 % of Forests under the Government and the remaining 88.3 % of the Forests belong to Non-government Communities of the villages. The Government has no proprietary right over Forest produces from these non-government forests. Government only regulates transport of the forest produce. However, the people co-operate with the Government in sharing the income from the forests by paying forest taxes to the Government. This co-operation has been going on from the very beginning of the inception of the state. It became necessary to put down this co-operation between Government and villagers into black and white so that forest regeneration; protection and exploitation may be executed in principle of sound forestry management. In order to achieve this, the Government of Nagaland has made a resolution vide their notification No. FOR-153 / 80 (VOL. II) Dated 5th March 1997 .

The objectives of JFM are

1.To elicit active participation of villagers in (a) creation (b) management and (c) protection of plantations;

2.To achieve ecological needs consonant with sustainable productivity of wood and other non-timber forest resources ;

3. To wean away the land owning communities from shifting cultivation by adopting an alternative i. e. Tree Farming ;

4.To productively utilise the degraded jhumland thereby checking soil erosion;

5.To conserve Biodiversity through people’s action ;

6.To create and generate forest –based economy for the villagers                

 As per JFM resolution, community forest committees have been formed in Kohima (8), Mokokchung (33), Tuensang (30), Wokha (34), Doyang (9), Zunheboto (37), Mon (19) , Peren (12) ,  forest divisions and formation of more  No.  of community forest committees is in progress in different forest divisions. Trainings  have been provided to officials from Forest/Agriculture//Horticulture Departments/ Village Development Boards/NEPED on various aspects of JFM such that theoretical background and methods for micro plan through Participatory Rural Appraisal and various issues related to JFM such as gender and equity, conflict resolution etc.by involving Regional Center, NAEB, MOEF, Govt. of India, Shillong and other eminent resource persons.

The land holding system in the state is very different from rest of the country. The people of the state have co-operated forest department for plantation on their land since inception of the state. People’s participation to JFM is highly encouraging and they are very enthusiastic for implementation of JFM for development and management of forests surrounding their villages. The limiting factor is financial constraint, as very little money is allotted by the state Govt. for afforestation schemes. The flow of fund made available by the Central Govt. to FDA (Forest Development Agency) for forestry schemes on the pattern of fund made available to DRDA (District Rural Development Agency) for rural development schemes will certainly facilitate afforestation in the State.

                      The Govt of Nagaland has constituted a State level Committee for coordination, guidance and supervisory control of the District/Division Forest Development Agency, which has been constituted by the Government of Nagaland in every District/Division of the state vide their notification No .FOR/ Gen-10 / 99 / II Dated 17th Sept. 99 to implement forestry schemes in consonance of sound principles of JFM under the Department of Forest, Ecology, Environment and Wildlife, vide their notification No. FOR/ GEN-10 / 99 / I Dated 17th Sept. 99.  Forest Development Agencies have been registered and detailed project report has been submitted to the Govt for sanction and release of  fund under‘‘SAMANVIT GRAM VANIKARAN SAMIRDDHI YOJANA’’ (INTEGRATED VILLAGE AFFORESTATION AND ECO DEVELOPMENT SCHEME) under different FDAs  with the following objectives;

1.      To control removal of forest produce  from forests by making the community responsible for monitoring removals from the forests;

2.      To provide sustainable and assured employment opportunities to the tribals in such areas

3.      Creation of durable assets for tribal population which contribute over all Eco development in the area;

4.      To make local people for participation in implementation of scheme;

5.      To  make self income generating schemes for villagers to stop cutting of forests by them;

6.      To check environmental degradation and soil erosion; and

7.      To increase area under forest cover and to conserve Bio- diversity.

  IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES

The scheme is to be implemented through by Forest Development Agencies. The territorial circles/divisions in the state are as follows:

1.      Northern Territorial Circle: It consists of  Mon, Tuensang, Mokokchung and Zunheboto territorial forest divisions.

2.      Southern Territorial Circle: It consists  Kohima, Peren, Wokha, Doyang and Phek territorial  divisions.