National Forest Policy Current Affairs - 2020

India’s forest-Certification Scheme gets Global Recognition

The council of Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has decided to recognised forest-certification scheme developed specifically for Indian forests by Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), an Indian non-profit.

The Certification Standard for Sustainable Forest Management developed by NCCF is the first forest-certification scheme from India to get global recognition.

Certification Standard for Sustainable Forest Management

Certification Standard for Sustainable Forest Management was developed through a multi-stakeholder Standard Development Group (SDG) which involved professional foresters,  forestry research and academic institutions of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (ICFRE and IIFM), business groups, forest-based industries, NGOs (social and environment related), workers and trade unions, and many more.

The Standards evolved were India specific and was based on key elements of existing models in India such as the Bhopal India Process of the IIFM, the National Working Plan Code and the provisions contained in the National Forest Policy for the promotion of afforestation, sustainable utilization of forest products and growth of the forest-based industries.

NCCF is a non-profit organisation came into existence in January 2015 as a Society to have a globally aligned certification program developed within India and address the concerns for sustainable management of forests and the plantations, while at the same time making the Indian wood and forest fibre based industry competent globally.

Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification

Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is the world’s largest forest certification system which seeks to transform the way forests are managed globally and locally to ensure that all of us can enjoy the environmental, social and economic benefits that forests offer.

Indian Forest Service to be renamed as Indian Forest and Tribal Service

The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has initiated an inter-ministerial consultation note to rename the Indian Forest Service as Indian Forest and Tribal Service. The consultation note also contains the proposal to train the cadre to be more receptive towards tribals and forest dwellers.

Why the proposal has been made?

The proposal has been made according to the recommendations made by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in its annual report. The NCST had made the following observations in this regard:

  • The NCST highlights the close ties between tribals, the forest and forest ecosystem as a resource-base.
  • NCST recommends the renaming of the Indian Forest Service into Indian Forest and Tribal Service in recognition of the close ties between tribals, the forest and forest ecosystem.
  • NCST argues that merging forest and tribal welfare administrations will further the participation of ‘tribals’ in forest management.
  • The NCST states that renaming will also engender greater sensitivity on the forest department’s part towards the needs of ‘tribal’ communities.

Indian Forest Service

The erstwhile Imperial Forest Service was constituted in 1867 recognising the need to have a premier forest service to manage the varied natural resources of the vast country like India and to organize the affairs of the Imperial Forest Department.

After the subject of Forestry was moved to the “Provincial List” by the Government of India Act, 1935, the recruitment to the Imperial Forest Service was discontinued.

In the year 1966, the government of India constituted Indian Forest Service as one of the three All India Services under the All India Services Act, 1951.

The Indian forest service was provided with the mandate of the implementation of the National Forest Policy which envisages scientific management of forests and to exploit them on a sustained basis for primary timber products, among other things.