Keywords: Midnapore, India, community forestry, sal forest, joint forest management, forest cover, tree density, basal area, productivity, biomass, sustainable development, environment, ecology
Evaluation of regeneration of Shorea robusta forests under joint forest management in West Bengal, India
West Midnapore, West Bengal, is one of the pioneering localities for joint forest management experiments in India, imparting a momentum to such a large programme on community forestry. Thus, a review and understanding of the success and failures would help a long way in finetuning an already developed programme, particularly from the ecological point of view. Midnapore division has indicated that, by and large, the programme is set to enhance the forest cover, tree density, basal area and productivity. Tree densities have increased tremendously in the JFM protected forests, primarily due to coppicing Shorea robusta that dominates the forest. Slight protection would enhance the tree density. Shorea, being a fast growing species, subsequently enhances basal area and biomass. More importantly, the enhancement of shrub woody biomass, which was hitherto not assessed, has met a lot of biomass needs of the community, aiding the success of JFM.