Keywords: joint forest management, Andhra Pradesh, species diversity, biomass, community forestry, India, sustainable development, environment, ecology, stem density, biodiversity, basal areas, tree density, species richness, forest regeneration
Reviving the degraded forests of Andhra Pradesh, India: an effort through joint forest management
Joint forest management in Andhra Pradesh was initiated to restore degraded forests and support livelihoods of forests dependents. Vegetation development in 20 JFM villages was assessed. Stem density ranged up to 321 trees/ha. Number of cut stems/ha varied from 49–92 indicating tree removals. Tree species were over 50 in Ghats, 40 in sub plains and 30 in plains indicating biodiversity improvement. Size-class distribution of trees indicates that regeneration is substantially high with more than 60% trees in <30 cm GBH category. Basal area and biomass have been increasing in JFM forests. Biomass studies in 15 VSS over a six-year period indicated a growth rate of 2 tons/ha/annum.