Forests are a critical part of our ecosystem. Living organisms are heavily dependent on forests as they provide shelter, food, and many other things. Therefore, it is our primary duty to converse forests around the world. Despite awareness and educational programs, humans continue to cut down forests at an alarming rate in development and progression. Humans' selfish and greedy nature has depleted the earth's forest reserves.
To stop continuous deforestation, the Government of India implemented the Forest Conservation Act 1980. The first legal draft on the same matter was released as Indian Forest Act, 1875. Later the Indian Forest Act 1927 replaced the prior Act. The 1927 Act wasn't the most suitable as it was formulated, keeping them in mind to safeguard the interests of the British.
Objectives of Forest Conservation Act 1980
Below given are all the objectives of the Forest Conservation Act 1980.
- To protect the forest's flora, fauna, and other ecological components.
- To safeguard the integrity, individuality, and territory of the forests.
- To replenish forests by planting more trees and encouraging the growth of forests in our country.
- To prevent the conversion of forest reserves into grazing lands, space for building residential units, agricultural lands, etc.
- To stop the decline of forest biodiversity.
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Features of Forest Conservation Act 1980
Here are some salient features of the Forest Conservation Act 1980
- The Act restricts and regulates the power of the State Government and other authoritative organizations from making decisions on some issues without taking permission from the Central Government first.
- An advisory committee may be formed to aid the Central Government and advise them on matters related to forest preservation.
- The Central Government holds the absolute power to carry out any laws formulated under this Act.
- The Act states that anybody found violating the provisions of this Act is liable for paying penalties.
Need for Amendment- Forest Conservation Act 1980
There are three reasons why the MoEFCC or Union Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change proposed amendments to the Forest Conservation Act 1980. They are-
Identifying forests on private land is arbitrary and subjective to a certain extent. It created resistance from private organizations and individuals as their rights to use the land freely were restricted.
- Changes in Economic and Ecological Needs
There has been a significant change in social, environmental, and ecological regimes in the country. Therefore, it has become necessary to amend the Act to boost the forest conversation in the country.
- Attaining India's Climate Target
It is advised to amend the Act to achieve the goals of NDC or Nationally Determined Contribution in all available lands.
The Forest Conservation Act 1980 has considerably helped in reducing deforestation in the country. It has encouraged the growth of forests in the country and maintained the biodiversity of the forests.
FAQs on Forest Conservation Act 1980
Q1. When did the Forest Conservation Act 1980 come into force?
Ans. The Forest Conservation Act was enforced on October 25th, 1980.
Q2. Name two crucial cases related to the Forest Conservation Act 1980.
Ans. The Two crucial cases related to the Forest Conservation Act 1980 are
- State of MP v. Krishnadas Tikaram (1994)
- Tarun Bharat Singh v. Union of India (1993)
Q3. With regards to the Forest Conservation Act 1980, what is the percentage of total forest and tree cover in India?
Ans. With regards to the Forest Conservation Act 1980, According to the 2019 report, the total forest and tree cover is 24.56%
Q4. Name the classifications of forests under the Forest Conservation Act 1980.
Ans. The Act classifies forests under the Forest Conservation Act 1980 into three categories.
- Reserved forests
- Protected forests
- Village forests