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21st March : World Forest Resources Day

Britain also learnt the art of forest management from Orissa

 Western people claim to be management experts. However, the strategy adopted by the illiterates of Nayagarh district of orissa to manage forest is attracting British students of management as they are learning management techniques from these people of Orissa. Thengapalli's ancient forest management planning is now being added into Andrews Andod Churches Primary School and in the Geography subject of Glaswich. This subject researches on the vivid geo-social knowledge and its applications. This knowledge has scientific basis and it could be proved on the scales of scientific forest management.

The distress on forests of Orissa became a burden on humanity… …locals then decided to take it on themselves to stop the misuse of natural resources. 

Mostly such self motivated forest protection and management plans are critcised and raises debates on their technique and environmental usage. Even then these measures of forest conservation taken by the tribal people of Orissa have succeeded in attracting people all over the world. Nayagarh, Aangul and Dhenknaal are some of successful examples. Villagers are chosen to protect forest's everyday, even though just two people guard the forest's but on finding wood smugglers all villagers attack them collectively. Apart from safeguarding forests villagers have put restrains on themselves so as to prevent deforestation.

More than 12 thousand villagers are involved in forest resources management. 32 years back the villagers of Kesarpur have made plans of reforestation in the Binjhgiri hill range with the slogan of 'love trees' and now it has taken a form of public movement which has active involvement from 65,000 homes across 850 villages. 4000 people could be seen any day protecting forests and 10,000 people using Sal leaves, 8,000 people pick Tendu leaves, 6,500 people pick wood for fuel, 5,000 people work with bamboo, 4,000 people make beedi, 200 people work as forest merchants and 100 people as craftsmen are dependent on these forests for their livelihood. This is the first time post independence that people from Orissa have collaborated in unison which might not bring immediate relief.

Some hard decisions taken in 1970 and villagers sacrifice gave momentum to this movement. Kesarpur and nearby villages were affected with 6 droughts in between 1960-70 and water table further went down with scarce rainfall. People have to bear hot winds which further affected farm lands adversely. Farm produce decreased and small farmers have to get away leaving their farming to remote places. With just 7% literacy the villagers of Kesarpur could not understand the reasons behind the continuous droughts. Retired Professor of Utakl University and resident of Kesarpur Dr. Narayan Hajari told around 1960 deforestation was on its peak in this area under the nose of administration. 

People all over world are amazed at local forest resource management… …truly learning from Orissa's village forest management skill could bring along a change in the worst situation of forests all over the country.

Binjhgiri hill forests range was converted into barrens by 1970 which used to provide for animal fodder to the 13 villages situated in its basin. People started facing scarcity of wood used as fuel and this lead to forest conservation and reforestation needs in Orissa. Many problems are to be faced in this due to lack of proper local soil and forest related administration. In this context many forest dwellers were inspired by this small step from the residents of Nayagarh district. This forest management skill could revive the economy of all 14 districts of the state.

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