The working group on

Government of India Planning Commission

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Government of India

Planning Commission

New Delhi








Chapter 1: Introduction


Chapter 2: Existing Institutional Set up


Chapter 3: Salient achievements of X Plan


Chapter 4: Emerging Challenges and Vision for future


Chapter 5: Strategies and Approach for the XI Plan


Chapter 6: Thrust Areas for XI Plan


Chapter 7: Proposals for XI Plan


Summary of Recommendations



1. List of Working Group Members & Terms of Reference


2: Sub Groups Constitution


3. Abbreviations


Indian Environment and Forests Sector is facing major challenges in the fast changing global and Indian scenario. It requires no less a revolutionary approach than the ‘green’ or ‘white’ revolution. The key environmental challenges that the country faces relate to the nexus of environmental degradation with poverty in many dimensions, and economic growth. Further, The role of forests in poverty alleviation, providing goods and services to the society, ensuring environmental security of the country and promoting carbon sequestration has assumed much greater importance than ever before. There are a number of other important ecosystems lying outside the traditional boundaries of the forests which require direct or indirect interventions of foresters in association with other stakeholders. The Research and Development (R&D) strategy has to take into account conservation and sustainable management of forests and forest production possibilities outside forests. We need a Common Research and Development Agenda.

Also, the level of expectations from the forestry profession has gone up. The foresters, scientists, researchers and educationists are required to play multifarious roles to deal with a variety of externalities besides coping up with the traditional forestry and emerging sustainable forestry demands. These roles demand high degree of expertise and competence in various fields requiring up-gradation of technical skills and development of professional capabilities in dealing with social, environmental, economic and developmental issues. All stakeholders need to get involved. The State and Central Research Institutions and Agricultural Universities have to work hand in hand to achieve national goals.

The Planning Commission (Environment and Forests Unit), vide its letter No. M-13033/1/2006-E&F dated 21 August 2006, constituted a Working Group on Research, Education, Training, Capacity Building and Information Management for the Environment and Forests Sector for the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-2012), under the Chairmanship of the Secretary, MoEF.

Keeping in view the enormity of the exercise and diversity of issues involved, four Sub Groups were created to deal with a specific themes. Sub Groups held meetings for deliberating upon the various issues pertaining to this topic. In between and later informal discussions through email amongst the members of the sub groups were also held particularly for those members who could not attend all the meetings due to their preoccupations.

The Chairman wishes to place on record his appreciation and thanks to all the members of the Working Groups and Sub Groups and for freely providing his time and actively participating in the deliberations.

(Jagdish Kiswan)

Director General, ICFRE


Member Secretary, Working Group

The Planning Commission, Government of India resolved to set up a Working Group on Research , Education, Training & Capacity Building and Information Management for the Environment and Forests Sector for the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007 - 2012) ,under the Chairmanship of the Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests GOI. The Terms of Reference (TOR) of the working groups ranged from making a critical review of achievements in the field of Environmental and Forestry related Research and Education during the X Five Year Plan to recommending strategy and approaches on research education, extension, training and capacity building and information management; critically examining the role of research institutes in the environment and forest sector and suggesting measures for effective coordination between the scientific ministries of the Govt. of India dealing with Environmental and Forestry related activities. The TOR further called for recommending on guiding principles for research priorities based on the global commitments or conservation and national needs and establishment of data and information base for understanding assessment planning and monitoring.

Considering the enormity of the task involved, four Sub Groups on (i) Environmental Research, Education and Extension; (ii) Forestry Research, Education and Extension; (iii) Training and Capacity Building; and (iv) Information Management were constituted by the chairman to deliberate on the issues and develop documents. The sub groups were to go into the ramification of the Terms of Reference. This document is the outcome of detailed discussions and the conclusions derived by these four sub groups.

The document spreads over seven chapters. The state of Environment and Forests in India during the last five decades along with the global challenges being faced currently have been dealt in the Introduction.

The vision, objectives mandate and activities of the major institutes under Govt. of India like, ICFRE, IGNFA, DFE ,FSI, IPIRTI and IIFM are dealt at length under chapter 2 . Universities and other institutes have also been dealt in this chapter. Review of the salient achievements by various institutes and organizations during the X Five-Year Plan have been elaborated in the third chapter. Chapter four deals with the major challenges and vision for future. Broad areas of research forestry extension and environmental research and education have been discussed in detail in chapter five under strategies and approach. The major thrust areas like agroforestry, watershed management, forest, fire, biodiversity conservation impact of diseases, medicinal and NWFP, forest products and industries and technologies for transfer have been identified under chapter six.

Chapter seven contains recommendations and proposals of the Working Group with analytical justification of the same and highlighting the prioritized Action Plan for the XI Five Year Plan. Also major research programmes under which environment related research could be supported have been mentioned in this chapter.

Lastly, to meet the targets, budgets for Environment and Forest Research, Education ,Extension, Training & Capacity Building and Information Management have been worked out and an abstract of the total outlay given. A total outlay of Rs.70,319.43 lakhs has been proposed for the XI Five Year Plan .

Chapter 1


A diverse developing society such as ours provides numerous challenges in the economic, social, political, cultural, and environmental arenas. All of these coalesce in the dominant imperative of alleviation of mass poverty, reckoned in the multiple dimensions of livelihood security, health care, education, empowerment of the disadvantaged, and elimination of gender disparities. Across the political spectrum of the country there has been recognition of the vital role natural resources play in providing livelihoods, and securing life-support ecological services. Sustainable development concerns in the sense of enhancement of human well-being, broadly conceived, are a recurring theme in India's development philosophy. The present day consensus reflects three foundational aspirations. For this to occur there is a need for balance and harmony between economic, social and environmental needs of the country. India also plays an important role in several significant international initiatives concerned with the environment. It is a party to the key multilateral agreements, and recognizes the interdependencies among, and trans-boundary character of, several environmental problems.” – Excerpts for The National Environment Policy 2006 (NEP).

1.1 During the last five to six decades it has been increasingly observed that the life-supporting potentials of our planet Earth has been eroding rapidly and may ultimately threaten the very existence of Biosphere. The root cause for depleting life supporting potentials of the earth is the environmental degradation through anthropogenically-mediate activities. The ozone depletion, climate change, desertification, tropical deforestation, species extinction, and pollution of water, soil and air are some of the environmental issues of global concern.

1.2 The Tenth Plan had recognized that environmental sustainability “is not an option but an imperative”. Clean air, pure water, conservation of forests and wild life and generation of greenery are the essentials for a healthy environment. Prevention of degradation of land, controlling floods and droughts, preventing desertification, conservation of fragile eco-system, prevention of deforestation, conserving bio-diversity and mitigating water and air pollution all present challenges for planners and policy makers.

1.3 The concept of sustainable development has emerged as a prescription for human survival and at the same time ensures long-term maintenance of ecosystem health. One of the priority requirements for achieving sustainable development is to create sustainable human societies. Environmental education and research are critical not only for the establishment of sustainable human societies but also to develop technologies, skills and expertise, which translate into tailor-made solutions to environmental problems.

1.4 Sustainable management of forests means the management and use of forests and forest lands in a way that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions at local, national and global levels that does not cause damages to other ecosystems. A number of initiatives at the international level have been taken to determine criteria and indicators of sustainable management at regional, national and local levels. In India, too therefore, the tenth five-year plan must envisage funding research efforts in those areas, which are vitally linked with the well being and continued utility of the forests.

1.5 Education for a sustainable future should aim at: (i) conserving the earth’s vitality and diversity, (ii) minimizing the depletion of non-renewable resources, (iii) improving the quality of human life, (iv) respect and care for the community of living world, (v) changing personal attitudes and practices, and (vi) enabling communities to care for their own environments. Forest education and research are components of environmental education and research. The environmental sector with forestry as one of its sub-sectors has also linkages with the agriculture, fisheries and health sectors. Consequently, educational and research programmes particularly at higher level must integrate all these different sectors.

1.6 From being an exclusivist profession, primarily charged with forest management for timber production, forestry today has expanded to encompass a wide range of roles varying from traditional forest protection & production to comprehensive bio-diversity conservation and sustainable use to eco-tourism promotion and so forth. In these new or expanded roles stakeholder participation has to become the presiding leitmotif of sustainable forest management. While societal expectations from the present day forester to fulfill these changing roles is increasing, more often than not the forest manager is left to his / her own devices to cope with the emerging challenges.

1.7 We are today living in the age of technology. The internet provides a global path way for information exchange, and literally any information is available at the click of a button. Yet, for many of us, the computer still remains more of a decoration piece and a status symbol. We have yet not made adequate and effective use of the entire capabilities of computers and have not totally capitalized on the IT revolution. It would not be wrong to state that forestry, for the most part, still relies upon age old dependence on manual procedures and the human resource available. Forest inventory, growth and yield statistics, forest extent, species diversity and the like continue to be documented manually, as a result of which the activities are not just effort and time consuming but also subject to human error. Use of available and developing technology can help to a large extent in rapid assessment of forest resources as well as generating and updating the information and data that is the very basis for good planning. Geographic Information System (GIS) is an effective technology for storage, analysis and retrieval of spatial, temporal and tabular data for natural resources, yet a lot needs to be done by the State Forest Departments (SFD) in this area.

1.8 In the recent past environment and forestry research has been mainly focusing on the basic disciplines and these studies have led to the scientific advancement in the field. Though all these studies have immense relevance to the furthering the development of environment and forestry science in the country, however, in the changing scenario today the focus has to be shifted to research which could bring quick changes and improve the economy of the rural people leading to employment generation, poverty alleviation, etc.

1.9 The purpose of carrying out research today should be to generate benefit for the people by the application of new knowledge generated so far in the field of natural resource management. There is a need for user friendly and problem solving thrust in the field of research, education and extension. Research should be given due recognition and suitably placed at higher priorities to meet the new challenges . Research also needs adequate funding and possibility should be explored to involve the corporate and industrial houses in financing the research projects. While formulating the research projects research objective should be linked with the priorities of the nation such as poverty reduction, conservation and sustainable development and use of bio-resources.

1.10 Keeping in view the paucity of personnel in environment and forestry research and increasing the responsibility for managing large number of user groups institutional capacity with respect to trained man-power needs to be provided to cater to the needs. More thoughts are be given to a number of issues particularly in strengthening the structure of the organization, induction of new skills through organizing training of the existing staff at recognized national and international laboratories. Organizing orientation programme for scientists through visit to various national and international institutes in their respective field either through exchange programme or through fellow-ship in order to facilitate exchange of ideas and keeping them abreast with latest scientific and technology developments.

1.11 Adequate attention to transfer the technology from laboratory to the field has not been made in the recent past. Research extension linkages in terms of sharing of information and technology transfer is very weak. Research results are not transferred to the gross root level. One of the root causes of such a situation could be that research in most of the research institutions are conducted in isolation and development partners/stake holders were neither consulted nor made mandatory for implementing new technologies.

1.12 Today, more than ever before there is a need for partnership between research and educational institution, market/business entrepreneurs, financing bodies and policy makers, etc. Developing industries – institutional partner, have been found an effective tool in almost all developed countries in achieving the objectives and success for industries.

1.13 Forest Conservation Programme cannot succeed without the willing support and cooperation of the people. It is essential, therefore, to inculcate in the people, a direct interest in forests, their development and conservation, and to make them conscious of the value of trees, wildlife and nature in general. This can be achieved through the involvement of educational institutions, right from the primary stage. Farmers and interested people should be provided opportunities through institutions like Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Trainers Training Centers to learn agri-silvicultural and silvicultural techniques to ensure optimum use of their land and water resources. Short term extension courses and lectures should be organized in order to educate farmers. For this purpose, it is essential that suitable programmes are propagated through mass media, audio-visual aids and extension machinery.

1.14 ‘Habitat and Learning’ is the theme of a focus group set up as part of the National Curriculum Review process. Habitat is where any specie finds conditions that permit it to thrive. Learning is a vital faculty of all animal species. First and foremost, animals learn about the features of their own habitat, picking up clues as to where they may expect to find food, where they may expect to encounter enemies, and where they may expect to meet social companions. For our ancestors, knowledge thus began with the exploration of their habitat. In that sense, this focus group may be said to be at the centre stage of education, an enterprise dealing with knowledge.

1.15 The Ministry of Environment and Forests, is classified as a ‘Scientific Ministry’ under the Government of India. Since its inception in 1985, the Ministry has funded research by diverse research institutions in several disciplines concerned with environmental protection. Some indicative areas include: forest conservation, wildlife protection, biodiversity inventories, R&D in environmental management technologies, climate change, public health impacts of environmental degradation, etc. The existing guidelines set forth the objectives of research support, the thrust areas for research support, procedures for inviting / receipt and processing proposals for funding support, norms for funding, conditions of support and dissemination or research findings.
Chapter 2


A. National Level Forestry Institution

2.1 Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE)

The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. The Council is apex body in the national forestry research system to develop holistic forestry research through planning, promoting, conducting and coordinating research, education and extension on all aspects of forestry. ICFRE ensures scientific management of forests, tree improvement, forest productivity through scientific and biotechnological research, bioremediation of degraded land, efficient utilization of forest produce, value addition, conservation of biodiversity, effective agro forestry models for various agro ecological zones, policy research, environmental impact assessment and integrated pest and disease management. ICFRE mission is to carry out research of forests, forestry and forest products at national level, and disseminate the results of this research to all concerned parties, including State Forest Departments, forest based industries, traders, farmers, and other user groups. ICFRE carries out research under various research programmes and eight-research institutes co-ordinate ICFRE in different parts of the country.

ICFRE has eight Regional research institutes and three research centers in different bio-geographical regions of the country to cater to the forestry research needs of the nation.

(i) Forest Research Institute, Dehradun

(Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh and Delhi)
(ii) Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla

(Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir)

(iii) Tropical Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur

(Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Maharashtra)

(iv) Institute of Wood Science and Technology, Bangalore

(Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Daman & Diu)

(v) Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Coimbatore

(Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Pondicherry, Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands)

(vi Arid Forest Research Institute, Jodhpur

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