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Forestry in Karnataka – a Journey of 150 Years

Author Name: Dipak Sarmah, IFS (Retd.) | Format: Paperback | Genre : Outdoors & Nature | Other Details

The book traces the history of forestry since the middle of the 19th century in the erstwhile territorial units that constitute the present state of Karnataka, in India. It provides glimpses of the forest policy and management of the British Indian government which had laid the foundations of scientific forestry in the Indian subcontinent. A chronological account of the development of national forest policies, plans, and strategies in post-independent India has also been given in the context of their impact on forest management in the states. The book dwells comprehensively on multifarious aspects of forestry including the challenges faced by a forester in a situation of increasing demand and shrinking forest. It highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the forest administration and recommends strategies to protect the remaining natural forest and to increase the tree cover everywhere to effectively confront the specter of environmental catastrophes facing the planet earth. The book has brought out the inseparable and intrinsic relationship of mutual interdependence between forest and water – two of the most important natural resources on which the future of mankind depends, and calls for urgent action. With detailed data, analysis, and inferences derived with an open mind, the book forms a reference document for the present and future foresters. Problems of the forestry sector in the developing world are similar. Although the book focuses on the forestry scenario in Karnataka, lessons learned and strategies recommended for forest conservation are relevant across a larger landscape, with similar challenges and problems.

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Dipak Sarmah, IFS (Retd.)

Shri Dipak Sarmah, a retired Indian Forest Service (1977) officer of the Karnataka cadre, started his career in the Western Ghats, serving in the region for more than a decade. During this period, he was primarily responsible for the protection and development of forests. He was awarded the Karnataka Rajyotsava award (Chief Minister’s Gold Medal) during November 1980 for his distinguished services in forest protection. He was part of a team that had steered an innovative program in Uttara Kannada district for rehabilitation of degraded forests with a focus on rigid protection and planting of indigenous species, including bamboo. The district won the Indira Priyadarshini Vriksha Mitra award (1989) for exemplary afforestation work. Shri Sarmah also served in the Government of India as Deputy Adviser, Planning Commission and as Deputy Inspector General of Forests, Forest Policy, MoEF (1991-1995). Later he served in a number of positions in the Government of Karnataka including Secretary (Forest), PCCF (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden, superannuating in December 2013 as PCCF (Head of Forest Force). Post-retirement, Shri Sarmah has assisted the Forest Department in the preparation of a number of documents such as working plans, evaluation reports, Cadre Review Report, Training Action Plan, etc. He has also assisted the Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute (EMPRI), Bangalore in compiling the State of Environment Report (SoER-2015) as chief editor.

In 2011, Shri Dipak Sarmah was nominated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to the Monitoring Committee to supervise mining operations and sale of ore in Karnataka. He continues to serve as the Chairman of the Committee till date.