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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

Shri Dipak Sarmah, a retired Indian Forest Service (1977) officer, started his career in the Western Ghats, serving in the region for more than a decade. He was primarily responsible for the protection and development of forests, for which he was awarded the Karnataka Rajyotsava award  during November 1980. He was part of a team that worked on an innovative program in Uttara Kannada district for the rehabilitation of degraded forests through rigid protection and planting of indigenous species, including bamboo. The district won the Indira Priyadarshini Vriksha Mitra award (1989) for exemplary afforestation work. 

Over his illustrious career, Shri Sarmah served in many positions in the Government of India as well as Karnataka for forest and wildlife conservation and development. Post-retirement, he has assisted the Forest Department in the preparation of many important documents that help the department function efficiently. 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. Shri Sarmah is the author of two books, namely, Forestry in Karnataka - A Journey of 150 Years and Status of Forests of Karnataka.

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.

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