Forest and Wildlife Department,

Government of Uttar Pradesh, India

Overview

During World War II,excessive felling occurred over almost all sal forests and some of the coniferous forests. In 1945 a separate circle to tackle afforestation methods in the Gangetic plains was created. After the attainment of Independence in 1947, Uttar Pradesh Forest and Wildlife Department enlarged its activities; forests of Tehri, Rampur and Banaras were taken over in 1949 With the abolition of Zamindari in 1952, about 9,065 sq km (3,500 square miles) of forests were transferred to the Forest and Wildlife Department.

In 1948, Uttar Pradesh Private Forests Act was enacted to prevent the gradual destruction of forests by proprietors. The third Five Year Plan (1961-66) laid special emphasis on measures to meet the long term requirements of the country and to ensure more economic and efficient utilization of the valuable forest products. A new centrally sponsored scheme ‘Plantation of Quick Growing Species’ was introduced in U.P. under which large scale mechanised plantation programme was launched. In U.P.most of the fertile land with inferior forests was clear felled and planted with valuable and fast growing tree species.

The National Commission on Agriculture 1976 report stressed the socioeconomic importance of social forestry in the rural community as well as in the management of forest resources. As a result Social Forestry Project was launched with the World Bank assistance in the year 1979, which continued till 1992. Large scale expansion of the department was carried out to implement the project in forest deficit districts. As a result reorganization of the department was done from time to time.

For the future development of the forestry sector in UP the State government sought World Bank assistance. World Bank assisted UP Forestry Project was launched in the year 1998. The strategy involves substantial change in the way the sector is managed and the introduction of innovative new programs for participatory management of forests. This is designed to allow UP Forest and Wildlife Department to develop the new processes systems and skills required for the implementation of new Government of UP strategy and to provide for necessary investment in the sector.

After the hill districts were constituted into a separate State of Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh now largely consist of fertile Gangetic plains in the Northern part of the country. The major rivers flowing through the State are the Ganga, the Yamuna, the Ramganga, the Gomti and the Ghaghra. It has a geographic area of 240928 square km that is 7.3% of the country's geographic area. With human population of 199.81 million, it is the most populous state of the country having 16.51% of the country's population. The population is 77.73% rural and 22.27% urban. The average population density is 829 persons per square km. Tribal population is negligible. As mandated by the National Forest Policy 1988 and reaffirmed by the State Forest Policy 1998 a minimum of 33% of the total geographical area under forest/tree cover has been determined desirable. Accordingly the latest State of Forest Report 2013 prepared by Forest Survey of India interprets Uttar Pradesh to have 5.96% of State's geographic area under forest cover and 2.86% of State's geographic area under tree cover. Thus a total of 8.82% of the state's geographic area is under forest/tree cover.