Forests not only provide wood but they directly control floods, drought, soil erosion etc. Conservation of Forests is of vital importance for India. Environmental scientists have calculated what a mature tree of gives to the environment:
- Releases Oxygen,
- Checks air pollution,
- Control moisture and prevents water pollution,
- Prevents soil erosion and increases soil fertility,
- Provides shelter to birds and nests.
There is great necessity for conserving forests. With the increase in the Indian population, the area under forest in gradually decreasing.
The following steps are important towards conservation of forests are:
1. Celebrating ‘Van Mahotsava’ every year during the rainy season when saplings can be planted,
2. Increasing forest area by afforestation,
3. Planting trees on waste lands or lands lying idle.
4. Stopping the felling of immature trees,
5. While felling a mature tree attention should be give to not damaging any neighboring trees,
6. Regular measures should be taken to protect the forests from disease and forest fire by spraying necessary insecticides and clearing dry leaves and branches.
7. Overgrazing of cattle, goat etc. on pastures cause roots to be uprooted, leaving the soil loose so prone to soil erosion. Therefore, animal-land ratio should be strictly maintained as in the croft-type animal rearing in Scotland,
8. Most importantly, awareness has to be generated in each person regarding the importance of trees and forest. To promote forest conservation, proper utilization and generation, the Indian Govt. has set up the Central Forest Research Institute at Dehradun, Uttaranchal.
In the dry season when the branches and leaves of the trees become very dry, winds blowing through the forest cause these dry twigs or leaves to brush against each other or wave to and fro along with the wind on dry stony surfaces creating a spark which quickly kindles a forest fire. Once the forest fire starts, it begins consuming not only the dry leaves, twigs etc but also the live trees and animals. The intensity and duration of forest fires depend on the shape of the forest, direction of wind and it speed etc. Forest fires may also start because of human negligence, or lightning and other factors. To control forest fires many countries have voluntary organisation.
India has taken number of steps for forest conservation. In India the fire brigade, etc. copes with such calamity which occurs often in summer in the Chotanagpur plateau. Recently, satellites have been used to detect and control forest fires. Often spraying of water, foam etc. from motor vehicles, helicopters, light planes etc. are needed. Conserve Forests to save human beings.