Introduction : –
- The Forest Protection Division of the Ministry supports the efforts of State/Union Territory Governments for protection of forests and prevention and control of forest fire by providing financial assistance and guidelines.
- It also assists State/UTs in dealing with various issues related to illegal felling of trees, deforestation, encroachment of forest land, left wing extremism in forest areas, disaster management relating to forest fire, and application of space technology for forest fire management.
Following work is being dealt in the Forest Protection Division :
Scheme: Centrally Sponsored Scheme: Forest Fire Prevention & Management (as restructured from Intensification of Forest Management Scheme).
The Ministry supports the efforts of State/Union Territory Governments in prevention and control of forest fire by providing financial assistance for various forest fire prevention and management measures.
(i). Objectives of the scheme
A. Long Term Objectives:
- To minimize forest fire incidences and assist in restoring productivity of forests in affected areas
- To institutionalize the partnership with forest fringe communities for forest protection
- To contribute to the larger goal of maintaining environmental stability
- To prepare fire danger rating system and devise forest fire forecasting system.
- To encourage the states/UTs for optimal use of modern technology (such as Remote Sensing, GPS and GIS) in planning, developing and operationalizing Fire prevention and management system
- To develop knowledge on impacts and dynamics of forest fire
B. Short Term Objectives:
- To carry out effective awareness campaign for prevention of forest fire
- To effectively prevent and control forest fires by improving the traditional practices and employing available modern methods
- To impart suitable training to the field staff and forest fringe communities on fire fighting with help of prescribed means and methods in the forest areas
- To encourage community participation in prevention and control of forest fire
- To develop and strengthen Forestry Infrastructure of the States and UTs that are required for effective prevention and management of Forest fire
(ii). Implementing Agencies
The scheme has two heads of expenditure. The funds under the Central Sector head of the scheme will be utilized by the Forest Protection Division of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The Ministry may also involve the Central Institutions like Forest Survey of India, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education Dehradun, Indian Institute of Forest Management Bhopal, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting and others, wherever necessary, for achieving the scheme objectives.
The State Component of the scheme will be implemented by the Forest Departments of the concerned State Governments and UTs.
(iii). Pattern of Funding:
This is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. The funding pattern with respect to the different category of states/UTs is as below:
|Category of States/UTs||Central Share||State share|
|NE states, Special category states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand||90%||10%|
|Rest of the states||60%||40%|
(iv). Items of Funding
For achieving the objectives under the four aspects of an effective Forest fire management framework, i.e. prevention, preparedness, suppression and post-fire restoration, the activities that can be assisted under the two budget heads of the scheme are:-
- Central Sector
- Preparation of forest fire danger rating system and forest fire forecasting system in collaboration with ‘National Centre for medium Range Weather Forecasting’ of Department of Science and Technology, Indian Institute of’ forest Management, Bhopal, Forest Survey of India, Dehradun and Indian Council for Forest Research and Education, Dehradun.
- Compilation of data-base and analysis of statistics on fire damage.
- Evaluation Studies on the impact of the scheme
- Travelling expenditure including expenses for Study visits of officials to countries having exemplary experiences in Forest fire management
- Office expenditure etc. of the staff associated with the Forest protection Division.
- Any other item of expenditure considered essential from time to time with the approval of Screening committee.
(ii) State Sector
- Creation of fire line and maintenance of existing fire lines
- Controlled burning,
- Creation of infrastructure (communication system, development of Management Information System, watch towers, water storage structures, control rooms at Division & Range level, FG barracks and inspection huts etc)
- Procurement of fire fighting equipments
- Procurement of field vehicles for transportation of resources
- Soil & Moisture Conservation (SMC) work in High risk areas
- Engagement of fire watchers
- Awareness campaign
- Pre-fire season workshops for coordination among line departments, elected bodies and NGOs
- Training and capacity building on fire fighting methods for Frontline staff, students, youths and village communities
- Incentivising Villages/Communities for protection against forest fire, under the participatory forest management approach
- Imprest money with the Head of the Forest Department of each state/UT or the designated officer for emergency situations. 5% of the sanctioned amount shall be earmarked for this purpose.
2. National Action Plan on Forest Fire: –
In pursuance to the recommendation of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology and Environment & Forests in its 293rd report and the directions of Hon’ble National Green Tribunal (NGT), New Delhi in the Original Application No. 216 of 2016 in the matter of Rajiv Dutta vs Union of India and others, this Ministry has formulated the National Action Plan on Forest Fire taking inputs from the recommendations of the study on Situation Analysis of Forest Fire in India conducted by this Ministry in collaboration with the World Bank and consultations with major stakeholders such as the State Forest Departments, National Disaster Management Authority etc.
The approved National Action Plan on Forest Fire has been circulated to all State/UT Governments for taking appropriate action for effective prevention and management of forest fire.
- ENCROACHMENT ON FOREST LAND: –
Protection and Management of Forests is primarily the responsibility of the concerned State/UT Government and hence the action to remove encroachment is taken as per the provisions of various acts such as Indian Forest Act, 1927; Wildlife Protection Act, 1972; Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and various rules and regulations thereof. In addition to the above, the State/UT Governments take various steps for protection of the forest areas which include patrolling, strengthening of the check posts/barriers and involvement of Joint Forest Management Committees in preventing encroachment on forest land.
4. Forest Fire alert: – Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun, disseminates forest fire alerts by using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro- Radiometer (MODIS) sensor aboard Aqua and Terra satellites on a near-real time basis to the State Forest Departments and other registered users in the States through SMS and Email.
5. DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLAN ON FOREST FIRE: – The objective of Disaster Management Plan on Forest Fire (DMPFF) is to define the actions and roles necessary to prepare for and respond to any disaster situation arising out of forest fire in a coordinated manner. This plan is intended to provide guidance to all relevant agencies within and outside the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.