Centre for Biodiversity Conservation & Management , India
*Corresponding author: GCS Negi, GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development, Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, Uttarakhand, India
Submission: May 18, 2018; Published: July 13, 2018
ISSN 2578-0336Volume3 Issue3
Forest ecosystems play a crucial role in sustaining life on the planet earth. In traditional thinking forests were seen mainly as a source of timber and minor forest products to generate income. However, the first Earth Summit held in 1992 at Rio De Janeiro emphasized the value of forests largely for the environmental benefits. It is encouraging to note that our understanding over the years, has broadened considerably to value and recognize the equally important role of forests as providers of economic, social and cultural benefits. Globally forests are now regarded as the major repository of nature to be conserved and managed for posterity, and not to be regarded solely as an important source of revenue. In the Indian context, forests are a prominent feature of the Indian landscape, covering almost a quarter (23.8%) of the geographical area of the country . These forests are integral to the environment, economy, culture and history of the country. While providing multiple tangible benefits such as timber, fuel-wood, pulp-wood, fodder, fibre, medicines, grasses and other valuable non-wood products, forests also regulate the hydrological cycle, protect aquifers, conserve biodiversity, enhance carbon sequestration as a spin-off effect of forest conservation, and promote ecotourism. The release of Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was an important milestone, highlighting the dependence of humans on ecosystems, and stressed the need to better describe, quantify and value the ecosystem goods and service. Accordingly recent decades have witnessed several advancement and challenges in forestry research and management. This paper highlights the need to bring about a paradigm shift in the traditional thinking and approach in forestry research in respect of the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) and evolve research programmes that are sensitive to stakeholder needs in addition to being forest friendly and in tune with the fast changing global thinking on the subject, especially in Rio+20 scenario.
Keywords: Forestry research; Biodiversity conservation; Priority issues; Indian himalayan region
Abbrevations: IHR: Indian Himalayan Region; CC: Climate Change; FES: Forest Ecosystem Services; SWC: Soil and Water Conservation; REDD: Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation; UNFCC: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change