Home Articles National Forest Policy 1998

National Forest Policy 1998


  • Maintenance of environmental stability through preservation and, where necessary, restoration of the ecological balance that has been adversely disturbed by serious depletion of the forests of the country.
  • Conserving the natural heritage of the country by preserving the remaining natural forests with the vast variety of flora and fauna, which represent the remarkable biological diversity and genetic resources of the country.
  • Checking soil erosion and denudation in the catchment areas of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs in the interest of the soil and water conservation, for mitigating floods and droughts and for the retardation of siltation of reservoirs.
  • Checking the extension of sand dunes in the desert areas of Rajasthan and along the coastal tracts.
  • Increasing substantially the forest/tree cover in the country through massive afforestation and social forestry programmes, especially on all denuded degraded and unproductive lands.
  • Meeting the requirements of fuelwood, fodder, minor forest produce and small timber of the tribal populations.
  • Increasing the productivity of forests to meet essential national needs.
  • Encouraging efficient utilisation of forest produce.



  • Boost scientific forestry research, by strengthening research base and decide research priorities in the attainment of the policy goals.
  • Increase forest productivity for higher yields of wood and other forest produce per unit area per unit time through application of modern scientific tools and technology.
  • Develop a practicable technology to revegetate barren/marginal/waste/ mined lands and rehabilitate watersheds.
  • Effectively conserve and manage existing forest resources (mainly natural forest eco-systems).
  • Develop social forestry models compatible with the land capabilities and resource needs of users, willingly adopted by rural/tribal folks as a contributor to their economy.
  • Provide substitutes for wood and wood products.


  • Provide recognition to forestry both as a scientific discipline and as a professional.
  • Formulate a meaningful curriculum and training model for forestry education at the Universities and other institutions to ensure professional competence and meaningful research endeavours for solution to existing problems.


  • Encourage farmers to adopt silviculture alongside agriculture in various forms to provide for their daily needs and ensure self-sufficiency in forest goods/services on a sustained basis.
  • Bring home to farmers through short-term extension courses and demonstration plots the need for trees and their integration as a component of farming systems.
  • Use mass media, audio-visual in extending forestry practices and the message on the need for forests.