Forest Resources Assessment Programme Working Paper 78/e rome



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Definition No standard national definition available 
 
Transformation Not needed 
 
Data and Temporal trends 
 
The seeds from Seed Production Areas (SPAs) are of superior quality as the parent trees due to 
their phenotype superiority. SPAs have been established in different states of India over about 
10,727 ha.  
 
The Seedling Seed (SSO) Orchard are developed with seedlings of phenotypically and/or 
genetically superior trees. About 3,018 hectare of SSOs have been raised and established in 
different states of India.   
 

 
87 (114) 
The Clone Seed Orchard (CSO) have been established over about 1569 ha. different states of 
India through grafts, cuttings, air-layered plants, tissue cultured plantlets or other methods of 
vegetative propagation of  planting material from a plus trees or elite trees.  
 
However, year-wise break down of above achievement is not available to develop temporal trend 
for this variable.  
 
Assessment  
 
The variable is important and lays solid foundation to increase productivity of plantation but 
enough information is not available for assessment. 
 

 
88 (114) 
3.5 Protective 
Functions 
 
This section provides information first on the method and approach chosen to identify and assess 
the complementary national variables and then presents the national data and its assessment 
including the global variable. 
 
3.5.1  Method and Approach 
 
The for identification and assessment of  variables, India through FSI used the “Group 
Convergence Method” (Govil, 2002).  Two workshops were organized one for briefing and 
explaining and second for implementation of  Group Convergence Method to arrive the finalist of 
identified variables. Temporal trends were developed and GCM was used to assess the state and 
change in these variables with respect to sustainability of forest resources. 
 
3.5.2 Relevant Variables 
 
Following national variables in addition to the two global variables (“Protective Forests” and 
“Protective Other wooded lands”) have been identified as complementary national variables that 
are essential to explain the state of  “Protective Function” of Forests in India. 
 
a.
 
Extent of Forests under Watershed “Treatment” 
b.
 
Status of Forest Soil Fertility  
c.
 
Extent of Degraded Forests 
d.
 
Ground Water Table in vicinity of Forest 
e.
 
Extent of Forest in Hilly Region 
f.
 
Extent of Forest in Mangroves 
 
3.5.3 Source Data  
 
Additional Variable  
Source 
Extent of Forests under 
Watershed Treatment 
Report of the Working Group on Watershed Development, Rainfed 
Farming and Natural Resources Management for the Tenth Five Year 
Plan, Government of India, Planning Commission, August 2001. 
 
Black, P. E. 1996. Watershed hydrology, second edition. Ann Arbor 
Press, Chelsea, MI. 
Status of Forest Soil 
Fertility 
No national level information is available 
Extent of Degraded 
forests 
SFR, 1987. State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1989. State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1991. State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 

 
89 (114) 
 
(follows from previous) 
 
SFR, 1993. State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1995. State of Forest Resources 1995. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1997. State of Forest Resources, 1997. Forest Survey of India
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1999. State of Forest Resources, 1999. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 2001. State of Forest Resources, 2001. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
Ground Water Table in 
Vicinity of Forests 
Francis Hilary Raj, Mathur, H. N. and Rajagopala, K (1984).Some 
hydrological investigations on blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) at 
Osamund (Nilgiri).Proc: National Seminar on Eucalyptus,Jan-30-
31,1984, Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi.  
 
Goel, P.K and Singh H.B (1996). Impact of soil conservation measures 
on ground water availability. Indian J.Soil Cons., 24(1). 
 Khepar, 
S.D 
et al. (2001). Impact of soil and water conservation work on 
ground water regime in Kandi Area of Punjab. Jr.Soil and Water 
Conservation , 45(3&4). 
 Mallikarjunappa 
Gouda, D.S.,Maurya, N. L, Belgami, M.I., Chidanand,  
P. Mansur and Kubsad,V.S (1992).Impact of water harvesting structures 
(Nala Band)on ground water recharge.Indian J Soil Cons.,20(3). 
Extent of Forest In Hilly 
Region 
SFR, 1995. State of Forest Resources 1995. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1997. State of Forest Resources, 1997. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1999. State of Forest Resources, 1999. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 2001. State of Forest Resources, 2001. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
Extent of Forest in 
Mangroves 
SFR, 1987. State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1989. State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1991. State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1993. State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1995. State of Forest Resources 1995. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1997. State of Forest Resources, 1997. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 1999. State of Forest Resources, 1999. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
SFR, 2001. State of Forest Resources, 2001. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 

 
90 (114) 
 
3.5.4 Additional Data 
 
This section provides information on each of the identified additional variables. It contains 
relevant definitions, source and source data, temporal trends and its assessment. 
 
3.5.4.1 Extent of Forests under Watershed “Treatment” 
 
 
Treatment of watershed areas helps to maintain its hydrological regime and includes conservation 
and development of forest areas. Treatment spans activities like control measures for soil and 
water erosion and controlled access or disturbances to fragile areas.  The “Extent of Forest under 
such “Treatment” of watersheds is an important variable to monitor protective services of forests.  
 
Definition (No standard definition available) 
 
Term Definition 
Watershed 
A watershed is an area in which the natural hydrological boundaries drain 
to a common point on a watercourse, usually a confluence of streams or 
rivers (also known as drainage area or, catchment).  
Treatment (Management)  The planned manipulation of one or more factors of the natural or 
disturbed drainage so as to effect a desired change in or maintain a 
desired condition of the water resource. (Black, 1996) 
 
Transformation Not needed 
 
Data and Temporal Trends 
 
Following figure indicates the magnitude of “treatment” in successive “Five Year Plans” 
including level of the activity proposed for future plans.  
 
Trend in Treatment of Forest Area for 
Watershed Areas
3.0
2.5
2.5
3.0
4.0
4.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
4.5
5.0
Upto VIII
(till 1997)
IXth
(1997-
2002)
Xth
(2002-
2007)
XIth
(2007-
2012)
XIIth
(2012-
2017)
XIIIth
(1017-
2022)
Five Year Plan Period
F
o
re
s
ts
 in
 M
illi
o
n
 h
a
 
 

 
91 (114) 
Assessment  
 
The temporal trend indicates increasing commitment of government to address the issue of 
protection to watershed areas. 
 
3.5.4.2 Status of Forest Soil Fertility 
 
Forests protects and contribute to soil fertility. Monitoring of the trend of soil fertility or the 
productive potential of forest soils is necessary to measure the trend in capacity of the forest to 
provide necessary protection and conservation to soil resources. In other words it is a direct 
measure of one of the protective function of the forests.   
 
Definition: (Not standard national definition is available) 
 
Term Definition 
Forest Soil Fertility 
The forest productive capacity of a soil.  
 
Explanation: 
It depends on those factors in the soil that determine its crop production potential.  
Such factors are the presence of essential plant nutrients in available form and in a 
suitable balance; the proper micro-biological status of the soil to provide healthy 
environment for the release of plant nutrients; and freedom from any toxic or 
injurious agents, conditions or substances in the soil.  
 
Transformation Not needed 
 
Data and Temporal trend  
 
The fertility of forest soil is normally measured through the level of N, P and K as well as Ph of 
soil and is well documented. Although forest soils in India have been studied in detail but  they 
are mostly one time period studies and do not provide information on temporal trend. 
 
Assessment 
 
Assessment is not possible due to lack of data. It is suggested that temporal data on this variable 
be collected to monitor the fertility level at regular interval of time. It will facilitate in time 
diagnosis of start of any degradation process, such conditions may be indicated by lower levels of 
availability of N, P, and K , and or with large changes in Ph. of soil (taking it to very high or very 
low values) . 
 
3.5.4.3 Extent of Degraded Forests 
 
Healthy forests are necessary to maintain their protective flows. Over use, misuse, and or 
unscientific use of forests leads to transformation of  “forest” into “degraded” forests. Monitoring 
of extent of degraded forest is important because increases in area of degraded forest provide 
direct indication of loss in the protective flows from forests.  

 
92 (114) 
 
Definition (Not standard national definition is available) 
 
Term Definition 
Degraded Forest 
Forest with its reduced capacity to provide goods and services. 
 
Transformation Not needed 
 
Data and Temporal Trend 
 
The “Open forests” and “scrub forest” may exist either due to ecological conditions or due to 
degradation of “dense forests”. To distinguish between the two  processes, it may be assumed 
that changes in “open” and “scrub” forests over small periods of time like two years of biannual 
survey of FSI may be due to improvement or degradation in “forests”  and not due to ecological 
changes.  FSI uses the ratio ( a unit and scale free dimension) of “open and scrub forests” to 
“dense forest” to develop trends because it is difficult to compare data over time when it comes 
from different resolutions and scale, as in case of data on forest cover.  
 
Trend in Degradation (Open and Srub)
1.58
1.47
1.40
1.53
1.52
1.52
1.44
1.29
1.00
1.20
1.40
1.60
1.80
2.00
1980
1982
1984
1986
1988
1990
1992
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002
2004
2006
Year
Ra
ti
o
 o

O
p
en
 an
d
 S
c
ru
b
 t
o
 D
e
n
s
e F
o
re
s
t
 
 
Assessment  
 
The temporal trend indicates an increase trend in degradation of forests which is not a good sign 
for the forest resources of the country. 
 
3.5.4.4 Ground Water Table in Vicinity of Forests 
 
Forest affect and get affected by the ground water regime. Ground water resources in India are 
depleting at very fast rate and the condition is like to worsen in future with increase in by 50% 
over the next 20 yrs. Monitoring of ground water in areas near to forest is therefore very 
important for ensuring sustainability of forest resource. 

 
93 (114) 
 
Definition (No standard national definition is available) 
 
Term Definition 
Ground Water 
All subsurface water that fills the pores, voids, fractures, and other spaces between 
soil particles and in rock strata in the saturated zone of geologic formations. 
(http://ohioline.osu.edu/aex-fact/0460.html) 
Water Table 
The surface of the body of unconfined ground water where the hydrostatic pressure 
is equal to atmospheric pressure. The water table is the boundary between the 
saturated and unsaturated zones and fluctuates according to season and rainfall. 
(
http://oaspub.epa.gov/trs/trs_proc_qry.alphabet
) 
Water level 
The water-surface elevation or stage of the free surface of a body of water above or 
below any datum, or the surface of water standing in a well, usually indicative of the 
position of the water table or other potentiometric surface. 
(http://ohioline.osu.edu/aex-fact/0460.html) 
 
Transformation Not necessary as data is not available 
 
Data and Temporal Trend 
 
Necessary and sufficient information on this variable is not available therefore it is difficult to 
develop temporal trends.  
 
Assessment  
 
No assessment is possible as national level information on this variable is not available. 
However, there is a public consensus based on local studies that level of ground water in India 
has an overall declining temporal trend.  
 
3.5.4.5 Extent of Forests in Hills 
 
The variable helps to understand the existence of protective forest cover to conserve soil and 
water regimes in hill regions which are fragile landscapes of India. The monitoring of forest 
cover in hills is important for long term sustainability of hilly landscapes. 
 
Definition  
 
Term Definition 
Hilly Region 
A region above 500 meter altitude 
 
Transformation Not needed 
 
Data and Temporal Trend 
 
The Himalayan eco-system is a fragile ecosystem and its fragility increases with altitudes. FSI 
has digitized 500 M contours and identified the following distribution as well as composition 
(ratio of dense forest to open) of forests by altitude zones. 

 
94 (114) 
 
Distribution of Forest by Altitude
(0-500 m)
56%
(500-1000 m)
25%
(1000-1500 m)
6%
(1500-2000 m)
4%
(2000-3000 m)
6%
(more than 3000 
m)
3%
 
 
Composition (Dense/Open) of Forests by Altitude
1.50
1.48
1.62
2.49
3.58
1.62
0.00
0.50
1.00
1.50
2.00
2.50
3.00
3.50
4.00
0-500 m
500-1000 m
1000-1500 m 1500-2000 m 2000-3000 m
>3000 m
Altitudinal Zones
Ra
ti
o
 o

D
e
ns
e
 t
o
 O
p
e
n
 For
e
s
ts
 
 
Assessment 
The temporal trend  in last three assessments relating to data period of 1994, 1997 and 2000 
indicates that forest cover in the hilly region of India is roughly constant at 37 percent, which is a 
good indication for sustainability of the forest resources in the hilly regions of India.  
 
3.5.4.6 Extent of Mangroves 
 
Mangrove forests are bio-diverse wetland forest ecosystems with muddy substratum of varying 
depth for their growth. They protect coastal area by checking soil erosion from tidal action of 
waves, strong winds and cyclone and also support livelihood of local people.  
 

 
95 (114) 
Definition  
 
Term Definition 
Mangroves 
Salt tolerant forest ecosystem found mainly in tropical and sub- tropical coastal and/or 
inter-tidal regions. 
Mangrove Cover  Area covered under mangrove vegetation as interpreted digitally from remote sensing 
data. It is classified into dense mangrove cover (canopy density over 40 percent) and open 
mangrove cover (canopy density from 10 to 40 percent). 
 
Transformation Not needed 
 
Data and Temporal Trends 
 
Expect for periodic survey by FSI, there are very few studies on Mangroves in India. Following 
figure presents the extent of mangroves in India based on biannual surveys by FSI. 
  
Trend in Extent of Mangroves
0.441
0.495
0.487
0.474
0.453
0.426
0.424
0.426
0.400
0.450
0.500
0.550
0.600
1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004
Year
E
x
te
nt
 i
n
 m
il
li
on ha
 
 
Assessment 
 
One of the many explanations for the above temporal changes is that it is mainly due to change in 
resolution of satellite imageries and increase in scale of interpretation. It means that its area has 
increased because small additional patches of mangrove could be identified and its area has 
decreased because small patches of “non-mangrove” areas were detected within earlier 
demarcated mangrove areas. Therefore, it may be better to treat these changes as fluctuations and 
not a trend.  
 

 
96 (114) 
 
3.6 Social 
Functions 
 
This section provides information first on the method and approach chosen to identify and assess 
the complementary national variables and then presents the data and its assessment. 
  
3.6.1  Method and Approach 
 
The for identification and assessment of  variables, India through FSI used the “Group 
Convergence Method” (Govil, 2002).  Temporal trends were developed and GCM was used to 
assess the state and change in these variables with respect to sustainability of forest resources. 
 
3.6.2 Relevant Variables 
 
Following variables in addition to global variables (“Sites for Social Function”) have been 
identified as complementary national variables to explain the “Social Function” of Forests. 
 
a.
 
Use of Traditional Knowledge 
b.
 
Quality And Extent Of Privileges 
c.
 
Extent of Cultural/Sacred Forests 
d.
 
Energy From Wood Resources 
e.
 
Extent of Grazing (Cattle Population Dependent On Forest) 
f.
 
Number of Participatory Institutions & Area Under It 
 
3.6.3 Source Data  
 
Additional Variable  
Source 
Use of Traditional 
Knowledge 
The Patents (2
nd
 Amendment) Bill. 1999. Government of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Delhi 
 
The Biological Diversity Bill. 2000. Government of India, Ministry of 
Environment and Forests, Delhi 
 
The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Act. 2001. 
Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Delhi 
 
World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO,  2002 
Extent of Cultural and 
Sacred Forests 
Induchoodan, N. C. 1996. Ecological Studies of Sacred Groves of 
Kerala. Ph. D. Thesis submitted to the Central University of 
Pondicherry. 
 
Ramakrishnan P. S. and Saxena K. G. and Chandrashekara U.M. 1998. 
Conserving the Sacred: For Biodiversity Management, UNESCO Vol., 
Oxford & IBH Publ, New Delhi. 
Energy from Wood 
Resources 
National Forestry Action Programme. 1999. Government of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Delhi 
Extent of Grazing 
SFR, 1995. State of Forest Resources 1995. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
Participatory Institutions  
Joint Forest Management: A Decade of Partnership, RUPFOR. 2002. 
Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi. 

 
97 (114) 
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