The Government of Karnataka has been for the last few decades concentrating on quite a few schemes for conservation of forests and their development. These schemes are implemented by the Department of Forests in consultation with the stakeholders and various institutions within the ambit of the Department. The schemes are largely designed and implemented to bring forth the best conditions for the development of forests as well as forest-dwellers. If we go by typology of perceived impact, three broad groups could be viewed among the schemes. The first group involves schemes that help the forests to retain their glory and greenness as well as help bring in the degraded land into the mainstream forestry. The second group of schemes is directed towards the forest- dwellers and their welfare along with the local bodies governing in the region, which include Zilla Panchayats, Grama Panchayats, Tribal Area Sub-Plans and Social and Farm Forestry Groups. The third group involves agro-tourism and maintenance of the departmental administration and wild-life conservation. The impact as also the evaluation parameters of these groups are different as well as their gestation period.
This study by Dr Sunil Nautiyal and others is undertaken to analyse some of these important schemes in Karnataka. The study has been carried out at various levels with inter-disciplinary methodologies including consultation with officers and the stakeholders. The study endeavours to arrive at policy pointers based on the research observations. While greater role of the local communities at various levels of governance is underscored, significant development and promotion of agro-social forestry has been indicated as prime requirement. Capacity building has been highlighted as one of the important aspects for the development purpose. The authors advocate some possible corrections to address the structural faults and provide for on-line changes. The study has taken a wider perspective of looking at the departmental schemes and rationalising scheme-wise implementation processes which is a unique approach. Public Expenditure and Strategies for Sustainable Management of Environment and Forest Ecosystems n Karnataka deals with the schemes and their outcomes with the help of primary and secondary data and brings out quite a few important issues such as lack of monitoring, documentation, inadequate staff strength, incentivisation for the staff, lack of coordination across the departments and many other issues in the process of development of agro-forestry and bio-prospecting. The study provides quite specific guidelines in order to make the schemes effective in their implementation.
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