Foresters make sure our age-old dependence on forests for all our various needs are met but never at the cost of harming the cycle of nature.
What is Forestry?
Forestry is a science that deals with the protection, conservation and development of forests. Practitioners of forestry, called foresters, work towards bringing about and maintaining environmental stability through the preservation and restoration of trees and all related natural resources. Basically, they’re the ones who make sure there is always an ecological balance.
Environmental concerns have become a global issue and with the new millennium going “green”, qualified, trained professionals in this field will find a lot of doors open to them.
A course in forestry is ideal for those who love nature and have a desire to contribute meaningfully towards sustainable ecological development.
What do I have to do?
One of the most important parts of a forester’s job is to manage our forests. In other words, to make sure society’s age-old dependence on trees for their social, biophysical and economic needs is met but never at the cost of harming the cycle of nature. This role is bound to expand as demands increase for clean water and air, sustainable ecosystems, and controlling atmospheric carbon dioxide.
With a degree in forestry, you can join an NGO, become a consultant in a related field, teach, work towards joining the Indian Forest Service or consider pursuing research in “green” biotechnology. Your work will focus on maintaining environmental stability, conserving natural heritage and keeping tabs on soil erosion particularly around rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Foresters also take short and long-term measures to meet the requirements of fuel wood, fodder, minor forest produce and timber for rural and tribal populations.
Professional foresters have complete control over divisional forest officers when it comes to any silvicultural activities, activities involving the growing and tending of trees like sowing and felling. They also are in charge of relevant statistics, stores, tools, books and maps, stationary and printing. Lastly, subordinate forest establishments fall under a forester’s jurisdiction, including employees’ appointments and salaries.
All executive staff have to attend court cases either as a complainant or as a witness under the Indian Forest Act, 1927, and Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as and when required. They are responsible for the maintenance of forest boundaries that fall under their charge.
What should I study?
For a BSc in forestry, you should have at least 50 per cent in physics, chemistry and biology at the Plus Two level. Some colleges require physics, chemistry, maths and biology. For a postgraduate diploma in forest management, you can be a graduate in any subject.The BSc forestry programme is an interdisciplinary course based on the science and practice of conservation and management of the forest ecosystem. It covers forest biology, forest management, wood and fibre science, social forestry and other areas that take you from the roots to the crown of any leafy bark.
In case you wish to pursue forest management, you can join the two-year PGDFM programme at the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, which was launched to meet the management manpower requirements of forestry.
India and the world will now need more “green” scientists, managers and practitioners than ever before with the birth of concepts like environmental impact assessment, environmental economics and colossal infrastructure projects involving MNCs and international organisations.
Foresters can work in governmental or nongovernmental organisations preserving forest resources, zoological parks and any vast tree plantation. Some companies where you can apply are WIMCO Ltd, Ballarpur Industries Ltd, ITC Bhadrachalam Paper Boards Ltd, Grasim Industries Ltd or government organisations such as the Tribal Co-operative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (TRIFED), Sardar Sarovar Nigam Ltd or the Gujarat Ecology Commission.
Institutions like Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Energy Research Institute, WWF-India, the World Bank, the Centre for Science and Environment and nongovernmental organisations are always on the lookout for young foresters.