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Population, Forest Degradation and Environment: A Nexus

Das, Nimai and Sarker, Debnarayan (2001): Population, Forest Degradation and Environment: A Nexus. Published in: Conference Volume (Bengal Economic Association, Kolkata) , Vol. 22, (2002): pp. 61-68.

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In order to examine the trend and impact of relationship between growth of forest resource and population in West Bengal, a province of India, in the time series data for every ten-year from 1901-1991 this study suggests that the increase of population to forest land in West Bengal is alarming, because the ability of the forest to satisfy the demands is limited by the extent of forest resource of the state. The increasing population in West Bengal makes a negative impact on the forest. Though this impact is not highly significant at present, the long run relationship between density of population and forest area leads to substantial damage of the forest resource causing acute environmental problem of the state in future. Similarly, soil erosion, which is the only natural factor to damage forest resource in West Bengal, has some significant effect, though not highly. Keeping in view of such problems community forest management programme like social forestry or joint forest management seems to a positive step for protecting environmental problem.

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