Bamboo Not A Tree Anymore As President Clears Ordinance Amending Forest Law
- Recently, the Lok-Sabha amended Section 2(7) of the Indian Forest Act,1927.
- Earlier, a law dating back to the colonial era classified the plant as a tree.
. Not merely academic.
. Classifying bamboo as a grass will remove the forest department’s hold over the natural resource and open up a range of eco, possibilities, including reducing dependence on bamboo imports.
How was the colonial-era definition affecting India ?
– Bamboo slotted as “forest producer” and placed same category as palm and other trees.
– After Independence, genera’s of foresters interpreted this provision to imply that bamboo being a tree was under the control of the forest department
– The woody plant would held its way to markets largely through auctions held by the department.
– Indiaà 30% of the Worlds bamboo resources, but still imports the plant.
Huge demand and supply gap:
- According to CII- India Development Foundation paper, “ Industrialis of the bamboo sector in India”, has nearly 14 million hectares of bamboo forests, but the country’s share of the bamboo market is a measly 4.5%.
- The country’s produce is for short of the annual demand of 27mt.
Supreme Court on Bamboo
- In 1996, the SC ruled that felled bamboo was not timber.
- And, the Forests Rights Act(FRA), 2006, Classified bamboo as a “non-timber forest produce”.
- But both the apex court of the FRA stopped short of aligning bamboo with its taxonomic classific.
- Removing the clonical-era law could enable linking the bamboo sector with government initiatives such as- Make in India.
- It will need some hand holding like subsidies and bank loans schemes.