The Social Forestry Programme

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Sundarban Development Board has since been implementing afforestation programme through three programme elements, namely Mangrove Plantation, Strip Plantation & Farm Forestry. These programmes are implemented by the Social Forestry wing of the Board through its three Range Offices located at Namkhana, Canning and Hasnabad and six Beat Offices at Sagar, Roydighi, Joynagar, Canning, Nezat & Hasnsbad.

Mangrove Plantation:

Large-scale deforestation for human settlement in Sundarbans has seriously affected the entire ecosystem and the surrounding environment. The coastline and foreshores on both sides of tidal rivers are under serious threat of erosion and the river embankments are becoming vulnerable in course of time. This has not only affected the land structures and disturbed the siltation process of this deltaic region but also adversely affected the natural habitat of flora & fauna. The region being famous as a 'nursery' of the marine fauna is under serious threat due to degeneration of mangroves in the inter tidal zones.
Considering the gravity of the situation board undertook forestation of mangroves in the inter tidal zones of charlands and after that this has been extended to mudflats. Plantation techniques followed under this programme are: i) raising of nurseries of mangrove seedlings and subsequent transplantation in the silted up trenches & pits and ii) direct planting of mangrove seedlings grown naturally in the charlands. SD Board has so far created mangrove forests in considerable areas of charlands adjacent to the villages and maintains these successfully with the support of local inhabitants, panchayats & NGOs but a few exceptions.

Strip Plantation:

This plantation works are mainly done on the both sides of roads constructed by the Board. Initially under plantation were timber, fodder, & fuel but the trend has been changed in recent years. Emphasis has been given on plantation of fruit bearing trees under this programme. The departmental Mazdoors and hired labourers do the plantation work. A policy framework for involving NGOs and voluntary organizations in planting and maintaining the same is under consideration of the Board.

Farm Forestry:

Through this programme, seedlings of plant species of timber, fuel & fruits are raised for distribution amongst the intending households and organizations for plantation.

SD Board organized a massive programme for re-plantation of mangroves. The staffs of the Social Forestry Division of the Board were entrusted with the protection of the replanted area and to complete plantation in the rest charland.

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