Chapter : 1. Forest Society and Colonialism

Deforestation in India

Deforestation is the elimination of trees on a large scale from a forest so much so that it causes damage to plant and animal life (flora and fauna) of that forest. With a change in or tampering with an area’s biodiversity, the protective and regenerative properties of land are lost. This leads to slow onset of disaster and triggers a chain of calamities. It is a major problem concerning environmentalists today. Its main cause has been the indiscriminate nature of tree felling with a view to satisfy immediate needs not being aware of the long term effects of their actions. There is a clear cut connection between deforestation and vulnerability to famine. Forests served as the buffer for peasant population, providing some sustenance in the event of crop failure. When forest land became cropland, this buffer vanished, and crop failure meant deadly famine.

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