The origin of Joint Forest Management (JFM) can be traced back to 1971 in West Bengal, specifically at Arabari Forest in West Midnapore. The Arabari Forest faced significant damage due to the illegal harvesting of forest products and grazing by the local population. To address this issue, forest department officials decided to involve the local people in the conservation and regeneration of the forest.
The objectives of Joint Forest Management (JFM) can be summarized as follows:
- Forest Conservation: The primary objective of JFM is to conserve and protect the forest ecosystem from degradation, illegal activities, and overexploitation of natural resources.
- Involvement of Local Communities: JFM aims to involve local communities living in or near the forests in the decision-making process and management of forest resources.
- Sustainable Development: JFM promotes sustainable development practices by ensuring the responsible use of forest resources to meet the present needs without compromising the needs of future generations.