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Forestry : Enchanting career in the woods
 Need for forestry

Forest wealth is more than just wildlife. Forest wealth also contributes significantly to the economy of the country. Forest resources are the attributes of forestland, which are put for the welfare of human beings. Forests are the natural wealth for any country. They affect nearly every aspect of our lives. With environmental degradation being a prime cause of concern the world over, the forestry sector has a significant role to play in the global economy.

Therefore there is a need for specially trained personnel to maintain and regenerate forest resources. This is where the services of forestry specialists, forestry management experts and forest officers are warranted for handling resource conservation, utilisation of wastelands and so on. The basic task of forestry is to secure maximum and continued values from the land meant for forestry.

What is forestry?

Forestry is the science and art of attaining desired forest conditions and benefits.

The concept of forest management requires sound policy and planning. Forest management is the practical application of scientific, economic and social principles to the administration of a forest estate for specified objectives. Forest management involves the control of composition and the structure of the growing stock, harvesting and marketing of forest produce/ products and administration of forest property and personnel.

Forestry is an important and interesting subject of study. Forestry and wildlife go together since forests serve as home for wildlife.

Forestry as a career

For those who love nature and recognise its importance in maintaining ecological balance, forestry can be a rewarding career choice. The importance of forestry was realised worldwide at the turn of the last century, when vast areas of forests had been cut down with little thought to the future. There is a need to develop professionals who can guide us and maintain a balance in the ecosystem.

Nature of work

The job profile of a forester involves preparing and implementing forest management plans and strategies. Foresters are responsible for the management of forest resources through the use of biological techniques. Their main interest lies in the preservation and utilization of its resources. Foresters take care of forest resources by protecting them from fire, pests, disease, encroachment and indiscriminate felling of trees. Forestry also involves protection of forests and farming of trees to ensure contributing timber supply.

Researchers, educationists, extension workers and management officers work as a team of senior forestry officials to protect the forests in our country. Apart from this, foresters organise and develop knowledge or policy and technology-transfer initiatives in support of sustainable forest management. They provide information and liaison services between the department and other organisations.

Career in forestry means tight work schedules and involves dealing and tackling poachers, district level officers, administration and police, among others.

Their work broadly includes:

  • Conducting forest research studies to advance knowledge and improve technologies through application of known theories and practices.
  • Plan research and development activities in forest science, forest management and related research studies in support of a science and technology network.
  • Develop new techniques and methods to address scientific problems.
  • Transfer technology developed from research to client agencies and liaise with provincial or industrial forest managers and other agencies regarding sustainable forest management policies and practices.
Study route

Various courses in forestry are available, at the graduate, postgraduate and diploma level, as well as at the Ph.D. level. Those with Physics, Chemistry and Biology at the intermediate level can go for B.Sc Forestry course. Further the master’s level offers specialisation in subjects like Forest Management, Commercial Forestry, Forest Economics, Wood Science & Technology, Wildlife Science, Veterinary Science etc. Those with Bachelors degree in related subjects can appear for Indian Forest Service exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission.

In case an individual wishes to pursue research, then he/she can begin by studying for a degree/diploma in wildlife rather than a MSc. or PhD in zoology. One has to choose between ecological and /or wildlife studies.

Career prospects

As with other career options, this one too embraces new technologies and innovations and the scope for prospective forest officers is ever expanding. Foresters can take up work either in offices, laboratories or outdoors depending on their field of specialisation. Aspirants have good prospects of being absorbed as forest range officers and assistant conservator of forests.

Employment opportunities exist with:

  • Governmental, non-governmental organisations interested in preservation of forest resources
  • Corporates having own plantations for timbering
  • Industries that utilise forest resources employ industrial and agricultural consultants
  • Indian Council Of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) and its affiliated Forestry research institutes such as Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun, Institute of Social Forestry and Eco-rehabilitation, Allahabad etc.
  • The India Council of Agricultre Research (ICAR) also offers lucrative posts like director general forests, deputy director general and inspector general for its various discplines.
  • They also work as industrial, agricultural and financial consultants in forestry organizations.
  • Wildlife Research Institutes in Dehra Dun, Coimbatore etc.
  • Zoological Parks
  • Wildlife Ranges
  • Education sector as tutors
Specializations

Other specializations in forestry include:

  • Forester: The forester is responsible for protecting and regenerating forests, protecting wildlife habitats, checking for and fighting wild fires, landscape management and so on.
  • Dendrologists: Dendrologists specialise in the scientific study of trees and woody plants.
  • Enthologists: Enthology is the scientific study of animal behaviour in its natural environment.
  • Entomologists: Entomologists specialise in the study and control of diseases caused by insects and pests.
  • Silviculturistsis: Silviculture is an aspect of forestry that refers to the growth of plantations that yield periodic harvests.
  • Forest Range Officers: Forest range officers take care of public forests, sancturies, botanical gardens etc. Entry into this post is through the Indian Forest Service (IFS) Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission.
  • Zoo curators: They are responsible for animal welfare in the zoos and also undertake conservation programmes.
Personal attributes

The list begins with a love for nature. Other complementary characteristics include spirit of adventure, good health, physical stamina, patience, scientific temperament, administrative and leadership qualities, ability to interact with all kinds of people, adaptability to different living conditions including remote rural areas, inclination for research with an academic bent of mind and excellent skills of observation.

Institutes
  • Aligarh Musilm University, Aligarh
  • Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchi
  • College of Agricultural and Regional Research Station, Karnataka.
  • College of Agriculture, Bangalore
  • College of Agriculture, Haryana
  • College of Agriculture, Punjab
  • College of Agriculture, Kerala,
  • Forestry Research Institute, Dehra Dun
  • Haryana Agricultural University, Haryana
  • Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun
  • Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur
  • Karnataka University Dharwad
  • Manipur University, Imphal
  • Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneshwar
  • Osmania University, Hyderabad
  • Postgraduate School, Indian Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi.
  • Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana
  • Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Tamil Nadu.
  • University of Agricultural Science, Bangalore

 

 
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