Research article


Dr. Balwinder Singh

Online First: October 29, 2022

Historically forestry has been concerned mainly with the assessment of timber resources and the management and utilization of closed forests for the production of wood. In the pre-Independence era, India’s forest policies focused on generating revenue by selling timber and other forest produce (Forest Act, 1865), and facilitating the conversion of forest lands for agriculture and timber-logging (Forest Act, 1894). Attention was occasionally given to the sustainable use and conservation of forest; as a result we reached a stage where conservation of forest became a dire necessity. A shift occurred following Independence, as forest policies began to be framed towards management (National Forest Policy, 1952). The goal was to achieve ecological balance and maintain India’s forest area as 33 percent of the country’s total land cover. The Forest Conservation Act, 1980 emphasized on governing the diversion of forests for non-forest purposes. At present modern technological applications can go a long a way in helping the mankind for the environmental conservation. Based on the concept of IoT, an intelligent and interoperable network of devices interconnected through a dynamic, global infrastructure network can be created to connect and exchange data across locations at any time. These technology-driven smart sensors can be key to preserving India’s forests, while also providing data that can serve as a catalyst towards more sustainable forest management. With the help of remote sensing devices, the condition, distribution, and types of the forests can be ascertained easily, and likewise customized laws can be construed for the conservation of a particular area of forests. Different areas can be demarcated for afforestation. Forest fires, weather conditions and natural calamities like floods can be determined with this technology. Forest mapping can be accomplished easily on the whole landmass of a country. United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is working towards achieving lot of benefits from the space technology for the humanitarian causes. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is also contributing to the forest conservation for many decades. Supreme Court of India and other courts in the country has taken help from the remote sensing techniques in deciding many cases relate to land use. In this paper an attempt is made to highlight the use of remote sensing techniques towards sustainable forest management and various legal aspects involved.


Forest Conservation, Remote Sensing, Sustainable Development, Forest Mapping