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Earth’s forests are one of its most treasured resources. Besides being a source of timber, they provide essential services such as preventing soil erosion, regulating climate, as ecological filters for water and biological sinks for carbon sequestration, providing nutrients and habitats for countless living organisms, forests play innumerable roles crucial to our survival. A rising world population, an ever increasing demand for food grains, consumer products and housing indicates that forest cover will shrink further in the years to come unless a pro-active approach is adopted. Presently, the range of activities undertaken by governments across the world is based on the belief that concern for the environment essentially means protecting and conserving it. There is little effort to modify the development process itself in a manner that will bring greater harmony to the needs of the people, while maintaining ecological balance and simultaneously increasing the productivity of our land, water and forest resources. It is essential that government policy focus not only upon increasing area under forests through planting, but also on fundamentally modifying the consumption patterns in a manner that prevents the unsustainable use of forests.

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