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India – Public Forests and Public Forest Agencies in Transition (paper)

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India has witnessed rapid and sustained economic growth for the last fifteen years. Yet, the world’s
largest numbers of poor people in a single country reside in India. Poverty in India is characterized
by its geographic concentration, ethnic orientation and resource relationship. It is more rural than
urban, mostly in Eastern and Central states amongst tribal and scheduled castes people, and more in forest areas than agricultural or industrial areas. Although India has an impressive record in
maintaining and increasing its forest cover in the last 15 years, its forest productivity is one of the
lowest in the world.