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  • The cutting down and clearing of the forests is referred to as deforestation.
  • Industrialisation led to an increase in the deforestation.
  • Forest were cleared and brought under cultivation by the imperialist powers in their colonies.
  • Forests were cut for cultivation, providing wood to make ships, run the steam engine and making railway sleepers.
  • There was a great demand for these products in Europe.
  • The colonial government took over the forests, and gave vast areas to European planters at cheap rates.
  • British wanted to have a full control deforestation system ,so they invited a German expert, Dietrich Branids, for advice, and made him the first Inspector of Forests.
  • Mr. Brandis thought that there should be some proper system to manage forests and the people have to be trained in scientific conservation.
  • He set up the Indian Forest Service in 1864 and also formulated the Indian Forest Act in 1865.
  • Villagers wanted forests with a mixture of species to satisfy different needs like fuel, fodder, leaves, etc.
  • The Forest Act meant a severe hardship for villagers across the country.
  • The British felt that in ‘shifting cultivation’ there were many dangers. So, they banned shifting cultivation.
  • Due to this ban, villagers who depended on ‘shifting cultivation’ were left with no livelihood.
  • The British felt that by killing dangerous animals they could civilize India. Thus hunting wild animals became a sport for the British.
  • Forest communities in India, began to rebel against the restrictions that were imposed on them.
  • Indonesia was under the colonial powers of the Dutch. There were many similar laws in Indonesia and India, for deforestation.

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