Conservation of forest, wildlife and biodiversity across the globe is turning into a challenging issue for wildlife managers, foresters, conservators and forest guards to handle successfully.
The anthropogenic footprints on global forests due to expansion of agricultural and industrial land conversion, development of infrastructure like roads, railways and bridges, illegal encroachments and settlements within protected forest areas, unmonitored anthropogenic forest fires, overexploitation of major and minor forest products and forest resources, human-animal conflicts, heavy demand for bushmeat, poachers and wildlife traffickers as well as concentration of insurgent groups, marginal communities, rebels and illegal migrants, unrestricted grazing and illegal harvest of forest products are projecting monumental challenges for forest conservation.
Under these circumstances, conventional forest guards are neither trained and/or equipped to handle such complex conservation challenges and provide security to local forests.
It is therefore essential for governments to think about raising a well trained and better equipped, disciplined paramilitary force such as Forest Security Force (FSF).
The FSF can, not only help in the successful long-term conservation and protection of forests, aid in proper surveys; but, will serve as an additional force for the purpose of surveillance and monitoring of poachers, wildlife, drug and human traffickers, smugglers, insurgents and other security threats for any nation.
This will add another layer of security coverage not just for the natural forest resources; but, for the national intelligence, customs, narcotics and immigration department in case of forests being used as trafficking, smuggling and insurgent sanctuaries and illegal travel corridors.
A well trained Forest Security Force is the call of the time specially for the developing and underdeveloped nations across Asia, Africa and Latin America that exceptionally are rich in forests, wildlife and biodiversity.
Writes: Saikat Kumar Basu from Alberta, Canada