Career in Forestry & Wild life
Usha Albuquerque & Nidhi Prasad
Are you concerned about the fast depleting biodiversity? Do you want to protect the wild animals and their natural habitat? Does rapid urbanization, increase in human population and unplanned use of forest resources disturb you? Then you are fit for a career in Forestry and Wild life.
Forestry is an important and interesting subject of study. Forests form part of the vital natural resources of a country. From time immemorial forest resources have been a source of human sustenance. They are home to the most amazing herbs, medicinal compounds, natural cosmetics etc. Forestry and Wild life go together since forests serve as home for wildlife.
Natural resources such as lakes, rivers, forests, wildlife, etc. have a pivotal role in Indian lifestyle but growing population of the country is increasing pressure on environment. The primary concern of the government is to implement policies and programmes for conservation of the ecosystem, natural resources, welfare of animals and prevention of pollution etc.
Forestry is a profession that is aimed at creating, managing and conserving forests in a sustainable manner for the overall benefit of the environment. Over the years with issues of global warming and climate change becoming areas of prime concern, forestry as a profession and as a field of relevant study is gaining importance.
Forestry is the science of development and care of forest. It is all about management of forest by protecting, conserving and upgrading forest resources which also include farming of trees used as timber. Issues like global warming, deforestation, global climatic change, water scarcity, natural disasters, etc. are all related to the effective and controlled use of forest wealth.
Forestry in itself is a broad term since it encompasses a variety of related activities like assisting forests to provide timber as raw material for wood products, wildlife habitat, natural water quality management, recreation, landscape and community protection, employment, tourism, biodiversity management, watershed management, erosion control, and preserving forests as ‘sinks’ for atmospheric carbon dioxide etc. So for all the nature lovers, forestry is an excellent career option to pursue their interest and finally go for a long term career where they would be following their heart and also be able to maintain their individuality.
To start a career in Forestry a B.Sc degree in this subject is required. Those with Physics, Chemistry and Biology at the intermediate level can go for B.Sc Forestry course, which is a 3-year degree course. Further studies can be pursued in M.Sc. Forestry for which minimum qualification is a bachelor's degree in Forestry. At this level specialized subjects are offered like Forest Management, Commercial Forestry, Forest Economics, Wood Science & Technology and Wildlife Science. Besides these courses there is Post Graduate Diploma in Forest Management offered by professional institutions. For starting a career in forestry, a bachelor’s degree in any forestry course would suffice but for career advances higher education is considered favorable.
UPSC conducts the Indian Forest Service Exam every year for recruiting officers for the Indian Forest Service.
Forestry essentially entails outdoor work. You'll be spending most of your time mapping forested areas, particularly during the initial years of your career. If you take this up as a career, you can choose to work for:
*Indian Forest Service
*Others, like Plantation forestry
They can work as :
Forester: The forester is responsible for protecting and regenerating forests, protecting wildlife habitats, checking for and fighting wild fires, landscape management and so on.
Dendrologists: Their work involves research on the history, life span, measuring, grading, classifying the varieties of trees, and studying ways and means of tree improvement through afforestation etc.
Ethnologists: An ethnologist studies and analyses the evolution, behavior, biological functions etc. of an organism in its natural environment. Ethnologists design healthy habitats for animals in zoos, aquariums, and laboratories and also study animal behavior.
Entomologists: Entomologists specialize in the study and control of diseases caused by insects and pests.
Silviculturists: Silviculture is an aspect of Forestry that refers to the growth of plantations that yield periodic harvests.
Forest Range Officers: Forest range officers take care of public forests, sanctuaries, botanical gardens etc. They have conservators, loggers and other junior personnel working with them.
Zoo Curators: They are responsible for animal welfare in the zoos and also undertake conservation programs. Zoo curator plays a role in the administration of zoo functions and captive breeding programs.
Other than career options mentioned above forestry specialists from India are finding jobs abroad as wildlife consultants for esteemed organizations. The most important of these being the World Wildlife Fund(WWF). Many organizations are hiring Indian personnel for working in countries like Kampuchea, Vietnam, South Africa, and other such countries.
The consciousness among the people for conservation of forest is growing, so also the career opportunities available to Forestry graduates are also increasing. Forestry graduates can take up jobs in various government departments like:
*Department of Forest and Wildlife.
*NGOs working in conservation and up gradation of forests.
*Corporate houses involved in timber plantations also need the services of Forestry graduates
*They also can take up research work in public sector research institutions like Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE),
*They also can be employed in Botanical and Zoological parks, Wildlife sanctuaries and National parks.
*They also can take up teaching jobs in many universities offering Forestry as a subject.
*Other career options available to Forestry graduates are still photography, film making and wildlife journalism.
*There may also be opportunities in television channels like Discovery and Natural Geographic.
*Further Forestry graduates can run their own private consultancy in environmental impact assessment of large projects.
List of Institutes Several universities and institutes offer forestry courses throughout the country.
*Forestry Research Institute, Dehra Dun -www.fri.icfre.gov.in
*Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal- iifm.ac.in
*Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneshwar - www.ouat.ac.in
*Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun- www.wii.gov.in
*Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchi - www.bauranchi.org
*College of Forestry, Srinagar
*College of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan (Himachal Pradesh). - www.yspuniversity.ac.in
(The list is indicative only)
Organizations like World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Centre for Environment Education, Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) and consultancy firms like Ernst and Young and KPMG hire a number of Forest and Wildlife graduates.
(Usha Albuquerque is Director and Nidhi Prasad is Senior Counseling Psychologist at Careers Smart Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)