CHAPTER 9

From Jungle to Forests: Aspects of Early Scientific Conservation in Assam, 1839–1947

Arupjyoti Saikia

Western science made inroads into Indian forests like it did in other contemporary fields. It worked not only to conserve the forest coverage, but also helped to improve the commercial capacity of timbers. It assured a sustainable timber supply for various agencies of the colonial state. It is true that colonial foresters relied heavily on the corpus of Western scientific knowledge on how to go about the management of forests. While it has been argued that experiments with the science of forestry since the second half of the nineteenth century were a direct importation from the West, a few have also suggested that the Indian science ...

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