How were the forests in India and Java affected by the First and Second World Wars?
The First World War and the Second World War had a major impact on the forests across the world. This impact is stated in the points below
(i) In India, the Forest Department cut trees freely to meet British war demands.
(ii) In Java, the Dutch followed ‘a scorched earth’ policy, just before the Japanese occupied the region. They destroyed sawmills and burnt off huge piles of giant teak logs so that they would not fall into Japanese hands.
(iii) The Japanese exploited the forests recklessly for their own war industries and forced forest dwellers to cut down forests.
(iv) Many villagers took this opportunity for the expansion of cultivation land by cutting down the forests.
(v) After the war, it was difficult for the Indonesian forest service to get back this land.
(vi) In India people needed more agricultural land for cultivation for its increasing population. Forest department desired to control the land and excluded people from it. These different interests, led to a conflict between them.