Friday, May 31, 2013

European Colonization in Bengal - from 1757 to 1857


Early Settlements:
The Indian Subcontinent had indirect relations with Europe by both overland caravans and maritime routes, dating back to the fifth century B.C. The lucrative spice trade with India had been mainly in the hands of Arab Merchants. By the fifteenth century, European traders had come to believe that the commissions they had to pay the Arabs were prohibitively high and therefore sent out fleets in search of new trade routes to India.


The arrival of the Europeans in the last quarter of the fifteenth century marked a great turning point in the history of the subcontinent. The dynamics of the history of the subcontinent came to be shaped chiefly by the Europeans' political and trade relations with India as India was swept into the vortex of Western power politics. The arrival of the Europeans generally coincided with the gradual decline of Mughal Power, and the subcontinent became an arena of struggle not only between Europeans and the indigenous rulers but also among the Europeans.



The British East India Company, a private company formed in 1600 during the reign of Akbar and operating under a charter granted by Queen Elizabeth-I, established a factory on the Hooghly River in western Bengal in 1650 and founded the city of Calcutta in 1690. Although the initial aim of the British East India Company was to seek trade under concessions obtained from local Mughal governors, the steady collapse of the Mughal Empire (1526-1858) enticed the company to take a more direct involvement in the politics and military activities of the subcontinent.



Capitalizing on the political fragmentation of South Asia, the British ultimately rose to supremacy through military expeditions, annexation, bribery, and playing one party off against another. Aside from the superior military power of the British, their ascendancy was fostered by the tottering economic foundations of the local rulers, which had been undermined by ravaging dynastic wars and the consequent displacement of the peasants from the land, which was the principal source of state revenue.



Nabab Siraj ud Daulah, governor of Bengal, unwisely provoked a military confrontation with the British at Plessey in 1757. He was defeated by Robert Clive, an adventurous young official of the British East India Company. Clive's victory was consolidated in 1764 at the Battle of Buxar on the Ganges, where he defeated the Mughal emperor. As a result, the British East India Company was granted the title of diwan (collector of the revenue) in the areas of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa, making it the supreme, but not titular, governing power.



Henceforth the British would govern Bengal and from there extend their rule to all of India. By 1815 the supremacy of the British East India Company was unchallengeable, and by the 1850s British control and influence had extended into territories essentially the same as those that became the independent states of India and Pakistan in 1947.

The British Raj:
Beginning in the middle of the eighteenth century, when the foundations of British rule were effectively laid, the British government showed increasing interest in the welfare of the people of India, feeling the need to curb the greed, recklessness, and corrupt activities of the private British East India Company. Beginning in 1773, the British Parliament sought to regulate the company's administration. By 1784 the company was made responsible to Parliament for its civil and military affairs and was transformed into an instrument of British foreign policy.



Some new measures introduced in the spirit of government intervention clearly did not benefit the people of Bengal. The Permanent Settlement (Land lease Act) of Lord Charles Cornwallis in 1793, which regulated the activities of the British agents and imposed a system of revenue collection and landownership, stands as a monument to the disastrous effects of the good intentions of Parliament. The traditional system for collecting land taxes involved the Zamindars, who exercised the dual function of revenue collectors and local magistrates.

The British gave the zamindars the status and rights of landlords, modeled mainly on the British landed gentry and aristocracy. Under the new system the revenue-collecting rights were often auctioned to the highest bidders, whether or not they had any knowledge of rural conditions or the managerial skills necessary to improve agriculture. Agriculture became a matter of speculation among urban financiers, and the traditional personal link between the resident zamindars and the peasants was broken. Absentee landlord ship became commonplace, and agricultural development stagnated.


Most British subjects who had served with the British East India Company until the end of the eighteenth century were content with making profits and leaving the Indian social institutions untouched. A growing number of Anglican and Baptist evangelicals in Britain, however, felt that social institutions should be reformed. There was also the demand in Britain, first articulated by member of Parliament and political theorist Edmund Burke, that the company's government balance its exploitative practices with concern for the welfare of the Indian people. The influential utilitarian theories of Jeremy Bentham and James Mill stated that societies could be reformed by proper laws. Influenced in part by these factors, British administrators in India embarked on a series of social and administrative reforms that were not well received by the conservative elements of Bengali society.

Emphasis was placed on the introduction of Western philosophy, technology, and institutions rather than on the reconstruction of native institutions. The early attempts by the British East India Company to encourage the use of Sanskrit and Persian were abandoned in favor of Western science and literature; elementary education was taught in the vernacular, but higher education in English. The stated purpose of secular education was to produce a class of Indians instilled with British cultural values.

Persian was replaced with English as the official language of the government. A code of civil and criminal procedure was fashioned after British legal formulas. In the field of social reforms, the British suppressed what they considered to be inhumane practices, such as suttee (self-immolation of widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands), female infanticide, and human sacrifice.


British policy viewed colonies as suppliers of raw materials and purchasers of manufactured goods. The British conquest of India coincided with the Industrial Revolution in Britain, led by the mechanization of the textile industry. As a result of the British policy of dumping machine-made goods in the subcontinent, India's domestic craft industries were thoroughly ruined, and its trade and commerce collapsed. Eastern Bengal was particularly hard hit. Muslin cloth from Dhaka had become popular in eighteenth-century Europe until British muslin drove it off the market.

Source: Bangladesh, a country study
Federal Research Division, Library of Congress
Edited by: James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden
Research Completed September 1988.

Sources of images and maps: collected from various sources on the internet.

Thanks a lot.

other related posts in this blog:
Early History of Bengal - Islamization from 1202 to 1757
Early History of Bengal - From 1000 BC to 1202 AD
History of Bengal Sultanate - Arabic and Persian - Part 1

Monday, May 27, 2013

Early History of Bengal - Islamization from 1202 to 1757

The Turkish conquest of the subcontinent was a long, drawn out process covering several centuries. It began in Afghanistan with the military forays of Mahmud of Ghazni in the year 1001. By the early thirteenth century, Bengal fell to Turkish armies. The last major Hindu Sena ruler was expelled from his capital at Nadia in Western Bengal in 1202, although lesser Sena rulers held sway for a short while after in Eastern Bengal.

Bengal was loosely associated with the Delhi Sultanate, established in 1206, and paid a tribute in war elephants in order to maintain autonomy. In 1341 Bengal became independent from Delhi, and Dhaka was established as the seat of the governors of independent Bengal. Turks ruled Bengal for several decades before the conquest of Dhaka by forces of the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great (1556-1605) in 1576.

Bengal remained a Mughal province until the beginning of the decline of the Mughal Empire in the eighteenth century. Under the Mughals, the political integration of Bengal with the rest of the subcontinent began, but Bengal was never truly subjugated. It was always too remote from the center of government in Delhi. Because lines of communications were poor, local governors found it easy to ignore imperial directives and maintain their independence.


Although Bengal remained provincial, it was not isolated intellectually, and Bengali religious leaders from the fifteenth century onward have been influential throughout the subcontinent. The Mughals in their heyday had a profound and lasting effect on Bengal. When Akbar ascended the throne at Delhi, a road connecting Bengal with Delhi was under construction and a postal service was being planned as a step toward drawing Bengal into the operations of the empire.

Akbar implemented the present-day Bengali Calendar, and his son, Jahangir (1605-27), introduced civil and military officials from outside Bengal who received rights to collect taxes on land. The development of the Zamindar (tax collector and later landlord) class and its later interaction with the British would have immense economic and social implications for twentieth-century Bengal.

Bengal was treated as the "breadbasket of India" and, as the richest province in the empire, was drained of its resources to maintain the Mughal army. The Mughals, however, did not expend much energy protecting the countryside or the capital from Arakanese or Portuguese pirates; in one year as many as 40,000 Bengalis were seized by pirates to be sold as slaves, and still the central government did not intervene. Local resistance to imperial control forced the emperor to appoint powerful generals as provincial governors.

Yet, despite the insecurity of the Mughal regime, Bengal prospered. Agriculture expanded, trade was encouraged, and Dhaka became one of the centers of the textile trade in South Asia. In 1704 the provincial capital of Bengal was moved from Dhaka to Murshidabad. Although they continued to pay tribute to the Mughal court, the governors became practically independent rulers after the death in 1707 of Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal emperor.


The governors were strong enough to fend off marauding Hindu Marathas from the Bombay area during the eighteenth century. When the Mughal governor Alivardi died in 1756, he left the rule of Bengal to his grandson Siraj ud Daulah, who would lose Bengal to the British the following year.

Source: Bangladesh, a country study
Federal Research Division, Library of Congress
Edited by: James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden
Research Completed September 1988.


Thanks a lot for reading.

other related posts:
Early History of Bengal - 1000 BC to 1202 AD
European Colonization in Bengal - from 1757 to 1857
History of Bengal Sultanate - Arabic and Persian - Part 1

Friday, May 24, 2013

Early History of Bengal - 1000 BC to 1202 AD


For most of its history, the area known as Bangladesh was a political backwater- an observer rather than a participant in the great political and military events of the Indian subcontinent. Historians believe that Bengal, the area comprising present-day Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, was settled in about 1000 B.C. (3000 years ago) by Dravidian-speaking peoples who were later known as the Bang.

Their homeland bore various titles that reflected earlier tribal names, such as Vanga, Banga, Bangala, Bangal, and Bengal. The first great indigenous empire to spread over most of present day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh was the Mauryan Empire (ca. 320-180 B.C.), whose most famous ruler was Asoka (ca. 273-232 B.C.). Although the empire was well administered and politically integrated, little is known of any reciprocal benefits between it and eastern Bengal. The western part of Bengal, however, achieved some importance during the Mauryan period because ships sailed from its ports to Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.
 

During the time of the Mauryan Empire, Buddhism came to Bengal, and it was from there that Asoka's son, Mahinda, carried the message of the Enlightened One to Sri Lanka. After the decline of the Mauryan Empire the eastern portion of Bengal became the kingdom of Samatata; although politically independent, it was a tributary state of the Indian Gupta Empire (A.D. ca. 319-ca. 540).

The third great empire was the Harsha Empire (A.D. 606-47), which drew Samatata into its loosely administered political structure. The disunity following the demise of this short-lived empire allowed a Buddhist chief named Gopala to seize power as the first ruler of the Pala Dynasty (A.D. 750-1150). He and his successors provided Bengal with stable government, security, and prosperity while spreading Buddhism throughout the state and into neighboring territories. Trade and influence were extensive under Pala leadership, as emissaries were sent as far as Tibet and Sumatra.

The Senas, orthodox and militant Hindus, replaced the Buddhist Palas as rulers of a united Bengal until the Turkish conquest in 1202. Opposed to the Brahmanic Hinduism of the Senas with its rigid caste system, vast numbers of Bengalis, especially those from the lower castes, would later convert to Islam.

Source: Bangladesh, a country study
Federal Research Division, Library of Congress
Edited by: James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden
Research Completed September 1988.



Thanks for reading.


other related posts: 
Early History of Bengal - Islamization from 1202 to 1757
European Colonization in Bengal - from 1757 to 1857
History of Bengal Sultanate - Arabic and Persian - Part 
The Famous Mainamati Lalmai, Salvan Bihar, 2nd World War Cemetery, Kotila Mura-Comilla

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Future Buildings and Skyscrapers in the World - Pics

Among all the tallest buildings opening in this decade: some are going to build in North America, some are going to be build in the Middle East and in East Asia. Every couple of months we hear about some new, fantastic space-age construction project that are going to be build somewhere in the world.

This post is a collection of some Images (all are artist’s impressions) of High-rise Buildings / Skyscrapers, Future Cities in the world. All the images have been collected from various sources on the internet. All the structures in this post will be some remarkable master pieces of Architecture and Engineering after they build. Take a look:





Thanks a lot for viewing.

other posts in this blog:
World Famous City Skylines - Part 1
Comilla City Skyline images - 2013
Chittagong City Skyline Images - Part 1
Sylhet City Skyline and Highrise Images - Part 1
Bogra City Skylines and Others - Image Collection Part 1

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Warning about Tropical Cyclone Mahasen !!!


 NASA Sees Two Tropical Cyclones Competing in the Indian Ocean - Update 10 May, 2013

The Indian Ocean is alive with tropical activity today, May 10, as there’s a tropical storm in both the northern and southern oceans. Tropical Cyclone Jamala (formerly 24S) and newborn Tropical Cyclone 01B were both captured on one image from NASA’s Terra satellite today.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this visible image of compact Tropical Cyclone Jamala in the southern Indian Ocean and the much larger Tropical Cyclone One B (01B) in the Northern Indian Ocean on May 10 at 04:25 UTC (12:25 a.m. EDT).

On May 10 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Tropical Cyclone Jamala (formerly Cyclone 24S) had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph). It was centered near 8.7 south latitude and 86.2 east longitude, about 805 nautical miles (926.4 miles/1,491 km) east of Diego Garcia. Jamala is crawling to the south-southeast at 3 knots (3.4 mph/5.5 kph). Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Jamala to shift westward in movement and intensify up to hurricane strength.

A different look at Tropical Cyclone Jamala, using multi-spectral satellite imagery revealed a partially-exposed low-level circulation center and a large area of deep convection displaced over the western side of the storm.

North of the equator in the Northern Indian Ocean, newborn Tropical Cyclone 01B developed from low pressure System 92B. 01B formed near the northern tip of Sumatra. On May 10 at 0900 UTC Tropical Cyclone 01B had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40.2 mph/64.8 kph). It was located 1,052 nautical miles (1,211 miles/1,948 km) south of Chittagong, India, centered near 4.8 north latitude and 93.6 east longitude. Tropical Cyclone 01B was moving to the northeast at 4 knots (4.6 mph/7.4 kph) and is forecast to move northwest into the central Bay of Bengal.

Multi-spectral satellite imagery shows that the fragmented bands of thunderstorms that were seen yesterday, May 9, have now solidified, strengthened and have become tightly wrapped around 01B’s center.

Residents of northwestern Burma and eastern Bangladesh should keep a watch on Tropical Cyclone 01B. Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect 01B to intensify into hurricane force and make landfall on May 14 or 15 in northwestern Burma and eastern Bangladesh.


Image Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA’s Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Jamala in the southern Indian Ocean (bottom) and the much larger Tropical Cyclone One B (01B) in the Northern Indian Ocean on May 10 at 04:25 UTC (12:25 a.m. EDT).


NASA Sees a Strengthening Tropical Cyclone Mahasen - Update 13 May, 2013

The first tropical cyclone in the Northern Indian Ocean this season has been getting better organized as seen in NASA satellite imagery. Tropical Cyclone Mahasen is projected to track north through the Bay of Bengal and make landfall later this week.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Mahasen in the Northern Indian Ocean on May 15 at 07:55 UTC (3:55 a.m. EDT). The image was created by NASA’s MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and showed Mahasen had consolidated over the last two days. Mahasen appeared rounded and its strongest thunderstorms appeared to be surrounding the center of circulation. The center also appears to be topped with a large dense overcast. The image showed Mahasen’s center was northeast of Sri Lanka, although a band of strong thunderstorms south of the storm’s center were affecting the island nation at the time of the image.

On Monday, May 13 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) Mahasen had maximum sustained winds near 50 knots (57.5 mph/92.6 kph). Those winds are expected to increase of the next couple of days. Mahasen was centered near 12.1 north latitude and 86.3 east longitude in the Bay of Bengal, and about 660 nautical miles (759.5 miles/ 1,222 km) south of Kolkata, India. Mahasen is moving to the northwest at 4 knots (4.6 mph/7.4 kph), but is expected to move in a more northerly direction as a result of interaction with a mid-latitude trough (elongated area) of low pressure moving in from the west.

The storm is expected to reach hurricane force by May 15 as it curves northwest. The current forecast track from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center takes the center of Mahasen just north of Chittagong early on May 17 and into northern Burma. Residents in Bangladesh and Burma should begin making preparations for storm surge, heavy rain and strong winds. 


Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this visible image of a well-rounded Tropical Cyclone Mahasen in the Northern Indian Ocean on May 15 at 07:55 UTC (3:55 a.m. EDT). Mahasen is northeast of Sri Lanka and moving northward.


NASA Satellites See Cyclone Mahasen Make the Curve - Update 14 May, 2013

Tropical Cyclone Mahasen is moving northward through the Bay of Bengal and is now being pushed by a trough of low pressure, curving the storm’s track to the northeast. NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites recently captured visible and infrared imagery as the storm began to curve.

NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Cyclone Mahasen on May 13 at 20:05 UTC (4:05 p.m. EDT) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument took the temperature of its cloud tops using infrared light. AIRS showed a large area of strong thunderstorms around the center of circulation where cloud top temperatures were as cold as -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius). The heaviest thunderstorms remained over water and just skirted the southeastern coast of India.

NASA’s Terra satellite flew over Mahasen on May 14 at 05:35 UTC (1:35 a.m. EDT). The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard Terra captured a visible image of the cyclone, revealing that it was a tightly wound, compact storm. Satellite imagery shows that strong convection has developed around the storm’s center, visible in the MODIS image as high thunderstorm cloud tops that cast shadows on surrounding lower thunderstorms.

On May 14, Tropical Cyclone Mahasen continues moving through the Bay of Bengal. At 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) Mahasen’s center was near 15.1 north and 86.4 east, about 484 nautical miles (557 miles/896 km) south-southeast of Kolkata, India. Mahasen was moving to the northeast at 7 knots (8 mph/13 kph) and it had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph).

Sea surface temperatures in the Bay of Bengal are warm enough to support a tropical cyclone. They are currently near 29 to 30 Celsius (84.2 to 86 Fahrenheit) along the forecast track toward Bangladesh. Vertical wind shear has also decreased, which will allow Mahasen to strengthen over the next couple of days.

Mahasen is forecast to intensify to 70 knots before making landfall near Chittagong, Bangladesh on Thursday, May 16. 



Image Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team 
NASA’s Terra satellite flew over Mahasen on May 14 at 05:35 UTC (1:35 a.m. EDT). The MODIS instrument aboard Terra captured a visible image of the cyclone, revealing that it was a tightly wound, compact storm. 


Image Credit: NASA JPL/Ed OlsenNASA’s
Aqua satellite flew over Cyclone Mahasen on May 13 at 20:05 UTC (4:05 p.m. EDT) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument took the temperature of its cloud tops using infrared light. AIRS showed a large area of strong thunderstorms (purple) around the center of circulation.

Source: NASA




Other Images:

Image Source: http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/indian/images/xxwvm5

 
Image source: reliefweb.int

Image source: bbc.co.uk

Image source: wunderground.com

Sunday, May 12, 2013

About BIDS - Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies

The Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) or The Bangladesh Unnayan Gobeshona Protishthan, is an autonomous public multi-disciplinary organization which conducts policy oriented research on development issues facing Bangladesh and other developing countries. The mission is to facilitate learning in development solutions by conducting credible research, fostering policy dialogue, disseminating policy options, and developing coalitions to promote informed policy making.

The Institute also conducts training on research methodologies and carries out evaluation of development interventions. In that pursuit, BIDS is involved in collection and generation of socio-economic data for carrying out analytical and policy loaded research on current economic and social issues and dissemination of research findings and knowledge on developmental concerns to support policy formulation. BIDS researchers also contribute directly to formulation of government policies through their interactions and participation in the policy making process.

A Brief History of BIDS:
The Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) had its origin in Pakistan, named as the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and established in June 1957. From the very beginning, PIDE was served by a significant number of Bengali scholars and a distinguished body of foreign scholars. Through its performance, PIDE attracted bright young economists and social scientists that began their career at the Institute. The PIDE was moved to Dhaka in January 1971.

After the emergence of independent Bangladesh in 1971, the Institute was called the Bangladesh Institute of Development Economics (BIDE). Later on, a Parliamentary Charter was awarded in 1974 and the Institute was renamed as the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) to reflect its multidisciplinary focus of development research. It was incorporated as an autonomous body, governed by a high powered Board of Trustees under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Since 1974, through a process of national level institutional restructuring, two other institutions: the Population Study Centre and the National Foundation for Research on Human Resources Development were merged with BIDS in 1982 and 1983 respectively.

With its multidisciplinary focus on development, evolving development paradigm, and changing economic and social realities of the country, the research focus of BIDS covers a wide range of issues including macroeconomic fundamentals, agriculture and rural development, poverty and inequality, trade, food security, microcredit, industry and small and medium enterprises, labor market, health, nutrition,  education, rural nonfarm activities, environment and climate change, water resources management, energy, gender and empowerment, migration, urbanization and other areas of dynamics of development in Bangladesh and developing countries in general. Emerging priority issues include macroeconomic management, environment and climate change impacts, infrastructure including energy and power, and impact of globalization.

Initially, funding for BIDS was made through regular government budgetary support. In 1983, the Government created an endowment fund to ensure a source of recurring revenue for running the Institute, thereby reducing its dependence on regular budgetary support, and enabling BIDS to enjoy more functional autonomy. In 2009, the Government provided a Research Endowment Fund of Tk. 200 million to support   core institutional research of BIDS. Some donor agencies and foundations also provide resources for its activities.

Goals and Objectives of BIDS:
The strategic objectives of BIDS are crystallized around the theme of generating credible policy oriented research on development issues facing Bangladesh and other developing countries along with strengthening research-policy links to promote informed policy making in Bangladesh. In the pursuit of its strategic objectives, BIDS activities are multi-dimensional and inherently straddle several objectives:

  • Promote excellence in policy research and extend the knowledge frontiers to facilitate learning in development solutions especially in priority areas    of development related to social well being of the poor and disadvantaged groups in society;
  • Collect and generate socioeconomic data to facilitate the conduct of analytical research on current economic and social issues and facilitate development planning and policy formulation by the government;
  • Disseminate knowledge and research based policy options to the policy makers and assist them in designing credible development strategies for achieving economic and social goals;
  • Expand outreach of research to civil society and other stakeholders to help shape policy debates on key development issues, develop broader understanding and consensus, and promote knowledge based policy agenda;   
  • Conduct training and capacity building programs and promote the application of cutting edge research techniques and appropriate methodologies in economics and allied social sciences to develop human and institutional capacities within the government and in other institutions;
  • Promote research communication and networking to share research findings on the BIDS knowledge base and stimulate interaction within the research community, policy makers, civil society, and other stakeholders through organizing workshops, seminars, conferences, and using different modes of print and electronic media.
Source: Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). For further details please visit the web portal.
Thanks.

Read other posts:
About BCAS - Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies

About the Ministry of Water Resources - MoWR
AFD BD - Armed Forces Division of Bangladesh
The National Web Portal of Bangladesh
Computer and IT Associations and Organizations in Bangladesh
Some important Website of Bangladesh Government 

E Service - The National InfoKosh of Bangladesh
District Portals for all Districts of Bangladesh
About BEPZA - Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority

Ministry of Industries, Bangladesh
Disaster Management Bureau - Bangladesh
Ministry of Environment and Forests