Forests is another important natural resource. It has three important functions. It performs regulatory function by regulating the climatic condition. It perform productive function by producing food, fuel, important articles, medicines and timbers. It perform protective function by protecting landscape from soil erosion and floods. Besides, conserving them, Panchayats by the help of Ministry of Rural Areas can adopt the Joint Forest Management Programme and Social Forestry in their villages. Panchayats can create awareness among the local people to conserve and increase the forest cover and can initiate a feeling of participation among the local people to join hands to protect and increase the forest cover of their area. Panchayats are the best suitable groups to initiate Joint forest management programes because they are the people who know how much important forests are for a rural economy. Forest are the basic natural resource available to them and with the help of local people Panchayats can help increase the forest cover and can exploit this natural resource in a healthy way which will initiate the social - economic progress of the area.

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