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People’s Participation in Biodiversity Conservation “A partnership of forest based communities to generate solutions for conserving the biodiversity, co-managing natural resources to sustain livelihoods and overcome poverty to sustain development�



© Copyright of photographs 2010-2011 PMU, CBNRM project © UNDP November 2011. The booklet was developed as a result of UNDP assistance under the project – ‘Biodiversity Conservation through Community based Natural Resource Management“. UNDP and the Ministry for Environment and Forests, Government of India, will retain the rights to use the booklet for non-commerical purposes.


Foreword A project on “Biodiversity Conservation through Community based Natural Resource Management” is being implemented by Government of India through a Country Cooperation Framework of United Nations Development Programme. Interventions under the project are expected to become models of biodiversity conservation to be applied at different bio-geographic conservation sites in four states: Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Orissa. In order to reflect on three years of implementation experiences, a booklet, “People’s Participation in Biodiversity Conservation,” has been prepared. This booklet summarizes the outcome of interventions involving forest based communities. It also brings forward their multiple exposure to participate, involve and be ready to make sensitive decisions to manage natural resources through village level institutions in a decentralized manner. This booklet brings out those piloted results implemented in priority conservation sites, while up-scaling biodiversity conservation measures and its sustainability for deriving economic benefits from eco-based livelihoods for rural tribal communities. I am glad to introduce and share this booklet with all stakeholders engaged in conservation actions and committed to global objectives of Biological Diversity Convention. The Ministry of Environment and Forests, values this project’s collective implementation efforts on conservation and development approaches. I am sure that different stakeholders including people, managers, community leaders, and administrators will benefit and be informed of local challenges, demand for adaptation of conservation actions and motivation of tribal communities to put into practice long term sustainable community oriented protection and conservation measures at state, district and village level. I am sure the useful initiatives implemented under this project will be adopted by different stakeholders and replicated in future.

(M.F. Farooqui)


Hem Pande Joint Secretary


Biodiversity conservation is a key to the national government’s policies on environment protection, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. The Ministry of Environment and Forests adopts these policies to harmonize nationally implemented programmes with globally agreed objectives on sustainable development to address all aspects related to biodiversity conservation including reduction in diversion of forest areas for non-forestry use. The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and United Nations Development Programme embarked on a project in 2008 focusing on benefits of conserving the endangered biodiversity and strengthening actions of communitybased institutions to manage naturally occurring resources more sustainably to secure livelihoods of forest-dependent communities. Through field activities, this project aims to promote awareness among practitioners from across disciplines about effective community-oriented management of diverse biological resources for well-being of local communities and regulate incentives for livelihood at the grassroots. This booklet illustrates the main outputs and outcomes of this project. It is supported by a compendium of results achieved in different conservation sites of four project states: Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa. This booklet demonstrates perspective changes in the way of living by forest-dependent communities at the bottom of using not only natural resources but establishing locally a balance between people’s needs, income and protection to keep together the ecological goods for economic development. This booklet’s emphasis is on recognizing concepts and methods locally adopted to appropriately promote conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, two of the three pillars of the Convention of Biodiversity (CBD). The project encourages local people to participate and take into account their economic, social, cultural and traditional knowledge for sustainable development of relevant conservation measures and management of ecological goods and services. I thank the coordinators of the state coordinating agencies –Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce (T&D) Cooperative Federation Ltd, Chhattisgarh, G B Pant contd.


Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Arunachal Pradesh, Institute of Forest Productivity, Jharkhand and Regional Plant Resource Centre, Orissa, for bringing together stakeholders including partner NGOs in implementing this project with effective management and conservation approaches. My appreciation is due to my colleague Dr R K Rai, Director and Project Coordinator in the Ministry for continuous support. I also extend my appreciation to the divisional forest officers, staff the of district unions, forest range offices, project coordinators, research fellows, field assistants and technical experts who have worked hard to make this project a success. I also put on record the sincere work of the Project Monitoring Unit staff at the Ministry, Dr Yashpal Singh, Project officer and Ms Irene Stephen, Project Associate for their diligence and coordination with the implementing agencies in the states. More importantly, local communities ought to be appreciated for being closely involved in this project. I hope the experiences of this project will bring a meaningful change in the lives of communities whose livelihood is dependent on biodiversity in general and forest biodiversity in particular.


Acknowledgments The booklet has been made possible with support from the following implementing partners: Arunachal Pradesh State Forest Research Institute, NERIST, Nature Care and Disaster Management Society, WWF–India, Apatani Plateau (proposed World Heritage site) and Tawang–West Kameng Biosphere Reserve (proposed) Forest Division, Department of Environment and Forests, Government of Arunachal Pradesh Chhattisgarh District Union Jagdalpur Primary Forest Produce Cooperative Society, District Union North Kondagaon Primary Forest Produce Cooperative Society, District Union Katghora Primary Forest Produce Cooperative Society under Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce (T&D) Cooperative Federation Ltd. Jharkhand Nature Conservation Society, Lok Prerna, Society for Promotion of Wasteland Development (Eastern Region), Society for Participatory Action and Reflection, Network for Enterprise Enhancement & Development Support Orissa Nehru Seva Sangha, Banapur and Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Nidhi (RGVN) Bhubaneswar, Orissa


Sources of information Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce (T&D) Cooperative Federation Ltd, Raipur – Shri AK Singh, Managing Director, Mr Venkata Krishna Rao, Project Coordinator and Dr Nitu Hermuk, Research Fellow; G B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, North East Unit, Itanagar Arunachal Pradesh – Dr Parsanna K Samal, Scientistin-Charge, Mr Mahendra S Lodi, Scientist, Dr L Jintendre Singh, Project Coordinator, Mr Mihin Dollo Project Manager; Institute of Forest Productivity, Ranchi, Jharkhand – Shri Rameshwar Das, Director, Mr Pritam Simes, Project Coordinator, Rajeev Ranjan, Research Fellow; Regional Plant Resource Centre, Bhubaneswar, Orissa – Dr A K Mohapatra, Chief Executive, Shri Partha Das, Project Coordinator and the Divisional Forest Department and range office Berhampur Forest Division Digapahandi Range, Sambalpur (S) Forest Division Padiabahal Range and Khordha Forest Division Balugaon Range; Editorial guidance from Mr Pramod Krishnan, Programme Analyst, Dr Ruchi Pant, Programme Analyst, Energy and Environment Unit, UNDP Documentation of the booklet was done by BC-CBNRM Project Management Unit project staff: Dr Yashpal Singh, project officer; composition and drafting by Ms Irene Stephen, project associate; supported by Ms Anita Yadav, project data entry operator and Brijesh Yadav, office assistant.


Background of the National Biodiversity Conservation Programme Environmental protection and conservation of natural resources emerged as a national priority for India after the 1972 Stockholm Conference on Human Environment. Between then and the Rio Earth Summit in June 1992, India developed an organizational structure and a legal and policy framework for protection of environment, wildlife and natural resources keeping in mind the need to simultaneously reduce poverty. India, a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity since June 1992, ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity in February 1994. India recognized the principles offered by the Convention and forged ahead to establish international cooperation for conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Through the Convention’s three objectives : conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of goods and services and equal sharing of benefits and various national schemes for development are implemented by national programmes to meet the commitment and opportunities offered by the Convention. Given the mandate, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, designated as the nodal Ministry, developed a National Biodiversity Action Plan and enacted the Biological Diversity Act in 2002 followed by the Rules in 2004. The Plan and the National Environment Policy seek to achieve harmony among conservation of biodiversity, natural resources and sustainable development. The National Biodiversity Action Plan provides a framework for consultative actions with local communities to build stronger links with local, state, national and international stakeholders. The 10th and 11th Five Year Plans emphasize a need to translate into reality, “equal rights to access development, and lessen gaps in knowledge-base needs for implementing conservation measures and proper utilization of natural resources to support people’s livelihood and to reduce poverty.”


Currently, India is working towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MGD) by nationally implementing actions that integrate principles of sustainable development with the country’s policies and programmes for human development. It aims to achieve Goal- 7 of the MDG aspiring to ensure environmental sustainability and targets to “integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse loss of environmental resources,� with seven identified indicators. India has set two targets: to increase forest land and tree cover by specifically addressing the need for resource conservation and to maintain a proportion of land area covered by forests vis-a-vis the area protected for maintenance of biological diversity. Sources: State of Environment Report, 2009; National Biodiversity Action Plan, 2008; MDG India Country Report, 2005


Facts on Biodiversity in India •

India, an immensely diverse country with only 2.4% of the world’s land area contributes to 7-8% of recorded species of plants (45,500) and animals (91,000).

The known biological diversity constitutes 7 to 8% of the global total.

It has been estimated at least 10 % of the country’s recorded wild flora and possibly the same percentage of wild fauna are on the threatened list. It is estimated at least 18.4% fauna species are endemic (they exist in no other country) and 10.8% fauna species are threatened and 26.8% of vascular plants are endemic.

India’s forests cover 21.05% of India’s total geographic area, which includes 2.54% of very dense forest, 10.32 % moderately dense forest, and 8.75% open forest. The tree cover is about 3.04% and area under grasslands is 3.9% and about 2% is desert area.

Out of India’s total geographical area, Protected Areas include National Parks (1.19%), Wildlife Sanctuaries (3.60%), Conservation Reserves (0.04%), and Protected Areas (4.83%). Protected Areas include 102 National Parks, 515 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 47 Conservation Reserves, 4 Community Reserves and 18 Biosphere Reserves.

Through network of Protected Areas approximately 4.83% of total geographical area has been earmarked for in-situ conservation of habitats and ecosystems. About 277 botanical gardens complement in-situ and ex-situ conservation.

India has four identified biodiversity hot spots: Eastern Himalayas, Western Ghats, Indo-Burma and Nicobar Islands and over 19,000 sacred groves initiated by communities to conserve biodiversity.

About 4.9% of the country’s area is protected under IUCN categories I-V: Nature Reserves, Wilderness Areas, and National Parks (categories I and II), Areas Managed for Sustainable Use and Unclassified Areas (category VI and ‘other’), Natural Monuments, Species Management Areas, and Protected Landscapes and Seascapes (categories III, IV, and V).

For a long time, medicinal and aromatic plants have been used in the country. About 2,000 native plant species have curative properties and 1,300 species are known for their aroma. Nearly 6,500 native plants are still used prominently in indigenous healthcare systems.

Source: State of Environment Report, 2011; National Biodiversity Action Plan, 2008; Forest Survey of India, 2005; Wildlife Institute of India, 2009


Intrinsic value of natural resources: Forests and biodiversity Our earth sustains biodiversity,1 or the variety of life forms which survive best in different ecosystems such as forests that are ecologically, economically, and culturally valuable. Biological resources owe their diversity to inherited species of plants and animals and form a network of fragile ecosystems, important for the community’s continued survival on naturally occurring goods like edible fruits and nuts, timber, fibers, wax, resins, aromatic herbs-plants, dyes, gums and medicines. Forests provide the habitat for a variety of plants and animals. They are also crucial in stabilizing climatic conditions and purifying the atmosphere, regulating water reserves and preventing soil erosion and land degradation. Many generations of civilizations have been dependent on natural capital which includes biological resources and forests to sustain livelihood. Over years, this form of dependence has reversed patterns of usage and consumption of ecological goods. It has oversimplified the ecosystem’s services only to indicate declining trends in a variety of flora and fauna and the slowing down of nature’s replenishing process. Many facts state that natural resources are degrading and shrinking much faster than the rate of natural replacement. This degradation draws the attention of communities confronted with questions linked to the ripple effects of degradation of the environment. Today communities are compelled to give several answers. These include:

1 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), article 2



How do we safeguard the forest’s biodiversity and stop conversion of usable land?


How do we manage and protect forest areas from degradation and illegal extraction of ecological goods?


How do we maintain the natural yield of biological resources?


How do we address root causes linked to consumption patterns and market linkages, while sustaining livelihood activities?


How can we overcome the underlying consequence of wastage, over-utilization and indirect stress on the environment’s wealth?


Can marginalized forest-based communities participate in the governance process to manage local resources and subvert their poverty conditions?


Will small eco-enterprises be counter-productive and become sources of income to improve lives of marginalized forestbased communities?

In order to answer these questions, it is very important to determine fundamental outcomes of current local development process, the purposes of poverty reduction strategy and the intention of environment management and conservation of natural resources. Hence, it is vital for decision-makers, policy planners, administrators, community managers, conservationists, leaders and individuals to re-consider and prioritize issues relating to biodiversity and forests as an important asset for human and economic development and the security and well-being of people. 12


Ecosystem – community of different species interacting with one another within environment and energy

Communities Population Organisms

Abiotic, Biotic, Components – air, water nutrients, solar energy

Changing population, Dynamic Succession, Evolution

Natural Resources

People, societies, communities, Economies, Livelihoods, Needs, Wants and Strategy for Resource Use, Eco-system use

Renewable air, water, land – Biomes terrestrial system – forests, grasslands Marine and Aquatic system

Non Renewable Minerals, Fossil Fuels

Biodiversity Genes, Species, Ecosystems Eco-services and Goods Food Resources – Crops, Livestock

Figure 1: Functional relationship of ecosystem and biodiversity for well-being of society

Environment degredation, Health Risk, Pollution of air, water, land

Throwaway Wastage Consumption



Making sure that goods and services provided by biodiversity and forests is accounted for in the development process

Our society and economy need biodiversity and forests India is one of the major bio-diverse regions in the world. Biodiversity in the country is found across topographical landscapes2 that correspond to rich biomes and bio-geographical zones covering different ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, deserts, wetlands, freshwater and marine ecosystems. India’s forests include semievergreen rain forests, deciduous monsoon forests, thorny forests, subtropical pine forests, and temperate mountain forests3, all rich and diverse in native plants and animals. Such diversity in forest types and naturally-occurring resources has shaped traditional agro-forestry-based livelihood for about 84.3 million forest-based 2 Mountains covering an area close to 100 million hectare , arid and semi-arid zones spread over 30 million hectare and coast line running over 7,000 kms. 3 State of Environment Report, 2009, (Lal, 1989)


tribal communities. Naturally linked to the web of ecological goods derived from a variety of biological resources, it has been a key to rural tribal’s well being. Yet there are nearly 47.3%4 of tribal people in India still vulnerable to poverty, limiting their access to necessities of development. The present development process rolled out by the national policy for forest fringe native villages mainly focuses on overcoming inadequacies and giving equal opportunity for access to development needs. The divide between development needs and measures to conserve forests and their biodiversity is been driven by several reasons. Ruralbased tribes are often excluded from decisions made around forests that affect their lives. Locally governed institutions are not always equipped or capable of taking responsibility for making decisions while managing naturally occurring resources surrounding the forests. Marginalized tribes are still far from accessing their rights to be represented and involved in making and taking decisions. With insufficient safeguards for economic valuation of organic and nonwoody products, rural and urban market operators continue to practice destructive extraction and harvesting methods including diverse collection of plants and poaching of wild animals. This has led to functional irregularity in ecological services and reduction in supply of goods, found naturally in our forests for centuries. To indicate higher risks of marginalized tribes of possible deprivation, poverty and limitation to access and choose alternatives for development there is a need for collective actions to protect the forests and its biodiversity for the community’s well-being. 4 Development Challenges in Extremist Affected Areas — Report of an Expert Group, MoHA, GOI Source: figures from State of Environment India, 2009 pages 50, 55, 59 and MDG India Country Report, 2005; State of Forest Report, 2003


Waste Pollution, Resources Depletion

Population, Technology, Science, Education

Nonrenewable Resource

Economy, enviornmental impact per unit of resources, per capital resources consumption

Potentially Renewable Resources – Biodiversity

State, District, VIllage

Ethics, Religion, Politics

Social Problems – population, resource shortage, poverty, health, sanitation, illiteracy, economic instability, marginalised and excluded communities

Environment Degradation Wildlife Extinction Climate Change

Energy Resources

Figure2: Root causes for biodiversity loss

Therefore, all stakeholders must, as far as possible, recognize their responsibility to initiate effective management and conservation measures locally to preserve the web of forest’s ecosystem for present needs and for future generations. 16

At the same time, stakeholders must be in agreement to integrate as appropriately as possible the course of local and national action plans. This will guide relevant development sectors to adopt policies that address the principles of conservation measures and target to achieve prerequisite sustainability in forests and their biodiversity. For Government of India, the foremost priority is poverty reduction and sustainable development for the people. As the nation grows, so is the demand for environmental wealth of naturally occurring resources. So, it is necessary to build capacities of people and local institutions to be involved in conservation of naturally occurring resources. The Indian government is very optimistic that its national environment protection policy and biodiversity action plan will safeguard components of biodiversity and valuable ecological services and goods while making provision for rural people’s livelihood. With decentralized process of governance in place at local level, the planning, management and decision-making needs are in the process of integration with policies of other sectors to achieve a right-based development for grass-root people.



Local Communities – access their common rights to share and benefit from development needs while minimizing their survival risk from diminishing forest biodiversity

About the people involved in the project Four states of India —- Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, were identified for implementing this project. These four states have vast stretches of fragile forest cover and are diverse in naturally occurring biological resources and derived ecological goods. However, these states still have tribal communities that rank low on the national human development index. As a community, their basic living requirements are still below prescribed national development standards. Since a fair proportion of marginalized tribes still inhabit forest-fringe villages situated within or outside forest areas, they have been away from policy attention and access to development necessities. Remoteness of villages is a limitation to mobility, and often 18

compelling tribal communities to manage their human, social and financial assets within a traditional capacity to respond to vulnerable conditions. Even their livelihood is at risk of being exposed to frequent changes in the status of environment’s wealth. Moreover, the existing environmental management systems practiced by local governing institutions are not adequately equipped to respond to changes in natural conditions that arise from degrading watersheds, disruption in nutrients of useable land, decreasing precipitation, reduce productivity of locally grown crops. Only to affect local food supply and reduce availability of naturally occurring biological resources. As naturally biological resources dwindle, so have sources of income centered on traditional collection and harvesting of non-woody or Minor Forest Produce. Marginalized tribes across the four project states are often unable to take advantage of present development opportunities and have to cope and survive with consequences of changes in supply and functional services of the environment’s wealth. The marginalized tribes , have common needs, which need to be addressed as follows: ƒƒ

Need to conserve naturally occurring biological resources through community-based management methods.


Need to restore degraded forest habitats through species cum eco-system recovery interventions.


Need to secure gender participation with equal rights to access pool of locally occurring natural resources.


Need to revive traditional conservation practices and knowledge that are ecologically viable in the context of the present status of naturally occurring resources. 19



Need to improve capacities of self–governing communitybased institutions to have equal representation and participation in planning, management and decision making process.


Need to facilitate partnership among community, local development planning institutions, the state and the nation for better coordination and integration process of development policies with local plans to catalyze biodiversity conservation aimed at reducing poverty.


Nature’s boundary for survival of forests, its biodiversity and people

Biodiversity and forest important for development Through bilateral cooperation, Government of India and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are addressing challenges faced due to biodiversity loss and deficiency in locally managing forest resources by implementing the project on Biodiversity Conservation through Community based Natural Resource Management. The project endorses cooperation between the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Department of External Affairs, both Government of India, and UNDP to jointly achieve goals of sustainable development. This project is for an intervening period from January 2008-December 2012 with funding for $3 million (USD) supported through UNDP Country Cooperation Framework. 21

UNDP upholds Government of India’s policies especially in pursuit of a course of sustainable plan of actions to reduce poverty and ensure simultaneous human development. As UNDP works with the national government and state governments in India, a partnership is established through this project with state technical institutes like Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce (T&D) Cooperative Federation Ltd, in Chhattisgarh, G B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development in Arunachal Pradesh, Institute of Forest Productivity in Jharkhand and Regional Plant Resource Centre in Orissa. The approach is multi-disciplinary to interlink several development actions in harmony within fragile ecosystems and connect the actions based on indigenous perceptions and knowledge to use native biological resources and manage forest habitats to improve livelihood of marginalized forest-based communities in the project states. In India, UNDP continues to advocate for course of actions to deliver objectives of the globally-agreed Convention on Biological Diversity and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in accordance with development policies that allow equal access and sharing of resources to benefit national, state and local environs of villages while addressing all aspects related to biodiversity conservation including reduction in diversion of forest areas for non-forestry use.


Methodology adopted by the project This project safeguards the rights of marginalized tribes by encouraging them to be co-partners in managing forest habitats and its native biological resources even as they adapt to improve their livelihood options. Proper recognition must be given to those tribes who need to build their capacity for rightly managing natural assets and to rise above their insecurities due to poverty. This project brings to focus the prototype of local initiatives specific to state conditions. It adapts measures learnt from lessons to prevent loss and manage resources to solve common needs for conservation. It also aims to be helpful in directing the course for other projects in future. The project is foreseen with two objectives: 1.

Facilitate integration of national and state policies to be more responsive in preserving the links among rural livelihoods, biodiversity conservation and forest protection measures.


Enhance capacity of communities and institutions to adapt decentralized form of management including participation in decision-making process for ensuring equity, transparency and accountability.

Implementation of project components: a) Community-driven approaches piloted at local level demonstrate methods to get to the bottom of solving conservation measures that protect biodiversity and manage processes to sustain naturally-occurring resources for supporting alternative livelihoods. b)

Advocacy of piloted methods and tools to guide governing process of community-based institutions and integrate localized conservation and management actions with national and state policies oriented for community development. 23

Ecological Process Economy – Social Development Policy National – State Distribution of Governance Self Governance Community Network and Institutions Limited Access, Participation, Security


Household social assets human assets production assets

Increased Access, Participation, Security


Livelihood system




Figure3: Methodology adopted by the BC-CBNRM project


This project pays attention to conservation of forests, their biodiversity and products obtained for utility, income and market gains. The project intends to pilot those methods of management processes and grass root measures that are oriented towards a community’s requirements and sensitive to their social and cultural perceptions and local knowledge. The project seeks to rework approaches that are compatible to traditional practices to maintain rights of the tribal community by encouraging them to overcome exclusion by forming institutions represented by their clusters of native villages. Become co-managers within the local level selfgoverning institutional setup to locally mange natural assets, and be capable of carrying out livelihood activities without losing out on the forest’s stock of natural resources and its derived product. In four states, the project intends to streamline those local processes that have solved common needs of the community and be model examples for anticipated projects in future by giving thrust to the following aspects: ƒƒ

Sustain the forest’s ecosystem by understanding impacts due to biodiversity loss of threatened species and recover degraded forest habitats through eco-development and rehabilitation activities


Locally integrate conservation measures with need for alternative livelihood


Improve basic infrastructure services for well-being of forestdependent communities


Empower forest-dependent communities by building their traditional capacity to adapt to self-governance process of planning, managing and making decisions to locally influence equity in sharing of benefits and follow transparency and accountability within the self governing mechanism. 25


Arunachal Pradesh – among the world’s few Biodiversity Hot Spots

Arunachal Pradesh The Challenge Arunachal Pradesh has an exceptional natural heritage with a continuing legacy of diversity in forest resources. For generations, a strong bond has existed among the unparalleled diversity and richness of forests, the environment and the people. The state’s forests are among the world’s few biodiversity hot spots with a treasured collection of seeds of wild flora. Vast forest areas of this this state continue to provide valuable non-timber products to 26

Project Location: Arunachal Pradesh Selected villages and eco-regions/sites rich in biological resources and spread across district boundaries and vast stretches of Reserved and Protected Forest lands Districts: 3: West Kameng, Tawang, Lower Subansiri Blocks: 5: Dirang, Nafra-Buragaon, Thinghu-Mukto, Lumla, Ziro-l Villages: 33: Dirang (6), Nafra-Buragaon (1), Thinghu-Mukto(2), Lumla(9), Ziro-I (15) Reserved and Protected Forests: Apatani Plateau (proposed World Heritage Site) and Tawang-West Kameng Biosphere Reserve (proposed) Users (beneficiaries): Apatani tribe in Apatani Plateau and Or Hrusso and Monpa tribes in Tawang-West Kemeng Biosphere Reserve (proposed) Partners: State Forest Research Institute, NERIST, Nature Care and Disaster Management Society, WWF-India Biodiversity facts •

Forest cover in the state is 68,847 sq km (December 1998 to February 1999), which is 82.21% of the state’s geographical area. Recorded forest area is 51,540 sq km, which is about 61.50% of the total geographical area. Of this, classified forest area is 19,500 sq km. The state is part of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot.

The State has one Biosphere Reserve – Dihang Dibang, two national parks – Namdapa ( tiger reserve) and Molding

Arunachal Pradesh is endowed with about 5000 species of plants and about 500 orchid species.

The state is home to 8 out of 16 species of India’s primates.

About 650 species of birds, 105 species of fishes, 42 species of amphibians and more than a 100 species of mammals live in its forests.

More than 450 plants have been identified with medicinal properties.

Source: Arunachal Pradesh State Development Report, 2005


the rest of the country and are of utmost importance to the local community’s livelihood. However, there has been progressive denudation of forest cover which has resulted in a decline in collection of flora and fauna. In the last few decades, traditional agro-forestry practices have given way to more modern techniques. Even though road networks link hills and remote lands with the plains, forest- based communities continue to be unable to fully use the potential of quality educational facilities, medical care or even get adequate income without posing potential destruction to pristine land covered with forest trees and plants. This is the challenge before Arunachal Pradesh — can the rich hot spot of biological resources be protected in the face of under-developed local capacity and productivity? Piloted results – Elected community institutions manage common natural resources Local tribes Monpa, Or Hrusso and Apatani that live in project villages in Tawang-West Kameng Biosphere Reserve (proposed), and Apatani plateau are involved in implementing project activities. The tribes have elected a council also called Biodiversity Management Committee to represent their community institution and turn attention to collective actions for conserving and managing community forest resources especially to sustain livelihoods. While the project in the state aims to protect the exceptional sites of natural and cultural heritage, inventories of biological resources like flora collection including trees, shrubs, herbs, climbers, orchids, ferns, fauna diversity and age-old indigenous knowledge and generational practices related to agriculture, fisheries and forestry are documented for better awareness and preservation 28


Tribal farmers revived traditional cultivation of paddy and fish in Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh

practices. Measures are to enhance options to continue traditional and customary sources of livelihood. Notably, this involves special assistance to local people who are owners and are trained and made aware of better measures to restore forest habitat and maintain biodiversity status of endemic flora native to the region. Giving attention to natural conservation, the project has supported Apatani tribal farmers with relevant cultivation and propagation techniques offering them income benefit to cultivate local crop varieties including home-gardening of seasonal vegetables and fish harvesting. Through Ex-situ conservation direct extraction of medicinal plants like Star Anise (Illicium griffithii) and Himalayan 29

Yew (Taxus wallichiana) from the forest is stopped. Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) are propagated at high altitude nurseries to re-produce saplings like Chirata (Swertia chirayita) and Himalayan Yew (Taxus wallichiana), since both plants are now threatened in the eastern Himalayan region. Unused agricultural land in Apatani plateau was planted with saplings of horticulture and commercial crops like Kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa) and large Cardamom (Amomum subulatum) to help tribal farmers earn from the yield. Approximately 5000 hectares in Apatani plateau have been declared as Mihin Radhe and Siskhe-Bo and more than 150 hectares of forest in Tawang –West Kameng Biosphere reserve (proposed) is declared as Ritosa Dee and Hugore Sewaphu Community Conserved Area based on richness of plant and tree species, and 300 sq km of Thembang Bapu Community Conserved Area is being strengthened. Similarly, forest patches were selected to be Sacred Groves in Moilyang, Lempia and Tajang villages in Apatani plateau and in villages Jamiri, Namshu, Sangti in Tawang-West Kameng Biosphere Reserve (proposed). Extraction of non timber forest produce, cutting trees, cultivation and hunting is strictly restricted there. Thembang Bapu Community Conserved Area is about 30,000 hectares of natural legacy of biodiversity in Tawang-West Kameng biosphere reserve (proposed) also facilitates eco-tourism in partnership with local tribes in Namhsu, Sangti and Thembang villages. Eco-tourism activities are locally managed to channel out livelihood options. Changes in the bio-reserve’s socio-economic pattern and energy balance are monitored by the project. Adding value to other ecodevelopment activities that is of additional income to local people, they are encouraged to operate backyard poultries, piggeries, fisheries and operate units to make bio-briquettes from organic 30


Village Biodiversity Management Committee in consultation with people’s village council have imposed rules to punish violators from harming common resources from community forest areas in Arunachal Pradesh

compost of bio-wastes and improve the capacity of tribal farmers to adopt low-cost techniques to cultivate crop varieties; many of the local Self Help Groups of tribal women are engaging themselves in tailoring, embroidery and handicrafts like making traditional bags and weaving traditional carpets known as Taan. The project for its research in development and governance interventions in selected sites of Arunachal Pradesh was awarded the SCHOLL Research Challenge Award 2010 by North-East Development Foundation, National Foundation for India and International Development Research Centre, Canada, in the category Sustainable Development and Preservation of the Ecosystem. 31


Use of forest based goods and services to sustain livelihood, Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh The Challenge Culture, tradition and livelihood of people in Chhattisgarh are inextricably linked with forests. Natural resources are this land’s assets. Inhabited by a large number of tribes, dependence on agriculture is overshadowed by extraction and harvesting of Minor Forest Produce for local consumption or sale. Much of this collection activity is done seasonally by a network of traditional collectors and village primary cooperative committees. At the local level, over-extraction of Minor Forest Produce has depleted forest cover and its stocks of biological resources. This form of access to Minor Forest Produce has challenged legal status and systems in place to 32

Project Location: Chhattisgarh Selected villages and eco-regions/sites rich in biological resources and spread across district boundaries and vast stretches of Reserved and Protected Forest lands Districts: 2: Bastar and Korba Blocks: 3: Jagdalpur, Keshkal, Pali Villages: 32: Keshkal (16), Pali(11), Jagdalpur (5) Reserved Forests: Jagdalpur Reserved Forest, Kondagaon Reserved Forest, Katghora Reserved Forest, North Kondagaon. Users (beneficiaries): Dhanwar, Meejhwar and Gond tribes Partners: District Forest Union Jagdalpur-Joint Forest Management Committees and Primary Forest Produce Cooperative Society, District Forest Union North Kondagaon-Joint Forest Management Committees and Primary Forest Produce Cooperative Society, District Forest Union Katghora-Joint Forest Management Committees and Primary Forest Produce Cooperative Society Biodiversity facts •

44% of the state’s area is under forest cover (forest land and revenue forests). The forests are of two types: tropical moist deciduous and tropical dry deciduous.

Villages mostly depend on forest resources for different purposes like furniture (21.1%), firewood (45.0%), herbs and medicines (23.4%), minor forest produce (49.8%).

Income generated from forest resources is 19.7% while 55.3% of people’s livelihood is dependent on forest resources

Forest Department estimates that about 2,00,000 tribal families are associated with forest-based economic activities.

Chhattisgarh accounts for about 20 % of the total production of minor forest produce in the country i.e tendu leaves, mahua flowers and seeds, harra, bahera, , tamarind, lac, gum and Khair or katha Acacia catechu).

Source: Chhattisgarh State Development Report, 2005

manage and use non-forest based resources. Responding to this, the state’s policy, rules and regulations support the functional 33


Tribal women self help group trained to process Raily Cocoon, Kathghora Division Chhattisgarh


roles for a set of complex stakeholders like the revenue and forest departments and the Panchayat functionary and requires of them to coordinate and attempt to decide and maintain a balance within an given institutional set-up for them to work towards preserving the diversity of resources. At the same time, there is the need to ensure that local community is not isolated from its traditional institutional practices and allowed equally to access natural resources outside reserved environments. Added to this dilemma, the local management system and people’s capacity lack simple adaptation approaches to operate effectively and optimize community resources to benefit their sustenance and livelihood. With low representation and participation of the community at

village-level elected governing institutions, there is an urgent need for stakeholders to collaborate with local people to translate those effective processes for better governance. It will also catalyze equal participation within a community-oriented management regime that best suits the advantage of the rural economy and their livelihood, primarily relying on self-cultivation of farm land, sale of collected non-forest products in order to fulfill the families and the community’s sustenance needs. Piloted results – Empowering tribal groups to sustain forest biodiversity by protecting threatened plants This project aims to maintain and regenerate magnificent forests unique to Chhattisgarh, by forestry recovery methods. Recovery includes retention of forest soil moisture and water recharging sources by building water conservation structures like brushwood check dams, boulder check dams, cemented check dams, small wells (thodi) and wells within forest areas. In an effort to conserve threatened plants (flora), an inventory of ethno-botanical collection and non-forestry resources found in sample plots of selected reserve forest land was surveyed by the project augmented with the tribal community’s traditional knowledge. Through In-situ conservation methods, about 19241.284 hectares of forest land was identified to be protected for maintaining selected plant species within the identified land. Threatened flora is preserved by ex-situ conservation and by rehabilitating unused forest land and nursery centers set up in forest surroundings to propagate local plants to yield commercially important Non-Woody Forest Products like fruits and flowers of native medicinal value. These include Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia 35


Traditional collectors of seasonal Mahul flowers from the forests of North Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh


serpentina), Giloi (Tinospora cordifolia), Satawari (Asparagus racemosus), Bidarikand, Bhuinaonla and Bibidungaromatic. Van Aushdhalay or traditional herbal health centres in Dhanpuji in Jagdalpur, Honhed in North Kondagaon and Bariumrao in Kathghora are managed by traditional healers or Vaidyas. They have shared their traditional medicinal formulations to be standardized for scientific formulations including herbal medicines. In the project Self Help Groups tribal women and men, with agroforestry method cultivate mustard, millet and vegetables on small sized farms. They also collect Minor Forest Produce like Lac, Mushroom, Chironji (Buchanania lanzan), Tamarind, Mahul flowers and leaves (Bauhinia vahlii), Tendu leaves (Diospyros melonoxylon), Sal seeds (Shorea robusta), Gum (Indian Gum tree), Kosa (tussar) silk cocoon and medicinal plants to earn additional income. Alternatively these groups actively operate eco-enterprises that process and add value to extracted Minor Forest Produce like Giloi stems- a common herbal climber, Kalmega (Andrographis Panniculata), Chironji (Buchanania lanzan), Mahul leaf plates, stick lac from host Kusum trees (Schleichera oleosa) and culture Raily tussar cocoons to extract silk threads. These products are sold at village markets or haat bazaars through the village’s primary cooperative societies and Sanjiveen marts operated by the Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce Co-operative Federation. Through this project, village Self Help Groups and Village Forest Committees including members elected to the Joint Forest Management Committee have developed their traditional capacity to understand better techniques for collection and harvesting of Minor Forest Produce and improve procedures for managing micro-processing enterprises that now brings in additional income. To safeguard Minor Forest Produce and agro-forestry produce from market 37


Nurturing saplings of threatened plants within forest surrounding, North Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh

exploitation, organic certification is facilitated by the Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce Cooperative Federation. The project in Chhattisgarh gives priority to applying the vision of the state forest policy at the village level.



Indigenous knowledge of tribes has helped protect and respect forest plants, scared groves and community forests in Jharkhand

Jharkhand The Challenge Traditionally, although forests are protected, they have been affected by intensive human activities. The richness and diversity of forests depends more than ever on how human activities like farmlands, pastures and scrubland get in the way of maintaining forest landscapes. On the other hand, stretches of land mined for coal has led to swift degradation, lower soil fertility, productivity of crop land and water holding capacity. Consequently, this has slowed down the functional process of ecological services and set back the socio-economic well-being of villages. Traditional income for Munda, Santhal, Ho, Oraon tribes have always been limited to extraction and local scale of Minor Forest Produce, 39

Project Location: Jharkhand Selected villages and eco-regions/sites rich in biological resources and spread across district boundaries and vast stretches of Reserved and Protected Forest lands Districts: 5: Latehar, Bokaro, Ramgarh, Kunti, Devgarh, Deoghar Blocks: 5: Garu, Mandu, Bandgaon,Mohanpur, Palajori Villages: 40: Garu (5), Mandu (8), Murhu (5), Bandgaon (10), Mohanpur (6), Palajori (6) Reserved and Protected Forests/Eco-Region: Palamau (Tiger Reserve), Trikut Parvat (herbs and shrubs of medicinal value), Bokaro river basin (mining for coal and dump sites), Kunti ( community forest), Palajouri (herbs and shrubs of medicinal value, indigenous fodder species) Users (Beneficiaries): Santhal and Munda tribes, Self Help Groups and tribal farmers Partners: Nature Conservation Society, Lok Prerna, Society for Promotion of Wasteland Development Eastern region, Society for Participatory Action and Reflection, Network for Enterprise Enhancement & Development Support Biodiversity facts •

Jharkhand, a part of the Chhotanagpur biodiversity province, is one of the most important in terms of richness in biodiversity .

About 27.5% of the state’s population is tribal, and more than 75% of the state’s population lives in rural areas.

About 25% of total state’s total geographical area is used for net agriculture (sowing area), while 92% of the total cultivated area is not irrigated due lack of irrigation infrastructure and cultivation is mostly rain-depended for growing traditional mono-crop varieties.

Forest cover is about 29% of the state’s total area.

Palamau in the Chhotanagpur region has one of the oldest tiger reserves of the country. It is considered to be a mega Biodiversity Zone.

Bokaro river catchment has a number of coal fields, washeries and loading points dotting the landscape. With most of area under open cast mines, local ecological conditions has since then been altered. The river flow has changed its regime and quality. The land use is decreased with vegetation cover and more of wastelands and dumping sites.

Source: Institute of Forest Productivity, Ranchi , Jharkhand and State Agriculture Department.


although tribal farmers still depend on agriculture, growing local crops with limited access to irrigation facility. In rural areas, opportunity for alternate regular employment is limited. Where it exists, remuneration is low, giving tribal communities no choice but to migrate. Subsequent to the introduction of the existing joint forest management committee in the late 1980s, there is need for a decentralized form of elected institution that represents local people and allows them to become more responsible in managing community resources. With responsive consent from state-level policies, local people could share and benefit from following a process of management that would sustain forest-based livelihoods with conservation practices. Piloted results – Tribal farmers – the conservers of biodiversity in agriculture and forestry The project concentrates on supporting non forest based livelihood activities by involving marginalized tribes in five regions– Bokaro, Kunti, Palamau, Trikut Parvat, and Palajouri. Conservation of water is important for tribal community, their cattle and livestock as they still continue to inhabit drought-prone villages. Assistance from the project is given to local community for renovating water structures like rock-fill dams, check dams, small sized ponds to harvest water for use in non–rainy months. And even built micro-lift and gravity flow irrigation channels to aid tribal farmers to irrigate their farm lands, and reclaim uncultivable farmlands for growing local variety of crops. The age old practice to use, ‘Chuan”, the traditional source of water, are natural water springs, have been used for past many years by tribal community. With severe drought conditions 41


Tribes re-learnt to revive seed brood lac and return to lac production, Jharkhand

prevailing consecutively for three years in Jharkhand, water for drinking and irrigation became an essential need. These Chuans, have been revived, in the project selected villages to store water and help tribal famers to continue cultivation of farmlands with seasonal paddy crops even pulses and organic vegetables, that has a demand in the local markets. In agreement with the community pool of fallow, degraded or dry village forest lands, including

community sacred groves are preserved through a rational forest management system of assisted natural re-generation, multitier and bund plantation that takes into account indigenous practices of conserving biological diversity of community forests. Nursery centers along with organic composting units are set up on commonly owned land and managed by the village Self Help Groups. The group members nurture native varieties of plant saplings and seedlings of threatened medicinal and common herb plants. Though in 2009 the south-west monsoon was irregular and scanty, 90% of planted saplings of timber, local fodder grasses 42

like Glyricydia, Lemon and Napier grass, citrus lemon plants and medicinal plants- Alovera, Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentine), have survived with practice of social fencing as people took rounds to keep a watch on re-planted saplings on community forest land. This practice is looked after by forest protection committees (locally called as Jungle Bachao Samitee) operated by local people of project villages to use and protect common forest lands, sacred groves and regulate open grazing lands for cattle and livestock. Conflicts of potential irregular access or misuse of forest land and its resources are resolved by people themselves, who enforce regulations to use pool of common resources and even prohibit violators. In Jharkhand with maximum percentage of land is under forest area, approximately 30% of land is put to use for traditional farming of single crop a year. Self Help Groups of tribal farmers and women continue to diversify agriculture with multi- cropping system of the Bari model, multi-tier cultivation of agro cum forestry including horticulture of fruit bearing trees and organic cultivation


Tribal farmers benefit from systematic rice intensification method to cultivate local variety of paddy, Jharkhand



Traditional chuan used for irrigating tribal community farmland and harvest multi-crops during non-rainy days, Jharkhand

of seasonal vegetables. Local hybrid variety of paddy (rice) is cultivated through systematic and intense method of planting. While farmers are encouraged to put aside at least 5% of the farm land for storing rain water in small sized ponds which is used for irrigating farmlands later in the non-raining months. Along with agro-forestry farming activities local tribal farmers alternatively rely on breeding and rearing of livestock, pisci-culture of fish fingerlings, rearing of back yard poultry and piggery of local variety. The project has assisted tribal women self help groups to revive unused pasture or badi land that was once used for grazing and pastoral activity. They re-planted the waste badi grazing land with local grass varieties and grazing window enclosure stalls were built to prevent the Black Bengal goats, to graze in the open grasslands. 44

Jharkhand was earlier known for its lac production. But over past years, the seed brood lac had a very low survival rate even though host trees – Palas (Butea monosperma), Kusum trees (Schleichera oleosa) and Ber (Ziziphus mauritiana) were still found growing in this region. Local people experienced a decline in lac cultivation, collection and sale. The project has given assistance to Self Help Groups of women and men to re-introduce lac and revive its cultivation on host trees – Palas (Butea monosperma), and Ber (Ziziphus mauritiana), on a small scale that has now offered tribal women and men to take back to seed lac and stick lac production with improved harvesting and process techniques. Local tribes including certain primitive tribal groups are trained to improve their capacity and familiarize themselves with better alternative options for generating income from traditional practices of agroforestry method, Ex-situ conservation of medicinal plants on badi land , generate organic compost used as manure for homestead gardens and farm plots, and use alternative fuel sources like the Lantana shrubs, are used for preparing conventional charcoal, which was previously made from wood of other plants and trees. The project piloted in Jharkhand is not limited to harvesting and rehabilitation of forest landscape but putting together the People’s Biodiversity Registers that provides a base for integrating micro management plans with local knowledge of community’s common pool of natural resources, thus enabling the inherent tribal institutional setup to re-address relevant management affairs that concerns their livelihood needs.



Protecting the forests is long term priority for developing the rural economy in Orissa


Orissa The Challenge The reserves of forest and their biodiversity play a role in developing the local economy and in maintaining the natural environment. Biological diversity surviving in its natural setting is also responsible for the quality and richness of the forest. Forests have played a traditional role in sustaining the livelihood of a large number of rural people, in particular, tribal community in Orissa. Therefore, adequate attention must be given to their form of forest management practices for afforestation and social forestry. Forest protection has assumed a central position in the dialogue for development in Orissa. This requires local people to play an active role in forest management and conservation. It would be better for the state to plan ahead to see what community-oriented forestry actions hold for the future. Will re-investment in local development needs - education, health services and options to enhance skills of people in remote forest-fringed villages continue to secure their well-being? Would good forest management and conservation measures become a noteworthy concern of the state to answer the question of sustainability of local level development that is centered around equity in access and sharing of benefits from use of forest based resources including non forest timber produce. Piloted results – Alternative livelihood in conformity with traditional conservative practices The project in Orissa has focused on giving out a clear message to the local people to care for natural resources and conserve the 47

Project Location: Orissa Selected villages and eco-regions/sites rich in biological resources and spread across district boundaries and vast stretches of Reserved and Protected Forest lands. Districts: 3: Khordha, Sambalpur, Ganjam Blocks: 3: Balugaon, Digapahandi, Padiabahal Villages: 17: Padiabahal (5), Balugaon (6), Digapahandi (6) Reserved and Protected Forests/Demarcated Protected Forest: Gaida DPF of Digapahandi Range, Berhampur Forest Division, Badrama Reserve Forest including buffer zone of wild life sanctuary, Beheramal, Kulchar Reserve Forest, Ladia DPF Sambalpur (S) Forest Division and Tamana Reserve Forest Khordha Forest Division Users (Beneficiaries): Ghodahada Village Cluster Committee, Maa Birajai Village Cluster Committee, Padiabahal Village Cluster Committee Partners: Nehru Seva Sangha, Banapur and Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Nidhi (RGVN), Bhubaneswar Biodiversity facts •

Orissa has about 30.31% of forest cover. Of that, dense forests cover about 55.44%, open forests take up about 44.11% while mangroves occupy only 0.45% of the total geographical area.

An estimated 20–50% of household income comes from collection of Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP).

There are nearly 14.01 lakh tribal women engaged in forest-based livelihood activities.

Source: Orissa State Development Report, 2001

forest’s environment. The project has established a partnership with tribes living in forest-fringed villages. Tribal communities are encouraged to participate in implementing project activities thereby contributing in the management of local resources to ensure protection of the forest and its biodiversity. 48


Ghodahada Island restored to provide alternative income from seasonal fishing and local tourism, Berhampur Forest Division, Orissa

The project attempts to improve the status of unique tropical dry deciduous forest landscape dominated by Sal trees (Shorea robusta). Even though degradation is seen in different stages, from forest-fringed villages to inner parts of the forest land, yet the repository of diverse plant life was assessed in Tamana Reserved Forest in Khordha Forest division and Badrama Reserve Forest in Sambalpur (S). Apart from the predominant Sal trees, traces of about 586 plants and 14 threatened varieties and medicinal plants were listed to include - Joint Fir (Gnetum scandens), Indian gum tree (Anogeissus latifolia), Palas (Butea monosperma), Chironji (Buchanania lanzan), Marking Nut (Semecarpus anacardium), East 49


Tribal Women Self Help Groups operate backyard poultry to support themselves with additional income , Padiabahal village cluster committee, Ladia DPF of Digapahandi Range, Sambalpur, Orissa

Indian Satinwood (Chloroxylon swieteni), Korodo (Cleistanthus collinus), Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica), and variety of Rice (Oryza granulate), Coffee (Coffea benghalensis) and Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan). Degraded forests were re-planted with indigenous saplings of native tree plants including those that produce energy to reduce usage of wood from forests in Berhampur, Khordha and Sambalpur. Forest fringed villages from implementing this project, has a unique community-elected institutional set-up of Cluster Committees, solely involved by group of five to six villages in each of the three clusters. These clusters of forest villages have formed Ghodahada Village Cluster Committee of Berhampur Forest Division, Maa Birajai 50

Village Cluster Committee of Khordha Forest Division and Padiabahal Village Cluster Committee of Sambalpur (S) Forest Division. These committees represent local people as partners oriented to own the institutional set-up for identifying benefits from the pilot measures and even allow up-scaling of existing forest management practices and re-learn biodiversity conservation measures. The community elected cluster committees have taken up localized conservation operations in collaboration with the State Forest Department and local non governmental organizations jointly working for grass-root biodiversity conservation interventions. Their aim is to rehabilitate 250 hectares of degraded, unused forest lands in Sambalpur (S) by afforestation of trees – Indian Oak (Teak or Tectona grandis), Sal (Shorea robusta), Cane (Calamus), Amla (Myrobalans), Asoka (Saraca asoca), Plam tree (Cycas), Phan-Phena (Oroxylum Indicum Vent), Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo), Khair (Acacia catechu), Chakunda (Cassia tora). Through silviculture about 100 hectares of forest land was regenerated to maintain better forest tracks. Through the project, illegal extraction of cane berries and culms of the tall, perennial grasses with flexible, woody stalks have been stopped. A study was conducted to design an approach to regulate extraction of cane berries without compromising the income of tribal artisans from Tamana and Aranga Reserved Forest in Khordha. Tribal seed collectors have joined hands with the Forest Department in Tangi of Khurdha forest to collect teak seeds, which are valuable and fetch a high price in the local market. Tribal seed collectors are paid for collecting teak seeds with proper techniques so that the trees are not damaged. The community’s forest protection groups jointly patrols forest tracks to prevent smuggling of timber and forest fires. The project assisted in counting the population count of crocodiles that live in the Ghodahada dam in Berhampur. While 51

seasonal fishing is done by the fishing cooperative, a non-tribal marginalized community. Jobs have been created for this group to manage tourism activity within Ghodahada Island. Alternative income generating options have been created for Self Help Groups of tribal women, farmers and fishermen. They benefit from small scale collective agro-forestry activities like preparing puffed rice, making ropes, stitching mahul leaves into plates, extracting mahua oil, growing mushrooms and making aromatic incenses sticks. Tribal farmers have adopted systematic rice intensification technique to earn higher price for its variety and quality of rice at village markets. Tribal farmers have re-learnt to diversify crop cultivation by harvesting locally grown maize and paddy. The project supplied farmers with agricultural equipments which is Tribal farmers of Maa Birajai Village Cluster Committee of Khordha Forest Division have re-learnt to systematically cultivate paddy with better community owned agriculture assets to practice intense farming methods, Orissa



now commonly owned by the cluster committees. Minor irrigation channels including ponds were built to benefit tribal farmers, who now manage and operate these structures to harvest water for irrigation. Alternatively, ponds built by the project are used by Maa Birajai cluster committee for pisiculture of fish fingerlings. With assistance from the project, women’s Self Help Groups from Maa Birajai, Ghodahada and Padiabahal Village Cluster Committees were encouraged to rear Banraj, a local variety of poultry. Tribal women can now earn additional income and are improving their market linkages to tie up with other local poultry farms. Women and men from village clusters and Self Help Groups guided by the project can now take up other vocational activities -tailoring, repairing shop for bicycles and running grocery shops to meet local needs. Other agro-forestry and eco-development activities including social welfare schemes operated by the state government have been integrated with the project to reap the benefits locally.



Beneficiaries of the BC-CBNRM project in Maa Birajai Village Cluster Committee Tamana Reserved Forest Khordha Forest Division, Orissa



Beneficiaries of the BC-CBNRM project in Jiwri village, Kunti District, Jharkhand

Outcome of the Project The project, biodiversity conservation through community-based natural resource management, aims at an outcome that connects community-oriented institutions to represent small forest-fringed villages native to forest-dependent communities. It also aspires to make them partners in the investments made to conserve biodiversity and restore forest lands. The project aims to empower forest-dependent communities and enhance their institutional and managerial capacities by allowing them to be part of a decentralized governance process. They can thus jointly participate in management actions of nominated community institutional setups while they continue to share commonly owned assets including protection of community forest resources. This project is expected to bring together delivered approaches of innovation and models adopted at grassroot level. These are potential examples for replication. It can influence long-term


Beneficiaries of the BC-CBNRM project in Apatani Plateau, Arunachal Pradesh


development plans of the states and the nation. The learnings from this project call for review of existing legislation and policy to sustain local institutional process to catalyze integration of livelihood needs and forest development work with overall human development. Interventions by this project would bring about a more effective way to achieve the universal objectives of poverty reduction by enhancing capacity and skills of marginalized forest-dependent people. It would also encourage them to rightfully access commonly-managed forest resources and benefit from incentives of alternative livelihood that acknowledges local approaches leading to a sustainable, rural-based economy for forest-dependent communities. The end result would be to preserve biodiversity and forests for all.


Village Primary Forest Produce Cooperative Society, Jadalpur – Beneficiaries of the BC-CBNRM project in Chhattisgarh


Definitions Biological resources: Plants, animals and micro-organisms (or part of the genetic materials and by-products excluding value added products) with actual or potential use or value. Does not include human genetic material. Biodiversity Heritage Site: Area that is unique or an ecologically fragile ecosystem. It can be terrestrial, coastal and inland waters and marine areas with rich biodiversity. It comprises of one or more of the following: richness of wild as well as domesticated species or intra-specific categories, high endemism, presence of threatened species, keystone species, species of evolutionary significance, wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or their varieties, past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds with significant cultural, ethical or aesthetic values important for the maintenance of cultural diversity, with or without a long history of human association. Biodiversity Management Committee: Constituted for the purpose of promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity including preservation of habitats, conservation of land races, folk varieties, cultivators, domesticated stocks, breeds of animals and micro–organisms and chronicling of knowledge relating to biological diversity. Community forest resources: Customary common forest land with traditional or customary boundaries of villages or seasonal use of landscape in case of pastoral community including reserved forests, protected forests and protected areas such as sanctuaries and National Parks to which the community has traditional access. Collective rights: The rights which the traditional community as a group has been enjoying over the particular traditional knowledge for generations. Endemic: Confined to a certain region. Ex-situ conservation: Preservation or conservation of components of biological diversity outside their natural boundaries. Forest land: Land within any forest area. Includes classified forests, un-demarcated forests, existing or deemed forests, protected forests, reserved forests, sanctuaries and National Parks. Forest villages: Settlements which have been established inside the forests by the forest department of any state government for forestry operations or which were converted into forest villages through the reservation process and includes forest settlements villages, fixed demand holdings, all types of taungya settlements and includes land for cultivation and other uses permitted by the government. Forest-dwelling Schedule Tribes: Members or community of Schedule Tribes including pastoralist community who primarily reside in and depend on the forest or forest land for livelihood.


Farm forestry: Practice of cultivating and managing trees in compact blocks on agricultural land. Forest area: Land recorded in a forest in government records. It is also called recorded forest area. Forest cover: All land more than one hectare with tree canopy density of more than 10% irrespective of ownership and legal status. Such land may not be recorded as forest area. It includes orchards, bamboo groves and plantations. Gram Sabha: Village assembly consisting of all members of the village. Where the state has no Panchayat or other traditional villages, Gram Sabha includes padas, tolas and elected village committees with full participation of women. Habitat: Area comprising customary habitats — such as in Reserved Forests and Protected Forests — of tribal groups and pre-agricultural communities and other forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes. In-situ conservation: The conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable population of species in their natural surroundings. In the case of domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties. Value added product: Produce which may contain portions or extract of plants and animals in an unrecognizable and physically inseparable form. Minor Forest Produce: Products obtainable directly from wood, bark, leaves or roots of any species of trees in a managed or unmanaged forest, regardless of significance of species with respect to major end uses or economic objectives of the forest. Includes all non-timber forest produce of plant origin like bamboo, brushwood, stumps, cane, tussar cocoons, honey, wax, gum, lac, tendu leaves, medicinal plants, herbs, roots and tubers. Natural resources: Non-living elements like air, water, soil, minerals and also living elements like plants, animals and micro-organisms. Together they provide a life-sustaining system. People’s Biodiversity Register: The register prepared in consultation with local people. It should contain comprehensive information on availability and knowledge of local biological resources, their medicinal or any other use. Panchayat: Institution of self-government in the village, responsible for preparing plans for economic development and social justice and to implement schemes as entrusted and in relation to matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule. Protected Forest: Area notified under the provision of the Indian Forest Act or State Forest Act, with limited degree of protection and activities permitted unless prohibited. Reserved Forest: Area notified under the provision of the Indian Forest Act or State Forest Act, having full degree of protection, where activities are prohibited.


Traditional community: Community including families, people belonging to Scheduled Tribes as per Article 342 of the Constitution of India, and other notified tribal groups including nomadic tribes who hold traditional knowledge. They shall be represented by their representative bodies. Traditional knowledge: Collective knowledge of a traditional community including of a group of families, on a particular subject or a skill, passed down from generation to generation either orally or in writing, relating to properties, uses and characteristics of plant and animal genetic resources. It also includes agricultural and healthcare practices, food preservation and processing techniques and devices developed from traditional materials; cultural expressions, products and practices such as weaving patterns, colors, dyes, pottery, painting, poetry, folklore, dance and music; and all other products or processes discovered through a community process including by a member of the community individually but for the common use of the community. Traditional Practitioner: Member of a traditional community practicing traditional knowledge including healing and/or rendering medical service based on traditional knowledge and customary practice.


The Government of India is committed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), in particular Goal 7 — Ensure Environmental Sustainability. It is also dedicated to the second target (7B) to reduce biodiversity loss by aiming to maintain a proportion of land area covered by forest and proportion of species threatened with extinction by nationally implementing actions to reverse loss of environmental resources and acknowledge diversity of biological resources as an important natural resources for the well-being of the community. The project through its activities campaigns for International Day for Biological Diversity (22 May 2010) keeping in mind the belief, Many Species, One Planet, One Future, and aiming at Biodiversity, Development and Poverty Alleviation for World Environment Day (5 June 2010) and the International Year of Forests 2011. Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, organized an important event on 23 May 2011 to launch the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity for Asia and Pacific, also declare the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity for the period 2011 to 2020. India is hosting the eleventh Conference of the Parties (CoP-11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from 1 to 19 October 2012. The slogan for CoP-11 is “Nature protects if She is protected.”. This project through site-specific grass root interventions advocates for protecting the biological diversity, as a natural resource and sustain local community’s livelihood for their well-being.


Biodiversity Conservation through Community based Natural Resource Management  

reflecting on the project's implementation experiences a booklet, “People’s Participation in Biodiversity Conservation,” was prepared. T...

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