This set of case studies is a part of a book prepared by Lokayan in collaboration with the Planning Commission titled “Seeds of Hope", covering themes of agriculture, biodiversity, education, forestry, governance, health, movements and water. The case studies related to forestry are summarized below:
Community Forest Management (Orissa) by Angana P. Chatterji
This case study on Community Forest Management in Orissa deals with the how the failure of dominant development and its promised freedoms has led to a deep unconcern for social and ecological justice. It also explains how in response to such neglect, communities across India are operationalizing frameworks for sustainability that link economic and ecological well being. Political processes are underway in Orissa that link ecological restoration with social equity. These processes are rooted in social movements that have impacted all levels of Indian society, from marginalised communities in rural areas to policy makers in national government. The movements for public forest lands reform are dealt with in the case study.
The Parvati and the Tragopan: Conservation and Development in the Great Himalayan National Park (Himachal Pradesh) by Vasant K. Saberwal
This case study describes the conflict between conservation & livelihoods and between larger & local interests that have become an integral part of conservation experiences in most parts of the world. In one of its most recent enactments, Indian conservationists have pitted the globally endangered Western Tragopan, a brilliantly colored pheasant endemic to the Western Himalaya, against the grazing and plant collection activities of local populations in the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The case study describes how the preservation of the Western Tragopan, by exclusion of human pressure on its habitat, runs counter to local livelihoods that are almost entirely dependent on using the same resources.
Makku Van Panchayats – Balancing the Old & the New (Uttaranchal) by Seema Bhatt
This case study looks at why the Joint Forest Management programme that has been successful in other parts of the country was rejected in Akash Kamini Valley of Uttaranchal. Van Panchayats are unique forest management systems that have been in existence in the valley for a long time. On a broader level the case study raises the issue of how best to work with existing community natural resource institutions. Recognising the fact that natural resource management is not possible without the involvement of the people who depend upon these resources, it is equally important to first acknowledge and accept locally existing natural resource management systems.
Community-Centred Natural Resource Conservation: The Case of Mendha Village (Maharashtra) by Neema Pathak
This case of Mendha, a small Gond village falling in Dhanora tahsil of Gadchiroli District describes the initiative taken by the villagers towards self-rule and in development of a community-centered natural resource conservation plan. It describes how with little effort at understanding the historical, social, economic, cultural, and spiritual context of the area, and building up from existing indigenous practices rather than imposing completely new management regimes, more site specific and effective management practices can be evolved. By reviving or encouraging people’s sense of responsibility and belonging, wildlife conservation could become a national effort rather than the responsibility of a single, resource-deficient, relatively powerless government department. Urgent policy, legal, and institutional changes are needed if an environment conducive to community involvement in conservation has to be built up.
Community Forestry in Waiga (Uttaranchal) by SHT/ NTGCF
This case study deals with community forestry in Gori river valley in Pithoragarh district of Kumaon. The heavy dependence on forests in order to maintain a subsistence economy and the ever-increasing pressures on the limited natural resources has motivated communities to adopt various strategies to protect and conserve their natural resource base. The local institutions formed to protect and use forests, which have legal sanction - Van Panchayats have been in existence in Kumaon since 1930 and in the Gori valley since 1947. The case study describes the tradition of protecting forest areas by individual villages in the valley.
Download the set of case studies here: