Impact of energy flow on dry deciduous forest of Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary of Central of India

Shailendra Pratap Singh, Lalji Singh, J S Singh

Abstract


The present paper, based on a study of five village ecosystems, assesses the energy efficiency of rain-fed agriculture in a dry tropical environment and the

impact of agricultural activity on the surrounding natural ecosystems. Energy flow in the forest villages of Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary of Central India, along with it’s impact on the surrounding forests have been assessed and documented. Energy requirements such as firewood, food, fodder, and kerosene were inventoried. Energy efficiency was determined by calculating output-input ratio. Paddy was cultivated as single rainfed crop and except or rice all the food items in the villages were imported from the market. About 75-80% and 95-100% of the fodder and firewood needs were met from the forests, respectively.

The use of firewood and kerosene in the study villages were 132 kg day-1 and 2 l  day-1. Firewood consumption was 185 x 105 KJ yr-1 ha-1 of cultivated land. Kerosene use ranged from 5 to 14 x 105 KJ yr-1 ha-1. Fodder from the forests used for the livestock ranged between 324 to  606 x 105 KJ yr-1 ha-1 of cultivated land. The energy efficiency was 2.67 for all the cropped area. The illegal felling and lopping of trees was  found to be increasing in concentric circles in and around the villages along with grazing, resulting into a savanna like situation. The study recommends conservation of forests by establishing fuel wood plantations, woodlots and pastures.

For fulfilling the fodder requirements, village pastures should be developed with a mixture of grasses and legumes. All possible encouragement of reduction of livestock population needs to be given. Systematic fuel-wood plantations of fast-growing plants within the villages or their  immediate environs would surely reduce the stress on the natural forests. Integration of fodder, fuel, and food, production through agroforestry and silvipasture systems needs to be experimented with and, when found effective, duly popularized. This may reduce the need for areas to be put under fodder and fuel-wood production. To reduce the existing levels of fuel-wood consumption, public awareness needs to be generated about the low efficiency of existing cooking practices and the pollution hazards from wood-burning. By the introduction of efficient wood-burning stoves it would be possible to reduce fuel-wood consumption. Possibilities of substitution of fuel-wood by other sources of energy—such as solar energy and kerosene— should be taken into consideration.

Above all, efforts have to be made for alternative and complementary means of livelihood of the villagers—for the coupled optimal use of available man-days and economic well-being.


Keywords


Energy efficiency, Firewood, Fodder , Illegal felling, Livestock, Natural forest

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