Assessment of Livelihoods of Local Communities and Forest Conservation - A Case Study from India

Azra Musavi


Protected areas in India are being affected due to dependence of local communities. Patterns of resource dependence by local communities on forest resources and associated livelihoods issues in Melghat Tiger Reserve and Bori Wildlife Sanctuary in Central India were examined through questionnaire based surveys. Data on dependence was collected from 318 households in15 villages. The forest was classified into disturbed and undisturbed forest. Tree cutting and lopping pressure was assessed by laying circular plots of 10 m radius. The result of the study revealed that fuel wood was the only source of energy in both study sites. Most non-timber forest products (NTFP) were collected for livelihood needs by rural communities whereas agro-pastoralist households in Bori, collected these primarily for income generation. Two of the economically important tree species used by people – Madhuca indica and Buchanania lanzan showed low recruitment. Tree cutting, lopping, grazing by livestock and weeds had affected >25% of the sampling areas in disturbed forests. Overall impact of anthropogenic pressure was significantly higher (p<0.01) in disturbed forests. Restocking of forests with species used by people and regulation on grazing and livestock numbers inside PAs may reduce human impact.


Dependence; Livelihood; Forest Resources; Impact; Conservation; Melghat Tiger reserve


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