Changing eco-system social system links affecting rural livelihood in fragile environments (2008)

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Ecosystem services and their contributions to livelihoods of the people exhibit significant diversities. Attention to this aspect, generally ignored by mainstream aggregative discourse on ecological services and associated policy processes call for higher priority and its closer integration with the mainstream thrust of the discourse. Because of the very nature of methods and tools of investigations as well as availability of data (which are more macro-focused), the diversity and micro-dimensions of the debated components generally get low coverage. But once one looks at the role of ecosystem services in enhancing livelihood options and reducing poverty, the above disregard of diversities may discount the very purpose of operationally oriented discourse. The present paper addresses the above mentioned aspects with particular focus on social dimensions (or community approaches) relating to usage and management of environmental resources and how the same have been affected by largely generalized aggregative policy programme interventions. This is attempted with reference to the field situations in two fragile ecosystems represented by Himalayan middle mountains (covering parts of India, Nepal, Pakistan) and seven tropical arid and semi-arid states in India. Besides, their relative high degree of fragility (and some other broadly shared features to be mentioned later) exposes them to interlinked environmental and social vulnerabilities.
Language: English
Imprint: From Ecosystem services and poverty alleviation study in South Asia (ESPASSA): A situation analysis for India and the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. Project report prepared for NERC, DFID and ESRC by the ESPASSA Consortium, 25 April 2008 2008
Series: Report,