Forest Resource use patterns in relation to socioeconomic status: A case study in four temperate villages of Garhwal Himalaya, India (2009)

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This case study explored forest resource-use patterns to understand villagers' dependency on forests in four temperate villages situated in two forested sites in Garhwal Himalaya: Mandal and Khalla in the Mandal area, Chamoli District, and Chaundiyar and Dikholi in the Chaurangikhal area, Uttarkashi District. Although the literacy rate in the villages was quite high, due to lack of employment opportunities people still invariably depend on forests for their livelihood. In all the study villages more than 75% of fodder and fuelwood were extracted from the forest. The pressure exerted by human and bovine populations, coupled with unsustainable management policies, has resulted in the destruction of forest cover and ecological degradation. Agriculture (which is 70% rainfed in the Mandal area and 90% rainfed in Chaurangikhal) and employment as laborers were the main occupations of people in the study areas; in addition, remittance income (8.6% in the Mandal area and 21.3% in Chaurangikhal) and dairy faming accounted for a major portion of total household income. The study revealed a positive relationship between income and livestock population (0.995), which reveals the strong role of animal husbandry in the rural economy. The equally positive relationship between income and fodder consumption (0.930) can be attributed to extraction of large quantities of fodder to sustain dairy farming for commercial purposes. The correlation between income and fuelwood consumption was found to be negative (−0.882), the likely reason being poor economic conditions, leading to dependency on the forest for fuelwood as a free source of energy.
Year: 2009
Language: English
In: Mountain Research and Development Vol 29, No 4, Nov 2009: 308&ndash;319: http://dx.doi.org/10.1659/mrd.00018<br /> ,

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 Record created 2011-12-21, last modified 2013-01-17