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Traditional Forest Related Knowledge,Mitigation and Adaptation to climatechange: A Study on Forest DependentCommunities in Drought Prone Areasof West Bengal, IndiaDr. Jyotish Prakash Basu, Ph.DAssociate Professor & Head, Dept.of Economics, West Bengal StateUniversity, Kolkata, India


Background of the studyIn an era of global climate change forests are required to bemanaged in such a way that they play a multifunctional rolesuch as contributions to mitigation of climate change andadaptation to climate change through carbon storage andlivelihoods improvement of forest-dependent people.Millions of traditional farmers, tribal people and indigenousand local communities use their traditional knowledge toensure food and livelihood security in a wide range ofecosystems.The application of traditional knowledge in such areas asecosystem, water management, soil conservation, biologicalcontrol of pests and diseases, ecological agriculture andlivestock practices enhances food security and prevents oralleviates poverty.


In India, deforestation and degradation of forest is theresult of illicit felling of trees, illegal encroachments,forest fire, over exploitation of forest products andpoverty. Water resource is also threatened by climatechange and the shortage of water is acute in thedrought prone areas of India.In India, 65 percent of the forest is administeredsolely by the government and another 27 percentreserved for community and indigenous groupsthrough JFM & 8 percent of forest land is managedby private individuals on farms or by large forestryfirms.


Structure of Forest Management inIndia


Forest Management and Climate change


Objectives of the studyFirst is to examine how Joint forest management(JFM) helped to reduce illicit felling of trees, reducearea under illegal encroachments, forest fireprevention and control.Second is to examine household’s adaptation optionsto reduce the adverse effect of climate change.Third is to examine the local knowledge of the forestdependent community on water conservation andharvesting and local knowledge on livelihoodgeneration activities in the drought area.


JFM as Climate strategyFirst, a set of national guidelines on forest fires, whichwas issued to all states in 2000, stressed the importanceof community involvement in forest fire prevention andcontrol through the existing joint forest managementprogram.Second, illicit felling of trees has declined in manyplaces of India. Open forest covers have increased.Forest protection committee restricted the collection ofNTFPs in excess of own requirement in JFM areas. Theover extraction of fuelwood is completely prohibited inthe JFM areas. This restriction on the use of forestproducts helps to reduce the degradation of forests.


Fourth, in many areas JFM has helped toreduce area under illegal encroachments. Forexample, in AP nearly 12% of encroachedforest land has been vacated since the JFMprogram was initiated.Fifth, JFM is a central and integral part of allafforestation projects in the country becausethe afforestation schemes are implemented viaJFM committees and Forest Developmentagencies (FDA).Sixth, JFM capturing 5 to 10 million tons of carbonannually.


Seventhly, Watershed management isadopted on a large scale for conservingrainwater and soil and also for increasingproduction of rainfed systems.


Forest coverTrends in Forest cover in IndiaForest cover as % of geographical area212019181 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Year from 1987 to 2003Forest cover


AreaTrends in Natural Forest Area in IndiaNatural Forest Area( km)27760007740007720007700007680007660007640001996 1998 2000 2002 2004YearArea


AreaCumulative Area under Man made Forests( Plantations)Man made Forests( Plantations)40030020010001994-951995-961997-981998-991999-2000Area under TreePlantations( 000sq. km)Year


Volume of timber seized (Cu.m)Volume of timber seized ( Cu.m)14000120001000080006000400020000Chart Titley = 78.509x 2 - 988.15x + 12871R 2 = 0.2505Volume of timberSeized Cu.mPoly. (Volume of timberSeized Cu.m)2001-20022002-20032003-20042004-20052005-20062006-2007Year


No. of personsPerformance of Forest Protectioncommittee60005000y = -133.16x 2 + 421.98x + 4170.5R 2 = 0.868640003000No of persons arrested2000No of persons convicted incourt1000No of persons assaulted02001-20022002-20032003-20042004-20052005-20062006-2007Poly. (No of persons arrested)Year


Meeting of a Village Forest Committee(VFC) for fire prevention and control


Data & MethodologyThe study was conducted in four villages namelyBandhgaba, Dhansimla, Rangakula, Khayarakura, bothare tribal based and forest dependent villages in theDistrict of Bankura,West Bengal.25 households from each village (i.e, 100) have beenselected on the basis of random sampling in 2010.


Rainfall in mmTrends of Rainfall in the District of BankuraDeviation of actual rainfall from normal4002000-2001 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Year ( 1995-2004)Deviation of rainfall


Temperature 0 cTemperatureTrends of Max. and Min. Temperature in theDistrict of BankuraMaximum Temperature in 0 cMinimum temperature in 0 c46444240381 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Year ( 1995-2004)MaximumTemperature10501 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Year ( 1995-2004)Minimumtemperature


% of householdSocio-economic conditions of theHouseholds1009080706050403020100BANDHGABA DHANSIMLA RANGACULA KHAIRAKURAVillagesLiterateIlliterate


% of householdOccupationDistribution of household by occupation120100806040200CULTIVATIONWAGE LABOURFORESTRYOTHERBANDHGABADHANSIMLARANGACULAKHAIRAKURAoccupation


% of householdLivestock AssetsDistribution of household by livestock100806040200Livestock(Yes)Livestock (N0)BANDHGABADHANSIMLARANGACULAKHAIRAKURAVillages


% of householdFood Sufficiency FromAgricultureFood sufficiency from agriculture80706050403020100


% of householdsClimate AwarenessClimate awareness120100806040200Climate aware(YES)Climate aware(NO)BANDHGABADHANSIMLARANGACULAKHAIRAKURAVillages


% of householdsSanitation Facility of the householdsSanitation facilities120100806040200BANDHGABADHANSIMLARANGACULAKHAIRAKURA% of households (yes)% of households (No)Villages


% of householdsHealth care facilities by thehouseholdsHealth care facility by the households120%100%80%60%40%20%0%YesNoBANDHGABADHANSIMLARANGACULAKHAIRAKURAVillages


Meaning of AdaptationAdaptation is defined as any adjustment by asystem in response to climate stimuli.Adaptation capacity is the degree to which asystem has the capacity to generate suchadjustments.


Adaptation StrategyAdaptationStrategyBandhgabavillage(%)DhansimlaVillage (% )RangakulaVillage (%)KhairakuraVillage (%)Waterharvestingfor drinkingpurposesDistressMigrationCollection ofNTFPsFormation ofSHGsLivestockrearing100 20 100 10076 56 4 884 92 76 844 8 24 2492 88 92 92


People are digging for drinking water


Integrated water managementprogramThe main objectives of the IWMP are to restore theecological balance by conserving and developingdegraded natural resources such as soil, vegetativecover and water.Mitigating the adverse effects of extreme climaticconditions such as drought and desertification on crops,human and livestock population for their overallimprovement..Promoting the overall economic development andimproving the socio-economic condition of the resourcepoor and disadvantaged sections inhabiting the programareas.


Watershed Management in India


Women showing sal pata dish makingactivities


Kitchen Garden


Bamboo products


Bamboo products for food


Agro Forestry


Knowledge on Agro Forestry


Forest dwellers use traditional weapons for theattack from the wild animals


Conclusions and policy suggestionJoint forest management (JFM) helped toreduce illicit felling of trees, reduce areaunder illegal encroachments, forest fireprevention and control by communityinvolvement and to enhance the forestcover through afforestation program.


Under Joint Forest management (JFM), about85,000 Forest protection communities areinvolved in the management of forests to arrestdeforestation and land degradation in India.More than 25 million hectares of degraded landare managed under JFM.Forest protection committee restricted thecollection of NTFPs in excess of ownrequirement in JFM areas. The over extractionof fuelwood is completely prohibited in the JFMareas. This restriction on the use of forestproducts helps to reduce the degradation offorests.


The Traditional forest related knowledge like diggingwater for drinking purposes, Water storage structure,Waste land development and tree plantation,Training on vermin composting, effective indigenousmethod like shaking pod borers from pigeon peaand using them for pest management , mangografting activities, sal pata dish making activities byforming SHGs, agro- forestry were used forlivelihood security and poverty reduction measures.The paper has important policy implication forpoverty reduction, livelihood enhancement, ruraldevelopment and sustainable forest management.


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