|Town/Region||Joshimath, Chamoli, Uttarakhand|
|Date||18 Jul 2007|
Uttarakhand is an Himalayan State immensely rich in biodiversity. The State has 34661.52 sq km of forests which is 64.81 per cent of its geographical area. According to the forest statistics (2001) around 15 per cent of the forests were being managed as Community Forests. Due to a policy decision, the number of Community Forests is increasing and soon there would be at least 30 per cent of the State’s forest managed by communities! Many of these Community Forests are important wildlife habitats but virtually there is no focus on biodiversity conservation!
As a pilot initiative, Rufford supported a project, “Strengthening Traditional Forest Management Institutions of the Communities (Van Panchayats) for Biodiversity Conservation in the Himalayas” at Reethia Van Panchayat, Gairsain, District Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India. It generated lot of excitement among the communities, and Forest Department and Forestry Training Institute, Government of Uttarakhand, collaborated in the implementation of the project. Rufford’s Guide to Management of Community Forests (Van Panchayats) of Uttaranchal State of India, developed under the project was well received. A landmark achievement of the project was, the people associated with the Community Forest agreed and passed a resolution about setting aside 212 ha of the Community Forest (20 per cent) as a ‘voluntary community conservation reserve’. The project clearly indicated that strengthening the management of the Community Forests by capacity building can have long term impact of conservation of nature.
Under the present RSG Grant II, we plan to work at block level. There are six blocks in the Chamoli district. Joshimath block has 97 Community Forests and more than two thirds (133595 ha) of the total area of the Community Forests (188355 ha) in the district. We are targeting this block for capacity building as follows.
Training for the heads of the executives of the Community Forests would be organised. These would be
done in collaboration with Forest Department and Centre for Forestry and Natural Resource Development, Forestry Training Institute, Government of Uttarakhand. Resource persons with expertise in Biodiversity Conservation, Forest Management, Policy and Regulations, Non-Timber Forest Produce Management, Community Relations etc would be invited to train people.
B. Capacity Building Literature (1500 copies)
Rufford’s Guide to Management of Community Forests of Uttarakhand State of India would be provided to relevant stakeholders. It is expected that the capacity building would guide people to utilise resources sustainable and conserve biodiversity.
Read about his previous work http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/Projects/PushpJain or for more information contact: