Supporting Urban Sustainability Location: Guwahati, India Focus Ecosystem: Deepor Beel Ecosytsem Ecosystem type: Wetland Core team: Simanta Kalita, Dr. Bhupen Das, Dr. Wazir Alam, Mr. Punna Das, Mr. Uttam Teron, Ms. Tanvi Ahmed
Introduction Location: South-west of Guwahati city, in Kamrup district of Assam, India between 91 o 35’-91 o 43’E longitude, 26 o 05’-26 o 11’N latitude Wetland type: permanent freshwater lake, in an abandoned channel of the Brahmaputra River. Total area: about 10 sq. km There is no Special Management Authority and District Administration is looking after the affairs It is Ramsar site listed in November 2002 It is also a IBA site and part of it is a Wildlife Sanctuary
Map of Kamrup district showing location of Deepor
Introduction Sanctuary part is controlled by the Forest Department Depth: At maximum flooding, it is about four metres deep. During the dry season, the depth drops to about one metre. Feeding of water: Basistha and Kalmani rivers and local monsoon run off between May and September. Link to Brahmaputra: The Beel drains into the Brahamputra river five km. to the north, through the Khonajan channel. Also connected through Bharalu river
Land tenure and land use Land tenure: Till recent past the site was owned by the Fishery Department of the Government of Assam. Now District Administration is looking after. The surroundings are in private property, except for the Gorbhanga Reserve Forest which is state-owned. Land use: The wetland is used for fishing, domestic water supply, collection of natural products, fodder and food supply, transport, and recreation. Traditionally, the Beel provides fodder to cattle and food to the local people.
Ecosystem services Fishing (74 species recorded recently) Waterway for transportation Fodder for domestic cattle Agriculture Eco-tourism Birding site (70 + migratory birds) Hydrological Services : (groundwater recharge, flood control, sediment trapping, shoreline stabilization, etc.).
Livelihood support The wetland is reported to provide, directly or indirectly, its natural resources for the livelihood of fourteen indigenous villages (about 1,200 families) Most common human dependance are for – – Fishing – Wet paddy culture – Fodder – other aquatic products like Euryl ferox
Livelihood of the Villagers: 22.63% households depend fully on the bioresources of the wetland (commercial fishing) 17.33% households partially dependant. 56.45%families depend on the wetland for fodder. Agriculture is the chief source of occupation of 16.71% households 14.86% households obtains their daily bread by working a s a labour 11.31% of the households relies on business as source of income
Problems of the ecosystem No clear cut boundary A railway line along the Southern Boundary of Deepor Beel bisect the ecosystem Industrial growth and pollution Real estate activities in the water retention area of the wetland Brick Kiln and soil cutting within the beel ecosystem Destruction of the catchment area – stone quaries, sealing of gullies, obstruction of elephant movement etc. Over exploitation of bioresources including fishes Waste dumping
Conservation measures taken The Government of Assam vide Gazette Notification No. FRW.1/80/26 declared 414ha of the beel area as a Sanctuary (Dipor Beel Sanctuary) in 1989. It has been declared as a IBA site in 2004
Our Research Question How can we conserve Deepor beel through community participation and diversified livelihood? – How to get community participation? – What are the acceptable alternative livelihood options? – How can we arrange funding for the livelihood projects?
The process we are following Meeting advisory team members Visiting Govt offices, universities to collect secondary info Community consultations as a VISUALIZATION PROCESS Interviewing key stakeholders Mapping (TISS)
The enquiry model Advisory team Core team Community
We look forward to get more support from you Thank you