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GEOG 415 Case Study: India Ownership and its implications to Land Use and Forest Conservation.

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Presentation on theme: "GEOG 415 Case Study: India Ownership and its implications to Land Use and Forest Conservation."— Presentation transcript:

1 GEOG 415 Case Study: India Ownership and its implications to Land Use and Forest Conservation

2 Forest Cover The Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun undertakes the assessment of forest cover based on digital interpretation of satellite imageries and ground verification on a two-year cycle. Forest cover of the country is estimated to be around 690,899 km 2, ( 21.02% of the total geographic area) (FSI 2007). There are 16 major forest types with several sub types. Very dense forest cover (2.54%), Moderately dense forest cover (9.71%), Open forest area consists (8.77%), Scrub forest accounts (1.26%) of the total geographic area.

3 Forest Area vs Cover The State of Forest Report (SFR) of 2003 indicated a forest/tree cover of 23.68%, which has marginally increased over 23.03% assessed during 2001. Although in 2003 assessment, there is an upward trend in respect of forest area the quality of green cover has deteriorated. There has been reduction in dense forest cover to the extent of 6.3% which indicates continuing forest degradation despite the fact that a substantial forest area has been brought under Joint Forest Management. What is need of area without cover and what are its implications to climate change?

4 Forest Economics Having 2.5% of the world’s geographic area and 1.8% of the world’s forests, sustains 16% of the planet’s human population and 18% of its livestock population. Forests contribute 1.7% GDP of the country. This does not take into account unrecorded withdrawals (NWFP, fuel, wood, fodder etc.). The total annual value of India’s harvest of all forest produce is estimated to be Rs. 300,000 millions (Singhal, et al. 2003).

5 Some more Economics Nearly 400 million people living in and around forests in India depend on NTFPs for sustenance and supplementary income. NTFPs contribute significantly to the income of about 30% of the rural people. Several studies suggest that NTFPs contribute 20-24% of household income of the rural people (Kaushal and Kala, 2004; Belcher, 2005) More than 80% of forest dwellers depend on NTFPs for basic necessities. NTFP collection comprises the main source of wage labour of 17% of land less labors, and 39% more are involved in NTFP collection as a subsidiary occupation (Prasad and Phukan, 2000). But the government has the lions share, it holds monopoly over Bamboo, Beedi Leaves, etc, their sale accounts to 75% of the total revenue generated by NTFP sale.

6 Who is the beneficiary?

7 Intangible Benefits are hard to Quantify ● Ecosystem Services especially in terms of Cultural Affiliations, Emotional Attachment to forest, Aesthetic value etc. ● How to quantify intangible things like culture and emotional bonding to forests that exists among forest dependent communities?

8 Ownership The forests in India are largely (more than 95%) owned and managed by the government (Federal and State) with people's involvement in forestry being essentially restricted to homesteads, common land plantations, agro-forestry and farm forestry. Forest policy development and implementation are the responsibility of the government. What are the implications of lack of ownership to local communities?

9 Institutions ● The Forest Charter of 1855 was the first attempt by the British Indian government. ● In 1856, Dietrich Brandis, a German botanist, was appointed first inspector general of forests. ● The first Indian Forest Act, 1865 (amended in 1878 and 1927). ● The first Indian Forest Policy framed in the year 1894. ● National Forest Policy of 1952. ● Wild Life Protection Act of 1972. ● Forest Conservation Act 1980. ● Forest Policy of 1988. ● The Biodiversity conservation Act 2002. ● The recogniton of tribal and other forest dwellers rights Act 2006.

10 Conservation India’s achievement in Protected Areas development is significant. PAs in India cover about 14.8 million ha representing about 14% of the forest area consisting 80 National Parks, 441 Wild life sanctuaries and 23 Tiger Reserves. However, the condition of several of the Pas are poor! PA approach follows Conservation through EXCLUSION, if so what could be the impact on local populations?

11 ● What do conservation through EXCLUSION means?

12 REDD Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). ● Market based approach ● Confusion over forest vs plantation ● Frther enhances polluter pay approach ● Is a loan but not sure how developing countries payback

13 UNDP Guidelines Indigenous peoples’ lands have been disproportionately affected by development activities because they often contain valuable natural resources including timber, minerals, biodiversity resources, water and oil among others. Land and resource issues are often at the heart of the tensions between indigenous communities and States and are often the source of human rights violations. Some of the issues that confront many indigenous communities worldwide are ownership rights, the right to adequate housing and protection from forced evictions, natural resource management questions, management and use of protected areas and/or nature reserves, benefit-sharing, protection from environmental impacts and guarantees for sacred or cultural sites. These issues may be resolved through dialogue and negotiation where national laws are in line with the individual and collective human rights of indigenous peoples. The development goals of indigenous peoples are closely linked to their ability to exercise decision-making in their communities (including the participation of women in this decision-making), maintain rights over their lands and resources, protect the rights of groups within indigenous communities, such as women and chidren and live according to their cultures and traditions. Cooperation between the United Nations and indigenous peoples in development requires respect for these socio-cultural and economic factors. ----- (UNDG Guidelines on Indigenous Peoples' Issues, 2008, Pp. 14)

14 It is REDD Plus in India In its submission to UNFCCC in August 2009, India has elaborated REDD as 'Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries, Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and Afforestation and Reforestation (A&R)' which further substantiates its comprehensive approach (MoEF 2009). REDD Plus without rights?? What are the implications if implemented in India?

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