Prospects and challenges of forest based livelihoods for tribal and local communities in India
PRADAN (Professional Assistance for Development Action)
Date and Time
15 October 2012 13:15 - 14:45
For centuries forests and livelihoods of tribal and local communities in the Indian sub-continent have been deeply intertwined. Sustainable exploitation of forests have been the hallmark of past generation of these communities leading to conservation of rich biodiversity in these regions. However, the last half a century has witnessed rapid reduction of forests cover, thereby bringing on one hand huge vulnerability in lives and livelihoods of these communities and on the other huge danger of over-exploitation of forest resources and depletion of the rich biodiversity. Civil society and Government in India realizing the strong link between sustainable livelihoods and conservation have over the past few decades come with interesting and exciting models linking sustainable forest based livelihood practices, markets, institutional & governance structures. This Side event will highlight successful cases from both Civil Society and Government drawing lessons around what works on the ground for these extremely vulnerable communities living in fragile eco-systems. The side event will bring to life how modern science and technology coupled with community institution development around access could support rejuvenation of ancient traditional livelihood practices. The event covers interesting success stories around Tassar Sericulture, Lac rearing, Siali leafplates, medicinal herbs and plants and Non-timber forest produce. These initiatives can go a long way to facilitate sustainable management of the bio diversity in a holistic manner, embedding the key issues like governance, market, ownership around community institutions While celebrating success of these efforts the side event concludes with focusing on the challenges that lie ahead if these successes were to be replicated for millions of poor tribal and local communities at cross roads with forest resources in India.