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An Analysis of Community Dependence and Forest Management
This study imputes income from ‘non timber forest products’ and explores the factors determining the dependence of local people on protected area of forest based on household analysis of a Protected Area from Wayanad district of Kerala, India. The net present value of infinite stream of benefits from NTFP in the region varied from Rupees 1 million to 15 million depending on the rate of discount and the community. The analysis revealed that ‘alternative income source’ is a major influencing factor for bringing down forest dependence of the local community. This study also addressed certain issues in the existing institutional mechanism of marketing and management of non-wood forest products and its implication for sustainable management. The price spread highlighted the large difference between sellers (gatherer’s) price and final retail price. The policy implication is: (1) ensuring a fair share to the local people in the final value added and (2) bringing together traditional knowledge of the villager and the commercial ventures making the final product for efficient sharing of benefits, would act as incentives for the gatherers to extract the product in a sustainable way. This would help obtaining voluntary cooperation of the forest dwellers in conservation activities.
valuation, non-timber forest product, community dependence
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