Enclosing Forests Towards Protection of Habitat

31 Aug 2008


The study analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the approach of enclosing forests which aims at protecting and regenerating forests and securing long-term access and benefits for local communities in Rajasthan.

The project 'Social Mobilisation around Natural Resources Management for Poverty Alleviation' was launched in December 2003 by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Supporting the Government of India's commitment to expand self employment opportunities for the poor, the project specifically targeted poor women and marginalised communities and was implemented through 17 NGO partners in 11 districts across three states - Jharkhand, Orissa, and Rajasthan.

This study analyses the approach of 'enclosing forests' implemented under the Project in Rajasthan which aimed at protecting and regenerating forests and securing long-term access of and benefits to local communities. Forest enclosures established in 13 villages of Udaipur and Baran districts and covering 1289 hectares of forest land represent a collaboration between local communities, the Forest Department and partner NGOs - Foundation for Ecological Security and Sankalp Sanstha. Through an in-depth study of forest enclosures in four villages and interaction with communities and key stakeholders, this study presents the strengths as well as weaknesses of this approach and offers valuable lessons for replication and policy.

The study has been carried out by Rucha Ghate, Deepshikha Mehra and Mukund Kulkarni at SHODH: The Institute for Research and Development, an organization established in 1997 to undertake studies on various socio-economic aspects of rural and tribal people, and the environment. Mr. Prasanta Pradhan, Co-ordinator, GoI-UNDP Project, has facilitated and provided back-up support for the study. Ms. Judith Smith, Independent Consultant, has provided editorial support and coordinated print production.

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