Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 803–816 | Cite as

Determinants of household use of wetland resources in West Bengal, India

  • Sourya DasEmail author
  • Bhagirath Behera
  • Ashok Mishra
Original Paper


This paper makes an attempt to identify and analyse the factors that influence the household use of wetlands in West Bengal, India. Three wetlands were selected from three physiographically distinct regions of West Bengal, which are used by local people for multiple purposes. Logit and Tobit models are used for the identification of the factors explaining household dependency on wetland. The results indicate that there is spatial difference in the mode and extent of use of wetland resources across the three wetlands. Households belonging to poor, landless, lower social caste, and low education level are more likely to use wetland resources compared to their counterparts. Households having larger family size are likely to extract bigger amounts of wetland products. However, upper caste households have more access to the wetlands for irrigation. The results indicate that wetland plays a vital role for the livelihood of marginalized sections of the community. Therefore, it is needed to device appropriate policy for equitable distribution of the benefits of the wetlands among different sections of the society.


Wetland products Dependency Livelihood Economic West Bengal India 



We thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments which have helped improve the quality of paper immensely. We are thankful to several persons for their help in this research. Some of the notable persons are Dr. Dhrubojyoti Ghosh, Special Advisor, IUCN; Dr. Subir K. Ghosh, Thematic Group Lead, Ecosystem Management Group (Capacity Building), IUCN; Dr. S. C. Santra, Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Kalyani; Dr. A. K. Nandi, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Agricultural Economics, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya; and scientists at the Institute of Environmental Studies and Wetland Management (IESWM), Kolkata for their valuable suggestions. We are thankful to several friends and colleagues, especially Dr. Tamoghna Acharya and Mr. Partho Protim Mondal for providing valuable inputs in the draft of the paper. We are also indebted to the Department of Fisheries, Government of West Bengal and Mr. Raja Chatterjee, Secretary, The jungles and all the villagers for providing data during our fieldwork. We also want to say thanks to the field assistants for helping us in data collection.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Regional Office, Eastern Himalayas, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the EnvironmentGangtokIndia
  2. 2.Department of Humanities and Social SciencesIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural and Food EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

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