Institutional arrangement and typology of community forests of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland of North-East India
- 373 Downloads
Most community forests in hill regions of northeast India have been managed by traditional local institutions for centuries and most of these institutions remain functional even today. Higher forest coverage on private and community lands as compared to government land indicates that traditional institutions effectively manage community forests in the region. The present study was conducted through a survey of literature and field work using participatory research tools viz., PRA exercises, group discussions and questionnaire interviews with key informants in northeast India. We categorized the institutions involved in conservation and management of forests into three major types: traditional, quasi-traditional and modern. Traditional institutions with hierarchal structure were found in all states and are intact and functional in the state of Meghalaya. Quasi-traditional institutions, a blend of traditional and modern institutions were prevalent in Nagaland while modern institutions have almost replaced traditional institutions in Mizoram. We recorded at least eleven types of community forests viz., group of village forest, village forest, restricted forest, sacred forest, clan forest, cemetery forest, regeneration forest, bamboo forest, recreation forest, village reserved forest and medicinal plantation in villages of three states. The tribal people, through long-term trial and error experiments, have developed an elaborate, functional and generally democratic system of conservation and management of forests and associated natural ecosystems. Several forest and natural resource management lessons can be learnt from the institutional structure and decision making system of the evolving and dynamic institutions of tribal communities of the region.
Keywordssustainable natural resources community institution: tribal
- Arnold JEM, Campbell JG. 1986. Collective management of hill forests in Nepal: the community forestry development project. In: Proceeding of the conference on common property resource management. Washington DC: National Academy Press, pp. 425–454.Google Scholar
- Barik SK, Tiwari BK. 2004. Forest policies and schemes. In: Malhotra KC, Barik SK, Tiwari BK, and Tripathi RS (Eds), Joint Forest Management in North-East India-A Trainer’s Resource Book. Bhubaneswar: Graftek Pvt. Ltd, p. 22–108.Google Scholar
- Chatterjee S, Dey S, Rana RS, Sastry ARK. 2000. Conservation and Sustainable use of natural bioresources: A case study on Apanati in Arunachal Pradesh. New Delhi: World Wide Fund for Nature-India, pp. 19–32.Google Scholar
- Dasgupta S, Ahmed FU. 1998. Natural Resources Management by Tribal Community: a Case Study of Bangladesh, The World Bank/WBI″s CBNRM. Available at: http://srdis.ciesin.columbia.edu/cases/bangladesh-002.html, accessed on 12 January 2006.
- FSI (Forest Survey of India). 2009. State of the Forest Report. Dehradun: FSI.Google Scholar
- Gautam KH. 1991. Indigenous Forest Management Systems in the Hills of Nepal. Thesis submitted to Australian National University. Available at: http://www.mtnforum.org/resources.
- Gokhale Y. 2004. Reviving traditional forest management in western Ghats study in Karnataka. Economic and Political Weekly, 39: 3556–3559.Google Scholar
- Goswami MC, Majumder DN. 1972. Social institutions of the Garo of Calcutta, Meghalaya: an analytical study. Calcutta: Nababharat Publishers, p. 142.Google Scholar
- Gurdon PR. 1975. The Native Races of India. New Delhi: The Khasis, Cosme Publication, p. 227.Google Scholar
- Jodha NS. 2002. Natural resource management and poverty alleviation in mountain areas: approaches and efforts. Kathmandu, Nepal: ICIMOD, p. 27.Google Scholar
- Karmakar KG, Banerjee GD. 2009. Village Development Boards (VDBs) in Nagaland. eSocial Science. Available at: http://www.esocialsciences.org.
- Khatri-Chhetri JB. 1993. Indigenous management of forest resources: a case study of Jomson VDC in Mustang District, from indigenous management of natural resources in Nepal. In: D. Tamang, G.J Gill, C.B. Thapa (Eds.). Indigenous Management of Natural Resources in Nepal. Dhulikhel, Nepal: Proc Workshop Indigenous Managed Agriculture WIIAD, pp. 569–576.Google Scholar
- Kumar C. 2008. Institutional dissonance in forest management in Meghalaya, India. Paper prepared for Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property, July 14–18, Cheltenham, England. Available at: http://dlc.dlib.indiana.edu/archive/00003879/01/Kumar_101901.
- Lucy and Jehol KK. 2009. The legendary of Naga village-A reader. Nagaland: Heritage publishing house, p. 115.Google Scholar
- Malhotra KC. 1990. Village supply and safety forest in Mizoram: a traditional practice of protecting ecosystems. In: Abstracts of the Fifth International Congress of Ecology, Yokohama, p. 439.Google Scholar
- Mukherjee N. 1998. Participatory Rural Appraisal-Methodology and Applications. New Delhi: Concept publication company, p. 160.Google Scholar
- Nanang M, Inoue M. 2000. Local forest management in Indonesia: a contradiction between national forest policy and reality. Int Rev Environ Strat, 1: 175–191.Google Scholar
- Nongkynrih AK. 2001. Ka Shnong: the microcosm of Hynniewtrep society. Ind Horizon, 48:121–151.Google Scholar
- Pandit BH, Albano A, Kumar C. 2008. Improving forest benefits for the poor: Learning from community-based forest enterprises in Nepal. Bogor, Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research, p. 47.Google Scholar
- Schulte A, Sah S. 2000. Historic shift towards silviculture by people in Asia: A review and country case studies on community based forest management from Nepal, the Philippines and Indonesia. Die Bodenkultur, 51: 291–298.Google Scholar
- Sudha P, Malhotra KC, Palit S, Rao KK, Srinivas N, Negi NK, Tiwari BK, Mishra TK, Jagannatha RR, Bhat PR, Murthy IK, Ravindranath NH. 2004. Joint forest management: synthesis of its spread, performance and impact in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tripura and West Bengal. In: Ravindranath NH et al (eds), Joint Forest Management in India: Spread, Performance and Impact. Hyderabad: Universities Press, pp. 196–219.Google Scholar
- Tiwari BK, Shahi K. 1995. Land ownership pattern in Meghalaya. In: Tiwari BK, Singh S (eds.), Ecorestoration of degraded hills. Kaushal Publication, Shillong, pp. 61–78.Google Scholar
- Tiwari BK, Tynsong H, Lynser MB. 2010. Forest management practices of the tribal people of Meghalaya, North-East India. J Trop For Sci, 22: 329–342.Google Scholar
- Tripathi RS, Barik SK. 2004. Concept and evolution of joint forest management. In: Malhotra KC, Barik SK, Tiwari BK and Tripathi RS (eds), Joint Forest Management in North-East India-A trainer’s Resource Book. Graftek Pvt. Ltd., Bhubaneswar. p. 22–108.Google Scholar
- Webb EL, Gautam AP. 2001. Effects of community forest management on the structure and diversity of a successional broadleaf forest in Nepal. Int Forestry Rev, 3(2): 146–157.Google Scholar
- White A, Martín A. 2002. Who owns the world’s forests? Washington DC: Forest Trends publication, p. 30.Google Scholar