Community Dependence on Non-timber Forest Products – A Household Analysis and its Implication for Forest Conservation

C.S. Shylajan, G. Mythili
JEL codes: 

This study explores the factors determining the dependence of local people on protected area of forest based on household analysis of a Protected Area from Kerala. The findings confirm the hypothesis that alternative income source would greatly reduce the dependence and hence ease the conflict between local people interests and forest management in conservation activities. This study raised certain issues in the institutional mechanism of marketing and management of non-wood forest products. The price spread highlighted the large difference between sellers (gatherers) price and final retail price. Ensuring a fair share to the local people in the final value added and 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 and also to cooperate willingly in the conservation activities.