Conservation Of Private Forests In The Coridore Of Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary And Chandoli National Park Of Maharashtra Western Ghats

Presented by
Sunil Kale
Wildlife Research And Conservation Society

Jayant Kulkarni1 And Sunil Kale1

Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?

Private Forests (PF) means those forests owned by local people,they are ecologically important. PF found in a degraded state because of the owners clear-felled (cut) their private forests on a short felling cycle, uncontrolled grazing, forest fire, etc. Scientific forestry can be a good options for conservation of PF. A pilot project for conservation of private forests is being implemented in the Koyna-Chandoli corridor, Western Ghats of Maharashtra.

Methods: What were the main research methods you used?

Land Use, Land Classification Map provided by NRSC was used to map private forests and to determine their area and distribution. A questionnaire survey was carried among owners and other stakeholders out to determine the issues affecting decision-making of land use on private forests. A study was made of the legal and statutory regime to identify strategies for conservation of private forests.For demonstration of Scientific forestry and sustainable land use a plot of PF has developed.

Results: What are your most important results?

Private forests are used for clear felling for sale of firewood, domestic firewood, brushwood for raab, pasture, grass extraction and shifting cultivation. Plantation of Acacia auriculiformis,Eucalyptus sp.etc. Shifting cultivation is much reduced nowadays because of shortage of manpower. PF are being sold on a large scale.

Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?

Conservation of PF is important for maintaining connectivity, preventing land degradation and conservation of biodiversity. There is a need to make aware owners and promote them to conserve their PF. Scientific forestry can provide the necessary incentives for PF conservation. The PF are equal as Government forests. The government also needs to take urgent steps for conservation of private forests.