Exploring Inclusive Ecological Restoration: A Case Study in Mining Restoration at Bolani, Odisha
Ambedkar University DelhiAuthors
Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?
Mining though economically good, leads to many ecological and societal problems. Ecological restoration is increasingly directing at importance of human dimension in it apart from the scientific knowledge. Adding the two, the study aims at understanding and analyzing the practice of ecological restoration in world and undertaking a case study of exploring the inclusion of local communities in an ongoing ecological restoration project at SAIL Bolani Mines, Odisha.
Methods: What were the main research methods you used?
Data was collected through secondary as well as primary research methods. Secondary Methods:Survey of literature(published papers on ecological restoration): to understand the Ecological Restoration Practice in India and the World.Survey of published reports such as SAIL(concerned organization) EMP and EIA Reports, Census of India data, Forest Surveys of Jharkhand and Odisha: to establish the general social and ecological history of the area were studied.Primary Methods:To establish the present natural resource use and social structure of the village community 1)transect walks2)focused group discussions3)semi structured questionnaire(30% of households of studied village Tatiba, situated next to the restoration plot)
Results: What are your most important results?
Most restoration projects focus on ecological parameters to define the goals of restoration and don’t inculcate local community’s needs such as livelihood or natural resources for household use.In the case study, villagers residing near the forests and mining site, are mainly tribe and have high utilization of forest for fuel wood, timber, food, medicines, fibre, livelihood and religion. Major livelihood dependence on forests is for rope, basket and broom making.
Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?
For restoration to be more meaningful and successful, inclusion of local needs and local support is very necessary. However, society being a heterogeneous entity represents mixed and sometimes contrasting needs and demands which makes truly inclusive restoration difficult with already restricting ecological conditions. Still, Science and society are to be integrated in practice of restoration in a balanced manner maximizing the benefits to nature and society.