Forests, Institutions and Rural Change: Case Study of two villages in Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh
Ambedkar University, Delhi
Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?
Many state initiated actions related to natural resources like horticulture schemes, mining, construction of dams, etc. are on going in resource rich Himachal leading to change in rural lifestyles. In this context, the study examines two villages Sainj and Andheri in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh, based on a research question that what are the roles of institutions in managing forest resource in two neighbouring villages with different developmental context.
Methods: What were the main research methods you used?
Main objectives for this study were mainly in order to get the various parameters of utilization and management of forest by village community. For a better and wider understanding of various aspects of study; mix method research tool was used by putting qualitative and quantitative data together. It includes rapid rural appraisal along with the other research tools: non participant observation, focus group discussions, resource mapping, semi-structured questionnaire with stratified random sampling, key informant interviews and secondary sources were used.
Results: What are your most important results?
The findings of the study show that there is an overlap between property right regimes because of state interventions and there are changes in resource use. Furthermore, variation in resource use is mainly because of social and economic differentiation that exists and which leads to create change in institutional approach of natural resources.
Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?
Findings provide evidence that there is an increase in socio economic differentiation within the communities resulted from the rural change under the general model of change from the ‘developmental’ interventions. This rural change also changed people’s attitude towards collective action and hence, forest as a common pool resource have been a foremost sufferer of this change.