Biodiversity Conservation in the Himalayas

Since time immemorial, mountain dwellers and tribal people follow a tradition of judicious utilization of their natural resources. Over the centuries, a symbiotic relationship developed and a methodology evolved for harmonious coexistence with nature. Irrespective of the fact that the vast and diverse Himalayan terrain is inhabited by multilingual and multiracial people, the people have a common heritage and are dependent on natural resources. These societies had patience, commitments, and appreciation for the values that made them a selfsustaining society. forced to face several hardships to earn their livelihood.

However, in the last couple of decades, due to industrialization and commercialization, natural resources have become a means of economical development and have opened numerous ways for commercial exploitation. This has caused rapid depletion of these resources, thus depriving the mountain societies of their livelihood support base. On one hand, this sort of indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources provided many opportunities to industrialists and capitalists to further augment their profit, while on the other hand, this limited the vital resource base for the sustenance of the mountain dwellers. Today, the situation has worsened to the extent that majority of the marginal communities have been forced to face several hardships to earn their livelihood.

This book is made up of a set of articles that explore the participatory resource management systems and institutions such as van panchayats and sacred groves, and attempts to assess their compatibility with current legislative and policy provisions. In a significant way, these articles aim at bridging the gap between policy and practice, to provide field-level inputs to national- and state-
level processes of policy deliberation.

This volume is recommended to all practitioners of natural resource management and anyone interested in delving into our deep cultural traditions.

  • Conservation and Management of Bioresources in Uttarakhand, India
  • Van Panchayats: Community Conserved Areas in Uttarakhand
  • Van Panchayats in Uttarakhand: A Perspective from Practitioners
  • Biodiversity Assessment of Community-managed Institutions through Participatory Approach in the Lamgara Area, Almora, Uttarakhand
  • Sacred Groves: A Traditional Way of Conserving Biodiversity in Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand
  • Medicinal Plants in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve: Traditional Heritage for Livelihood and Health Security of Ethnic Communities
  • Participation of Community in Conserving Biodiversity and Managing Natural Resources: A Case Study of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Setting Standards for Sustainable Harvest of Wild Medicinal Plants in Uttarakhand: A Case Study of Lichens
  • Exploring Compatibility of National Guidelines with Biodiversity Heritage Sites in the Context of Uttarakhand
  • How to Support Community Conserved Areas in India