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Forest Product Use, Conservation and Livelihoods: The Case of Uppage Fruit Harvest in the Western Ghats, India

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Rai, Nitin D.; Uhl, Christopher F.
Journal: Conservation and Society
Volume: 2
Date: 2004
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3313
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): forest products
land tenure and use
Abstract: "The harvest and sale of non-timber forest products (NTFP) by local communities has been suggested as a possible solution to the often observed conflict between forest use and forest conservation. Recent studies have, however, suggested that the economic rewards might be constant, and that ecological effects of harvest might be higher than previously believed. In India trade in NTFP has a long history, but few studies have explored both the ecological and socio-economic aspects of harvest. We report here the results of a socio-economic and ecological study on the harvest of fruits from the rainforest tree uppage (Garcinia gummigutta), which occurs in the tropical forests of the Western Ghats. We studied the characteristics of uppage fruit harvest, socio-economic factors that influence harvest, and the ecological effect of fruit harvest under differing tenurial regimes. Our findings suggest that dependence on NTFP harvest by local communities might be problematic due to market instability, patchy resource distribution, inequitable access to forest resources within the village and lack of security of tenure."

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