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Forest Fires for Domestic and Commercial Use of Ecosystem Services: A Case Study in Andhra Pradesh, South India

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Kohli, A.; Schmerbeck, J.; Seeland, Klaus
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7374
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): forests
fire ecology
Andhra Pradesh
Abstract: "The dependence of Indian village households on fire driven ecosystem services (ES) that forests are providing is the focus of this paper. A survey of 557 households in 14 villages was conducted and focus-group discussions and key person interviews in three villages in the northern part of the Sadhukonda Reserve Forest, Andhra Pradesh, were made. Local perceptions on the importance of fire related ES derived from the forest, their importance for domestic use as well as marketing and the income of the households have been surveyed. We found that in 10 out of 14 villages the households are highly dependent on fire driven ES for domestic use and the households of three where equally dependent on these ES for their income and subsistence. Amongst the fire driven ES, the use of grasses and fuel wood where the most frequently mentioned. According to the respondents’ opinion the fires were caused mainly by smokers, hunters and careless people. Despite the high dependency of people’s livelihoods on forest fires there is no proper fire management plan in place nor is fire integrated in the actual forest management plans. It is concluded that a fire off scenario would have a significant impact on local livelihoods and that fire policies and management plans have to be carefully revised taking this into consideration."

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