Case 23 - Cash crops driving land use changes in forest mosaic landscapes in East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, India
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The coastal and offshore environment of East Godavari River Estuarine Ecosystem region is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in the east coast of India and supports rich biodiversity both in terms of floral and faunal biodiversity. The forest area is controlled and managed by the state owned forest department through Joint Forest Management program by involving local community to act as partners for conservation of forests.
The people are dependent upon land based livelihood based on mangrove and marine resources, agriculture and horticulture. But the mangrove forest ecosystem, the agri and fresh water ecosystem and the scrub forest areas that form the forest mosaic landscape of the area and the associated ecosystem services are constantly facing the challenges of degradation due to change in the land use practices like conversion of land for shrimp cultivation, salt production, over harvesting of fishes, over withdrawal of fresh water for intensification of cash crop based agri horti production.
The aim of this case study will be:
- To understand the governance and institutional mechanism affecting forest ES;
- To map the status of interacting and interdependent components of flora and fauna (NC) forming the designated forest mosaic landscape;
- To document community institutional practices for harvesting the NC;
- To identify the drivers of land use changes and develop a framework, criteria and indicators for assessing sustainability of community institutions and governance mechanism for sustainable management of NC and ES.
The study will provide insight for developing participatory models of integrating government and community institutions for sustainable management of forest mosaic landscapes to reduce business risks and costs, develop a training strategy to involve stakeholders to arrest degradation and improve the flow of ES and develop options for eco compatible sustainable livelihood development through conservation based utilization of NC and ES
The case-study lead is Professor S. B. Roy from IBRAD (Indian Institute of Bio Social Research and Development), Kolkata, India with Dr Raktima Mukhopadhyay as his associate will work together with the state forest department and other stakeholders involved as part of the Case-study Advisory Board.