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The role of Non-Timber Forest Products in Village Economics of South West Bengal

Research reports

The heavily degraded sal (Shorea robusta) forests of south-west Bengal, India, are managed under the joint forest management scheme between the Forest Department and local residents. This paper reported the diverse set of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) collected from the sal coppice by nearby residents, who remained highly dependent on the forest lands and used over 72 % of the available plant and animal species. However, although people valued sal forest lands more than species-poor eucalyptus plantations, a diminishing supply of fuel wood meant that an ever greater proportion of biomass was used as fuel, resulting in a loss of traditional uses.

M Adhikari, Debal Deb, M Dutta, K C Malhotra, T S Vasulu, G Yadav