Forest dependency and economic valuation of Laokhowa and Burhachapori wildlife sanctuaries in Assam
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The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has categorised the ecosystem services into provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural that ensures security, basic materials for good life, good health, social relations, and many more to the human wellbeing. Most of the services people obtain from various ecosystems are intangible but very crucial for the welfare of the human society. Forest is an important ecosystem that plays a very critical role as carbons sink, apart from others, and thus ensures the very survivability of the humans and other life forms on earth. Studies show that use of and dependency on common resource such as forest by the fringe communities is almost a universal practice. People living on the periphery of the forest ecosystems rely heavily on the provisioning services such as food, fuel, fiber, grass, etc. having a serious long term environmental implication. The heavy reliance of the peripheral people on the forests may change forest composition, ecosystem functions and resilience.However, though the peripheral people rely heavily on the forest ecosystem most of them are unaware about the critical value of forest ecosystem to their lives. Therefore, economic valuation of forest ecosystem services is of utmost necessity. Economic valuation is a process of ascribing monetary values to the unquantifiable social and environmental services of the eco-system. The need for valuation arises from the fact that most of the intangible services enjoyed by the fringe dwellers are not taken into account while making environmental decisions leading thereby to missing markets. The failure to place monetary values on environmental goods and services will ultimately lead to their exploitation and loss.
Supervisor: Mrinal Kanti Dutta
HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES