Buffer Zone Resources and Community Conservation: A Case Study of Handi Khola Buffer Zone User Committee, Parsa Wildlife Reserve
Keywords:demand and supply, livelihood, forest resources, anthropogenic pressure
The present study was carried out to understand ecology of forests and social strata in Handi Khola Buffer Zone User Committee of Parsa Wildlife Reserve in Central Nepal. Methods used were stratified random sampling of household economics with questionnaire survey for socio-economic information and quantitative and qualitative analysis for vegetation study. Seventy two households were studied in-depth through household surveys. Vegetation ecology and forest resources were studied in Rakshaniya, Dhaneshwor, Laamitar and Masine forests of the BZ, totaling 37 sample plots. The study recorded a total of 36 tree species from 19 families. Shorea robusta was the dominant tree species in the community forest with highest important percentage, standing volume, biomass and sustainable fuel wood yield. The study area was sufficient to fulfill the demand of the fuel wood and timber in a sustainable way but annual demand of fodder (9640.54 tons/year) outstripped the annual sustainable supply of fodder (409.41 total digestible nutrient in tons/year). Thus, community forest was insufficient to provide the resource equally to all seasons and its unequal distribution compelled the locals for illegal extraction of resource showing some pressure on the reserve. In addition, large-scale human interference (Cut Stump Density-39.56/ha and Live Tree Density-58.11/ha) in community forest questioned the endurance of buffering potential and biodiversity conservation.
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