Community based conservation-Uttaranchal
A Van Panvhayat ( Village Forest Council) near the trijunction of India, Nepal and Tibet, called 'Sarmoli-Jainti' has shown what the initiative of a dedicated leader can achieve in a remote village.
'A self-initiated effort by the Van Panchyat to conserve the great diversity of Galliformes within the village forest and the adjoining reserve forest began in 2004. The village forest has about 34 hectares for a population of over 300 households. An underlying
objective is to attract wilderness bound tourists, which should bring enhanced income to the community through non-extractive uses, like employment as trekking and nature guides and through a home-stay programme run by the Van Panchayat. Conservation of the
habitat would also result in more stable water supply to the villagers through the springs charged within the village forest and the adjoining forest area.'
With the support of World Pheasant Association-WPA (India), the Panchayat has
1. Set up a Nature Interpretation Centre at Sarmoli Village
2. Undertaken and completed a rigorous field survey of pheasants and partridges of the area
3. Identified and quantified human disturbance factors in the area.
This extract is courtesy "Mor" quarterly of WPA (India)
Malika Virdi, the Sarpanch of Sarmoli can be contacted on email