COMPENDIUM, IEEC-2023   ( ISBN : 978-81-967860-4-5 )
Theme-4: Advances in Social Management in Agriculture and Allied Sciences

Advancing the application of systems thinking to understand the dynamics of community-based conservation in Periyar Tiger Reserve in India

Aswathy Chandrakumar; Dr. Rajeev P; Lijo Thomas and Raghunandan Prasad Dwivedi

ICAR-Directorate of Cashew Research, Puttur, Dakshina Kannada 574 202, Karnataka


Forest is an important resource to any nation and efforts to conserve it must involve the local communities who are dependent on this resource. This idea paved way to community-based conservation programs across the globe. The India Eco development Project (IEDP) completed and funded by the World Bank in Periyar Tiger Reserve is a well acclaimed community-based conservation model that has yielded tremendous results in biodiversity conservation. Using ecodevelopment as a core strategy, this model has fostered alternative sources of livelihood for the local communities and has elicited their active participation in the management of the reserve. The outcome of this project is that even the present eco development schemes in the region draw basics from this. A successful case is an agro forestry-based tribal community model of black pepper cultivation. This programme has delivered for increased income to small farmers and links with the export market and sustenance of once neglected pepper plantations. This has also helped the conservation of Neelamundi a local cultivar with unique quality parameters in a vast tract. The project also envisaged organic certification of the plantations owned by the tribal farmers. An in-depth understanding of the key factors that influenced community development and participatory resource management can contribute to upscaling such conservation efforts. Drawing on the case of the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala, India, the authors attempted to understand the dynamics of community-based conservation. The causal loop diagram was used to illustrate how this model evolved and the contributing factors to the success of this project. Also, it helped to visualise the specific leverage points at which this model can be strengthened.

IEEC-2023 at RARI (SKNAU, Jobner), Jaipur, Rajasthan organised by Society of Extension Education, Agra, India