Volume No. 12 Issue No.: 2 Page No.: 214-224 Oct.-Dec. 2017

 

AN INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT OF LIVELIHOOD OPPORTUNITIES OF WETLAND DEPENDENT COMMUNITIES OF KOSHI TAPPU WILDLIFE RESERVE, NEPAL

 

Joshi Deependra

William Carey University Shilllong, Meghalaya (INDIA)

 

Received on : August 16, 2017

 

ABSTRACT

 

Wetlands cover nearly 5% of the total land area of Nepal. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR), a Ramsar Site of international significance, is not only an important protected area for globally threatened species but also important for its multi-functional role that provides a diverse range of ecosystem goods and services, especially provisioning services from forests and wetlands, to the indigenous wetland dependent communities. Given the high level of poverty in the bufferzone communities and limited alternative livelihood opportunities, pressure on the reserve is increasing and the management in vestmentis insufficient, which has accelerated degradation of vital ecosystem services there by imposing further constraints on wetland conservation goals. Hence, this paper aims to look at the the existing state of livelihoods of wetland dependent communities of Koshi Tappu Widlife Reserve by the existing socioeconomic status and analyzing factors affecting the dependency of local inhabitants on wetland resources through identification, inventorization, quantification and valuation of existing goods and services rendered by wetlands. People’s dependency on wetland resources is very high. Livelihood of wetland dependent communities is primarily based on the existing wetland resources as they get benefited from a lot of products and services. The dependency of ethnic communities on wetland resources for livelihoods is high (about 67%) in the surveyed area. About 54% of the surveyed respondents harvest fish from the reserve followed by pater (Typha Latifolia)collection (16.8%), khar grass (Sacchrum spp) collection (12.6%) and firewood collection (8.4%). Statistical analysis has revealed that wetland resources (fuelwood, fodder, fish, singar and sal leaf) contributed significantly to the household economy: the mean income of households from wetland resources was significantly different from zero. If we extract information by ethnic group, then indigenous households gained significantly more economic benefits annually (NRs8000). This shows the economic contribution of wetland resources to these communities. Although non-use values and some components of regulatory services were not considered in the study, findings clearly highlight the vital importance of economic benefits generated from there serve for the well-beingo f wetland dependent communities.

 

Keywords : Wetlands, Livelihoods, Ecosystem services, Dependency, Communities

 

 

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