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Village Common Forest Management in Komolchori, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh: An Example of Community Based Natural Resources Management



Village Common Forest Management in Komolchori, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh: An Example of Community Based Natural Resources Management



Small-Scale Forestry 17(4): 535-553



Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) in Bangladesh covers about 50% of the country's natural forest resources, providing sources of food, fuel-wood, medicinal plants, timber and water supply to the ethnic communities living in the area. The ethnic communities in CHTs have been managing a small patch of forest known as a village common forest (VCF) adjacent to their village following a community based forest management approach. Taking a case study of Komolchori VCF, this study examined dependency of community people on VCF resources, their conservation-related attitudes and awareness, indigenous management, and forest phyto-sociological structure. A survey and focus group discussions were conducted among the settlers and non-settlers in Thana Chandra para and Jaduram para villages of the Komolchori VCF. Key informant interviews were conducted with two non-government organizations (NGOs) and the headman in the study area. To assess phyto-sociological structure of vegetation, 25 quadrats (10mx10m) were laid out randomly. Results revealed that non-settlers were more inclined towards VCF conservation and women played a crucial role as they were directly involved in forest products and water collection. Soil erosion caused by shifting cultivation has made community people more aware of forest degradation. Training program provided by NGOs on different horticultural techniques and a Saving-Credit program improved livelihood conditions and reduced pressures on VCF resources. Locally devised traditional rules guide the community people to manage the VCF sustainably. The vegetation survey showed that the density of Komolchori VCF was 1420 trees/ha with a basal area of 27.98m(2)/ha. The Shannon-Weiner index, species diversity index and index of dominance in the study area were 2.91, 0.62, 0.09, respectively.

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Accession: 066378939

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DOI: 10.1007/s11842-018-9402-9


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