Sustainability Assessment Of Forest Dependent Livelihoods

Sustainability Assessment Of Forest Dependent Livelihoods Case Study Sustainability Assessment Of Forest Dependent Livelihoods Teaching Note

Sustainability Assessment Of Forest Dependent Livelihoods

Author:- Dr. Sandeep Tambe, G.S. Rawat

Though grazing within protected areas is banned, it is still pervasive and prevalent in the Himalayan region. The effects of grazing on herbivore competition, disease spread, vegetation structure and the attendant herder impacts are hotly debated with limited action on the ground. The Khangchendzonga National Park (KNP) is a part of the eastern Himalaya global biodiversity hotspot and is located in the Sikkim state of India. Increasing livestock populations coupled with the government policy to ban grazing and its selective implementation resulted in conflict. A multi-disciplinary sustainability assessment involving consultations with traditional resource users, field surveys and remote sensing was carried out to analyze the economic, ecology and equity aspects. The assessment found that in the greater Himalayan part, over the past six decades, sheep have been increasingly replaced by yaks (and their crossbreeds), who descend only up to the multi-layered temperate and sub-alpine forests during winter. These forests have been extensively manipulated by the yak herders to increase the fodder availability.

Learning Objective

In terms of economics and equity in benefit sharing, the few yak herders earn high incomes by maintaining large herds while the sheep and pack animal herders earn subsistence level incomes from small herds. Based on the findings of the sustainability assessment the students examine the conservation strategy to be adopted. This case study demonstrates the usefulness of an integrated sustainability assessment covering the ecological, economic, social, political and legal dimensions in gaining a deeper understanding for informed decision making.


Pub Date: January 19, 2021
Discipline: Forestry
Subjects: Sustainability Assessment of Forest Dependent Livelihoods
Source: To get this case please email to
Product #: CS-01-SND-20-PDF
Industry: Forestry
Geography: Sikkim
Length: 9 page(s)
Teaching Note: Yes