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Diversity of rural forests in central Western Ghats (India): views from different stakeholders

Abstract : Decentralised conservation is an influential discourse in India which is gradually being translated into policy. Underlying such discourse and policy is the recognition of a substantial dependence of Indian rurality on forests. Consequently the rural character of forests is subject to historical extraction and alteration by rural cultures. This paper highlights the diversity of what might be called 'rural forests' in the central Western Ghats area of south India. It also attempts a typology of such forests. Rural forests mean different things to different people according to their disciplinary and professional backgrounds. Competing views exist with regard to what criteria a rural forest should meet, namely in terms of ecological structure, local and supra-local needs, property rights and management. The paper highlights some plural and conflicting representations of rural forests based on discussions with Forest Department officials, indigenous community members and on expert views that emerged from a workshop of academics, practitioners and field-workers.
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Christelle Hinnewinkel, Sylvie Guillerme, Ajit Menon, Siddartha Krishnan, Nitin Rai, et al.. Diversity of rural forests in central Western Ghats (India): views from different stakeholders. Small-scale Rural Forest Use and Management: Global Policies versus Local Knowledge, Jun 2008, Gérardmer, France. 13 p. ⟨hal-02617440⟩

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