ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Exploring the 4-Cs Framework

Integrating Biodiversity Conservation and Human Well-being in India

In India, mainstream environmentalism and development situate biodiversity conservation and human well-being as mutually exclusive goals. This is contentious because a large section of India’s population has inextricable economic, social, political, and cultural linkages with its rich biodiversity. The 4-Cs framework is suggested to address human well-being within the purview of ecosystem assessment and management by incorporating multiple social-ecological variables. Examples of domains, attributes, and indicators of human well-being are examined in the context of the Forest Rights Act (2006). Further, the framework can be tailor-made to guide conservation practitioners, establish the discourse on human well-being in the field of biodiversity science, and broaden the normative understanding of human well-being as an essential outcome of biodiversity conservation.


This paper was catalysed and supported by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. The authors thank Roshni Kutty and Tushar Dash for their contributions, and the reviewers for their comments.

Exploring the 4-Cs Framework

India is a mega diverse country with four biodiversity hotspots and 10 biogeographic zones hosting tens of thousands of faunal and floral species distributed over varied forest, wetland, shrubland, grassland, desert, coastal, and marine ecosystems. India also has a growing human population of 1.3 billion people that is as dense as 382 persons per sq km (CBD nd). Nearly 200 million people are directly dependent on forests as a primary livelihood source while around 100 million people live on land classified as forest (FAO nd). Forest dependence includes livelihoods based in part or completely on the extraction of timber, fuelwood, fodder, and non-timber forest products (NTFPs; medicinal plants and wild foods) and livestock grazing (FAO nd). The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) categorises such services provided by forests as provisioning ecosystem services that sustain local communities.

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Updated On : 14th Dec, 2020
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