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

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Incentivising Forest Protection


Conservation pays”—a cliché alien to most people but not for a small group of women from Bohal in Palampur; they are getting paid `10,000 annually for protecting a patch of forest that constitutes the recharge zone of a spring-shed that supplies water to Palampur—an important, water-parched, industrial township in Himachal Pradesh. In the bargain, while the villagers get their share of spring water and quality fodder for their stall-fed cattle from the forest to boot, the Palampur township receives sustained supply of clean spring water. And the Palampur water supply department reaps a collateral benefit by saving thousands of rupees on filtration and pumping costs incurred in pumping silt-loaded water from a river.

But does the happy, win-win “forest-water-Bohal-Palampur” story end within the borders of Palampur? Not really. Forest ecosystem services like water supply, climate amelioration, and nutrition recycling are not straightaway apparent to most people, and they also do not realise that the benefits of forest ecosystem services extend far beyond the immediate vicinity of a well-conserved forest. The Bohal Women Group or even the local forest officials may not be aware that the forest they help to conserve acts as an important link in providing water security to thousands of people living in the plains of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and even Delhi-National Capital Region.

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Updated On : 11th Jun, 2022
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