Co-management and sustainable use of Non-timber forest products in three protected areas of Western Ghats
The Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) management on sustainable basis has remained a convoluted process for several decades but in the present scenario, there is a need to adopt multipronged strategy, as under, to build up an environment to strengthen community based management of NTFPs which in turn would strengthen the livelihood of poor forest dependent population. When communities and state agencies share responsibilities and benefits of forest management, they collaborate within co-management systems. Co-management systems are attractive to governments because they open avenues for local participation in resource governance and more equitable benefit-sharing while maintaining some level of state control. The promotion of community forestry may require greater emphasis on adjusting forest regulatory frameworks, institutions, and agencies, to allow more freedom by community level actors in developing forest management systems. This study will lead to co-management and sustainable harvest of forest resources and development, which in turn helps in conserving the NTFP species with participation of local community. Developing resource augmentation, long term monitoring, conservation of the species at the genetic level and sustainable use are key objectives of this study.