Biodiversity conservation and rural livelihood improvement project: environmental and social management framework

The objective of the Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihood Improvement Project for India is to develop and promote new models of conservation at the landscape scale through enhanced capacity and institution building for mainstreaming biodiversity conservation outcomes. Negative measures include: loss of grazing lands due to afforestation programs on grazing lands; increased risk of forest fires; changes in the species composition of the area, when exotic fast growing species are used to showcase success resulting in threat to indigenous species; encouraging continuous dependence on use of firewood due to assured supply; conflicts may arise in accessing resources and issues of ownership claims; some people may utilize more than others leading to elite capture of resources; overexploitation of natural resources, as they are made available; and increased burden of costs and management, if exotic species escape the plantations and invade natural communities. Mitigation measures include: ensure that large areas of pastures are not selected for afforestation and plantations; opt only for border line plantations on pastures; c) develop clear guidelines for afforestation and other plantations; involve local communities in selection of areas for plantations and communicate guidelines to them; do not undertake afforestation on grazing lands that fall on the routes of nomads and transhumant's but only restore degraded pastures; develop appropriate fire lines before fire season; avoid dry deciduous species that results in fire prone litter buildup; and choose evergreen species that do not become flammable during summers.