Developing a Community Forest Buffer for the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, India
The Bhimashankar Sanctuary is located in the Western Ghats is recognised as an Important Bird Area. Since its demarcation as a wildlife sanctuary, forest resources traditionally used by tribal communities has largely been restricted to the forests surrounding the sanctuary. This has now resulted in an acute shortage of resources for the local people and turned the sanctuary into an isolated patch of forest within a degrading landscape. This project aims to initiate a process for participatory community action for the restoration of forests on community lands and within existing agricultural systems surrounding the protected area using forest assessments and participatory techniques. On the long run this will led to the creation of a forest buffer for the sanctuary as well as provide alternative livelihood sources for the local community.