Analytical conceptual plan to reforest Central Himalaya for sustainable development

Singh, Surendra P. ; Singh, Jamuna S. (1991) Analytical conceptual plan to reforest Central Himalaya for sustainable development Environmental Management, 15 (3). pp. 369-379. ISSN 0364-152X

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The Central Himalayan region is suffering from severe ecological problems as a consequence of deforestation and that threatens the subsistence population of the region. We analyze this problem and propose a plan for ecologically sustainable development for the region based on an analysis of the interrelationships of various ecosystems, particularly cropland and forest ecosystems, around which most human activities are concentrated. Each energy unit of agronomic yield leads to expenditure of about 12 energy units of forest/grazing land energy. Because with rapidly declining forest area, this form of agriculture is no longer sustainable and cannot be converted into a fossil fuel-based agriculture, we propose that agriculture in the mountain region has to be largely replaced with farm forests to revitalize the environment and to generate the basic needs of the subsistence economy of the hill population whose food grain needs can be met from the plains. We conclude by describing the advantages that are likely to accrue to the people for their long-term future. In terms of both energy and money, the value of resources collected from the forest to support agriculture in the present systems far exceeds the value of food grain that would be required to enable the proposed farm forest-based systems to function. At regional level, the proposed system would generate more energy than the existing systems, not only because the productivity of forest is about tenfold greater than that of cropland, but also because the proposed plan promotes recovery of various ecosystems.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Springer.
Keywords:Central Himalaya; Sustainable Development; Deforestation; Subsistence Economy; Ecosystem Linkages; Energy; Agriculture
ID Code:72973
Deposited On:03 Dec 2011 04:40
Last Modified:03 Dec 2011 04:40

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