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Udaipur, Rajasthan
         
Agro-ecological Zone :

Northern Plains (and Central Highlands) including Aravalis

  Project Districts :

Udaipur

River basin : Mansi, Wakal and Sei   Mean Annual Rainfall : 650 mm
Major Soil Types : Deep loamy grey brown andalluvium derived soils   Forest Types : Tropical Dry Deciduous
Major Habitats : Forests, Grazinglands, Wetlands, Agriculture lands   Nearest Protected Area : Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Phulwari-ki-Nal Wildlife Sanctuary and Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Threatened Species : Commiphora wightii, Sterculiaurens, Aravalli Red Spurfowl, White-naped Tit   Percentage of Common Lands including Forest : 67%
Percentage of People Living below Poverty Line : 55%   Percentage of Scheduled Castes/Tribes : 54%
Area Under Protection : 1,684 ha   Village Institutions Associated With : 81
Total Households of Project Villages : 3,585   Indigenous Communities : Bhil, Garasia, Meena, Kathodi

Description

In Udaipur our work is spread across Jhadol and Gogunda blocks, which are located in the catchment of the River Sabarmati and three of its major tributaries, Mansi, Wakal and Sei.

The area is unique; as it forms the Eco tone or transition area between the Teak dominated forests of South Rajasthan and the grassland areas. Standing guard against the eastward march of the Rajasthan Desert, the forests of the Aravalli Hills are of crucial importance to eco-restoration of the area. Forests and common lands occupy a little over 40% of the landscape in the project region. Several protected areas fall within the project landscape with two wildlife sanctuaries, Kumbhalgarh and Phulwari-ki-Nal. As much as 90% of the population is tribal, with Bhils and Garasiyas being the predominant communities.

Since 2000, we are working here, presently engaging with 81 habitations spread across 11 Panchayats, where restoration and conservation measures have succeeded in bringing 1,684 hectares of land, mostly forestland, under community protection.

The recognition of traditional users (hakdars) by all institutions across villages has helped boost the efficacy of governance mechanisms that sustain ecological restoration and landscape-level conservation. We are successful in bringing together the contemporary as well as traditional community institutions to appreciate the mutually beneficial multi-user regime for governing the Commons.

Communities are developing better understanding of the provisions of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), with special focus on the community rights, with our assistance. We are also exploring the possibilities of integrating the FRA and Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act, for strengthening community rights over forests.

We are continuing with the inventory of the protected areas, as we look forward to suggest effective conservation and management measures, develop species-specific conservation action plans and involve the communities in the long run.

Leveraging the favourable provisions of NREGA for natural resource management and decentralized governance, building local capacities, and fashioning sustainable livelihood options that are also in tune with complex tribal livelihood systems, continue to be the key challenges.

 

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