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Dahod, Gujarat
         
Agro-ecological Zone : Central Highlands and Western Malwa Plateau   Project Districts : Panchmahal and Dahod
 River Basin : Valai, Bhe, Kali and Khan   Mean Annual Rainfall : 900 mm
Major Soil Types :

Medium and deep clayey black soils

  Forest Types : Dry Teak Forests, Mixed Dry-deciduous, Grasslands, and Scrub Forests
Major Habitats : Forests, Grasslands, Agriculture lands   Nearest Protected Area : Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Threatened Species : Lesser Florican, Sloth Bear, Dalbergialatifolia, Dolichandrone Falcate   Percentage of Common Lands including Forest : 25%
Percentage of People Living below Poverty Line : 59%   Percentage of Scheduled Castes/Tribes : 91%
Percentage of Scheduled Castes/Tribes : 7,784 ha   Village Institutions Associated With : 133
Total Households of Project Villages : 19,429   Indigenous Communities : Bhils

Description

The project area in Dahod, spread across the two districts of Panchmahal and Dahod, falls in a rain-fed region and is part of the Central Highlands. It is home to a significant population of Bhil tribals and listed under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. Almost 80% of the people here live below the poverty line. With limited livelihood opportunities, indebtedness and migration are common place. Under the circumstances, comprehensive and long-term intervention is crucial to addressing the severe degradation of forests and low productivity off arm lands.

Initiated in 1997, our team now works closely with 133 habitations that protect about 7,784 hectares of degraded forestlands and common lands. The focus of the work in the region is to promote robust village institutions that can effectively address the degradation of the forest land and the low productivity of farms.

In the Santrampur region, more than half (about 3,500 hectares) of a stretch of 6,000 hectares of degraded forestland is presently under protection by local communities. By undertaking measures at a landscape level to improve natural resources through village and inter-village institutions, we plan to extend institutional arrangements to the entire 6,000 hectares, while also simultaneously working on about 4,000 hectares of adjacent farmland.

In collaboration with the district administration, we assist villages to avail of opportunities under NREGA to improve natural resources. The government of Gujarat has agreed to support our training a group of local tribal youth to help habitations and village Panchayats make effective use of the provisions of NREGA and other ongoing government programmes.

In a region marked with high incidence of poverty, village institutions are faced with warding-off threats to the forestlands not only from the immediate neighbourhood but also from communities living across the border in Rajasthan. Through a combination of interventions, such as registering community rights over the forests under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and strengthening local stewardship of the area, we aim to improve the natural resource base of the area. Furthermore, by building a platform for interaction between the villages of Rajasthan and Gujarat, we plan for the entire range of forests to come under improved local self-governance.

 

 

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