living in the mountainous areas demonstrate their mode in such
a way that they usually seek immediate benefits in partnership.
Infrastructure development and welfare priorities are on the
top of their list while human resource development is seen as
a secondary option. Their bent of mind is mostly driven by immediate
benefits instead of long term sustainable outputs.
PCDP being a conservation project aims at mitigating threats
to biodiversity and reducing poverty in Palas valley, is working
with the local community. The overall focus is on sustainable
management of forest habitat and improved livelihood. Ideally
conservation should be the priority while development is a
means to its end, though in reality they have to go side by
side. PCDP is trying to initiate a thinking process in the
communities that ultimately promotes sustainable management
that itself leads to long-term conservation and development.
This process is taking time, though some visible examples
have been noted.
It is a saying “God help those who help themselves”.
The CBO of Karoser probably considered this and started the
thinking process on a positive note, towards conserving their
mountain habitat. They have initiated the establishment of Conservation
Fund for the village. Keeping in view the scale of poverty in
the area, the villagers have sold domestic poultry and maize
as a mark of their commitment towards conservation.
this contribution, the first eco-tourist group visiting Karoser,
astounded by the conservation potential of the area contributed
Rs. 3000 in the Conservation Fund of Karoser. The activity
of eco tourism has been launched by PCDP to promote environment
friendly tourism in a least exposed, but highly attractive
area. A group of 3 tourists from Asian Study Group visited
the valley during late January and stayed at Karoser. A ground
rule was established that when ever such visit is taken place
some contribution should be given for conservation efforts
in the valley.
PCDP is trying to establish conservation fund at village
level to pave the way for the attainment of the overall goal
of the project. As a strategy, the CBOs will deposit their
contribution in the bank and PCDP will capitalize the conservation
fund with collateral.
The thinking process towards conserving the biological heritage
is on the move and it is hoped that it will contribute for
the cause of global diversity with action at local level.
Barkat Ali Khan
Program Officer - Community Facilitation
COP Sector, PCDP