Participatory Monitoring of Natural Resources in Shivamogga District of Karnataka, India: The Shinduvadi Experience

Indu K Murthy, Rakesh Tiwari

Abstract


With a growing human and livestock population, there is tremendous pressure on the natural resources and they are being continuous exploited. Gaining an understanding of the status of resources and the drivers of change would aid in better planning and management, particularly at the village level. Given the vast resources, multitude of issues and a dearth of funds, a centralized monitoring system is difficult to put in place. Therefore, promoting participatory natural resource management is the key to creating awareness and also generation of basic information on the status of natural resources and factors contributing to changes in those resources. This paper highlights one such case study of participatory research of natural resources involving scientists, undergraduate students and the community of Shinduvadi village in the Western Ghats region of Karnataka India. This endeavor was aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of monitoring village ecosystems by local institutions by adopting an indicator-based method and guidelines developed by the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The Shinduvadi study has identified key environmental issues and also suggested management options for the same. In the process of this participatory monitoring exercise, students have not only gained understanding of the natural resources, the pressures on them, the inter-linkages but also gained as individuals as the experience helped integrate academic content with community service. The Shinduvadi experience is a milestone in participatory research in India and is an example for educational institutions across the country and elsewhere to take up pro-societal research initiatives.


Keywords


Natural Resources; Participatory Monitoring; Students; Monitoring

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