Participation of Women in Biodiversity Conservation: A Case Study of Sundarban Biosphere Reserve, West Bengal, India
Keywords:Biodiversity conservation, Sundarban Biosphere Reserve, Women participation, Perception study, Inclusion of women
In this decade of industrialization and urbanization, biodiversity conservation, protection and restoration of the remaining portion of the forest cover is a most prioritized and emerging issue. Besides natural protection, fulfilling the need of the ever-growing population is also a significant factor. In connection to this issue, some places are designated as Biosphere Reserves throughout the world to preserve existing resources of the localities and promote the relationship between natural, socio-economic & cultural environments. Among 701 Biosphere Reserve of the world, the largest and most unique mangrove forest, Sundarban Biosphere Reserve, is enlisted. There are two forest divisions of Sundarban Biosphere Reserve; 24 Pargana South Division has been considered for this study.
This paper is a combination of primary and secondary data. Secondary data have been collected from several forest department offices to detect women's participation in forest protection. The primary data collection is from an extensive field survey with the help of a scheduled questionnaire covering 302 women of 24 Pargana South Division. Five-point Likert scale has been used to understand the viewpoint of women respondents regarding Sundarban forest. As per women's statements, alternative income sources are the most effective way to save the mangrove forest. Expansion of small-scale industries by managing non-timber forest products sustainably, incorporation of views of women with the expert's knowledge and developing multi-dimensional approaches are the most significant incentives for the advancement of Sundarban Biosphere Reserve.
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