Contaminated water streams lead to health problems
5.4.6 To these lists based on discussions with local people may be added other goods/services, bads/disservices visualized from other, outside perspectives. Examples of these include locally possibly relevant issues not visualized by any local people such as pollination as a service, or more globally relevant issues like carbon sequestration by vegetation and maintenance of biodiversity.
Activities / processes relating to ecosystems
5.5.1 People relate to ecosystems through a series of activities or processes such as using the water of a stream or a well for domestic use or irrigation, grazing cattle on a patch of grassland, selling fuelwood, growing coconuts, being bitten by mosquitoes carrying malarial parasites, having one's goat being eaten by a panther and so on. The ecosystem goods/ services/ bads/ disservices relate to people through such activities /processes. The next step in the assessment should be an inventory of these activities /processes. Table 3 provides for Mala cluster an illustrative list of such activities / processes.
Table 3: Activities and processes which relate the people of Mala study cluster with ecosystem goods/ services/ bads/ disservices.
A. Those (a) which are carried out by local people and (b) which do not need major external input
Accessing ecosystem goods such as arecanuts and NTFPs or value-added products such as sweets and areca leaf sheath plates through the market
Auctioning of timber from Forest Department plantations by government officials
5.6 Mapping the peoplescape
5.6.1 Different segments of local human population, men, women, children, peasants, fisherfolk, traders, teachers, bureaucrats are likely to participate in different processes or activities and be affected by different processes linking them to ecosystem goods/services/bads/disservices. The next step in the assessment exercise would be to classify people into groups pursuing a similar set of processes in relation to the ecosystems. Table 4 provides such a categorization of people of Mala cluster with further remarks on the livelihood strategies of the people assigned to different groups. We may term such groupings as user groups.
5.6.2 Such a grouping is an important guide to allocating effort during the course of further investigation. To this end, the next step should be identification of one or more individuals particularly knowledgeable about the local ecosystems from each of these groups. These individuals could then serve as a part of the investigative team collaborating with the technical experts for the purpose of the remaining assessment. Table 1 provides a list of such knowledgeable individuals from the Mala cluster.
Table 4. Major groups of people of Mala cluster defined in terms of their links to the ecosystem