A methodology manual

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Locally value-added ecosystem goods include mats, baskets, large serving spoons made of coconut shells, rain-covers made of Vateria indica , milk products and areca plates.

Ecosystem bads :

Ecosystem bads


Wild Boar

Sloth Bear







Bonnet Macaque



Nuisance species

Nuisance species

Nuisance species

Nuisance species

Nuisance species

Nuisance species

Nuisance species

Nuisance species

Nuisance species

Nuisance species

Nuisance species



Tea mosquito

Stem Borer

Terminal leaf eater

Tree borer



White breasted waterhen

Jungle Fowl

Quail/ Partridge


Crop pest

Crop pest

Crop pest

Crop pest

Crop pest

Crop pest

Crop pest

Crop pest

Crop pest

Crop pest

Crop pest

Crop pest

Ecosytem services :

Evergreen forests are origin of streams

Evergreen forests are repository of honeybees

Evergreen forests are asthetically and often, culturally important (for example, when certain spots are associated with sacred beliefs).

Grasslands provide for grazing of livestock

Flowering of rubber plantations increase availability of honey

Plantations check soil erosion due to contour formations

Water streams provide water for irrigation and domestic uses

Ecosystem disservices :

Evergreen forests are repository of nuisance species, pests and vectors. (See above)

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.

    1. 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

NTFP collection

Medicinal herb collection

Firewood collection

Collection of wood for making implements

Drawing of water from streams/diverting streams for irrigating agricultural and plantation crops and for domestic uses

Grazing of livestock in grasslands

Collection of cane for basket making

Making charcoal from stems of dead trees

Using leaf litter as manure

Using certain forested areas as picnic spots on festival days ( e.g. Ugadi, the New Year )

Fishing from streams

Collecting small fishes, apple snails (Pila) and crabs from agricultural fields

Collection of firewood from river beds

Tapping of toddy from Caryota urens

Use of areca stems for transporting water

Use of coconut shells for making large serving spoon

Use of areca shells and rubber and cashew branches as fuel

Basket, mat and rain-cover making
B. Those (a) which are carried out by local people and (b) which need major external input

Maintaining rubber, areca, coconut, cashew and cocoa plantations

Use of areca leaf sheath for plate making

Cultivation of paddy

Dairy activities and sweet making

Trading in NTFP

C. Those which are carried out by outsiders

Trading in NTFP

Enjoying aesthetic values while visiting or passing through the area

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


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