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Drivers of Forest Ecosystem Change in Purnapani Area: Empirical Evidence and Policy Suggestions

Narendra Dalei () and Yamini Gupt ()
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Yamini Gupt: University of Delhi South Campus

Journal of Quantitative Economics, 2019, vol. 17, issue 1, 167-196

Abstract: Abstract Purnapani area of Sundargarh district of Indian state of Odisha was primarily dominated by tribal people with natural forest ecosystems. The local tribal people were mostly depending upon forest and agriculture for their livelihood. During 1958 Purnapani Limestone and Dolomite Quarry (PL&DQ) started mining of lime stone and dolomite in the area. The total land contributed by Purnapani villagers for mining, township and railway line construction was 569.64 acres. In 2003, the mines were closed and about 2000 mine workers lost their livelihood. During the last 50–60 years, unsustainable mining activities and then their abandonment have degraded the forest ecosystem and livelihood resource base of local communities in the Purnapani area. Thus in order to identify the major drivers of degraded forest ecosystems we have conducted primary surveys in Purnapani area. Using regression analyses we find that both mining activities and passenger transport services are the drivers of population growth in Purnapani area. Livelihood of local tribal people is being positively impacted by mining activity and passenger transport services operating from Purnapani area. Fuel wood consumption increases over time due to population growth which put great pressure on forest ecosystems to change. Both mineral production and population size have impacted human well-being negatively by positively impacting health expenditure. The amount of decline of community welfare in terms of net present value derived by the communities from extraction of forest resources is due to mine spoiled degraded forest ecosystem services. From our analysis we recommend that large-scale ecological restoration is necessary to protect the environment and to restore the resilience of ecosystem services in this area.

Keywords: Ecosystem; Livelihood; Mining; Forest (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:spr:jqecon:v:17:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s40953-018-0120-0