Livelihoods and landscapes in Orissa, India: from an enterprise-based approach towards whole landscape planning

In Orissa, India, IUCN Member Winrock International India (WII) is working with local communities to better manage forests within a wider agricultural landscape.

LLS India Photo: IUCN-India

In a zone between the Simlipal Tiger Reserve and the plain areas, WII plays an active role in the development of forest resources and livelihoods of the forest-dependent people in Orissa. Here, forests contribute about 25% of the average income, mostly through Non-Timber Forest products (NTFPs), of which the income from the sale of Sal leaves accounts for more than 90%.

Their project is part of IUCN's Livelihoods and Landscape Strategy (LLS) to address human and environmental needs simultaneously in large areas of land, aiming to deliver environmentally-friendly, financially sustainable and socially-equitable outcomes. In achieving multiple aims, planning decisions of different uses in different parts of a landscape often result in trade-offs that are negotiated between various groups that have interests in the landscape.

“In Orissa, There has been a change in understanding of what LLS is. When the intervention started it was more about sal leaf enterprise development. The scope has now expanded to livelihood enhancement in a more integrated manner looking at promoting/exploring other options of livelihood enhancement like agriculture development, bee keeping, fisheries, etc., The emphasis is currently on facilitating the mainstreaming of LLS approach in Government implemented development programs and schemes in the area.

The main problem being addressed is livelihoods. Landscape degradation is not a major problem as the CF committees have been working on that for years. The problem is how to turn the natural resources into assets for livelihoods. This mainly involves institutional interventions and also substantial amount of technical capacity building of the local communities.

The team is focusing on one main tool – the Village Development Plan. The approach is to prepare a plan (for each village) for each of several issues and then to call in the various line departments and ask how they can help…”. Read more on progress in Orissa in the attached document.

Work area: 
Locally Controlled Forests
West Asia
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