Bongaigaon, India
Bongaigaon, India

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Allendorf T.D.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Das R.,Natures Foster | Bose A.,Natures Foster | Ray B.,Natures Foster | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology | Year: 2013

Conservation with a high level of community involvement is proving to be an effective way to conserve forests with benefits for livelihoods and biodiversity. However, peoples motivations to participate in conservation in developing countries are not well studied or understood. One example of a highly successful community conservation program is the Golden Langur Conservation Project (GLCP) in the Manas Biosphere Reserve. The project was initiated in 1998 to protect the endangered golden langur (Trachypithecus geei) and its forested habitat. By 2005, community forest protection forces had been created and were successfully protecting the forest. They have been effective in stopping illegal poachers and confiscating illegally taken timber and wildlife. The objectives of this study are to describe the community forest guards motivations to participate in the program, and their perceptions of the project. Results show that these community-based guardians are motivated to participate by multiple factors: conservation, social benefits, and economic opportunities. Conservation of forests and wildlife seem to play the primary role in motivating guards to participate in conserving the forest. However, economic benefits and social benefits also play important roles. © Taylor & Francis.

Horwich R.H.,Community Conservation | Islari R.,Green Forest Conservation | Bose A.,Natures Foster | Dey B.,Natures Foster | And 4 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2010

The Golden Langur Conservation Project in Assam, India, was initiated to involve local NGOs and communities in protecting the Endangered golden langur Trachypithecus geei and its habitat on a regional basis within a complex political situation. Since langurs are leaf eaters they are dependent on forests. The Project area, once dominated by militant action and ethnic violence, is in a densely populated area and formerly suffered much illegal deforestation and accompanying reduction in the golden langur population. The Project began with two NGOs and evolved into the formation of a forum of five NGOs focusing on a large proportion of the golden langur range in Assam, and eventually included > 11 newly formed community-based organizations. Each NGO focused on nearby Reserve Forests and their resident langur populations and adjacent human communities. The community-conservation tools used included (1) initial local community awareness campaigns, (2) formation of local Forest Committees and Self Help Groups, (3) a major regional awareness campaign about the golden langur and its forested habitat in the Manas Biosphere Reserve, and (4) creation of a number of village-based Forest Protection Forces. The Golden Langur Conservation Project has resulted in an increase in the total Indian population of golden langurs, control of illegal logging and poaching in two isolated Reserve Forests by formation of a protection force of surrounding village groups, and curtailing illegal logging and increasing forest protection in the Reserve Forests of the Manas Biosphere Reserve by the formation of 10 tribal, government-sanctioned volunteer Forest Protection Forces. The Project created an atmosphere of community awareness of the golden langur and its forests and community interest within the region, with communities taking responsibility for protection of regional forests. Copyright © 2010 Fauna & Flora International.

Horwich R.H.,Community Conservation | Das R.,Natures Foster | Bose A.,Natures Foster
Primate Conservation | Year: 2013

The golden langur (Trachypithecus geei), which only became known to science in 1953, is endemic to western Assam, India, and southern Bhutan. The Indian population had been greatly depleted due to a fragmented range and the species was declining radically in 1997 with a pessimistic view for its future. The Golden Langur Conservation Project was begun in 1998 with the goal of protecting the golden langur within its entire Indian range. At the time of the project's initiation, the species was considered India's most endangered primate due to limited range and major deforestation (50%) as a result of a complex political situation from militants in the forest threatening the Assam Forest Department staff, and ethnic violence. The project worked with regional non-governmental organizations and government agencies using the following tools to effect conservation contagion: 1) community meetings; 2) involving villages in forest committees and "Self Help Groups" for economic development; 3) formal seminars; and 4) celebratory events for the creation of the Manas Biosphere Reserve. The project developed conservation contagion, resulting in villages creating their own conservation groups to participate in the project, eventually resulting in 18 community groups forming Forest Protection Forces collectively, under the Unified Forest Conservation Network, to protect almost the entirety of the Manas Biosphere Reserve as well as other reserve forests in Assam. This community protection resulted in an increase of the Indian population of golden langurs from c.1,500 in 1997 to c.5,600 langurs in 2007 to 2012. The project also resulted in the lifting of the "in danger" listing for the Manas Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The Indian population of golden langurs mainly resides in the Manas Biosphere along the Bhutan border and in a number of southern isolated reserve forests north of the Brahmaputra River. In adjacent Bhutan, the southern subspecies is contiguous with its Indian counterpart and with the northern subspecies, which has more gray on its arms and tail and inhabits higher altitudes. The Bhutan population is grossly estimated at over 6,600 langurs based on a population census of 60 km2, giving a total estimate for the species in Assam and Bhutan of over 12,000 individuals. The potential for community conservation in Bhutan is also discussed.

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