PEFESPA Activities

The team has employed a multi-layered approach that looks at:

  1. forest ecology—its structure and processes
  2. landscape—topography, soil, climate and rainfall; agricultural practices;
  3. governance arrangements and accessibility to forests and forest produce
  4. service flow: at local, national and global scales

The ecosystem services under study are NTFP provision, timber provision, cultural services (recreation value, token species, spiritual/ religious value), fodder provision, hydrological services, pest control and biodiversity assessment (this falls outside the common practice in ES research). The disservices under study are crop damage, human injury and casualty due to wild life.

The team carried out its social-ecological study throughout 2012 and will continue to do so in the first half of 2013, combining ecological quality surveys in the form of biophysical appraisal, and social appraisal in the form of focus groups discussions, interviews and household surveys. The project has produced a critical review of the concept of ecosystem services and proposed an alternative framework for ecosystem services research in the paper:

Besides this academic output, PEFESPA aims to contribute to forest governance on ground through policy recommendations and empowerment of local forest-dependent communities.