Indigenous communities' knowledge of local ecological services

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This paper investigates in detail the extensive indigenous knowledge of forest ecological services in 3 villages (Katwa, Karudih, and Hesadih) situated in the eastern plateau region of India. One aspect discussed is the indigenous knowledge on the influence of forests on water regimes and water quality. Differences in perceptions about the local ecological services and attendant practices within communities that are dependent on forests are then analysed under 2 contrasting land-tenure regimes, namely, community forests and state forests. It is argued that local ecological services are the missing link in designing plans for successful decentralization and sustainable management of forests.

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