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India Eco Development Project

Concept & Objectives    

Positive impacts of the project

Improved employment opportunities to local people
The opportunities of employment to the members of EDCs in various PA Management activities such as habitat improvement, fire protection, tourism etc. increased.

Improved benefit sharing arrangement for PA stakeholders
1. Protection oriented camping and adventurous trekking in the Tourism Zone
2. Tribal tracker cum guides service in the tourism zone
3. Harvesting of fodder and thatching grass in specified areas
4. Regulated fishing in specified areas of Periyar Lake by tribals
5. Sabarimala pilgrimage facilities

Reduction in the negative dependency of PA resources by local communities
The local communities have significantly reduced their dependency on the forests after the implementation of the project.

Poverty alleviation
The financial support extended by the project has opened up new vistas for the villagers resulting in significant improvement in their wealth ranking.

Removal of agencies of exploitation
Prior to the implementation of the project, the moneylenders and middlemen forced the tribal communities into a debt trap. The project has put an end to this practice. Similarly, the contractors used to exploit the vendors operating on traditional pilgrimage routes of Sabarimala. The project could substantially reduce it by organizing these vendors into EDCs with a reciprocal commitment to protect the forests.

Empowering local communities
The EDCs are being further consolidated into federations for strengthening decision making at local levels. For eg.
1. Federation of 39 EDCs of Periyar East
2. Federation of 33 EDCs of Periyar West

Creation of Revolving Fund by the EDCs
Realizing the necessity for financial support in future, all the EDCs are generating their own funds known as community Development Funds (CDF). Most of the EDCs have collected reasonable sums in their CDF accounts that are being reused for the welfare of the members of the EDCs. .

Enhanced Social Standing
1. As organized bodies and partners of forest Department in PA management, the EDCs have begun to exhibit a greater social cohesion and improved self-esteem.

Improved dissemination of PA values and EDC programme
The EDC centred awareness programmes have generated significant interest about the village ecodevelopment and ecological awareness among the masses. Social fencing around the park now appears a distinct possibility with sustained effort.

Improved relations between park and villagers
Implementation of the Ecodevelopment programme has built up an environment of mutual trust and respect between park staff and villagers. Interactive sessions like stakeholders workshop contributed to formulating management strategies with peoples participation. Annual and periodic activities like Wildlife Week celebrations, plastic free day have virtually become participatory.

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