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Thesis For MA Sociology


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This dissertation entitled CONFLICT IN WILDLIFE RESERVE BETWEEN LOCAL PEOPLE AND NATIONAL PARK has been submitted by Mr. Uttam Raj Regmi to
the Department of Sociology/ Anthropology
Tri- Chandra Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University
in the Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
Master’s Degree of Arts

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Thesis For MA Sociology

  1. 1. CONFLICT IN WILDLIFE RESERVE BETWEEN LOCAL PEOPLE AND NATIONAL PARK (A study conducted at Bardiya National Park, Nepal) A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Sociology/ Anthropology Tri- Chandra Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University in the Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Master of Arts in Sociology Submitted by Uttam Raj Regmi March 2010
  2. 2. TRIBHUVAN UNIVERSITY TRI CHANDRA MULTIPLE COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY/ANTHROPOLOGY LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION This dissertation entitled CONFLICT IN WILDLIFE RESERVE BETWEEN LOCAL PEOPLE AND NATIONAL PARK has been prepared by Mr. Uttam Raj Regmi under my supervision and guidance. Therefore, I recommend this dissertation to the Evaluation Committee for it final approval (Tika Kaini) Lecturer / Thesis Supervisor Department of Sociology/Anthropology Tri- Chandra Multiple College Kathmandu, Nepal Date: 2010/ /
  3. 3. TRIBHUVAN UNIVERSITY TRI CHANDRA MULTIPLE COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY/ANTHROPOLOGY LETTER OF APPROVAL The Evaluation Committee has approved this dissertation entitled CONFLICT IN WILDLIFE RESERVE BETWEEN LOCAL PEOPLE AND NATIONAL PARK prepared and submitted by Uttam Raj Regmi for the partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master’s Degree of Arts in Sociology. Evaluation Committee 1. …………….. Program Coordinator 2. …………….. Supervisor 3. …………….. External Examiner Date: 2010/ /
  4. 4. ACRONYMS CM Conflict Management CR Conflict Resolutions DDC District Development Committee DNPWC Department of National Parks and wildlife Conservation FUG Forest Users' Group GEF Global environment Facility HH Household HMG/N His Majesty's Government, Nepal ICIMOD International Center for Integrated Mountain Development IG Income generation IUCN World Conservation Union NPC National Planning Commission NR Natural resource NRM Natural resource Management PPP Park-People Project PRA Participatory Rural Appraisal BNP Bardiya National Park UNDP United Nations Development Program VDC Village Development Committee WWF World Wildlife Fund
  5. 5. Acknowledgements I would like to express my heartiest gratitude and sincere thanks to Mr. Tika Kaini, lecturer, Department of Sociology/ Anthropology, Tri - Chandra Multiple College, Kathmandu for providing me valuable guidance and regular suggestion as a supervisor throughout this study. . I received all necessary help for this research from Chief Warden, Bardiya National Park, and other park staff. Thanks are due to them for their suggestion and help. Due thanks to the government office staffs who helped me with their ideas and perception in relation to the research topic. My thanks go to the residents of the following village units who deserve my special gratitude for their active participation and interest in the interviews during data collection:Thakurdwara, Suryapatuwa, and ShivapurVDC, In addition, I am thankful to Mr. Narayan Dhakal, Director, Bardiya National Trust for Nature Conservation (TNC), Thakurdwara, Bardiya, Mr. Bhagawan Dahal, Research officer, TNC for their generous help. My special gratitude goes to Ms. Silvie Walraven, Director, Appropriate Agriculture Alternative, Mr. Rik van Keulen, Director, Nepal Trust for their valuable feedback and comments. I am indebted to my wife Sipa and daughter Agrima for their encouragement and unconditional support throughout the research. I owe special thanks to Ram Raj Regmi (father), Indu Regmi (mother) Bimal Raj Regmi (brother) Mr. Ashok Subedi, and Mr. Surendra Prasad Tharu for their generous support in terms of ideas, logistic support, and encouragement. Thanks are due to Mr. Shiva Sharma of Bardiya for facilitating our field visit without whose help I could not have completed my fieldwork.
  6. 6. Chapter One Introduction 1.1 Background of the study Throughout history there are numerous examples of efforts made by governments, or individual landowners to protect certain land areas that possessed unique natural values. From the very beginning of establishment of national park or protected areas there has been conflict. Chinese writing, some 3000 years ago, expressed views about nature conservation, and described regulations protecting certain areas. Da Ju, published in the 6th century by Yi Zhau Shu, observes' do not cut down the trees during spring in order to benefit the growth of herbed. Do not fish the rivers and lakes during summer in offer to benefit the growth of fish and other aquatic life' (quoted in Li 1993) An edict from the prime minister of Qi at that time, Guan Zuong, states that 'Pu mountain' is a forbidden area because of the tea trees there; someone must suffer capital punishment if this law is forbidden' (quoted in Li 1993). As far as the landmark in the history of national park is concerned, Yellowstone National Park is the first one. Yellowstone was established at a time when it was believed that natural resources were inexhaustible and should be utilized for the maximum benefit to society. There was little public sentiment -and relatively little scientific evidence available to support preservation of seemingly unlimited biological resources found on the North American continent (Wright, 1996). Nepal has so far aside 18.5% of its land as national park and protected areas. During the span of recorded conservation history in Nepal i.e. from the establishment of first national park – Royal Chitwan National Park to the latest one Kanchanganga National Park, the conflict of different scale and magnitude have been evident. National park and protected areas are from the very beginning being questioned on theoretical as well as moral ground. Conservation biologist have pointed out that reserves alone are unlikely to maintain viable populations of many species because they usually are to small and isolated from one another (read F. Nose in National Parks and protected areas (Other
  7. 7. critics claims that parks and wilderness areas no longer play a useful role in reconciling conservation and development because they are elitist and anti-people. For example, the national park idea, when transferred to Africa and other developing countries, has conflicted with the needs and aspirations of local human communities. (Harman 1997; Barnes 1994) Because of these and other reasons, protected areas are becoming evermore difficult to establish in many parts of the world. Similarly in U.S, the philosopher Callicott (1994/95 (among others, contends that the wilderness idea is an achronistic, ecologically uninformed, ethnocentric, historically naive and politically counter-productive. Although Callicott attacks the wilderness idea rather than wilderness areas, his critique comes at a time when politically inspired antagonism toward protected areas-and public lands in general-is becoming increasingly virulent. (Noss F. Reed, 1996, in National parks and protected Areas) The conservation of biological diversity of flora and fauna so far depends solely on the success and failure of national parks and wildlife reserves. From the very beginning, there has been the local people and park authority. Park authority blame local people for their activities that park authority suppose to be dangerous while local people are unhappy with park authority for various reasons. The conflict so deep rooted that park authority and public perceive one another as enemy and this perception is usually reflected in confrontation-sometime clash. Some groups in society (for ex. indigenous people as part of their belief systems (have very strong cultural attachments to species or habitats. As a result, aesthetic, inspirational, spiritual and educational needs may all depend to some extent on diverse natural systems. IUCN uses six categories for classification according to the management objectives of the sites (IUCN 1994; 17-23) Bridgewater (1992) summaries the common and significant threats to protected area systems worldwide as follows: ∗ Conflicts with local people
  8. 8. ∗ Lack of policy commitment at nation state level to adequately protect systems ∗ Ineffective management by trained staff of individual protected areas ∗ Funding is insufficient or unsure ∗ Inadequate public support ∗ Conflict can be defined as antagonism caused by a clash of cultural, social, economic and/or political interest between individuals or groups. Integrating development with conservation through protected areas can be an act of conflict resolution as various key actors may have a broad range of interests, which they may want to protect. (Furze There are some 8000 protected areas in the world, covering around 750 million hectares, and accounting for 5.1% of terrestrial ecosystem. Whilst these figures would indicate a relatively substantial protected estate, a number of common and significant threats to protected area system worldwide have been identified. Out of seven, the following two strategies set by The Global Biodiversity Strategy (WRI et al, 1992:27) clearly indicates that the conservation of biodiversity is thus a multidimensional in nature. ∗ The creation of conditions and incentives for local biodiversity conservation ∗ The expansion of human capacity to conserve biodiversity (including increasing the awareness and appreciation of biodiversity values, helping disseminate information needed to conserve biodiversity, promote basic and applied research on biodiversity conservation, and develop a human capacity for biodiversity conservation) 1.2. Understanding conflict Conflict is an active stage of disagreement between people with opposing opinions, principles and practices manifested in different forms (grievance, conflict and dispute) (Walker and Daniels, 1997). Grievance is an initial stage of conflict in which individuals or groups are apperceived to be unjust, and provides grounds for resentment of
  9. 9. complaints. This condition potentially erupts into conflict. When this stage turns into conflict antagonism is caused by a clash of cultural, political, social or economic interests between individuals and groups. At the final stage of conflict, people make the matter public and opting for confrontation (Buckles, 1999; Bush 1995; Caplan 1995, Walker and Daniels, 1997; Warner, 2000). Felstiner et al. (1981) coined the phrase 'injurious experiences' to describe the process of transformation patterns of conflict. According to the stages of transformations of conflict are: a) Naming (when unperceived injurious feelings are transformed into perceived injurious experiences). b) Blaming (when it transforms into a grievance). c) Claiming (when people charge the responsibility to the opposite party and demand a remedy from them). d) Dispute (when the demanded remedy is wholly or partly rejected). Conflict occurs in many societies and it may or may not be managed or resolved. It transforms over time and leads to different outcomes with a multitude of short term and long- term effects (Yordan, 2000; Raifa 1991; Scimecca, 1993). Conflict has two stages i.e. latent conflict (a relatively permanent condition between conflicting parties with divergent and competing interests) or active (actual interplay of the disputants over a specific problem). Conflict can be categorized into four groups based on solvability. They are: i) A terminal conflict that seems unsolvable by agreement and results in a win- lose situation; ii) A paradoxical conflict, which looks obscure and of questionable solvability having a lose-lose outcome, iii) A litigious conflict, which seems solvable and produces a win-win of a consensus result (Martinelli and Almeida, 1998) and iv) Illusory conflict where disputants want the same thing but fail to realize it.
  10. 10. Conflict in society is also influenced by the social context (organization and structure of society), patterns of interaction (escalation or de-escalation), mode (e.g.. violence, disagreement), time (specific period of time), belief of conflicting parties and the degree of incompatibility of their goals and power structures. Conflict has many dimensions. It occurs at different levels (e.g. from interpersonal, family and community to international). It also varies in nature (from use of resources to personal identity). Perception of reality by different people rather than the reality itself greatly influences conflict, because people behave according to their perception and interpretation. There can be several methods to study NR -related conflicts. The interpretative method (Bell et al., 1989) helps to examine conflict by analyzing structures, processes, functions, and their relationships as well as the pattern of interaction among people. Opting for the interpretative method of analyzing conflict has also implications for the methodology as it relies on an ethnographic study. An ethnographic study focuses on understanding how conflict arise (actual occurrence) and how they are subsequently handled, considering power relationship and social context (Caplan, 1970). This means that both the personal, psychological, and collective social dimensions of the parties in the conflict have to be analyzed. The behavioral analysis of individuals considers anger, emotions, and the response of the individual actors in conflict and draws inferences based on them. In the analysis of the social behavior of the disputants towards NR-related conflict, the conflicts needs to be examined at the level of groups, social classes, political movements, religious and ethnic entities, coalitions and cultural systems. This analysis basically focuses on the collective behavior of the disputants. In a NR-related conflict both individual and collective behavior is important. The following three methods of analysis are useful in studying conflict (Bell et al., 1989): 1. Interpretative analysis is empirical in nature and describes how people behave: how they perceive uncertainties, accumulate evidence, and update perceptions; how they learn and adapt their behavior; why they think the way they do. Interpretative analysis is mainly used by social scientists to analyze conflict without influencing the behavior of people.
  11. 11. 2. Abstractive analysis deals with how an idealized, rational person acts. This analysis is more common in behavioral analysis of individuals involved in conflict. 3. Prescriptive analysis is more advisory in nature and focuses on what people should do to make better choices, what thoughts, decision aids, conceptual schemes and methodology are useful, not for idealized, mythical people, but for normal people (Bell et al., 19899; Kremenyuk, 1991) 1.3. Emergence of Conflict in Managing the National Parks or Protected Areas System The concepts of national parks and protected areas developed with a philosophy of preservation of living resources. Frome et al (1990) have stated that in the United States, philosophies of national parks were pioneered to protect the natural and cultural features by acknowledging that national parks reflect the common heritage of all people, where people were not permitted to harvest in any form from park resources, or to live within the park. The United States National Parks system enjoys a high level of protection against private exploitation while making them accessible in a natural condition (Frome, 1990). Frustrated with the inability of parks to control such problems (poaching, market hunting, theft of resources and vandalism) in 1886, secretary of the Interior Lewis Lamar requested that army troops be stationed in larger parks like Yellowstone and Sequoia to protect the resources and administer the parks. The U.S. army remained in control of Yellowstone until 1918. (Wright, 1992) The national park and protected areas system in other countries of the world followed the conservation philosophy of the United States. However, many protected area management authorities failed to adopt appropriate principles and guidelines to protect their areas against the threats of inevitable human pressure for traditional exploitation of natural resources (Sharma, 1991). The application of the United States philosophy in a 'pure' form was clearly not suited to the different situations, which existed in countries
  12. 12. where ecologically important areas also had a long history of human occupation and traditional use. In Nepal, many of the areas judged to be of national park quality in terms of their unique features and ecology had such a history of human habitation and often villages existed within the proposed boundaries. In Nepal, the United States system was tried at the beginning of the national parks movement. It was assumed that successful wildlife conservation hinged on the exclusion of those who grazed their cattle and were dependent on fuel wood and construction timber within the parks. As an experiment, two villages near Lake Rara National Park were evacuated and destroyed. The inhabitants, who used to the harsh climate of the mountains, were moved to the Terai where many succumbed to Malaria. The Government later decided that the North American model of national Park was not suitable for Nepal. The very process of establishing national parks alienated people who had their lands appropriated. Hence a new concept developed with new ideas, but which has also brought its own set of management problems. Many concerned planners and managers are striving to manage national parks or protected areas systems against human pressures but where the objectives of management for protection run counter to the needs of local people, park people conflict can result. Given the formal requirement to protect an area's resources, antagonism between the national park administration and the local people is inevitable. Common issues involve the use of resources such as fodder, fiber and fuel wood, compensation for the loss of crops and stock through wildlife depredation as well as other non-core cultural factors. 2. Statement of the problem Ecosystem management also recognizes that humans cannot be divorced from the ecosystem but, rather, are an integral part of it.(Wright R. Gerald,1996) By seeing conservation issues as development issues, we locate people very firmly in the conservation equation. (Culture, conservation and biodiversity) Threats to protected areas are identified as follows:
  13. 13. ∗ Conflicts with local people ∗ Lack of policy commitment at nation state level to adequately protect systems ∗ Ineffective management by trained staff of individual protected areas ∗ Funding is insufficient or unsure. ∗ Inadequate public support It is equally important to note that participation does not equal local development, nor does local development equal participation. They are mutually dependent. For participation to be meaningful, local involvement and consultation must mean a partnership of equals. If local people are consulted and action based on mutual cooperation and a better understanding of the variety of issues involved is the result, then meaningful participation is achieved. (Furge et al,) It is evident that there are several reasons for conflicts to take place among park authority and people residing within or outside the park boundary. These reasons could be: ∗ Neglecting the core as well as outward sphere of culture defined by Julian Steward ∗ Difficulties faced by local people because of inability to adjust with frequently changing government rule, red-tapes and other kind of bureaucratic systems ∗ Attitude and behavior of the park staff and local people to each other ∗ Differences in the understanding the need of park by people and park staffs ∗ Lack of people participation in planning and implementation of park management activities (too often wild lands are treated as 'wastelands' and wild lives as 'free goods ' to be exploited at little or no costs by the people).
  14. 14. 3. Objective of the study As a rule, conflicts are always there despite of their difference in nature. Conflicts are by nature changing its forms and extent. Whenever we try to resolve the conflicting situation, for the time being it seems to be settled down but in reality it changes the situation and ultimately there would come another issue where two and more than two parties, by virtue of their different interest experience conflicts. Followings were the objectives of the present study: 1. To identify the causes of conflicts in Bardiya National Park area. 2. To identify and rank the different conflicting issues in that area. 3. To explore the different perspectives of park authority and local people regarding the conflicts. 4. Conceptual / Theoretical Frameworks An analytical framework helps in thinking about phenomena, to order data and to reveal patterns (Rapport, 1985). Therefore, an analytical framework is a heuristic device designed to identify and analyze the relevant characteristics of a NR-related conflict. Hence two contemporary complementary perspectives have been used to analyze NR -relater conflicts. A legal -anthropological perspective gives conceptual tools to explore the diversity of laws (Plurality of state, religious and local customary rules) and provides substantive criteria to evaluate conflicts and their interrelationships as well as procedures to manage them. A social learning perspective provides conceptual roadmaps to look for improvement of the existing conflict. While analyzing conflict, I am looking at a wide range of issues: from misunderstanding. Disagreement, hostility, verbal exchange, public complaint, filing cases, physical assault,
  15. 15. personal and social desolations, injurious social relations to violence and civil unrest at different levels (between individuals, between individuals and groups and between groups) Throughout the human history, there have been tremendous changes not only in natural environments, but also equally in terms of cultural forms. Specific cultures evolve their specific cultural forms in the process of adapting to specific environmental conditions (Ortner, 1984). The assumption of Julian Steward, while conceptualizing Cultural Ecology, is based upon the recognition that culture and environment are not separate spheres but are involved in dialectic interplay. or what is called feedback or reciprocal causality (Hardesty,1977).The changes in natural environments, by whatever means, thus directly influence the human culture and vice versa. Different cultural types evolve, as a process of adapting different environmental conditions. From the survival point of view, the core elements of culture-exploitative technology, population patterns and economic organization plays an important role rather than non elements of culture i.e. religion, language, values and art. The restriction of any kind imposed to the community regarding their culture would result in conflicting situation as conflict is situation where there are differences in interest among two or more than two parties. Obviously if the restriction imposed comes to direct confrontation with the cultural core, the conflict would obviously be intense than the conflict caused by the disturbances in non -core elements of culture. Even before the eradication of malaria, the tribal groups of people known as Tharu were residing in Terai. They had their own culture evolved to cope with the underlying problems and they had their exploitative technology and survival strategy. Recognition of importance of natural environment, the establishment of National Park and Wildlife Reserve took place under the Wild National Park Act. In order to conserve flora and fauna in its natural habitat, the rules and regulations imposed by the park authority caused problems to the community as well as the violation of these rules and regulations by the community caused to develop antagonistic relationship among park and people. As the power, prestige and property determines the status of the people, the accessibility in the scarce resources is varied accordingly.
  16. 16. Thus apart from park and people conflict, there must be inter group and intra group conflict as well among people. Economic deterministic approach of Conflict theory entails how the underlying dynamics of resources, production system and distribution pattern in terms of people's accessibility determines the extent of conflicts in any society. As far as the economic commonality is concerned, each and every society has to undergo following aspects: As the power, prestige and property of different caste group residing nearby the wildlife reserve differs, so do their accessibility to the natural resources. The conflicts among different caste groups are thus inevitable regarding the resources uses pattern. 4. Importance of the study In order to resolve the conflicts it is must to identify the conflicting issues along with causes for these issues to exist. There have been several studies regarding park and people conflicts in different national park areas. The most important issues to keep in mind here is that the issues, extent and causes of conflicts from one national park to another park obviously differs. The population dynamics, social and economic conditions of the people residing nearby national park boundary determines the issue to great extent. Though there have been several studies, Bardiya National Park is neglected from this point of view. Apart from this, most of the studies have focused in biological aspect of the conflict. There has been hardly any effort to explain the issues from anthropological perspective. Present study has tried to explain the conflict of national park and people from anthropological perspective so as to provide the concerned people and authority with in- depth idea how the core and non core cultural factors have determined the extent of conflicts existing in the Bardiya National Park.
  17. 17. Chapter Two Review of the literature The Bardiya National Park is situated on the eastern banks of the Karnali River, about 400-km west of Kathmandu. The park is 968 sq. km in area and extends from the Churia hills southward to the gentle slopes of the 'Bhabhar'. The western end of the Bardiya is bounded by numerous waterways of the Karnali River, which have created many large and small gravel islands. A mosaic of grassland and forest of Acacia, Sisam and the large Buttressed silk cotton trees cover these islands and much to the lower ground. Bardiya is the home of a wide variety of animals, many of which live in and around the National Park. Spotted deer, Black buck, Hog deer, Samber deer, Wild boar, Swamp deer, two species of Monkeys, Wild elephants, Crocodile, Dolphin and Blue bull are found here. More than 350 species of birds have been recorded in Bardia, truly a bird+ watcher's paradise. Getting There: A total of 333 plant species, comprising of 5 Pteridophytes, 1Gymnosperm, and 327 Angiosperms, have been recorded in BNP. Satisal (Dalbergia latifolia), Santawar (Asparagus racemosus) , and Jharbaruwa (Raulwolfia serpentina), which are threatened with over exploitation in other parts of Nepal, are found in good population in this reserve. The vegetation is broadly categorized into six forest types: mixed deciduous revering, mixed deciduous hardwood, sal, sal-pine, pine and acacia (Chaudhary, 1995). Sal (Shorea robusta) and its associated species cover approximately 90 % of the reserve. The reserve harbors an approximate population of 35 Asian wild elephants (Elephas maximus). Altogether, 32 species of mammals have been recorded (Budha et al 1998). The main species are gaur (Bos gaurus), royal Bengal tiger (panthera tigris), striped hyaena (Hyaena hyanea), spotted dear (Axis), blue bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus), wild dog (Cuon alipinus), and sloth bear (Melursus ursinus). Occasionally the one horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) transcends the boundary from RCNP to the reserve.
  18. 18. The reserve is rich in avifauna; so far, about 300 bird species have been estimated to occur in BNP (DNPWC1990). The giant hornbill (Buceros bicornis), an endangered species in Nepal, has been recorded in the Bhata and Sikaribas areas. Other important species are crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela), grass owl (Tyto capensis), jungle nightjar (Caprimulgus indicus), kalij pheasants (Lophura lecuomellana), and black partridge (Francolinus francolinus). The reserve is famous for many kinds of reptiles such as krait (Bungarus caereleus), banded krait (B.fasciatus), common cobra (Naja naja), king cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah), python (Python molurus), and monitor lizard (Varanus bengalensis). Buddha et. al 1998 has recorded 31 species of butterflies in the BNP. The proposed buffer zone of BNP covers approximately 369sq km., which includes complete 19 village development committees (VDCs) adjoining with the National Park. The estimated total number of households in the buffer zone area is about 9,500 with a population of 95,000 (BNP Official Records 2009). The majority of the indigenous people include Tharu, Dhagar, Yadav and Muslims, while the Badi, Musar, Hazra and Malaha are in the minority. The Pahadiya is another group of the population that has migrated from the hills after the eradication of malaria in the 1950s. Awadi, Nepali and Bhojpuri are the main languages spoken by the local people. The average literacy rate of the people living in the buffer zone around BNP is about 29 % (9.5%women). About 75% of the buffer zone communities are involved in agricultural activities. Animal husbandry is another important occupation of the local villagers. As benefits to the local people from the reserve, grass and reed cutting have been permitted annually from the reserve in winter season. The main problems perceived in Bardiya National Park by local people are crop raids, livestock damage and human casualty by local animals, and inadequate alternatives to forest products outside the reserve. The problems perceived by park management are the following illegal firewood/ timber cutting from the south-west side, international forest -fires, overgrazing due to livestock mainly from settlements inside the reserve, the location of four settlements inside the reserve, inadequate water for wildlife especially in
  19. 19. the eastern part, and poaching in the northern side. Occasionally, hunting of wild animals that have moved to the adjoining forest areas and cultivated land for water occurs in the southern side. During the Park Management Strategy Framework Planning Workshop held on 9-11 September 2008, different types of stakeholders and their level of interest and characteristics have been analyzed. About 52 interest groups were identified and were classified into six broad categories, which is annexed herewith. Apart from government agencies, and donors, the local people are categorized as follows: ∗ VDC ∗ DDC ∗ Poachers ∗ Fuel wood collectors ∗ Timber /wood cutters ∗ Grazers/Livestock Herder ∗ Local NGOs ∗ Hotel Businessmen ∗ Neighboring VDC people ∗ Local User Groups/ Committees Following are the major problems identified during the workshop, which are related to the local people in one or another way: ∗ Crop damage by wild animals ∗ Illegal fuel woodcutting ∗ Settlement inside the reserve ∗ Inadequate alternative community forest outside the reserve
  20. 20. ∗ Poor commitment of the local people ∗ Overgrazing ∗ Inadequate people participation in conservation ∗ Timber cutting ∗ Uncontrolled firing ∗ Park People conflict ∗ Illegal hunting of wild animals (Poaching) ∗ Human casualty by wild animals
  21. 21. Chapter Three Research Methods 3.1 Research Design Research methodology entails the course framework of research. In this section, I briefly describe how I approached this research, and my motives and choices concerning the research methods used to answer the research questions. To investigate the dynamics of conflict a methodology is required which facilitates analysis of behavioral patterns, perceptions, causes, interrelations and interactions among the factors. Hence, my methodological approach is a sociological interpretative study based on the fundamental connection between context and practice over time. Therefore, the most basic guiding factors in selecting research methods were the practices of everyday social life of the actors and their strategies, maneuvers, discourses, and struggles. In order to explore the dynamics of conflicts in society, methods and techniques of qualitative research were used to collect the required information. 3.2 Setting up the study: research strategy The theoretical perspectives and the research problem itself influenced the choice of the research strategy. The strategy focused on ‘what information most appropriately answers specific research question and which strategies are most effective for obtaining it (Denzin and Lincoln, 1998). To understand how conflicts evolve in NRM and how they are resolved it is necessary to appreciate the intricacy of the social system within which they are happening. It provides sound ways of understanding the dynamics of conflicts in NR. Natural resource-related conflicts involve different actors embedded in social processes. These actors create discourses through interpretation of the conflict situation. It is therefore important for the researcher to integrate different social interpretations of conflict into the inquiry process. The integration of a local perspective, empirical knowledge and different theoretical perspectives into a research process is complicated.
  22. 22. Furthermore, studying conflict management in natural resources from both the legal- anthropological and social-learning perspectives is more complicated because of their different aims and focuses. Therefore a flexible set of guidelines is used as a strategy for collecting and analyzing empirical materials. This strategy led me, as a researcher, to specific sites, persons, groups and institutions having relevant interpretative material. The meaning of human behavior, motivation, interaction and action are expressed in daily practices of actors. A qualitative interpretative approach of conflict study is more appropriate to explore such behavior, which cannot be captured by quantitative methods (Alasuutari, 1998; Silverman, 1993; Seale, 1998). A case study was my preferred strategy in examining contemporary conflict events. The strength of a case study is its ability to deal with the full variety of evidence: documents, interviews, observations, etc. (Yin, 1984). From the field study I realized that a case study is most suitable when a how or why question is being asked about a contemporary set of events, over which the investigator has little or no control (Silverman, 1993). The strength of a case study is that it has no pre-packaged research design. Rather, different information collection techniques, sampling and analysis techniques can be used throughout the research process (Yin, 1984). This method is useful in understanding the local dynamics of access and control of resources, knowledge and power (Seale, 1998). A case study allows an investigation into an on-going phenomenon with a real life context, in which the investigator has no control over behavioral events. It also better explains the decision process, why and how decisions are taken and implemented. Hence, an extended case study was the most preferred method used in this research to explore the dynamics of NR conflicts. The social sciences offer a variety of methods for use in the development of social understanding. An important dimension to the use of these methods, however, relates to the complexity of social processes, which need to be understood. It is impossible to reduce the complexity of human affairs to iron laws of cause and effect. Our understanding has limitation and we should bear this in mind when using social science knowledge.
  23. 23. The process of social research involves an interaction between researcher and people. The form and structure that this interaction takes vary with different research methodologies; some are highly structured and controlled by the researcher while others are less structured and in a sense controlled by those the researcher wishes to learn from. There are a variety of terms used in social science to refer to the people involved in the research process. The person collecting information or conducting the research is usually referred as researchers, who are not necessarily always outsiders. Likewise the people from whom the information is being collected have a number of different titles-for example, respondents, informants, subjects or partners. The different titles are generally assigned according to the methodology being used, and reflect the role that the researcher feels the other is playing. 3.3 Justification for Selection of the Study Area Bardiya National Park falls within the jurisdiction of Bardiya administrative districts of Nepal. The people living in adjoining village units known as village development committee are dependent on park resources for wood and pasture. This study has included these populations. The Bardiya National Park encompasses several villages inside the park boundary with about 100,000 people living in or adjoining to the park that rely on upon its resources mainly for pasture and wood. Unless the needs of these people are identified and appropriate alternatives for the consequences brought about by the establishment of the park are addressed, there will be aggravation of conflicts between the park administration and the local population. If these needs have not been identified, much of the effort applied by the park administration for the conservation of the park and its resources will be futile. This research is planned to examine the consequences of the establishment of the Bardiya National Park on the local people in the Mid Western Terai region of Nepal and to examine the areas of conflicts between the park administration and the local population regarding the park resources.
  24. 24. 3.4 Universe and Sample Altogether there are 31 Village Development Committies in Bardiya district. Out of 31 VDC, 19 VDC lie in the buffer zone or are adjoining with the National Park. The residents of these VDC are dependent on park resources for woods and pasture in the, three village units from the total of 19 adjoining with the National Park were randomly selected using a lottery draw. A questionnaire survey of office heads, who deal with public business in the park along with household heads interviews of the local population, was expected to give insight into a number of issues from different perspectives. 3.5. Nature and Sources of Data: To obtain information in accordance with the objectives of the research topic questionnaire interviews were carried out with park staff and sampled households within the local population. The household interview method was employed because of the lower level of education and hence literacy among the local population. The structured interview process ensured the encouragement of greater responsiveness on sensitive issues and was used to probe ambiguous responses through clarification of the questions. The research tools designed for this investigation took into account the ability of respondents to complete questionnaires and their level of literacy. It was important to consider whether the respondents were able to understand the manning of each questions and also able to give an exact answer. This decision was made by testing understanding if the questions by the park staff. Initially it was planned as a self-administered postal questionnaire survey to the park personnel but when the questionnaire was tested there was confusion as to the meaning of some of the words. As a result, the questionnaire was administered through personal interviews. 3.6. Data Collection Techniques The research tools used in this investigation consist of: (1) Questionnaire Interviews of Households
  25. 25. The extended family structure in Nepal facilitates the task of the researcher. The family structure was defined for the purpose of the interview, as the number of family members who are fed in the same kitchen in a household. The head of the household was determined after asking a few questions about who controls the business in a house. Then, the households-head was asked to provide answers to the questions. Households were chosen randomly. The following methods were adopted to accomplish the random sampling: (i) For each selected village unit, the total number of households list was obtained from the office of the district administration. (ii) 100 household-heads of the three VDC: Suryapatuwa, Thakurdwara, and Shivapur were selected and interviewed. The total household number of the VDCs was 1,500 (with total population of 20000), this makes the sample size 6.2 percent of the total households in the sample area. The village official of a sampled village and the secretary of each village committee were informed by a written letter, which discussed the process of interviews. Verbal consent was solicited from the secretary prior to accessing the household respondents and again verbal consent was solicited from the respondents prior to commencing the interview. The problem of non-responding households was met by the interviewer going to the house immediately to the left of the non-responding household. (2) Questionnaire Interview of Park Personnel A questionnaire interview of the 20 park personnel was carried out. This represents 18 percent of the total park staff ( 110) that were working in the different units of the Bardiya National Park administration during the study period. (3) Some In-depth Interviews In addition to the self-administered questionnaire surveys, in-depth interviews with selected persons such as local leaders and wildlife biologists were carried out. The
  26. 26. opinions of these people have provided some additional qualitative information regarding the issues under study. 3.7. Data Analyses and Interpretation The data obtained from this investigation was analyzed using the statistical package like Mean, Median and Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS). The range of responses and percentage of responses for each response category and the total number of respondents by their categories have been calculated for all closed questions. For open-ended questions, all answers were manually assigned to categories based on the similarity of answers to the question. The categories of responses were analyzed in aggregate form. 3.8. Limitations of the Study This research design approximated a one-shot case study. Although, normally one-shot case studies are influenced by history or maturation, they could be greatly influenced by specific events or incidents which occur during the data collection period and which influence the opinions of interviewees. The specific design for this study is not a "pure" one-shot case study as data was collected over a period of 30 days. Thus, events during this period could have influenced the data. Also, those interviewed earlier in the process could have discussed the survey questions with interviewees being surveyed later. This could lead to strategic responses and be a possible source of internal invalidity. Another limitation was the hesitation showed by the park staffs to participate in the interview process. They were afraid that the data might get disclosed and they will lose the job. Equally, frequent bandh by organization related with ethnic people at regional level affected the time schedule. The field work took unprecedented number of days and resources than expected.
  27. 27. Chapter 4 Results This chapter is devoted to the presentation of results. It consists of two sections: 1. The first section provides general characteristics of respondents with reference to their gender, age, education and occupation. 2. Section two provides results regarding the issues of park-people conflict as postulated in the objectives of this study. 4.1. Respondents Respondents for the study were local people (n= )., park staff (n= ) 4.1.1 Gender Most of respondents in the local people group were males ( females out of males) as males are the spokes people for the household in Nepalese society. In the park staff group, all respondents were males as there were no female staffs in Bardiya National Park. Similarly all office heads were males. 4.1.2 Age No respondent reported being less than eighteen years of age. The majority is in the 18-31 years age group. Table 4.1 presents the percentage distribution of respondents by their age. Table 4.1 Percentage Distributions of Respondents by Age (Absolute Frequency in Parenthesis)
  28. 28. Age group Years Frequency 18 -30 45 31 -40 30 41 -50 30 51-60 10 61 plus 10 125 4.1.3 Education Slightly more than 56 percent of the respondents indicated that they had never attended school and are not able to read and write the Nepali alphabet. Nearly 30 percent mentioned that they learned to read and write the Nepali alphabet either by attending school or by getting their education at home, but did not hold the School Leaving Certificate (SLC). Nearly nine percent answered that they had completed primary and secondary school levels of education and held the qualification of SLC. Slightly more than three percent had completed a two-year undergraduate course at University and held an intermediate certificate. Nearly four percent of respondents were University graduate and 2.02 percent were post -graduate. As far as the gender ratio of education level is concerned, female were found to be lagging far behind that of men as elsewhere in the country. 4.1.4 Occupation The majority of respondents (48 percent) were farmers. Less than ten percent were retired and was not involved in any other occupations. Table 4.2 presents the percentage distribution by their occupation. Table 4.2 Distributions of Respondents by Occupation
  29. 29. Occupation Categories No. Of Responses Farmers 60 Hoteliers/Retailers 10 Political Workers 10 4.2. Findings Government Service 20 School Teachers 10 All the Iron-tools makers 5 Retired 10 respondents (local Total: 125 people, park staff, and office heads) answered the research questions regarding the issue of 'Park-people Conflict in Bardiya National Park'. The "Don't Know" option was in each research question to prevent bias thorough forced answers. The number of respondents who answered, "Don't know" to the questions has been eliminated from the analysis, but has been included where appropriate in the discussion of results. The purpose of the study was to investigate the differences in the perceptions of local people, park staff and office-heads on the issues concerned with the park-people conflict in Bardiya National Park. The Chi-square test of significance was used to determine differences in perceptions between the three groups of respondents regarding the issues. Significance was determined at the five percent level of probability. For the open-ended questions, response items were manually categorized based on the similarity of answers to the question. The categories of responses were then analyzed in aggregate form. The results of each issue have been summarized in the tables and results have been interpreted wherever appropriate. To summarize, results indicate that the majority of the park staff are "strongly agreed" as to the purposed of Bardiya National Park being the control of floods, landslides and soil erosion; the conservation of plants and habitat of endangered wildlife such as rhino, elephant and enhancing local and national income through tourism. The local people group is "strongly agreed" as to the purpose of Bardiya National Park National Park being the conservation of plants & habitat of endangered wildlife and the conservation of religious and cultural sites. Both the local people and park staff is "agreed" with all the rest to the stated purposed of Bardiya National Park. The office-heads group "agreed" with all the rest of the stated purposed. These results clearly indicate that there is not the
  30. 30. same degree of understanding about the values of Bardiya National Park amongst all three groups. Within the areas of agreement about the purposes of the park, there are differences between the park staff and the local people. It should also be noted that the establishment of Bardiya National Park does not appear to be an issue of conflict per se, because all groups are agreed as to its basic purposes. 4.2.1. Identification of the causes of conflicts: Respondents who answered 'yes' to the question of a loss of benefits were asked to list benefits lost and rank them in order of importance. Fifty-two percent of local people, 45 percent of office-heads and 38.71 % of park staff listed the problem of crops and livestock depredation by wildlife and ranked this in a first category of benefits lost due to the establishment of Bardiya National Park. Only a small (5.66 and 1.89) % of the local people perceived: 1. a loss of freedom of the local people for the collection of fuel wood, leaf litter and grasses from the forest area; and 2. a loss of freedom for charcoal making opportunities for the local iron-tools makers in the forest. No park staff or office-heads indicated other categories of benefits lost. It is noted that the majority of the local people living inside and around the park boundaries indicated that they have suffered from the problem of "crops and livestock depredation by wildlife". Respondents, who listed the above "benefits lost", also were asked to suggest possible solutions to the problems. From the analysis of suggestions offered: (a) More than 49 % of local people, 38.71% of park staff suggested that the problems of crops and livestock depredation from wildlife should be controlled by the park administration;
  31. 31. (b) Slightly more than 4% of local people and five percent of park staffs suggested that shooting rights should be given to the locals to protect their crops and livestock against wildlife; (c) Only 6.13% of the local people suggested the exercise of rights to gather fuel wood, leaf litter, grass cutting and livestock grazing by the local people should not be restrained by the park administration; and (d) Just 2.36% of the local people suggested that charcoal making by local iron-tool makers in the forest should be permitted by the park administration. 4.2.2. Opinion Concerning Permit Guidelines In identifying the causes of conflicts, it was necessary to assess the respondents' perceptions about whether any of the existing permit guidelines for the concessions are too restrictive. To determine this perception, respondents were asked "do you think any of the permit guidelines are too restrictive?". Mean score between 1 and 1.50 indicate the group perception of existing permit guidelines are restrictive and a score higher than 1.50 indicates group perception as not restrictive. The results are summarized in the Table 4.10. 1. The park staff group (mean score = 2.0) and the local people group (mean score = 1.61) perceived that the existing permit guidelines for the concessions are not restrictive. 2. No significant difference between the mean score of local people, whereas the difference between the mean score for the park staff and other two groups is significant. Respondents who answered that the existing permit guidelines for concessions are too restrictive were asked to comment on "which concessions are they referring to and what changes do they want to recommend" Results for concessions referred to and changes recommended by the respondents are:
  32. 32. (a) More than nine percent of the local people and five percent of the office-heads stated that the present rate of royalty for construction timber should be reduced by 20 to 50% for the local poor so that they could construct or repair their houses; (b) More than 13% of the local people and 10%of the office-heads stated that timber for the construction of agricultural tools (such as handles of shovels, sickles and digging tools) should be provided free of cost; (c) More than 5% of the local people suggested that Nigalo (bamboo) for weaving bamboo-mats and baskets for domestic use should be provided free of cost from the park administration; (d) Nearly 3% of the local people recommended that the permit duration for bamboo collection should be extended to mote than one month in a year (usually 7to 15 days in Winter are permitted for collection bamboo); and (e) Only 1.42% of the local people recommended that the requirements relating to issuing of permits for hotel businesses inside the park area be consistent and explicit, in order that all interested local people might have equal opportunity to be a hotelier. In addition to the above discussed concessions and changes recommended by the respondents, another open-ended question asked “what additional concessions should be granted to local people?”. Opinions concerning additional concessions offered by the respondents are: (a) Eight percent of both the local people and park staff and five percent of the office- heads offered their opinions that electric power should be provided to locals as an alternative for fuel wood. (b) More than 16% of the local people, and 4.84% of the park staff stated that constructed timber should be provided to the locals on the basis of needs assessment; (c) Nearly 18% of the local people, and 4.84% of the park staff suggested that fuel wood efficient stoves should be provided to locals at a nominal cost from the park
  33. 33. administration and axes should be permitted in the forest for the preparation of firewood from dead and dying tress (this is restricted by the present park regulation); (d) Nearly 10% of the local people and 4.84% of the park staff offered the idea that wild-pig framing should be introduced in the local community as an alternative fro income generation; (e) Over 13% of the local people, 5% of the office heads and 8% of the park staff suggested the establishment of a community development fund through tourist contribution for hiring watchmen to drive wild animals from the croplands. 4.2.3. Awareness of Illegal Activities inside the Park Area As a last part of the topic of identifying the causes of conflict, respondents were asked about their awareness of offences being committed in the park. They were asked to tick the appropriate boxes to show whether they were aware to offenders being prosecuted, warned or unreported. Results have been summarized as follows: A. About 39% of the park staff, 11.32 percent of the local people responded that they were aware of prosecutions for offenses related to “poaching” inside the park area. Just over 30% of the park staff, 10% of the office heads and 1.42% of the local people reported that they were aware of warnings being given to offenders in lieu of prosecution. 1.61% of park staff reported that they were aware of “poaching” inside the park area, which was unreported to authorities. This information indicates that park staffs were much more aware of offences related to “poaching” inside the Park area than were local people or office-heads. B. Slightly more than 29% of the park staff, 13.68 percent of the local people reported that they were aware of prosecutions for offenses related to “timber cutting without a permit” inside the park area. About 21% of the park staff, and 2.83% of the local people reported that they were aware of warnings being given to offenders in lieu of
  34. 34. prosecution. About21% of park staff reported that they were aware of “timber cutting without a permit” being unreported to authorities. This information indicates that park staff were much more aware of offences related to “timber cutting without a permit” inside the Park area than were local people or office- heads. C. About 21% of the park staff, 2.36 percent of the local people were aware of prosecutions for offenses related to “lighting forest fires” inside the park area. More than 24% of the park staff, and 1.41% of the local people reported that they were aware of warnings being given to offenders in lieu of prosecution. Nearly 42% of park staff, 19.34% of local people reported that they were aware of “lighting forest fires” being unreported to authorities. These results also indicates that park staff were much more aware of offences related to “lighting forest fires” inside the Park area than were local people or office-heads. D. More than 22% of the park staff and 4.25 percent of the local people were aware of prosecutions for offenses related to “collecting minor forest products without a permit” inside the park area. Also more than 22% of the park staff, and 2.83% of the local people reported that they were aware of warnings being given to offenders in lieu of prosecution. Nearly 21% of park staff, reported that they were aware of “collecting minor forest products without a permit” being unreported to authorities. Similarly, as with the results of preceding issues, these results also indicates that park staff were much more aware of offences related to “collecting minor forest products without a permit” inside the Park area than were local people or office-heads. Table 4.15 Analysis of Responses of Park Staff for Status of Local People with Whom They Came In Contact (Percentage In Parenthesis) Status of Local People Contacted by park Staff a. Local leader 21 (33.9%) b. Hoteliers/Retailers 1 (1.6%)
  35. 35. c. Farmers 4 (6.5%) d. All of the above 36 (58.0%) Total Response: 62 (100%) In response to a question asked of the park staff to list any difficulties they have encountered in their dealings with local people, 17.74% of the park staff stated that the local people don’t cooperate with park staff by following the park regulation properly. The question was asked of the park staff “Do you have suggestions as to how some of these difficulties might be overcome?”. In response to the question, 25.81 % of the park staff suggested conservation education fro the local people and 9.68% of the park staff suggested regular visit to the local people by the park staff. The purpose of the visits would be to promote positive relationship between the park administration and the local population and then the local people could easily be persuaded to follow the park regulations. 4.2.4. Analysis Of Responses Of Office-Heads And Local People To Determine The Level Of Interaction Between The Park Staff And The Local People Of the 125 local people, 80 (80%) and 18 (90%) out of the 3 office-heads responded to the question asked of “Do you come in contact with park personnel?”. The results of analysis of the frequency of contacts in a single year have been summarized in Table 4.16. 4.2.5. Analysis Of Responses Of Local People For Contact With The Park Staff In Single Year (Percentage In Parenthesis) Responded by: Once 2-5 times 6-10 times More than Total 10 times Local people 21 (10.9) 61 (31.6) 15 (7.8) 277(39) 174(90.2) Both the local people were asked to specify the circumstances of contact with the park staff. The results were:
  36. 36. (1) More than 44 % of the local people stated for “getting permits for forest products”; (2) More than 17 % of the local people stated that they encountered park staff while the park staff were patrolling inside the park areas; (3) About 12 % of the local people stated that they usually come in contact with park staff while park staff came to the village for shopping; (4) Slightly more than two percent of the local people and 50% of the office-heads stated that there was contact with the park staff while they were participation in a conservation education conference organized by the park office; (5) A small (1.55)% of the local people stated that there was contact with park staff while the park staff visit the villagers to distribute bamboo permits; Chapter Five Understanding Sources of Conflict The sources of conflicts between park administration and the park's resources dependent people have been shown in the previous chapter. This chapter is devoted to the discussion of those results. 5.0 Level of understanding of the purpose of BNP by the local people, Park Staff and the office-heads
  37. 37. The main reason for the aggravation of conflicts between park administration and the park's resource dependent human population in the mountain parks of Nepal could be a lack of understanding or agreement on the part of the local people about the purposes of the National park. To test this assumption, this research proposed a series of statements for establishing the apparent level of understanding and agreement of local people, park staff and office-heads regarding these purposes. The majority of the sample of local people indicated that their area of strongest agreement was for "the conservation of plants and habitat of endangered wildlife such as rhinoceros and elephant" and "the conservation of religious and cultural sites", but 17 percent answered, "don't know" to the second proposition. The results also indicate that local people are in agreement with the propositions: (a) the control of floods, landslides and soil erosion by protecting watershed in the area. ; (d) enhancing local and national income through tourism; (e) providing indirect benefit through tourism to the local people (by maintaining trails and controlling pollution) and (f) providing opportunities for educational and scientific studies. Nine (a), 21 (d), 29 (e) and 62 (f) percent of the group said, "don't know" to the above purposes. These levels of understanding of the purpose of Bardiya National Park by the local people suggest that the local inhabitants are well aware of the importance of conservation of the existing plant resources and the habitat of endangered wildlife species and watershed protection roles of the Park. However, the number of "Don't Knows", which ranges from nine to 62 percent for several of the propositions, suggests that there is considerable scope for programs, which could increase public awareness. The role of the Park in providing opportunities for "educational and scientific studies" has not been seen by local people as an important "purpose" and many locals are either not convinced about the roles of tourism, are not affected by it, or do not understand its ramifications. The park staff group expressed "strong agreement" on propositions for (a) control of floods, soil erosion and protecting watersheds (b) the conservation of plants and wildlife habitat and (d) enhancing local and national income through tourism. A small percentage (1.61) of the group answered "Don't Know" to proposition (a). They expressed "agreement" on the other propositions: (c) the conservation of religious and cultural sites; (e) providing indirect local benefit through tourism and (f) providing opportunities for educational and scientific studies. Nearly five percent of the group answered "Don't
  38. 38. Know" to proposition (f). The office-heads expressed "agreement" on all propositions and just five percent of the group had a "Don't Know" response to proposition (c). The park staff, and local people to a greater or lesser extent agree with the park's supposes as stated. Therefore, the basic purposes of the Bardiya National Park do not appear to be an issue per se. However, the fact is that the level of agreement is highest for park staff because they are directly involved with the park's promotion and management, then progressively lower for those groups who are affected by its restrictions. In terms of all the other issues, these results suggest that the actual commitment of local people to park values/purposes is less for purposes other than for the conservation of the existing plant resources and the habitat of endangered wildlife species. Notwithstanding the fact that there are certain levels of consensus over "purposes", this is not sufficient to say that conflict between the park administration and the local populations should therefore be minimal. The areas of the causes of conflicts need to be further examined. 5.1 Causes of Conflicts Responses of local people indicate that they have perceived a loss of benefits for the people living inside and around the park boundary since the park was established and formal rules to protect its resources were put in place. Local people, as well as office-heads and to a lesser extent park staff, have perceived a loss of benefits [Table 4.4. (a). The chi-square analysis of responses [Table 4.4 (b)] indicates no significant difference is this perception between local people and office- heads. The difference in perception between park staff and the other two groups is significant. Park staffs do not recognize the degree of "loss of benefits" to the same extent, as do the local people and office-heads. The differences in perceptions of park staff with the other two groups are potential sources of conflict between the park administration and the local population. 5.1.1 Park-People Conflicts Because of a Loss of Benefits of the Local People due to the Establishment of BNP
  39. 39. The sample of the study population who perceived a loss of benefits due to the establishment of Bardiya National Park, listed benefits lost: (1) Fifty-two percent of the local people living inside and around the park boundaries listed lost benefits as crop and livestock depredation by wildlife; (2) Slightly more than five percent of the local people listed the loss of freedom to collect fuel wood, leaf litter and grasses from the forest as the second ranked loss; and (3) Nearly two percent of the local people noted a loss of freedom for charcoal making for local iron-tool makers in the Using response scores for classifying the perceptions of office-heads and park staff about benefits lost by local people, 45 percent of the office-heads and nearly 39 percent of park staff were in agreement that a lost benefit was crop and livestock depredation by wildlife. o park staff of office-heads noted other benefits lost and the number of locals who reported these was not large, but when talking about conflict, the number does not need to be large. Therefore, every source of conflict should be clearly examined and measured for resolution should be sought. During my fieldwork, it became evident that because of crop and livestock depredation by wildlife such as wild-pigs, monkeys and deer species, these animals that raid fields and consume crops are increasingly viewed as agricultural pests (local people and park staff, pers. comm. 1991). Wild-pigs' preferred habitat is forest and thick scrubland with open meadows, fields and moist grasslands (Jackson, 1990). They are widespread in the Bardiya National Park area. Wild-pigs are omnivorous and cause much damage by rooting for tubers as they turn soil over in large areas. They are often aggressive and are usually nocturnal, spending the daytime sleeping in wooded ravines or dense shrub thickets. Thus, crop-fields were almost always raided during the night or early morning (local people, pers, comm. 19991).
  40. 40. The Himalayan black bear posed a potentially more serious threat to the safety of people attempting to defend their fields. The most severe problems occurred in areas with close proximity to extensive tracts of forests, which are ideal habitat for wildlife (Yonzon, pers. comm. 1992). It was also noted that in some areas around the Bardiya National Park buckwheat, wild- pigs, monkeys and deer repeatedly destroyed barley and fruits. Each of these examples are reasons why the local people could believe that in terms of National Park philosophy, they and their crops are less important than the wildlife within the park area. If crop and livestock depredation is not in some way clearly recognized as an issue by the park administration, the conflict is likely to remain. 5.1.2 Possible Solutions to the Problems of Park-people Conflicts Due to a Loss of Benefits of the Local People The majority of respondents suggested that the problems of crop and livestock loss due to wildlife should be controlled by park administration. Some respondents (4.25 percent of local people) suggested that shooting rights should be given to the locals to protect their crops and livestock against wildlife. Nearly 10 percent of the local people and 4.84 percent of the park staff have suggested the introduction of wild-pig farming in the local community as an alternative for income generation. In a interview with Mr. Swongchhanam Lama (former national panchayat member), in response to a question regarding the solution of the wild-pig problem, he said: Wild-pigs are clearly a major crop predator and a threat to the livelihood of the local people. A potential solution to this problem is for the park management to allow trapping of young wild-pigs for domestic farming by the interested local people and the hunting of old ones to control the wild-pig population as suggested by the respondents. This could have economic benefits from meat recovery as well as reducing the crop depredation problem of the local people. As discussed earlier, the concept of "physical buffers" such as the erection of fences and digging of trenches to protect the local people's stock and crop against wildlife damage
  41. 41. are inappropriate because of their costs and subsequent likelihood of soil erosion in mountainous sites in the Bardiya National Park area. The need for, and usefulness of the other two types of buffers in term of land-use zoning for the development of forest resources and managing the over-increased numbers of wildlife species in their protected habitats will be discussed in more detail in a subsequent section. 5.2. Concessions to the Local People for Access to Certain Park Resources People living within the Bardiya National Park area and immediately outside the park boundaries were utilizing park resources (such as pasture land, fuel wood, fodder and grasses associated with livestock husbandry, construction timber and bamboo) for many years before the establishment of the Park. Restrictions on traditional rights of resources use can contribute to conflicts if the historical privileges of local people are seen to be interfered with by the park administration. 5.2.1 Opinions Concerning Permit Guidelines for Concessions to Utilize Park Resources Slightly more than 74 percent of the park staff, 51.89 percent of the local people offered their opinions regarding the following concessions covered by existing permit guidelines: – To collect fuel wood without permit. – To cut timber for construction materials with a permit – To graze cattle/sheep/goats without permit. – To collect nigalo (bamboo) with a permit and other forest product such as fodder and bedding materials for cattle without permit. 5.3.1 Tourism Development and Formulation of a Planning Strategy The great landscape – the Himalayas, hills, valleys, snow, glaciers, rivers, lakes, forest and wildlife – forms a class of natural resources that can attract a great number of tourists to the park. Sensitive exploration of these tourism products is capable of providing a high
  42. 42. level of satisfaction for visitors. Living cultures, artistic and architectural features, festivals distinction for local features, fairs, exhibits and heterogeneous ethnic groups in the area are added attractions. These attractions provide an additional focus for tourism development in the area. The forest resources in the park area should protect and stabilize the land and therefore conserve the existing landscape. They should also support bio- diversity and enable natural processes to proceed without undue human interference. CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 6.1 General Conclusions 1. Local people, park staff and office-heads all agree to some extent as to the purposes of BNP. The purposes per se, do not appear to be an area of conflict between park administration and the local population. Rather, the source of conflict lies in the degree, or strength of conviction and beliefs about the purposes, and the extent to which individuals or groups are negatively impacted by the policies, which are associated with these purposes. 2. This study has identified some of the consequential sources of “park-people Conflict in BNP”. Possible measures for their resolution are summarized as follows: (a) Crop depredation by wild-pigs and elephants is a major source of conflict. This problem could be solved by the park administration introducing a procedure of domestic farming of wild-pigs by capturing the young, and massive culling of mature pigs. The adoption of this procedure would be helpful in providing economic benefits to the local people from meat recovery. (b) In addition to wild-pigs, other crop and livestock predators such as deer species, monkey, Himalayan black bear and leopards are another sources of resentment by the local people. These could be controlled through declaration and management of buffer zones, which act as ecological barriers to restrict wildlife movement
  43. 43. from core protection zones to cultivated lands. The buffer can be delineated by adopting appropriate land-use zoning procedures, which consider utilizing the existing open marginal and forested, lands that are currently not managed for any particular purpose. The planting of fodder, firewood and fiber species should be carried out to enrich the remnant vegetation in these areas. This would give an added layer of protection to the protected area itself and act as a transition zone where the park's resource dependent human population could manage resources for multiple use purposes. (c) Local people who are dependent on park resources have received concessions to harvest from the Park Forest areas. Continuation of these concessions in the future, can promote a dependence on the park’s resources that will eventually grow beyond sustainability. Notwithstanding these concessions, a small percentage of the local people argued that the “local poor” are unable to pay the royalty for construction timber and another small percentage of the local people claimed a shortage of essential forest resources such as fuel wood, construction timber and bamboo. Despite poverty being a chronic current situation amongst the local people in the BNP area, this has been traditionally balanced somewhat by their utilization of forest resources available in close proximity to their settlements. When the shortage of essential forest resources increases simultaneously with poverty, desperate residents exert more pressure on the core protection areas of the park’s forests to fight for their survival. As a result, the tension between the park administration and the local population will increases in the future. To overcome these problems, the park administration should implement programs to produce and supplement forest resources in buffer zones and other open land around the national park by intensifying land use. The local people’s participation through planting trees should be encouraged through adopting community forestry management policies. The existing concessions should be continued on a short-term basis until long-term programs begin to yield results. Problems such as
  44. 44. resource distribution in the local community and the issue of “local poor” should be handed through the formation of user group committees at the local level. (d) There is not much perceived conflict as a result of the breaking of park laws and regulations by the local people. However, positive conservation attitudes are best fostered among the local people by fulfilling their basic needs such as food and shelter. To achieve this objective, the park management should introduce techniques of sustainable resource use through adoption of a community forest management program, exploitation of the benefit from slaughter of abundant wild-pigs as mentioned in conclusion no. 2, and the benefits from tourism development in the local community. These could combine to alleviate the existing “basic needs problems” of the local people. Thereafter, and conservation values, is essential to enhance their positive altitudes towards the park management. (3) Tourism is seen as a source of national and local income in the BNP area. The majority of the respondents have perceived no negative impacts of tourism. Not recognizing the possibilities of negative impacts of tourism could be a problem in the future if further growth of unplanned tourism is accepted. Therefore, adoption of appropriate tourism planning and management practices is essential to minimize possible negative impacts and maximize positive ones. (4) The majority of the local people and the park staff are recognized by each other. The majority of the local people also reported that the park staffs are helpful and friendly to them. In future, facilitating more purposeful interaction between park staff and the local people, e.g., village dialogues for more meaningful exchange of knowledge would be a substantial contribution to the solution of park-people related problems. When people are included in the planning process and encouraged to be involved in the management of protected areas it is less likely that they will break the laws, which they have helped enact.
  45. 45. 6.2 Recommendations 1. Establish wild-pig farming by capturing young pigs. This should be accompanied by massive culling of mature pigs. Further study regarding the practical difficulties of this recommendation is desirable before implementation. 2. “Buffer-zones” in terms of land use zoning should be introduced as a potential solution to the following two problems: a. Crop and livestock depredation by wildlife due to their free movement from core habitat areas to human settlement areas; and b. To provide access for the local people to forest resources in future by cultivating essential forest resources in the buffer areas through community forestry programs. Although a study of successful trials in other mountain areas could reduce delays in the implementation of community forestry programs, more practical studies should be carried out. In particular, there is a need to study the use of programs for delineating buffer zones in different ecological areas, where different types of land use practices are already employed. 2. Despite the facts that the majority of the respondents in the Park area perceives no negative impacts from tourism, morning and research is needed to ensure that tourism planning takes full account of the potential negative impacts of developments in the future. 3. Studies are undertaken to determine the forms of desirable and or/essential interactions between park staff and the local people to ensure that decisions on park-people related problems would indeed be representatives of all parties concerned. 4. The planning and execution of the research leading to this thesis has highlighted the need for further research, and policy development. The survey instruments designed for this study were not intended to elicit information, which would lead to
  46. 46. a detailed set of recommendations. Further information will therefore need to be gathered to enable the development and implementation of the proposals identified from the research. In this study, a comprehensive review of recent literature has highlighted the growing concern for preserving ecological representative ness through the establishment of national parks and protected areas. In many countries, national park and protected area systems are established and supported by governments to meet national and international obligations in terms of bio-diversity. Conflicts arise due to economic costs and benefits of the parks and protected areas for different interest groups. The resultant conflicts in different countries are fuelled by the varied approaches taken by the managers and administrators in addressing the concerns of the different interest groups. Despite the intent of national parks that exist primarily to preserve bio-diversity BNP in Nepal has included many human settlements within its boundaries. Here, thousands of individuals are trying to survive by utilizing the park’s resources. However, the study of three different groups of key respondents has indicated their general agreement on the purposes of the park for preserving bio-diversity in the central Himalayan region. Nevertheless, some differences amongst groups about these purposes and consequential conflicts have been discovered through this research. The sources of conflict between the park administration and its resources dependent local population, and possible measures identified for the resolution of these conflicts, have been explored in this study. Where two opposite interests exist for an area; i.e., park administration who want to preserve the natural resources and desperate local people who need these resources for their survival, there will always remain the potential for conflict. Solutions to these conflicts would seem to rely on the development of alternative resources for the local people or compromising by diluting of reducing the preservation objective of the park. To implement plans, policies and procedures to enable these alternatives to be investigated the cooperation and involvement of local people must be deliberately and enthusiastically sought. In this way, the full potential of Bardiya National Park to achieve its twin goals of
  47. 47. maintaining viable and unique bio-diversity as well as meeting the needs of local people in the future may be seen as realistic and achievable. Bibliography Allin, C.W., 1990. Introduction: National Parks and Nature Reserves in Global Perspective. In International Handbook of National Parks and Nature Reserves. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, U.S.A. Atmosoedarjo, S. L. Daryadi, J. Mackinnon & P. Hillegers, 1984. National Parks and Rural Communities. In J.A.Mc Neely and K.R. Miller (eds), National Parks, Conservation and Development. IUCN, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
  48. 48. Babbie, E., 1989. The Practice of Social Research. Fifth Edition, Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, Calfornia, Inc., U.S.A. Belbase N. and D.C. Regmi, 1998. Comparative Analysis of Decentralisation and (Communiaty) Forestry Legislation. ICIMOD, Kathmandu Bell D., H. Raiffa & A. Tversky 1989. (Eds.), Decision Making: Descriptive, Normative and Prescriptive Interactions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Benda-Beckmann F., 1999. Between Free Riders & Free Raiders: Property Rights and Soil Degradation in Context. Paper presented in International Workshop on Economic Policy Reforms and Sustainable Land Use in LDCs: Recent Advances in Quantative Analysis, June 30 to July2, 1999. Wageningn: WUR Benda-Beckmann F., K. Benda Beckmann, R. Pradhan and H.L. Spiertz., 1997. Local Law and Customary Practice in the Study of Water Rights. In: Water Rights, Conflict and Policy. Proceding of Workshop held in Kathmandu, Nepal. Jan. 22-24, 1996. Pp 221-42 Bennet L., 1983. Dangerous Wives and Sacred Sisters. New York: Columbia University Press Bhatia A. 1995 (Ed.). Seminar on Conflicts Resolution in Natural Resources. Kathmandu: Nepal Mediation Group/ICIMOD. Participatory NRM Programme Appendix 1 Sample Questionnaires for both the Park Authority and Local People of the Study Area i. Name of the respondent ii. Religion iii. Education iv. Marital status
  49. 49. v. Occupation vi. Sex vii. Age viii. Family size 1. Since when you are living in this area? 2. How much land do you have? 3. How far is the land from your house and park boundary? 4. What are the crops you grow in your land? 5. What are the importance /benefit you think of wild life Reserve? Please rank them. 6. What are the problems you have faced from Reserve side? a. Crop damage: i. Generally which animal visits your field? ii. When do they usually visit? iii. How often do they visit? iv. In which season do the reserve animals mostly damage the crop? v. What are the techniques you do apply to minimize the crop damage be wild animals? vi. How often your techniques help to chase away the reserve animals? vii. What is your opinion regarding the crop damage per year by wild animals is increasing? viii. What is your experience how do the park authority deal to your complain regarding this loss of the crops by wild animals? b. Human casualty: i. How often do the reserve animals attack in your area ? ii. Whom you know best the wild animals had ever attacked? iii. Describe the situation when the person was attacked. iv. What is the system to help the victim as medical support? 7. What are the benefits lost due to the establishment of BNP and rank them in order of importance (a being the most important benefits lost) a. b. c.
  50. 50. d. 8. What could be possible solutions to these problems? a. b. c. 9. Do the local people living inside the park receive concessions from the park administration to utilize certain park resources? (Please tick one) ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) don't know (If No/ don't know, go to Q. 12) 10. If yes, what are the concessions? (Tick all appropriate answers) (a) ( ) to collect fuel wood through permits; (b) ( ) to cut timber for construction materials through permit; (c) ( ) to graze their cattle/goats through permit; (d) ( ) to collect other forest products such as nigalo (bamboo), fodder and bedding materials for cattle, etc.; (e) ( ) others (please specify): 11. Do the villagers living outside the park boundary also receive concessions? (please tick one) ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Don't know (If No/Don't know, go to Q. 15 ) 12. If yes, what are the concessions? (Tick all appropriate answers) (a) ( ) to collect fuel wood through permits; (b) ( ) to cut timber for construction materials through permit; (c) ( ) to graze their cattle/goats through permit; (d) ( ) to collect other forest products such as nigalo (bamboo), fodder and bedding materials for cattle, etc.; (e) ( ) others (please specify): 13. Do you think that any of the permit guidelines for the above concessions are too restrictive? (Please tick one) ( ) Yes ( ) No (c)Don't know
  51. 51. (If No/Don't know, go to Q. ) 14. Which concessions are you referring to and what changes do you want to recommend? Concessions Changes recommended .................................... ............................................................. ....................................... ........................................................ ....................................... ................................................... ....................................... ................................................... 15. From the table below, are you aware of any of the following offenses being committed in the reserve? If yes, tick the appropriate boxes on the right to show whether they were prosecuted, warned or unreported. Leave blank if you are not aware of an offence: Offence Prosecuted Warned Unreported Don't know a. Poaching b. timber cutting without permit c. Collecting firewood without permit d. lighting forest fire e. grazing cattle without permit f. collecting other minor forest products without permit g. Other(Please specify) (If nothing ticked on above table, go to Q.17) 16. How often do you think the above mentioned offenses occur in a single year (tick one box for each offence): a. Poaching: ( ) never ( ) once ( ) 2-5 ( ) 6-10 ( ) more than 10 b. timber cutting without permit: ( ) never ( )once ( ) 2-5
  52. 52. ( ) 6-10 ( ) more than 10 c. Collecting firewood without permit: ( ) never ( ) once ( ) 2-5 ( ) 6-10 ( ) more than 10 d. lighting forest fires: ( ) never ( )once ( ) 2-5 ( ) 6-10 ( ) more than 10 e. grazing cattle, sheep, goats without permit: ( ) never ( ) once ( ) 2-5 ( ) 6-10 ( ) more than 10 f. Collecting other minor forest products without permit: ( ) never ( ) once ( ) 2-5 ( ) 6-10 ( ) more than 10 g. other (Please specify offenses and frequency) : --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 17. What other concessions should be granted to local people? ------------------------------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------------------------- 18. How often do you come in contact with park personnel? ( ) once a year ( ) 2-5 times a year ( ) 6-10 times a year ( ) more than 10 times a year 19. In what circumstances do you (usually) come in contact with park personnel ? ................................................... 20. With whom (park staff) did you talk to or come in contact ? Please specify their designation: .................................................... ...................................................... 21. Please list any difficulties you have encountered in your dealing eith park personnel. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------