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2015 | 11 | 65-79
Article title

Environmental, economic and agricultural surveys of an ecologically important forest edge hamlet in Darjeeling district, West Bengal, India

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Forest cover in the hill regions is essential to maintain environmental, economic and ecological balances. North Bengal accounts for 3,086 sq km (26 %) of the 11,876 sq km area of classified forests in the state, and for nearly 5,000 sq km (40 %) of all land under tree cover. Khumani is a Village (26.84o N, 88.60o E) in Gorubathan Block in Darjeeling District of West Bengal State, India. The survey work was done in December, 2014 by visiting the Khumani Forest Village (established in 1949) of upper Kumai and the primary data were gathered through field survey and direct contact with common people and authorized centers of the region. Surveys on the demography, agriculture, livestock management, water management, education, culture, health, waste management, disaster management, transport, biodiversity, human animal conflict were done in this area. Topographic map of the area was prepared by using the database of National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organization (NATMO), Kolkata office. In every phase of the survey work, pictorial documentation was done. In spite of being positioned in a diverse and sensitive ecological zone, the village is not adequately managed. There is an urgent need for implementing sustainable management systems in the areas for the betterment of the socio-environmental structures. Some of the possible management strategies have been suggested for maintaining the social, environmental, economic and ecological balance of the region. Proper funds should be raised to conserve and manage these ecologically important zones of north Bengal, which should be one of the main focuses of future researches.
Physical description
  • Department of Environmental Studies, Rabindra Bharati University, India
  • Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Pondicherry University, India
  • Department of Environmental Studies, Visva Bharati University, India
  • Department of Environmental Studies, Rabindra Bharati University, India
  • Department of Environmental Studies, Rabindra Bharati University, India
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