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Sustainable livelihoods through conservation of wetland resources: a case of economic benefits from Ghodaghodi Lake, western Nepal

Pramod Lamsal
Krishna Prasad Pant, Kathmandu University
Lalit Kumar, University of New England
Kishor Atreya, Kathmandu University

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-07172-200110

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Abstract

We investigated the participation of local ethnic groups in wetland conservation, determined the economic benefits that they received from the wetlands, and assessed socioeconomic factors that affect dependency on wetlands. A total of 217 wetland resource-user households residing around Ghodaghodi Lake, western Nepal were surveyed. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-tests and ordinary least squares regressions. The wetland resources contributed significantly to the household economy of the local people. Each household extracted lake resources at an annual worth of NPR 4379 ($63 USD), equivalent to 12.4% of the household total gross income. Although the people maintained a positive attitude toward wetland conservation, their participation in conservation efforts was inadequate. Socioeconomic factors such as larger household size, older age of the head of the family, and larger area of agricultural land increased the rate of resource extraction. In contrast, when households were involved with local conservation organizations, resource extraction was reduced. We recommend the following resource conservation and livelihood strategies: implementation of community-based conservation approaches to increase system productivity, adoption of biogas plants, and improved cooking stoves to reduce fuelwood consumption, coupled with conservation awareness programs.

Key words

conservation attitude; conservation participation; livelihood; sustainability; wetland conservation

Copyright © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087