Any decision pertaining to allocation of resources between competing uses involves a careful analysis of the different costs and benefits and forestry is no exception to this. Population growth and consequent increase in demand for various products and technological changes have increased the forestland use conflict. Especially, in the case of public sector management arriving at appropriate social values is difficult. Economists are called upon not only to provide values for marketed benefits and costs, but also to assign values to those, which were hitherto regarded as intangibles, imponderables, invaluable, etc. The overall objective of the work in the forest economics Department is to provide a better socio-economic insight into the different aspects of forestry.
Research Highlights of Forest Economics Department:
- Assessment of the availability of wood raw material for plywood industry (North Eastern region)
- Intensive multiple use forest management in the tropics with appropriate institutions
- Participatory management programme to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of Non-Wood Forest Products
- Integrated management of the alien invasive weed mikania micrantha, (one of the most prominent invasive aliens in India) in the western ghats, Kerala which is posing a serious threat in different production systems in the Western Ghats of Kerala
- Developed Visitor Management strategies for Protected Areas in Kerala.
- Short-term study conducted on the integrating cultural and biological diversity into the conservation of Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve
- Conducted an economic valuation of ecotourism development of a recreational site in the natural forests of southern Western Ghats
- Baseline data has been generated for the bamboo sector in Kerala, strategies and action plan developed for governmental intervention to revitalize this sector focusing on value addition, enhancing income generation and alleviating poverty
- Assessed the economic feasibility and socio-cultural acceptability of bamboo-based architecture in the State. This study has identified many factors which influence the current use of bamboo in the provision of affordable shelter, and indicates how its use might be affected in the future
- Estimation of availability of bamboo in home gardens, economic potential of bamboo and evaluation of the socioeconomic and livelihood trajectories of the marginalised bamboo dependents in the State
- Conducted an economic valuation of ecotourism in a traditional recreation site in the Western Ghats, Kerala and developed strategies and Action Plan for sustainable tourism.
- Assessment of the raw drug requirement of Ayurvedic medicine manufacturing industry in Kerala and linkages between the market, raw drug extraction and the informal sector
- Carried out Forestry outlook studies for forest based industries
- Assessed the human dimensions of the Iringole Sacred Grove and developed strategies for its sustainable management
Ongoing Research Projects
- Economic valuation of ecosystem services in the moist deciduous forests of Kerala
- The medicinal plants market in South India: Economic value and tribal rights
Contact: Dr. V Anitha
Kerala Forest Research Institute
Peechi 680653, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA