RESEARCH ARTICLE


Livelihood Vulnerability Associated with Forest Fire in Pauri-Garhwal, Western Himalaya



Shashidhar Kumar Jha1, *, Purna Jana1, A. K. Negi1, Rajendra Singh Negi2
1 Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Rural Technology, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India


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© 2018 Jha et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this athor at the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India; Tel: 13618252506; E-mail: shashidharkj@gmail.com


Abstract

Background:

The livelihood of mountainous communities of Himalayan region closely knotted with forest related activities. However, forest degradation especially forest fire significantly affects the mountainous livelihood and hence, there is an urgent need to describe, evaluate and understand specificity of mountainous areas to forest fire.

Methods:

In this view, a study on livelihood vulnerability with forest fire of High Altitude Zone (HAZ) and Low Altitude Zone (LAZ) was assessed with Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI). It uses 35 indicators, reduced to six components to create an overall index. Each component is composed of set of indicators and they are function of observable variables. The framework uses primary data and employs maximum-minimum normalization to restrict the value range of indicators between 0 to 1.

Results:

The value near to 0 shows lower vulnerability. The overall vulnerability of HAZ region is higher, that might be attributed to higher dependency on forest; live in proximity of forest; unstable socioeconomic condition; less infrastructural development and higher exposure to climatic extreme events.

Conclusion:

Therefore, the adaptive capacity of HAZ should be strengthened in a cross cutting manner for reducing livelihood vulnerability to forest fire. The sectors specific developmental policies/programmes should also be rationalized through bottom up adaptation planning with special reference to forest fire vulnerability.

Keywords: Adaptive capacity, Forest fire, Himalaya, Livelihood vulnerability index, High Altitude Zone (HAZ), Low Altitude Zone (LAZ).