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Forest provides valuable natural resources which are indispensable for the survival of life on earth. The realization of the
need to safeguard these valuable resources from degradation and sustainable utilization has led the way for conservation.
Many initiatives to conserve the totality of forest ecosystems have been taken up across the world, a number of which are led by
local communities themselves. Studies have shown that, on many occasions these communities have come to the rescue of their
degraded forest ecosystems more effectively than other measures.
In Nagaland, one of the 8 states in North-East India, the responsible people of Khonoma village initiated a conservation
programme and with active community participation successfully institutionalized a large area of their community forest as
Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary. As a result of this conservation initiative and its associated activities
like ecotourism, the quality of this community-owned forest has drastically improved. The most note-worthy of which is the
regeneration of the degraded forest ecosystem and the gradual increase of wildlife that had been significantly impaired due to
indiscriminate exploitation of resources in the past. However the immediate visible benefits rest on only a small group of people
who are directly involved in these initiatives and the village at large do not benefit much. Thus interviewing the residents of
Khonoma village, this study aims to report the events that led to the successful conservation of the Community owned forest and
their perception towards conservation, inspite of deriving very less benefits from this venture
Petevino Chase has completed her M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from Bangalore University in June 2009 and is presently pursuing her PhD in
the Department of Environmental Studies in North-Eastern Hill University, Meghalaya.
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