Ecosystem Restoration and Management
Mountain Ecosystem services provide diverse goods and services to humanity, both to people living in the mountains and to people living outside mountains. More than half of humankind depends on freshwater that are captured, stored and purified in mountain regions; from an ecological point of view, mountain regions are hotspots of biodiversity; and from a societal point of view, mountains are of global significance as key destinations for tourist and recreation activities. In addition to this mountain have intrinsic spiritual and aesthetic value. Mountain ecosystems play a key role in maintaining hydrological cycle with feedback to regional climate and by modulating the runoffs regime along with this mountain vegetation and soil play a significant role in reducing or mitigating risks from natural hazards. At the same time, mountain ecosystems are sensitive to rapid unplanned development. The main pressure result from changes in land use practices, infrastructures development, unsustainable tourism, fragmentation of habitats, and climate change, and thus affecting the ecosystem services in temporal and spatial scale.
Whereof, ecological restoration is becoming regarded as a major approach for increasing the provision of ecosystem services as well as reversing biodiversity losses. It is now widely recognized that natural conservation and conservation management strategies do not necessarily posses trade-offs between the “environment” and “development”.
Investment in preservation, restoration and sustainable ecosystem use are increasingly seen as a “win-win” situation which generates substantial ecological, social and economic benefit. As ecological restoration can potentially contribute to the improvement of human livelihood and can also enhance biodiversity.
The overall goal is to restore the natural topography, water regimes, and physical integrity of surface water flow patterns across the landscape, promotion of efforts to protect and restore critical groundwater aquifers and natural seasonal groundwater discharge in the watershed, protect historic stream channel water flow pathways, restoration and maintaining the diversity, composition, distribution and regenerating mechanism of native vegetation communities in relationship to topographic and geomorphic landscape position.
Duration: August 2016- December 2020
• Exploring the interrelationships between all aspects of restoration and land management.
• Develop way to decipher, analyze and map the present status of ecosystem services over landscape.
• Identification of intervention by involving communities with the aim of restoring vital ecosystem components (i.e. goods and services) and increasing broader scale functionality and health.
• Conservation outcomes such as regeneration of natural water springs and ecosystem processes, plantation of bamboo trees for mitigating risks and increasing soil and water holding capacity.
• Land use sustainability outcomes such as improved land management practices and development of best practice guidelines for communal forest management and soil health management.
The select landscape is remote and fragile regions of Naugaun Watershed situated in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. The area lies at 30044’50.668”N to 30048’2.415”N latitude and 78073.001”E to 7809’19.517”E longitude. The area in the upper catchment of Yamuna River and the total area covered is 26.7 sq.km. The place could be reached through National Highway 507 near the town Barkot, Purola and Damta. The region comprises of 14 village Panchayat and 20 villages. The targeted villages in the study area are Matiyali, Murari, Bhatiya, Bingsi, Naini, Dhari, Rastari, Kndaun, Mungra, Naugaun, Sauli, Kimmi, Pissaun, Kwari, Sapeta, Tunalka and Kisna. The area is mostly covered by reserved forest, cultivated land, rocky and barren land and settlements.
The total population of targeted landscape is 8,889 with 1882 households and the area covered is 1459.99 hectare. The literacy rate of the targeted area is 68.7%.