Role of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in sustaining forest-based livelihoods: a case study of Ribdi village of West Sikkim, India

Singh, Mithilesh ; Pradhan, Prashanti

Abstract

The study aimed at documenting the indigenous knowledge on the use of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) by the
local community of Ribdi village, West Sikkim, India. It also assesses the information on the important and frequently cited
species for future sustainable management. The information was gathered through semi-structured interviews and
questionnaire based household surveys. A total of 61 species belonging to 56 genera and 36 families were reported to be
used as NTFPs. Asteraceae, Athyriaceae and Lauraceae were the dominating families with 4 species each with mainly tree
type growth forms (47%). The highest numbers of species were used for medicinal purpose in curing many diseases and
ailments. The Informant consensus factor (ICF) revealed the most used category among all, i.e., construction and handicrafts
(0.62). The present study has thus documented the maximum use of Lithocarpus pachyphyllus, among all the species with
highest value of Relative Frequency Citation (RFC) and Use Value (UV). In this investigation, local community dependence
on forest resources for nutrition, health, food, and other daily use products was significant. This signifies the rich
community knowledge about these resources. In addition, enhancing the capacity and awareness of local communities in
NTFPs conservation, sustainable harvesting and value addition through training techniques can aid in sustainable
development of the region.

Keyword(s)

Himalayas; Medicinal plants; Non timber forest products (NTFPs); Sikkim; Traditional knowledge; Wild edibles

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