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Himalayan Journal of Sciences Volume 3, Issue 5, January - June 2005 Mainali, Kumar P 2005-06

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Volume 3
Issue 5
Jan-June 2005
ISSN 1727 5210
Jit I
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Himalayan Journal of
Volume 3, Issue 5
Jan-June 2005
Pages: 1-96
Cover image
Diverse vegetation at 3800
masl in the Kaligandaki
Gorge, Mustang,Western
Nepal. Photo courtesy of RP
Below: Pisidium
(Afropisidium) clarkeanum.
Story on Page 63
Published by
Himalayan Association for
the Advancement of
Science, Lalitpur, Nepal
Plagiarism: Ke Game ?
Academic fraud must have consequences
Page 7
The moment of truth for science
The consequences ofthe 'knowledge society'for
society and science
Peter Weingart
Page 11
policy and development
Himalayan misconceptions and distortions:
What are the facts ?
Himalayan Delusions: Who's kidding who and why
— Science at the service of media, politics and the
development agencies
Jack D Ives
Page 15
Adaptation strategies against growing
environmental and social vulnerabilities in
mountain areas
Narpat S Jodha
Page 33
Nepalese malacology trails behind
"Catch up!"
Prem B Budha
Page 9
Ecological science and sustainability
for the 21st century
Ecological science can and must play a greatly
expanded role in ensuring a future in which
natural systems and the human populations they
include exist on a more sustainable planet
Margaret A Palmer, Emily S Bernhardt, Elizabeth A
Chomesky, Scott L Collins, Andrew P Dobson,
Clifford S Duke, Barry D Gold, Robert B Jacobson,
Sharon E Kingsland, Rhonda H Kranz, Michael J
Mappin, M Luisa Martinez, Fiorenza Micheli, Jennifer L
Morse, Michael L Pace, Mercedes Pascual, Stephen
S Palumbi, 0J Reichman, Alan R Townsend and
Monica G Turner
Page 25
The role of universities in knowledge production
Developing nations need to develop the developmental
Judith Sutz
Page 53
Participatory management
of natural resource can be an
important tool for poverty
policy and development
The Convention on Biological Diversity's 2010 Target
Andrew Balmford, Leon Bennun, Ben ten Brink, David Cooper, Isabel le
M Cote, Peter Crane, Andrew Dobson,* Nigel Dudley, Ian Dutton, Rhys E
Green, Richard D Gregory, Jeremy Harrison, Elizabeth T Kennedy, Claire
Kremen, Nigel Leader-Williams, Thomas E Lovejoy, Georgina Mace,
Robert May, Phillipe Mayaux, Paul Morling, Joanna Phillips, Kent
Redford, Taylor H. Ricketts, Jon Paul Rodriguez, M Sanjayan, Peter J
Schei, Albert S van Jaarsveld and Bruno A Walther
Page 43
Participatory fisheries management for livelihood improvement
of fishers in Phewa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal
Tek B Gurung, Suresh K Wagle, Jay D Bista, Ram P Dhakal, Purushottam
L Joshi, Rabindra Batajoo, Pushpa Adhikari and Ash K Rai
Page 47
research papers
Jack Ives dispels the myths
and misconceptions that
cloud our thinking about the
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Community management
leads to monodominant
Illustrated checklist of pea clams (Mollusca: Bivalvia:
Sphaeriidae) from Nepal
Hasko Nesemann andSubodh Sharma
Page 57
Composition, distribution and diversity of tree species under
different management systems in the hill forests of Bharse
village, Gulmi District, Western Nepal
ChintaMani Gautam and Teiji Watanabe
Page 67
Fuelwood harvest, management and regeneration of two
community forests in Central Nepal
Bharat Babu Shrestha
Page 75
brief communication
Checklist of Nepali pea
clams: Revving up
Nepalease Malacology
Mistletoe: Not such a bad
neighbor, after all
Health costs of pesticide use in a vegetable growing area,
central mid-hills, Nepal
Page 81
Biology of mistletoes and their status in Nepal Himalaya
Mohan Prasad Devkota
Page 85
Author index for Volume 3,2005
Page 89
Guide to Authors
Page 90
Control cutting seems to
work better than the
alternatives, p 67
Plagiarism: Ke Game ?
Academic fraud must have consequences
A few days ago, as we were rushing to press with an issue that has been plagued by unforeseeable
delays, we found that one of our articles contained plagiarized material.
_"Tut-tut," you say. "A purloined phrase... an undocumented source? Where's the harm?
Everybody does it!"
Purloined phrase? Not quite. One ofthe sources cited for apparently minor points was in fact
looted: page after page was lifted verbatim, along with the major conclusions, which were simply
grafted onto the article that we were about to publish.
And where's the harm?We\l, forgive our petulance, but we wasted hours and hours of our time on
a 36-page manuscript, reviewing, revising, and eventually exposing it. The cover, contents, and
layout of this entire issue had to be redone. All of which is trivial compared to the fiasco narrowly
averted. Had we actually published the article, we would have directly injured the original author
(and his publisher), whose intellectual property and professional stock-in-trade were stolen; we
would have brought disrepute on ourselves and our journal; and we would have been exposed to
legal and financial repercussions, including the
danger of diminished support from those on whom
the ultimate success of the journal depends.
An even greater loss is now incurred by us all
through the thwarted dissemination of important
information and ideas. The article in question applied
findings pertinent to one group of endangered fish,
whose genetic diversity and is threatened by captive
breeding and realease, and proposed that the same
might be true of a group of Himalayan fish. Such
applications of published scholarly research
represent the best-case scenario for our journal, our
readers, and our society; yet we are no choice but to
withdraw the article.
Everybody does it? Academic dishonesty is
certainly rampant, and probably nowhere more than
in Nepal, where political, commercial, and legal
corruption have a solid schooling in our educational
system. All the more reason to take a stand and do
something about it.
First of all, we will review and clarify our
guidelines for contributors, in order to minimize
the likelihood of inadvertent plagiarism. Second, we
are considering a policy of public exposure of all
those who use or attempt to use the Himalayan
Journal ofSciences to perpetrate intellecual fraud. Third, we are taking steps to organize a symposium
of publishers, academics, and legal experts in order to develop strategies for dealing with a problem
that undermines our institutions and threatens our future, as well as other forms of scientific
We invite your input and collaboration.  ■
It wasn't your typical fish story. This
wasn't a fisherman exaggerating the size
of the one that got away — it was a case of
massive plagiarism. Fortunately, HJS
editors caught it before the story went to
print, but we paid a price in time, money,
and goodwill. Now we have to think
seriously about what we can do to protect
ourselves from intellectual dishonesty. We
invite your suggestions and your
Nepalese malacology trails behind
"Catch up!"
Prem B Budha
In terms of biological diversity, the
Himalayan region is one of the
world's richest ecosystems (Pei
and Sharma 1998) and has been
identified as a "biodiversity
hotspot." Although Nepal
constitutes only about 0.09% of the
world's land area, it harbors a remarkable
number of faunal species: 4.5% of all
mammals, 9.5% of birds, 1.2% of
amphibians, 2.03% of reptiles and 6.8%
of butterflies and moths. China, which is
65 times greater in area than Nepal, is
home to only 12.5% of the world's
mammals, 6.3% ofthe birds, 9.1% ofthe
amphibians and 18.8% of the reptiles.
Similarly, India is 16 times greater than
Nepal, but can claim only 8.6% of the
mammals in the world, 13.3% ofthe birds,
4.3% ofthe amphibians and 7.2% ofthe
reptiles (Pei 1996).
Unlike many other invertebrates,
mollusks throughout most of the world
are taxonomically a relatively well-known
group. There are databases for Eastern
Himalayan mollusks (covering Assam,
Darjeeling, Arunachal, Meghalaya, and
Burma) and also for Western Himalaya
species (including those of Jammu,
Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and
Gahrwal). No such database exists for
mollusks of the Nepal Himalaya.
Inadequate data and information
management is considered a significant
threat to Nepal's biodiversity
conservation (MFSC 2002). Sporadic
reports on the phylum from Nepal
Himalaya are scattered in articles and
dissertations throughout the world and
not readily accessible to researchers; they
have yet to be included in Nepal's
biodiversity databases. Nonetheless, the
existing databases reveal that the
Himalayan region as a whole is rich in
endemic mollusks: 94.6% ofthe terrestrial
species and 47.8% of the freshwater
species found in the eastern and central
Himalayas are found only in the regions
(Dey and Mitra 2000). Much taxonomic
work remains to be done, particularly in
Nepal, where we may expect to discover
numerous endemic species of both
terrestrial and freshwater mollusks, as
well as new species, in the many
unexplored and isolated microhabitats
within   the   severely   compressed
Mollusks of the world are, in general, more thoroughly documented than
other invertebrates. This is the case for the Himalayas as well - except in
Nepal. A scant 139 species have been reported from Nepal, but the new
sightings reported every year and the high percentage of endemism (94.6 for
terrestrial and 47.8 for aquatic mollusks) both suggest that a focused and
accelerated study of these creatures is warranted. However, inauspicious
externalities indicate that, for the foreseeable future, progress is unlikely to
exceed the proverbial snail's pace.
bioclimatic zones (from tropical to nival)
generated by the extreme altitudinal
gradient (60 to 8848 masl in a country
that is on average only 193 km wide).
Without complete information on this
important zoogeographic region, the
world database of malacofauna remains
woefully incomplete.
Taxonomic expertise is an
indispensable foundation for estimation
of global biodiversity and formulation of
conservation policy (Golding and
Timberlake 2002). The Seventh
International Malacological Congress in
1980 recommended that governments,
universities, museums and conservation
agencies be urged to promote research
on the taxonomy of mollusks (IUCN
1983). Article 7 of the Convention on
Biological Diversity (CBD), which Nepal
ratified in 1993, stipulates the importance
of identification and monitoring of
species and assemblages. Decision II/8
ofthe second meeting ofthe Conference
of the Parties to the CBD identified the
lack of taxonomists as a significant
impediment to the implementation ofthe
Convention at the national level. More
recently, a workshop ofthe South Asian
Loop of BioNet-International (SACNET)
was held in Bangladesh (2003 June 15-20)
in conjunction with the third regional
session ofthe Global Biodiversity Forum
(GBF) for South Asia; again, the
participants emphasized the taxonomic
impediment to implementation of the
CBD for the whole region. Sadly, even two
decades after the first wake-up call,
taxonomic expertise on mollusk is
shockingly poor in Nepal.
Taxonomic work in Nepal has
proceeded at the proverbial mollusks
pace due to lack of advanced tools,
trained staff, research infrastructure,
logistic support and incentives for
researchers. According to published
resources, Pupilla eurina was the first
mollusk reported from Nepal; Benson
identified it as Pupa eurina in 1864 (Gude
1914). In 1909, more than four decades
after the first report, Preston (1908)
identified Limnaea (Gulnaria) simulans
from a Nepalese specimen in the
collection ofthe Indian Museum, Calcutta
Subba Rao (1989) details 285 species of
freshwater mollusks collected in India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri-Lanka
and other adjoining countries. In Rao's
handbook, the malacofauna of Nepal is
represented by only two species -
Bellamya nepalensis and Lymnaea
andersoniana. Recently, Dey and Mitra
(2000) reviewed 689 species of freshwater
and land mollusks found in the
Himalayas; again, Nepal's mollusks are
almost entirely absent, with only two
species mentioned -L. andersoniana and
Pupilla eurina. Scientists from other
regions have carried out taxonomic
research on mollusks during short
expeditions to Nepal. They have identified
many new taxa and their work indicates
that Nepal is a promising area for further
biodiversity and taxonomic research. In
the literature survey, I found 139 species
of mollusks (83 terrestrial and 56
freshwater) reported so far from Nepal,
and new finds have been recorded every
year. The discovery of two new genera of
terrestrial mollusks: Ranibania
(Schileyko and Kuznetsov 1996) and
Nepaliena (Schileyko and Frank 1994),
and eight new terrestrial species:
Hemiphaedusa martensiana (Nordsieck
1973), H. kathmandica (Nordsieck 1973),
Laevozevrinus nepalensis (Schileyko and
Frank 1994), L. mustangensis (Kuznetsov
and Schileyko 1997), Himalodiscus
aculeatus (Kuznetsov 1996), Pupinidius
tukuchensis (Kuznetsov and Schileyko ^
1997), Anaden us nepalensis (Wiktor 2001)
and Limax (Limax) seticus (Wiktor and
Bossneck 2004) indicate that Nepal is rich
in endemic terrestrial mollusk taxa.
Nesemann and Sharma (2003) reported
45 species of aquatic mollusks (25
gastropods and 20 bivalves) from lowland
(Terai) regions of Nepal; none of them
are endemic. However, further study of
freshwater mollusk taxonomy is required
in order to more accurately assess Nepal's
endowment. Recently several works have
been undertaken to remedy the data
deficiency of this important phylum
(Subba and Ghosh 2001, Nesemann etal.
2001, Budha 2002, Nesemann and Sharma
2003 and Subba 2003).
Mollusks have significant economic
value for the poor people and indigenous
communities in Nepal and neighboring
countries. Various freshwater bivalves
and snails are used as a source of cheap
animal protein, and the shells are used in
traditional art. Lime produced from
bivalve shells is mixed with chewing
tobacco. Terrestrial slugs have been used
in traditional treatments for body pain,
fractured bones, and general health, as
well as in dietary supplements to improve
the yield of dairy cows (Budha 2002).
Twenty ethnic groups in Bangladesh
consume snail meat (Jahan and Rehaman
2000), and in India the shells are used in
the manufacture of buttons, ornaments
and lime. Four species of mollusks in
Bihar and seven in Mizoram have been
used by people as food (Subba Rao and
Dey 1986). Shellfish are also useful in
improving vision and in controlling
diarrhea and gastric disorder (Suba Rao
1989). In addition, mollusks are also useful
indicator for biological assessment of
water quality monitoring (Nesemann and
Sharma 2005, this issue paper, page 57-
65). Some snails and slugs also act as
intermediate hosts for parasites of
domestic and wild animals. Lymnaea sp.
is a causative agent for human
schistosomiasis, and many countries
have given high priority to its control
(WHO 1993). Likewise, certain invasive
land snails have also emerged as pests,
causing substantial losses of vegetable
crops in various regions of Nepal (Raut
1999). There are, however, no data
available on specific shellfish-dependent
ethnic groups, mollusk-harvesting
practices, or impact on human health.
The systematic deposition of voucher
specimens in scientific institutions and
access to these collections can stimulate
interest in taxonomy among young
scientists. Such resources are lacking in
Nepal. The primary institution for
maintaining records of voucher
specimens, the Natural History Museum
in Swayambhu (Kathmandu), has no
collection of Nepalese mollusks. Only 20-
25 species of freshwater and land mollusks
are represented in the museum of the
Central Department of Zoology,
Tribhuvan University in Kirtipur, and
these have not been authoritatively
identified or competently preserved. One
auspicious development is the deposition
of 56 authentically identified species of
freshwater mollusks from Nepal at
Kathmandu University (KU), Dhulikhel
(Nesemann 2005, personal
Clearly the need for a database on
mollusk diversity within Nepal is urgent.
To fill this information gap, I offer the
following recommendations:
• The Natural History Museum
and the universities of Nepal should
undertake the proper deposition of
voucher specimens of Nepalese
• Research institutes and
conservation organizations should offer
research opportunities for young
• The collection of baseline
information on mollusks, including spatial
diversity, distribution and ethno-
malacology should be established as a
national research priority. ■
My sincere thanks go to J van Goethem, CBD-
National Focal Point, Royal Belgian Institute of
Natural Sciences (RBINS) for bibliographical
assistance; and to Yves Samyn, RBINS and Peter
Weekers, Ghent University (Belgium), for
critiquing my initial manuscript.
Prem B Budha is a lecturer at Central
Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University.
Budha PB. 2002. Ecology of terrestrial slugs
(Anadenus nepalensis Wiktor 2001J in
Kathmandu valley. A report submitted to
University Grant Commission, Kathmandu.
17 p
DeyA and SC Mitra. 2000. Molluscs ofthe Himalaya
Records ofthe Zoological SurveyofIndia98{2):
Golding JS and J Timberlake. 2002. How
taxonomists can bridge the gap between
taxonomy and conservation science.
Conservation Biology 17(4): 1177-1178
GudeGK. 1914. ThefaunaofBritishlndiaincluding
Ceylon and Burma. Mollusca III
(Cyclophoridae, Truncatellidae,
Assimineidae, Helicinidae). New Delhi:
Today and Tomorrow's Printers and
Publishers. 520 p
MFSC. 2002. Nepal biodiversity strategy. Ministry
of Forests and Soil Conservation, HMGN,
Kathmandu, Nepal. 132 p
IUCN. 1983. The IUCN invertebrate red databook
International Union for Conservation of
Nature and Natural Resources. Unwin
Brothers limited, The ConservationPress, UK
Jahan MS and MR Rehaman. 2000. Prospects of
snail culture in Bangladesh. In: Jha PK, SB
Karmacharya, SR Baral and P Lacoul (eds),
Environment and agriculture: At the crossroad
of the new millennium. Kathmandu, Nepal:
Ecological Society (ECOS). p 522-526
Kuznetsov AG. 1996. Himalodiscus aculeatus
Kuznetsov, gen. et sp.nov. (Pulmonata,
Endodontidae) from Nepal. Ruthenica 5(2):
Kuznetsov AG and AA Schileyko. 1997. New data
onEnidae (Gastropoda, Pulmonata) ofNepal.
Ruthenica7{2): 133-140
MOPE. 2001. State ofthe environment, Nepal
(Agriculture and Forestry). Kathmandu,
Nepal: Ministry of Population and
Environment, HMGN. 64 p
Nesemann H and S Sharma. 2003. Population
dynamics and distribution of the aquatic
Molluscs (Gastropods, Bivalvia) from Nepal.
Paper presented at the International
Conference on Himalayan Biodiversity
Kathmandu, Nepal; 2003 February 26-28
Nesemann H and S Sharma. 2005. Illustrated
checklist of pea clams (Mollusca: Bivalvia:
Sphaeriidae) from Nepal. Himalayan
Journal ofSciences 3 (5): 57-65
Nesemann H, A Korniushin, S Khanal and S
Sharma. 2001. Molluscs of the families
Sphaeriidae and Corbiculidae (Bivalvia:
Veneroidea) of Nepal (Himalayan mid-
mountains and Terai), their anatomy and
affinities. Acta Conchyliorum 4:1-33
NordsieckH. 1973. Zur Anatomie und Systematic
der Clausilien XII. Phaedusinae: Phaedusen
aus Nepal und ihre systematische Stellung
innerhalb der Unterfamilie. Archiv fuer
Molluskenkunde 103(1-3): 63-85
PeiShengji (ed). 1996. Banking on biodiversity. A
report of the regional consultation on
biodiversity assessment in the Hindu Rush
Himalayas. Kathmandu, Nepal: International
Center for Integrated Mountain Development
Pei Shengji and UR Sharma. 1998. Transboundary
biodiversity conservation in the Himalayas. In:
Ecoregional co-operation for biodiversity
conservation in the Himalaya Areport on the
international meeting on Himalayan
ecoregional cooperation organized by UNDP
WWF and ICIMOD; 199 Febl6-18;
Kathmandu, Nepal
Preston HB. 1908. Description of new species of
marine and freshwater shells, in the collection
ofthe Indian museum, Calcutta. Records ofthe
Indian Museum2{l): 45-48
Raut SK. 1999. The Giant African land snail,
AchatinafulicaBowdich in Nepal and Bhutan.
Journal ofthe Bombay Natural History Society
96(1): 73
Schileyko AA and C Frank. 1994. Some terrestrial
mollusca ofthe Nepalesian fauna. Archiv fuer
Molluskenkunde 123 (1/6): 127-136
Schileyko AAandAG Kuznetsov. 1996. Anew genus
ofthe Subulinidae (Pulmonata) from Nepal.
Ruthenica5(2): 158-160
SubbaBR. 2003. Molluscan checklist of Ghodaghodi
Tal area, Kailali district. Our Nature 1:1-2
SubbaBRandTK Ghosh. 2001. Terrestrial Molluscs
from Nepal. Journal ofthe Bombay Natural
History Society 98(1): 58-61
Subba Rao NV and A Dey. 1986. Freshwater
Molluscs of Mizoram. Journal of the
Hydrobiology 2(3): 25-32
Subba Rao NV 1989. Handbook: Freshwater
Molluscs of India. Zoological Survey of India,
WHO 1993. The control of schistosomiasis: Second
report of WHO Expert Committee. WHO
technical report series 830. Geneva
Wiktor A. 2001. A review of Anadenidae
(Gastropoda: Pulmonata) with a description
of anew species. Folia Malacologia9{l): 3-26
Wiktor A. and U Bossneck. 2004. Limax (Limax)
seticus n.sp. from high mountains in Nepal
(Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Limacidae). Folia
Malacologica 12(4): 183-187
 Policy and development
Himalayan misconceptions and distortions:
What are the facts?
Himalayan Delusions: Who's kidding who and why Science at
the service of media, politics and the development agencies
Jack D Ives
EDITOR'S NOTE: Jack Ives' article, drawn from his new book Himalayan Perceptions, is a cautionary tale that
might almost be read as a gloss on Peter Weingart's "Moment of truth for science" (see page 11-14). Ives begins by
recounting the life and times of the "Theory of Himalayan Environmental Degradation," a grossly exaggerated but
convenient "theory of everything" that suited almost everybody's agenda — from the media (always hungry for neatly
packaged disaster scenarios), to the politicians (happy to point fingers conveniently away from their own failings), to
the developers (ready and willing to focus their energies in the pleasant hills of Nepal rather than the steamy lowlands
of Bangladesh and India), to the scientists (eager for fame and funding). True to Weingart's prediction, there was a
scientific reaction to the alarmist theories: the Mohonk Conference successfully rallied a generation of "montologists"
to investigate critically the bases for predictions of Himalayan deforestation and subcontinental flooding. As a result,
the theory was effectively debunked. Unfortunately, it seems to rear its head now and then — most notably in China.
And, even more unfortunately, there seems to be a ready supply of successor theories. One media favorite is the
impending catastrophic collapse of glacial lakes swollen by glaciers retreating in the face of global warming. Let's
hope that Weingart's optimism is justified: melting glaciers and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) obviously deserve
scientific attention. The question is, will the media and politicians pay any attention at all if researchers predict
something less than a super-catastrophe?
It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentional lying
that there is so much falsehood in the world.
— Samuel Johnson 1778
This paper is a modified version of Chapter 10 of my recently published book: Himalayan Perceptions: Environmental
change and the well-being of mountain peoples (Ives 2004). The original chapter title: What are the facts? Misleading
perceptions, misconceptions, and distortions, is intended to draw attention to what I regard as one ofthe major problems
facing effective development and the relief of poverty characteristic of much ofthe Himalayan region. Mistaken, or deliberately
constructed self-serving policies have been exacerbated by false or misunderstood reporting and exaggeration since the
beginnings of'foreign aid' shortly after the end of World War II. My discussion is presented to The Himalayan Journal of
Sciences because ofthe on-going urgency and because the book itself, published in hard cover edition in London and New
York, has an unfortunately high price such that it will likely find only modest distribution in South and Central Asia.
The aim is to address the confusion brought
about by a combination of lack of
academic rigour in the early stages of the
propagation of the myth of Himalayan
environmental degradation, aid agency
and news media carelessness, and the
unsubstantiated basis for some of the policies of regional
governments. Thompson andWarburton's (1985) nowfamous
challenge, what are the facts? was originally introduced as
part of the refutation of the then widely accepted view that
deforestation in the Himalaya by poor farmers was
responsible for increased flooding in Gangetic India and
Bangladesh. Nevertheless, even with the great increase in
research across many disciplines and inter-disciplines since
about 1990, their own provocative response to the question
remains relevant: 'What would you like the facts to be?'
Central government agencies in India, Thailand, China,
and Nepal, for instance, certainly appear to want the 'facts' to
support their policies that are frequently based upon the
assumption that 'ignorant' mountain minority farmers are
devastating the forests and so causing serious downstream
environmental and socio-economic damage. The Government
of Bhutanlargely fabricates its perception of'truth'. And there
has been a continual flow of news media and environmentalist
publication to the effect that death and destruction on a large
scale are imminent, whether the result of unwise resource
extraction by mountain people or due to global forces, such as
climate warming. Is it all part of a game? If so, it is a very serious
and dangerous game.
This paper examines the larger issues of how Himalayan
perceptions have arisen, how many have been misleading,
misconceptions, even seemingly deliberate distortions. In
contrast, many commentaries and recommendations have
been eminently reasonable and have contributed to the
eventual inclusion of Chapter 13 in Agenda 21 following the ^
 Policy and development
1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit. This in turn was the vital
turning point thatled to the United Nations designation of 2002
as the Lnternational Year of Mountains. It is appropriate,
therefore, to go back to the origins ofthe Theory of Himalayan
Environmental Degradation and to work forward from there.
The theory of Himalayan environmental degradation
This topic is introduced here to set the stage for examination of
the way in which perceptions of Himalayan development and
environmental stability have been, and are being distorted.
Other scholars, or developmental practitioners, or
environmentalists may select alternate starting points. However,
the GTZ-UNESCO conference of December 1974 in Munich
can be regarded as the initiation of a worldwide discourse on
environmental problems ofthe Himalaya. The formal topic in
Munich was The Development of'Mountain Environment and it
brought together a diverse group of participants - diverse
nationalities, disciplines, and professions. The impacts ofthe
1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment had
only recently been felt. Similarly, the then recent winding down
ofthe International Biological Programme (IBP) had begun to
influence the formulation ofthe UNESCO MAB-Progamme,
Project-6, and had demonstrated the applicability of computer
The Munich participants were presented with a series of
well-intentioned, if disturbing, scenarios. Many were based on
apparently first-hand experience in the Himalaya, others were
derived from experience elsewhere, and yet others depended
upon rational thought arising from formal conventional
education, or a combination of the above. The participants
were alerted informally to GTZ's plans for providing funds to
establish an international mountain research and development
institution; that it would probably have been headquartered in
Tehran because the Shah of Iran of that time had indicated that
he would provide many more millions of dollars.
A feeling of dire emergency was generated at the
conference, together with a sense of opportunity. Something
must be done to save the world's mountains; mountain regions
in the developing countries were most seriously at risk; and the
Himalaya warranted special attention. A Munich Manifesto
was deliberated and unanimously approved. There were
suggestions that a 'Club of Munich should be formed to imitate
environmentally the Club of Rome, proceedings were published,
and press releases were initiated. Nevertheless, the proceedings
(Muller-Hohenstein 1974) were eminently constructive and
constrained. A request was made for accentuated mountain
research linked to development policy and the creation of a
scholarly publication outlet for the results of such research.
The need for informing United Nations agencies, national
governments, and world opinion at large was underlined. Frank
Davidson (in Muller-Hohenstein 1974:186) urged establishment
of an independent mountain research institution with
appropriate links to United Nations agencies and universities
and, taking cause from the widely recognized contributions of
Oceanography, recommended consideration for establishment
of mountainology (to become montology- Oxford Dictionary
2002 edition). Very little ofthe informal discussions about an
environmental crisis in the Himalaya appeared in the
proceedings. The closest, yet oblique reference appears in the
summary report ofthe proceedings:
But these mountain regions are seriously and increasingly
affected by processes of deforestation, soil erosion,
improper land use, and poor water management. Overuse
of mountain environments has a widening impact on the
plains with downstream floods, the siltation of dams and
harbours and on the damage of crops and of homesteads.
(Muller-Hohenstein 1974:5)
Thirty years later, following a considerable increase in mountain
research (both academic and applied) and much wider
recognition ofthe importance of mountain regions, the general
statements emanating from the Munich Conference read as
eminently rational. But in terms of the last three decades of
melodramatic recounting by the news media of Himalayan
deforestation causing catastrophic flooding in Gangetic India
and Bangladesh, Eric Eckholm's statement in the Munich
proceedings is revealing:
If deforestation in Nepal and Kashmir threatens the
survival of three-quarters of abillion people in South Asia,
and indirectly will affect the political and economic well-
being of people in Tokyo, NewYork, and Munich, then
these facts should be in the newspapers every week in all
of these countries. But I read several newspapers every
day, and have followed the accounts of many major
devastating floods over the last few years, and I have
discovered that the news accounts never mention
deforestation as a cause of the flooding. The collective
knowledge ofthe minds in this room, if distilled in the
proper form, would horrify and astound millions of
people and hopefully goad them into the needed
actions. The question is: Howwillwe help themfind out
before it's too late.
(my emphasis)
Muller-Hohenstein 1974:131
Thus it is reasonable to conclude that the Munich Conference
of 1974 served indirectly, rather than directly, as the flashpoint
for propagating widespread acceptance of the notion of
imminent environmental catastrophe in the Himalayan region*.
The innumerable literature references to Eckholm's paper in
Science (1975) and to his book (1976) showhowthe assumptions,
portrayed with such skill and intellectual appeal in these two
publications, dominated mountain environment and
development thought over the next 15 years; and the
catastrophe discourse has remained highly influential in many
areas of government and institutional decision making to the
present time.
Despite earlier cautious reaction to the deforestation/
landslide /downstream flooding scenario (Ives 1970) I recall
being sweptup by the sense of urgency in Munich. Nevertheless,
the seeds were sown for eventual publication of the journal
Mountain Research and Development in 1981, and for the
establishment in 1982 ofthe International Centre for Integrated
Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu.
Following the Munich Conference, however, it appeared
that writers, academics, agency personnel, and politicians were
seeking to out-perform each other by moving progressively
through repetition to hyperbole. No new 'facts' were needed,
only the repetition and enlargement of existing 'facts'.
Thompson et al. (1986) argued that these 'facts'were precisely
what the agency personnel required in seeking to enlarge their
development budgets and to expand and prolong their presence
in Nepal, long regarded as one ofthe most attractive locales for
 Policy and development
appointment of expatriate bureaucrats by donor agencies (how
that situation has changed when today's events are considered!)
The now notorious World Bank (1979) prediction of total
loss of accessible forest cover in Nepal by 2000 was very
powerful. The 'State of India's Environment: A Citizen's Report'
(1982) spoke with great authority in similar terms, as did the
World Resources Institute (1985) and the Asian Development
Bank (1982). Likewise, internationally respected foresters and
environmentalists raised the spectre of Khumbu forest
devastation, perceived as a necessary part ofthe struggle for
establishment ofthe Sagarmatha National Park. It should be
noted, however, that the Khumbu was a special case for it was
there that the imminent disaster scenario had unfolded early
and independently ofthe Munich Conference and only later
merged with the general demand for mountain forest
protection as a prime approach to averting environmental
disaster. All ofthe foregoing were powerful institutional forces
that drove the complex of assumptions for which the shorthand term Theory of Himalayan Environmental Degradation
was coined.
During the first 10-15 years following the Munich
Conference the majority of academic publications concerned
with the Himalayan region, or parts of it, both echoed and
replenished the news media campaign and the myth of
Himalayan environmental degradation became firmly
embedded in world opinion. However, after about 1983, first a
trickle, and then a flow of academic publications began to
discredit the myth although, for the most part, the news media
continued on course, as did many ofthe vested interests ofthe
region. The process of Himalayan environmental discourse
and its split into two opposing streams will be illustrated by a
selection of short quotations, citations, and comments.
Academic and research publications
There were innumerable references in scholarly and research
publications that advanced and reinforced the Theory:
Eckholm (1975 Science, 189:764-70: referred to above)
Rieger (in LaR and Moddie 1981:351-76)
These papers provide a parallel discourse to Eckholm
(1976) except that Rieger (1981), inparticular, develops a series
of computer simulations demonstrating relations between
population growth, deforestation, soil erosion, and downstream
impacts. However, Rieger's approach does foresee a much
longer time interval for total elimination of all Himalayan forests.
Ives and Messerli (1981: 229-30-based on an initial
reconnaissance for field work in the Kakaniarea, Nepal):
Loss of soil andloss of agricultural land through gullying
and landsliding are occurring more rapidly than the local
people with their existing resources can replenish. This is true
without considering the deterioration to be anticipated by
projecting the current rate of population growth into the
To be somewhat redeemed by the following:
It is also believed that involvement ofthe local people in
every planning stage and incorporation of their experience will
prove critical.
Karanandlijima (1985:81):
One-fourth ofthe forests ofthe country has been cut in
the past decade. If this trend persists, the remaining forest area
may be denuded in another twelve to twenty years.
KaranandIijima (1985:84):
The Kulu Valley, formerly a picturesque scene of deodar
trees, some forty-five meters high... is now almost barren.
This statement should be compared with other
interpretations of the Kulu landscape that emphasize the
excellent degree of preservation of the Kulu Valley forests
(reviewed in Ives 2004, Chapter 3:113).
Myers (1986):
This paperis also aparallel statement to those of Eckholm
(1975) and Rieger (1981).
Literature on deforestation in the Khumbu Himal, Nepal
Blower (1972, cited in Mishra 1973:2):
... depleting forests ofthe Khumbu... since destruction
would result in disastrous erosion leading to enormous
economic and aesthetic loss to the country.
Lucas et al. (1974) wrote that the members ofthe New Zealand
. .. saw too much evidence of incipient erosion to feel
other than a sense of deep concern for the future.
Furer-Haimendorf (1975:97-8):
Forests in the vicinity ofthe villages have already been
seriously depleted, and particularly near Namche Bazarwhole
hillsides which were densely forested in 1957 are now bare of
tree growth and the villagers have further and further to go to
collect dry firewood.
Speedily (1976:2):
. . . forest areas in the proposed Sagarmatha National
Park are, as a result of a combination of influences, in a depleted
state, such that if present pressure of use is continued, severe
environmental damage will result.
Hinrichsen et al. (1983:204):
. . . more deforestation [has occurred in the Khumbu]
during the past two decades than during the preceding 200
In contradiction to the above, Charles Houston (1982,1987), as
a member ofthe 1950 Mount Everest reconnaissance from the
south, had revisited the Khumbu in 1981. He wrote that, with
the exception of a thicket of dwarf juniper at Pheriche there
as much or more forest cover than there was in 1950 and
I have the pictures to prove it.
International agencies
World Bank (1979):
Nepal has lost half of its forest cover within a thirty-year
period (1950-80) and by AD 2000 no accessible forests will
Asian Development Bank (1982):
... distinct danger that all accessible forests, especially in
the Hills, will be eliminated within less than 20 years. (ADB
1982, Vol. l,p. 12) +•
 Policy and development
On page 63 of ADB Volume 2, the alarm is somewhat
heightened by the prediction of forest elimination within 14
World Resources Institute (1985):
... a fewmillion subsistence hill farmers are undermining
the life support of several hundred million people in the plains.
United Nations Environment Programme was reported to have
commented on the seriousness ofthe threat of deforestation
in The Bangladesh Observer, Dhaka, 2 June 1990 under the
headline Deforestation in the Himalaya Aggravating Floods.
The article was reporting on an address to the National Seminar
on Environment and Development by Dr Mustafa K. Tolba,
Executive Director of UNEP organized by the Environment
and Forestry Ministry, UNDP and UNEP It quoted Dr Tolba as
stating that:
... the chronic deforestation in the Himalayan watersheds
was already complicating and compounding seasonal floods
in Bangladesh.
And added the comment that 700,000 people died in
Bangladesh in 1970 because of flooding.
News media reportage
Sterling (1976 Atlantic Monthly, 238 [4]: 14-25 - one ofthe
earliest and most melodramatic reports):
Between 1976 and 1986 most ofthe world's newspapers
were predicting imminent disaster in the Himalaya and on the
plains ofthe Ganges and Bramhaputra. The coverage ranged
from The Times, London, to almost every local newspaper in
the Western World, and in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and China.
The coverage extended to leading periodic magazines, such as
Newsweek and Atlantic Monthly and the conservationist
literature. Television coverage was also extensive world-wide.
Examples are restricted to the more recent period following
Farzend Ahmed in India Today, under the title Bihar Floods:
Looking Northwards, 15 October 1987:
Each time north Bihar is devastated by floods, the state
Government performs two rituals. It holds neighbouring Nepal
responsible and promises to implement a master plan for flood
control... Nepal is invariably held guilty because most of the
rivers ... originate there before flowing into the Ganga. The
Bihar Government maintains that Nepal's non-cooperation
lies at the root of the annual cycle of human misery... This
time the chorus of accusation reached fever pitch when Prime
Minister Rajiv Gandhi... demanded to know what preventative
measures had been taken... Predictably, the [response] referred
to the hill kingdom's lack of cooperation. The Nepal-bashers
also scored a major victory at the Second National Water
Resources Council meeting in New Delhi last fortnight. State
Irrigation and Power Minister Ramashray Assad Singh managed
to have the national water policy draft amended to say that the
solution to Bihar's flood problems lay beyond its borders.
Begley et al. 1987 in Newsweek, under the title Trashing the
Himalayas-that once fertile region couldbecome anew desert:
Dense alpine forests once covered the lower slopes of
Mount Everest, and the Khumbu Valley below the mountain
used to blush dark green from its carpet of junipers. But that
was the Everest of 1953, when Sir Edmund Hillary andTenzing
Norgay became the first men to conquer the highest peak on
earth. Today the forest at Everest's base is 75 percent destroyed,
replaced by a jumble of rocks interspersed with lonesome
trees. All the Khumbu's junipers have fallen to axes . . . The
degradation ofthe Himalayas is not confined to the tall peaks.
In Pakistan, India, Nepal and Tibet, deforestation has eroded
fertile top-soil from the hills, triggering landslides and clogging
rivers and reservoirs with so much silt that they overflow when
they reach the plains of the Ganges. . . At the rate trees are
being felled for fuel and cropland, the Himalayas will be bald in
25 years... Although a significant fraction ofthe erosion stems
from nature... most ofthe damage is man-made.
NewYork Times: 9 September 1988:
United Nations expert Tom Enhault, director of projects
in Bangladesh-asserted that the environmental havoc wreaked
by the destruction ofthe Nepalese forests have done the most
damage [referring to the flooding of 1987 and 1988]... he also
blamed over-grazing.
Sunday Star-Bulletin: Honolulu, 11 September 1988:
Bangladesh flood disaster blamed on deforestation
Flooding on a massive scale may soon become the norm
... remarkable collapse ofthe Himalayan ecosystem.
A. Atiq Rahman, director Institute of Advanced Studies,
Dhaka, stated 'the main environmental problem is the
widespread and growing deforestation of the Indian and
Nepalese mountains.'.. . B. M. Abbas, Bangladesh's leading
authority on water control and for many years Minister of
Water Resources said 'For so many years I have told people
that trends in the mountains would destroy us.' Hassan Saeed
stated that there had been 1,451 deaths and that 700,000 flood
refugees had been forced to find shelter in Dhaka.
Dawn: Sunday magazine, Islamabad, 4 October 1992:
Minister for Environment and Urban Affairs, Anwar
Saifullah Khan said 'the destructive power of the floods has
increased manifold as a result of deforestation which has been
continuing unabated in the Northern Areas ofthe country'
Sacramento Bee: Sunday 1 August 1993:
Bangladesh has renewed demands that India and Nepal
agree to control the powerful rivers that flow through their
countries. Officials in Bangladesh say the flooding has killed at
least 150 people and displaced 7 million people.
World Tibet Network News: Beijing, 28 August 1998, underthe
headline: Asian Disasters Blamed Partly on Shrinking Forests:
Deforestation Leads to Floods:
Floods kill more than 2,000 people along China's Yangtze
River and 370 others along the Ganges and Jamuna in
Bangladesh... Rain across the region has been much heavier
than normal this year, but World Watch Institute President,
Lester Brown, said recently that a 'human hand lurks behind
the floods. Thathand often wields the ax or chain-saw, denuding
the highlands that feed Asia's great river systems and sending
greater volumes of water and silt to compound the catastrophes
downstream. The forests that once absorbed and held huge
quantities of monsoon rainfall, which could then percolate
slowly into the ground are now largely gone. The result is much
greater runoff into the rivers.
Apart from the interspersed explanatory remarks, no further
comment will be added to the quotations introduced above,
with a single exception. This is because the statement in the
 Policy and development
Islamabad magazine Dawn (4 October 1992), attributed to
Environment and Urban Affairs Minister, Anwar Saifullah Khan,
is especially out-of-step with reality. The cause of the
devastating floods, to which the Minister refers, has been
assessed by Hewitt (1993). He was present in Northern Pakistan
during the event and was able to obtain many observations on
the extent of the damage and subsequently to analyze the
records of relevant climate stations throughout the region.
The cause was, without doubt, unusual and excessive rainfall.
Furthermore, even prior to the opening of the Karakorum
Highway and the accelerated and illegal logging, total forest
cover of Northern Pakistan was such a minute percentage of
total land area that, even if complete removal of trees had been
accomplished by 1992, impact on flood magnitude would have
been imperceptible.
The political implications of the official statements,
however, warrant careful attention. For instance, Bihar and
New Delhi authorities and politicians blame Nepal for
downstream disasters due to assumed mountain deforestation;
Bangladeshi authorities blame India and Nepal; the Chinese
government blames the irresponsible and illegal logging by
minority peoples in the upper watersheds of the Yangtze.
Herein lies part of a possible explanation for institutional
adherence to the Theory up to the presence. This will be
discussed further below.
How was the academic tide turned?
Academics undertaking research in the Himalayan region began
to reverse the tide of support for the concept of an
environmental super-crisis in the early- to mid-1980s.
Increasingly since 1989 the Theory of Himalayan Environmental
Degradation has come to be regarded as an insupportable myth
and today, while some confusion and misunderstanding
remains, there is little support within academia for the totality
ofthe notion of Himalayan environmental collapse in the form
in which it originated in the 1970s. So, howwas the tide turned?
A large part of the explanation is that several research
groups and individuals began detailed studies about the same
time (late-1970s tol980) and became aware of each other's
work. The 'coming together' was greatly facilitated by
emergence ofthe quarterly journal Mountain Research and
Development, that in turn led to organization ofthe Mohonk
Conference on the Himalaya-Ganges Problem in May 1986.
From that point most ofthe linkages in the eight-point scenario
that was constructed to illustrate the Theory came under
increasingly critical investigation. Comparatively little rigorous
environmental research had been carried out in the Himalayan
region prior to about 1980. The foregoing account of the
alarmist discourse in both the academic and popular literature
was based upon supposition and emotion that entered policy
formulation. It also entered the environmental and
development politics ofthe region and, in turn, encouraged
even greater commitment to the 'cause' of addressing Himalayan environmental degradation. Examination of many ofthe
reports prepared for aid agencies and local governments was
particularly revealing - successive consultants simply reproduced the conclusions of their predecessors. There were exceptions, although the 'white noise' was almost overwhelming.
For the United Nations University (UNU) research team
in Nepal, the tide turned on entering Balami/Chhetri/Tamang
villages with Nepalese students and Western university field
workers. Johnson, Olson, andManandhar (1982) quicklylearned
how well the villagers understood landslide mechanics and
witnessed their ability to manage, even to propagate landslides
themselves for constructive agricultural use. The research team
was able to analyze the complexities of the environmental-
socio-economic situation; year-round research with the
subsistence agricultural systems helped to explode the myth,
and it became apparent that it had been based upon reports of
'experts', prepared in Kathmandu's best hotels, heavily
dependent on earlier reports by other 'experts' also based on
Kathmandu hotels but preferably not during the summer
monsoon, the peak season for landslides, leeches, and
maximum discomfort for field travel.
By 1983 the research progress of the UNU team was
sufficiently advanced for a public review of early results to be
organized in Kathmandu. This, together with the regular
publications scheduled through Mountain Research and
Development, became one element in the turning ofthe tide.
There were others equally effective. Most important were the
Nepal-Australian Forestry Project and the involvement ofthe
East-West Center, Honolulu. The Australian foresters and their
Nepalese graduate students appreciated the 'truth' from living
and working with the indigenous mountain farmers
(Bajracharya 1983; Mahat etal. 1986a, 1986b, 1987). Hamilton's
basic forest ecology led him to attack the notions that forests
act as a sponge for excessive rainfall and that 'deforestation' is
necessarily bad. He argued that the very term 'deforestation'
had been abused to the point of it being reduced to the level of
emotion; finally, there was his 'rain on the plain' motif (Ives
2004, Chapter 5:190). Intellectually, one ofthe most satisfying
contributions was Thompson andWarburton's (1985) adaptation
of Fitter-Haimdendorf's (1975) 'careful cultivators and
adventurous traders' phrase leading to 'uncertainty on a
Himalayan scale'. All of these separate strands came together
as the 'Mohonk Process' (Thompson 1995; Forsyth 1996).
The answer to the question 'howwas the academic tide
turned?' is that the very melodrama seems to have aided in
prompting the first phase of rigorous research in the Himalaya
by scholars who had no restricting vested interests.
But are these the 'facts' and what are the next steps? It
appears that as specific myths are identified and explained,
modified, or demolished, or used to good effect (Thompson
1995), new ones spring up to take their place.
Some current myths on a Himalayan scale
A series of examples, or case studies, are introduced to illustrate
the problem of misrepresentation. It is unlikely that proof can
be obtained to demonstrate a causal relationship between
popular reporting and policy formulation, or the reverse. It is
also difficult to determine how particular exaggerations are
manufactured because the news media as the channel of
communication between the field research and sometimes
casual observation, and popular presentation is rarely a direct
line. Nevertheless, the following examples are offered because
the degree of misinformation appears to be both extensive,
widespread, and continuing. They are introduced, not so much
because of their inherent importance, but as examples that
could be multiplied many times over. They could be dismissed
as part of a phenomenon that pervades all spheres of world
society. Reporting on global warming, the world economy,
international terrorism, or almost any disaster has become
comparable to the campaign speeches politicians tend to make
at election time. It has also been understood for several decades
now that 'green' movements have felt compelled to exaggerate
in orderto compete for attention with the possible bias ofwell- ♦
 Policy and development
financed campaigns of big business and industry. Regardless,
the examples of 'latter-day myths' are set forth because their
pervasiveness tends to clutter the sustainable development
landscape and perpetuate the Himalayan scale of uncertainty.
The cause of flooding in Bangladesh
The infamous 1979 World Bank prediction of a nearly treeless
Nepal within 20 years has been referred to in different contexts
and its re-introduction here may be criticized as out-dated
and over-used. Yet it forms a good starting point as a frequently
argued explanation for flooding in Bangladesh. Two decades
later, in response to the severe flooding of 1998, the Easier
Zeitung, amongst numerous major newspapers, published the
following on 15 September 1998:
The severe floods in eastern India and Bangladesh are
not the result of a natural disaster, but of ruthless
exploitation ofthe forests which has been practiced over
many centuries in the Himalayas.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC-TV) produced
a documentary for its Newsworld programme on 21 March
2000. The topic was the cyclone of the previous September
that caused extensive damage and loss of life in Orissa, India.
Amidst dramatic film footage, the commentator warned the
viewers that:
... conditions will deteriorate further in the future because
the sea level is rising as a result of deforestation in the
Following the Bangladesh flooding of 1998, the news media
were awash with hyperbole. Yet the following quotation from
the Bangladesh Daily Star should provoke a reflective pause:
Have no fear, the children are enjoying divingin the River
The melodrama is surely recognizable as such, yet the fact
remains that the governments of India, China, and Thailand,
for instance, have all legislated logging bans on their upper
mountain watersheds. Their prime justification is that large-
scale commercial logging, as well as that of the mountain
minority peoples, is causing extensive environmental,
economic, and social losses downstream. The linkage with the
Three Gorges Dam in China is aprime cause-effect assumption.
The danger herein is that, even if the logging bans can be
enforced, actual deforestation in the upper watersheds has
not been shown scientifically to propagate downstream
devastation. Although some kind of control over logging is
certainly needed, in the form of consistently applied forest
laws and effective forest management, the Government's policy
represents an example of trying to solve a problem by
confronting an assumed yet unproven cause. It is certain,
however, that upstream losses are occurring. However, much
ofthe loss is in the form of considerable hardship placed on
the shoulders ofthe verypoorpeople whose livelihoods depend
on the forests and a shift in forest pressure onto the village
community forests and the forest reserves of neighbouring
countries. Neither can the widespread illegal and legal
commercial logging be ignored.
The above commentary is not intended to denigrate the
importance of mountain forests since they are vital to the
survival of viable mountain agriculture and also have an
important aesthetic value. In addition, given good management
practices, they are vital for their commercial products.
Meltdown in the Himalaya
'Meltdown!' is the title of one of four papers published by the
New Scientist as part of its celebration ofthe International Year
of Mountains-2002 (Pearce 2002: 44-48). The core of this
presentation is an explanation for the undoubted increase in
flash flooding that is occurring when glacier lakes in the
Himalaya (and elsewhere) break through their end moraine
dams to produce destructive mudflows/debris flows/floods
for many kilometres downstream. These glacial lake outburst
floods (jokulhlaup - Icelandic, or GLOFS) are a topic of
widespread current interest (Mool et al. 2001 a and b).
There is no question that they represent a serious threat.
Nevertheless, Pearce (2002) quotes John Reynolds, an
experienced geotechnical consultant, as predicting that:
... the 21st century could see hundreds of millions dead
and tens of billions of dollars in damage...
from the outbreak of glacier lakes world-wide, but principally
in the Himalaya and Andes. There is also the prediction that
the downstream extent of such outburst floods could extend
for hundreds of kilometres, cross the borders of Nepal and
Bhutan, and cause extensive damage to the large Indian cities
on the Ganges flood plain.
There is a factual base for Pearce's reported predictions.
Two recent surveys have identified the initiation and growth of
about 3,000 such lakes in Bhutan alone (Mool etal. 2001a) and
about 2,000 in Nepal (Mool et al. 200 lb), of which 44 have been
designated as dangerous, although a majority were little more
than tiny ponds. Outburst floods that have occurred have barely
penetrated more than 50-75 kilometres downstream. There is
no intention here, however, to deny that GLOFs are dangerous,
nor to imply that serious efforts to mitigate their potential
effects are not needed. But it would remain an understatement
to suggest that Pearce's reporting represents an exaggeration.
Rolwaling, Nepal, and the threat from Tsho Rolpa glacial lake
The history of formation and the mechanics of development
of potentially dangerous glacial lakes, including Tsho Rolpa,
have been described in some detail by several authors (see Ives
2004, Chapter6). Here emphasis is placed on socio-economic
and psychological consequences that arose in 1997 from
reactions to a report that Tsho Rolpa was on the brink of a
catastrophic outbreak. The discussion is taken from a published
blow-by-blow account by Gyawali and Dixit (1997) and personal
comments (Gyawali 22 November 2003).
Concerns for the safety of the inhabitants of Rolwaling
valley were expressed by the lake survey team in 1996, and the
Government of Nepal requested a more detail examination of
the end moraine that forms the dam for the expanding lake.
This was undertaken in May 1997 by Reynolds Geo-Science
Ltd., in collaboration with the Nepal Department of Hydrology
and Meteorology (DHM), funded by the British Government.
Following the field survey, a seminar was held in Kathmandu
to facilitate public and government review. The report presented
by the consultants was cited as eminently cautious and
responsible. However, following the seminar, oral presentation
to the news media appears to have created the impression that
 Policy and development
a catastrophic flood was about to be released momentarily.
This produced panic amongst the public and government
departments and amongst many ofthe inhabitants living below
the lake all the way down to the frontier with India. The panic
prompted the local Member of Parliament to demand
immediate government action. It was considered that such a
flood would directly affect 4,000 people in 600 households of
18 villages. The warden ofthe Kosi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in
the Terai reported that 175 km2 of the reserve would be
destroyed with the loss of 200 wild buffaloes, 400 species of
birds, as well as crocodiles, deer, wild boar, snakes, dolphins
and other precious animals. It was also contended that the
flood would wash away the Kosi Barrage threatening enormous
losses in Bihar, India.
The Royal Nepal Airline Corporation (RNAC) suspended
flights to the lower area, villagers were evacuated, and workers
at the Khimti hydro-electricity project, as well as 90 per cent of
the people of Kirnetar, began to evacuate. Police and army
posts were set up in the Rolwaling valley.
Many more details ofthe panic are provided in Gyawali
and Dixit (1997) who also estimated considerable personalloss
on the part of many people who were induced to leave their
homes. Yet the villagers living near Tsho Rolpa, who had
observed the seasonal fluctuations in the lake level for years
refused to move 'asking the police not to speak nonsense'
(Gyawali and Dixit 1997:24).
RNAC resumed its regular flights on 13 July 1997. By the
end of July the flood level of the Tama Kosi, into which the
Rolwaling drainage empties, had fallen to almost winter flow
conditions and the people who had fled their homes began to
return. The results of the affair in Kathmandu included
widespread journalistic charges that the rumour of a possible
Tsho Rolpa outburst flood had aided expatriate consultants
and Department of Hydrology and Meteorology officials to
prepare an outrageously expensive proposal for artificial
lowering ofthe lake level for their own financial benefit (Gyawali
The discussion illustrates the severe problem of how
authorities should react to potentially lethal mountain hazards
that are notoriously difficult to predict with any precision. It
underlies the need, not only for extensive survey and
monitoring of hazardous mountain phenomena, but also for
the establishment of a responsible review and reporting
mechanism. In the Tsho Rolpa case by far the most serious
losses were caused by the panic reaction to what appears to
have been a rumour. Glacial lake outburst floods do occur, as
the carefully surveyed case of Dig Tsho of August 1985
illustrated. Following that event, the Government remained
lethargic for nearly a decade; by 1997 it appears that the reaction
had moved to the opposite extreme - one of panic.
On a related theme The Times of London (21 July 2003),
reporting on an international meeting held at the University of
Birmingham, noted that 'Himalayan glaciers could vanish within
40 years because of global warming... 500 million people in
countries like India could also be at increased risk of drought
and starvation.' Syed Hasnain is quoted as affirming that 'the
glaciers ofthe region [Central Indian Himalaya] could be gone
According to Barry (1992: 45) the average temperature
decrease with height (environmental lapse rate) is about 6°C/
km in the free atmosphere. The dry adiabatic lapse rate (DALR)
is 9.8° C/km. If it is assumed that the equilibrium line altitude
(comparable with the 'snow line') in the Central Himalaya is
about 5,000 masl and it will need to rise above 7,000 m if all the
glaciers are to be eliminated, then the mean temperature
increase needed to effect this change would be about 12-18° C.
Given that degree of global warming, summers in Calcutta
would be a little uncomfortable.
The Khumbu and Sagarmatha National Park
As indicated earlier, myths tend to be self-perpetuating. In
practice their longevity is often encouraged by vested interests
of one form or another. Sagarmatha National Park is perhaps
the most likely location in the entire greater Himalayan region
for such perpetuation. Conflicting reports and stories here
began with Byers's disagreement with the claims for extensive
deforestation by Filrer-Haimendorf and the New Zealand
foresters as part ofthe campaign to ensure the gazetting ofthe
world's highest national park (Byers 1986,1987,1997; Ives and
Messerli 1989:59-65).
Byers's most recent work indicates the persistence of
healthy forests throughout the Sagarmatha National Park area
and little change since the 1950s, very long-term indigenous
landscape modification, and significant disturbance of the
subalpine juniper belt along the approaches to the Mount
Everest base camp. The successful reforestation in the vicinity
ofthe park headquarters was certainly an improvement in the
park-like landscape although it risks distracting attention from
the serious damage in the upper treeline belt. It was with
considerable interest, therefore, that Paul Deegan (February
2003) requested review of a manuscript dealing with the
dangerous loss of forest cover in the Himalaya, especially in
Sagarmatha National Park. The manuscript was sent for critical
comment to Alton Byers and Stan Stevens, active current
researchers in the Khumbu. The result was a much more
balanced account that was submitted by Deegan to
Geographical, the London-based monthly magazine. Press
deadlines did not permit the author, let alone the informal
reviewers, to read the final edited version. The ensuing article
was published in the March 2003 issue under an editorially
imposed title: Appetite for Destruction. Essential passages
accredited to Byers in the original submission had been
eliminated and the tone ofthe conclusions substantially altered.
Upon publication, Deegan protested and alerted his informal
reviewers to his disappointment. The editor promised to
redress the situation by inclusion ofthe following statement in
the June issue ofthe magazine.
Correction: During the editing process, text was removed
from Paul Deegan's article on forest-related issues in Nepal
... that highlighted the difference between healthy forest
cover below the treeline in Nepal's Sagarmatha National
Park and the clearing that is taking place in the alpine
zone. Extensive research by Dr. Alton Byers has shown
that not only did the forest cover below the forest treeline
remain constant between mid-1950s and the 1980s, but it
has increased over the past 20 years.
This article, however, brings another aspect into focus that
does involve unfortunate environmental destruction. Fear of
Maoist Insurgency activity had prompted Nepalese military
personnel to eliminate' [thousands of young trees around the
park headquarters... to give army personnel clear fields of fire
in the event of a rebel attack' (Deegan 2003:34). Seth Sicroff,
who was chairing a conference at Namche, was asked to check
the details directly and replied: 'Mendelphu Hill (site of SNP
headquarters) has been trashed . . . trees cut, foxholes and ♦
 Policy and development
trenches dug, barbed wire everywhere.' (Seth Sicroff pers.
comm. 20 May 2003). Nevertheless, Deegan's article, does serve
to identify illegal tree felling south of the park boundary by
local mountain people as well as provide a firmly documented
example from the park itself (Mendelphu Hill) as an act
sponsored by government authorities, regardless of whether
or not such an act is justifiable in light ofthe insurgency threat.
The foregoing discussion requires some qualification.
Cutting of trees south ofthe national park boundary in Pharak
has been observed for several decades. This has been reported
by Stevens (1993,2003), Ortner (2000), and others. Duringthe
1979 UNU reconnaissance, considerable numbers of porters
carrying heavy timbers toward Namche were noted. Similarly,
firewood was being carried, not only to the Mount Everest
View luxury hotel above Namche, but also for use in the new
trekking lodges that were springing up throughout the area.
Additionally, illegal cutting was occurring within the park,
especially for firewood and construction timber. Nevertheless,
this cutting, while likely to be damaging in the long-term if
continued unabated, had not been sufficient to cause even
local deforestation (i.e. clear cutting), nor to affect the area's
hydrological regime and cause accelerated soil erosion. In
relation to the pre-1950 landscape changes it was insignificant.
Lake Sarez, Pamir Mountains: Prediction of a flood of
'biblical proportions'
Lake Sarez began to accumulate behind a massive earthquake-
induced landslide in 1911. By 1998 the upper course ofthe
Murghab River had formed a lake 62 km long and with a volume
of about half that of Lake Geneva. Soviet scientists had been
monitoring the lake for several decades but with the collapse
ofthe Soviet Union observations had ceased. Understandably,
the government ofthe newly independent Tajikistan began to
express its concern about the possibility ofthe dam collapsing
leading to catastrophic drainage of the lake. Since the lake
surface stands at 3,200 masl and the landslide dam is more
than 500 m high, it was eminently reasonable to examine the
prospects for a 'worst-case scenario' evaluation. Based on
research by staff of the United States Geological Survey on
landslides, mudflows, and the dangers of landslide dams
(Schuster 1995) the United States Army Corps of Engineers
produced a computer simulation. This predicted that if total
failure of the dam were to occur (by any measure, a worst
case) then the impacts would be profound. According to the
computer simulation any total lake outburst would produce a
very high speed (100s km/hr) mudflow varying with the
topography of the valley below and the availability of loose
slope material, and would eventually extend over 2,000
kilometres to the Aral Sea. Five million lives would be at risk in
four different Central Asian countries, together with untold
destruction of property. Nevertheless, it is emphasized that
this was a computer simulated model ofthe worst case scenario
ofthe type that is frequently set up in such circumstances to
provide a basis for field test and not a vehicle for public alarm.
At the urgent request ofthe Government of Tajikistan,
the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR),
based in Geneva, and the World Bank formed a team of experts
to investigate the actual nature ofthe Lake Sarez hazard. With
close support, including scientific and military personnel, from
the Government of Tajikistan, the team of geophysicists,
engineers, geologists, and geographers examined all aspects of
the hazard during June 1999 (Alford and Schuster 2000, Alford
et al. 2000). In brief, the unanimous conclusion was that the
worst- case scenario was such a remote possibility that it could
be discounted. Nevertheless, because the mountain slopes
above the lake were highly unstable, and also subjectto frequent
earthquakes, there were inherent secondary hazards. The most
likely event, although there was insufficient data available for
real-time prediction, would be alarge rockfall/landslide hitting
the lake surface and generating a seiche wave to over-top the
dam. This, in turn, would splash down the steep outer slope of
the dam into the Bartang Gorge and imperil the 32 villages that
are strung along the floor of the gorge for more than 120
kilometres as far as the confluence with the Pianj River. In view
of this, recommendations were made for the installation of
fully automatic lake-level monitoring, slope stability monitoring,
and advanced warning systems. In addition, a series of 'safe
havens' were proposed, to be located above estimated flood
levels and stocked with food and supplies for use in an
emergency. Installation is proceeding at time of this writing
(August 2003).
So far only verifiable facts have been introduced. However,
knowledge ofthe perceived hazard constituted by Lake Sarez
was sufficiently widely known that the UN/World Bank team
of experts organized a press conference on their return to
Geneva. More than 20 eminent news media were represented.
Pains were taken to diffuse the relevance ofthe worst-case
scenario; in fact all team members who made presentations
emphasized that discussion of such a disaster could be
dismissed as wild speculation, if not irresponsible. The facts, as
reiterated above, were set forward together with a plea for
consideration ofthe Mountain Tajiks living in the Bartang gorge
who already had to contend with a great range of 'normal'
natural hazards and, in any event, needed food relief support
from the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme to survive there.
It was unfortunate, therefore, that two inflammatory
reports appeared (Pearce, New Scientist, 19 June 1999; Burke,
The Observer, 20 June 1999) prior to the Geneva press
conference. Each article cited as its main source Scott Weber of
the 'UN Department for Humanitarian Affairs' and 'who
organized the expedition' [to survey the degree of hazard posed
by Lake Sarez]. Some of the more inflammatory phrases
include: 'Scott Weber said . . . they [the research team] had
found an enormous disaster waiting to happen.'; 'Five million
people could die.'; 'When the natural dam which holds back
the water breaks - which experts say could be at any moment
- a wave as high as a tower block will blast a trail of destruction
a thousand miles through the deserts and plains once crossed
by the fabled Silk Road and now covered in farms, fields and
cities.'; 'we don't know when it could go, but it could go at any
time.' Many details were added to include information on the
high seismicity ofthe region, the recent civil war in Tajikistan,
and problems of establishing an early warning system. In
contrast, all the news media who were represented at the
Geneva press conference reflected the calm assessment ofthe
Lake Sarez team. To underline the exaggerated nature of the
reports published by The Observer and The New Scientist the
response obtained from an interview (aided by local
interpretation) with an elderly widow is reproduced. Herhome
is located close to the junction ofthe Bartang and Pianj rivers.
When asked to what extent she feared the possibility of a flood
from Lake Sarez, she replied:
My parents were living in this house when the 1911
earthquake and landslide occurred and I was born here
in 1932. Neither they nor I worried about Lake Sarez. I
intend to stay here until I die. If Allah decides that the
dam will burst, so be it; but I don't think he will.
 Policy and development
After the mission report was presented, the Government of
Tajikistan accepted the recommendations and plans went
ahead for design and installation ofthe monitoring and warning
systems. All seemed calm. Then, in early April 2003, an alarm
was sounded on a Russian website (
In Central Asia an accident on a planetary scale is expected.
... Today, Uzbek scientists have deciphered space images
from the Japanese film-making system Aster using the
satellite Terra. They discovered that Lake Sarez has overtopped the dam that is nowbeing destroyed as if cut by a
giant circular saw.
The ensuing prediction referred to a 100 metre-high mudflow
destroying cities for 2,000 kilometres downstream to the Aral
Sea with 600,000 to five million lives lost (translated loosely
from the Russian by the United States Embassy in Dushanbe).
Tense reaction reverberated throughout Central Asia and all
the way to Washington DC, as well as to members ofthe 1999
evaluation team. Sober, authoritative responses calmed the
possibility of panic, although the post-1999 Lake Sarez Risk
Mitigation Project planned to send a reconnaissance mission
to the lake. No recent information has appeared and the very
absence of news certifies that there has been no flood 'of biblical
proportions' with the loss of millions of lives, and that the April
alarm was false.
There is need here for a pause to reflect on the possible
events that may have occurredhad the 1999 evaluation mission
to Lake Sarez not made a responsible assessment. One ofthe
serious risks envisaged at that time was the prospect of
governmental over-reaction to the hazard that could prompt
a forced, and unnecessary, evacuation ofthe 32 small villages
along the Bartang Gorge together with all the hardship that
would entail, even to the collapse of an important, if poverty-
stricken mountain culture (Afford and Schuster 2000:83-90).
A final anecdote
This series of anecdotes and commentaries intended to
illuminate the regrettable misunderstandings created by the
manner in which the Himalayan-Ganges Problem has been
reported is brought full circle by returning to the coverage of
the serious 1987 and 1988 floods in Bangladesh. Piers Blaikie
(pers. comm. 24 June 2003) recalled his interview with the BBC
in preparation for the Nine O'clock News programme. When
he expressed his conviction that the Theory of Himalayan
Environmental Degradation had no factual basis, this caused
the interviewer's face to fall. She responded, 'Oh, but I have
already had all the upstream/downstream diagrams prepared.'
Thus, when the actual news was broadcast the accompanying
cartoons showed hectares of trees felled and rising flood waters.
All mention of Blaikie's explanation of the socio-economic
management of the floods and the lack of any relationship
between deforestation in the Himalaya and flooding
downstream had been eliminated. He relates that the TV image
of his face was seen to jump a little where the section ofthe film
track that explained his opposition to the Theory had been
edited out.
The aim of this discussion has been to highlight the
misrepresentation and exaggeration that have been perpetrated
for decades and are still being generated today. It is firmly
believed that such misrepresentation inhibits urgently required
definition of some of the many problems that do beset the
region. The single biggest obstruction that dominated the
development of thought during the 1970s and 1980s was the
widespread assumption that linked increase in mountain rural
populations with massive deforestation, soil erosion, and
damaging downstream consequences. Some of the real
underlying problems that have persisted for decades have been
exacerbated by lack of adequate attention or by attempts to
solve perceived problems that did not exist, or were of less
importance. Although Thompson etal. (1986) expressed doubt
that the 'uncertainty' could be dispelled and thus should be
accepted as part ofthe Himalayan scene, it is believed that an
attempt should be made to reduce the level of uncertainty as
far as possible. Hence the need to ask how the
misunderstandings arose and why they have been carried into
the present century when, at the same time, the academic
perceptions have changed significantly
This discussion is not intended to minimize the profound
complexity of the greater Himalayan region and of its many
problems. It would be a disservice to imply that deforestation
is not occurring in some specific areas, or that soil depletion
and landsliding are unimportant. But these considerations
should not be exaggerated and generalized to characterize the
entire region, nor should they be articulated to a single simplistic
and unsubstantiated cause. This only serves to deflect attention
from the extent of poverty, mistreatment of poor minority
peoples, and the cruel and self-destructive violent conflicts
that are engulfing large parts ofthe region and so may forestall
any attempt at resolution. Nor is it the intention to blame the
news media for alarge share ofthe misinformation. Although
many elements ofthe news media are certainly culpable, it is
bilateral aid agencies, United Nations institutions, governments,
NGOs, and non-rigorous scholars that frequently have failed
to show real determination to separate cause and effect,
whether intentionally or not. In practice this adds additional
weight to the widespread suppression, or at least lack of
adequate concern about the well-being of large numbers of
poor, and frequently minority, mountain people. ■
This article is slightly rephrased version of Chapter 10 (What are the
facts? Misleading perceptions, misconceptins and distortions) from
Jack D Ives's recent book "Himalayan Perceptions: Environmental
change and the well-being of mountain peoples", page 211-228,
Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, London and New York. Published
with the permission of Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.
* While there had been earlier warnings of perceived
environmental degradation in Nepal (Kaith 1960; Skerry et al.
1991), they had not entered the mainstream discourse. In
addition, alarm had been expressed concerning the Himalaya
and other Asian mountain areas within India, China, and
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 Policy and development
Adaptation strategies against growing environmental
and social vulnerabilities in mountain areas
Narpat S Jodha
This paper deals with the strategies adopted by the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HK-H) mountain communities in response to adverse
natural and human induced circumstances. The quality of life and growth options in mountains (including hills) are deeply
rooted in mountain specificities (e.g., fragility, marginality, diversity). Hence, the disregard of these mountain specificities while
using mountain resources reduces communities' options and makes them more vulnerable to environmental and economic
distresses. The paper first introduces the concept of vulnerability and the traditional low-intensity system of resource use. It
then deals with the decline of such traditional systems due to the intensification of resource use caused by the integration of the
relatively isolated mountain areas into mainstream economies. The paper concludes with a call for introduction of macro level
policies to: (i) Minimize the vulnerability potential of globalization and global environmental change and (ii) Enhance local
capacities to withstand and adapt to the changes promoted by these global processes. This discussion covers larger part ofthe
present paper.
Vulnerability of an entity refers to its inability to withstand the
stress caused by change. While environmental vulnerability is
rooted in the biophysical features of a region or an ecosystem
(e.g., mountain areas) and the responses of biophysical features
when disturbed by natural forces or manipulated though human
interventions (Kasperson et al. 1995). The social (socioeconomic) vulnerability is linked to the nature and range of
livelihood options available to the people. Thus, fewer the usable
options, greateris the vulnerability of agroup. The inability of
a community to effectively tackle the natural and socioeconomic circumstances results in reduced range of options
(Blaikie and Brookfield 1987).
In fragile resource zones, such as the mountains, the
process and factors generating environmental and social
vulnerabilities tend to reinforce each other. Hence, policies
aiming to address vulnerability will be successful only when they
a. Consider specific biophysical features of mountain areas
and their imperatives
b. Look at the imperatives as factors affecting mountain
ecosystem's ability to withstand stresses, especially those
caused by human interventions
c. Identify the livelihood affecting circumstances created by
the natural features of mountain areas and human
adaptations to risky and limited range of options created
by them
d. Enhance aforementioned range of options by overstepping
the limits imposed by vulnerability-creating circumstances
of mountain ecosystems
e. Look at the whole dynamics of human (economic) processes
accentuating the vulnerability enhancing incentives
As a part of this we look in to the factors and processes
associated with global environmental change and economic
globalization, which have created new set of circumstances
accentuating vulnerabilities in mountain areas; and required
strategies against them.
Vulnerability enhancing features and
adaptations in mountain area
Due to their biophysical conditions,
mountain areas are characterized by high
degree of fragility, marginality, limited accessibility, diversity,
specific niche resources /products, and specific human
adaptation mechanisms. Their causative factors are indicated
in Table 1. The way these features influence the nature - society
interaction (i.e., the type and intensity of human activities and
the nature's responses there to) in terms of resource
degradation, followed by yet another round of human action
(e.g., further resource use intensification to meet scarcity), and
nature's responses (e.g., further degradation) shape the
interactive links between environmental and socio-economic
Due to their fragility (caused by slope, altitude, sensitivity
to seismic activities etc.), the vulnerability ofthe Hindu Kush
Himalayan (HK-H) mountains is easily amplified by natural
forces such as mass wasting, flush floods, glacier melting,
earthquakes etc. However, this paper primarily focuses on
natural vulnerabilities which create socio-economic
vulnerabilities and in turn become aggravated by the latter (by
side effects of efforts to overcome the socio-economic
vulnerabilities). In such situations, efforts to enhance sustenance
options result in to reduced options.
Risky and limited range of options
In the context of socio-economic vulnerability, the mountain
circumstances can be seen as the cause of risky and limited
range of earning and sustenance options for mountain
communities. Thus, due to fragility, some mountain areas
cannot withstand the activities involving high resource use
(which is often associated with increase in productivity) and
creation of infrastructure (which could catalyze resource use
intensification). Because of relative isolation, mountain
communities are unable to fully harness "niche opportunities",
which could enhance the range of earning options.
Inaccessibility and isolation restrict the access and hence, the
reliance on external support and force the mountain communities to depend on the limited options and local resources.
Furthermore, these circumstances (i.e., isolation, etc.)
make mountain communities less prepared and weaker while
interacting and exchanging with mainstream economies/
societies. Once integrated with the latter, they acquire ♦
 Policy and development
TABLE 1. Mountain specificities and their indicative vulnerability related imperatives
Limited accessibility
Product of
Slope, altitude, terrain, seasonal hazards, and so on (and lack of prior investment to overcome them)
Manifestations and implications
(i.e., promoting vulnerability and
Isolation, semi-closeness, poor mobility, high cost of: mobility, infrastructural logistics, support systems, and
production/exchange activities
Limited access to, and dependability of, external support (products, inputs, resources, experiences)
Detrimental to harnessing niche and gains from trade, invisibility of problems/ potentials to outsiders
Imperative (appropriate
responses, adaptation
approaches to reduce
vulnerability and poverty)
Local resource centred, diversified production/consumption activities fitting to spatial and temporal
opportunities and constraints
Local regeneration of resources, protection, regulated use, recycling etc.
Low-weight/volume and high-value products for trade
Nature and scale of operations as permitted by the degree of accessibility/ mobility and local availability of
Development interventions with a focus on:
Decentralization and local participation: reduction of inaccessibility with sensitivity to other mountain
conditions (e.g., fragility) and changed development norms and investment yardsticks
Fragility and marginality
Product of
Combined operations of slope/altitude, and geologic, edaphic, and biotic factors; biophysical constraints
(create socio-economic marginality)
Manifestations and implications
(i.e., vulnerability and poverty
promoting circumstances)
Resources vulnerable to rapid degradation, unsuited to intensification, use of costly inputs; low carrying
Limited,  low productivity, high risk production options;  little surplus generation or reinvestment and
subsistence orientation preventing high cost-high productivity options, disregard by 'mainstream' societies
High overhead cost of resource use, infrastructural development; leading to permanent under-investment or
selective investment for exploiting niche for mainstream economy
People's low resource capacity preventing use of costly options for resource upgrading and production
Socio-political-marginality of communities and their disregard by 'mainstream' societies
Imperatives (i.e., appropriate
responses, adaptation
approaches to reduce
vulnerability and poverty
Upgrading resources (e.g., by terracing) and regulation of usage
Focus on low intensity, high stability in resource use
Diversification involving a mix of high and low intensity uses of land, a mix of production and conservation
measures with low cost
Local regeneration of resources, recycling, regulated use, dependence on nature's regenerative processes and
collective regulatory measures/institutions
Different norms for investment to take care of high overhead costs
Special focus on more vulnerable areas and people and their demarginalisation/empowerment
Diversity and niche
Product of
Interactions between different factors ranging from elevation to soils and climatic conditions, as well as
biological and human adaptations to them, uniqueness of environmental resources and human responses
Manifestations and implications
(i.e., potential for vulnerability
and poverty reducing activities)
A basis for spatially and temporally diversified and interlinked activities conducive to sustainability, strong
location specificity of production and consumption activities limiting the scope for large-scale operation
Potential for products, services, activities with comparative advantages
Imperatives (i.e., appropriate
responses, adaptation
approaches to harness
vulnerability poverty-reducing
Small-scale, interlinked, diversified production/consumption activities differentiated temporally and spatially for
fuller use of environment
diversified and decentralized interventions to match diversity
Equitable external market links; infrastructural development and local capacity building to guide the mountain
development interventions and harness the opportunities
Source: Table adapted from Jodha (1998) and based on evidence and inferences from over 60 studies referred to by Jodha and Shrestha (1993)
marginality status vis-a-vis the mainstream society, with
several negative implications for mountain communities
such as the over exploitation of mountains' niche for
mainstream economies and the transfer of mountain niche
at unfavorable terms of trade for mountain areas (Jodha
Diversity (and the consequent diversification of resource
use) is an important factor responsible for health and stability
of mountain environment as well as sustenance options for
the mountain communities. However, by restricting the scope
for several high pay off, option promoting activities requiring
larger scale and specialization, it tends to reduce the range of
options and increases vulnerability. This way, the natural
vulnerabilities lead to social vulnerabilities (in terms of reduced
range of livelihood options). Table 2 briefly summarises the
relevant details.
 Policy and development
TABLE 2. Mountain features shaping the vulnerability related circumstances and the conditions generally associated with high economic
performance or enhanced adaptation options against vulnerability
Conditions/processes conducive to increased adaptation options
Option-enhancing production factors
Vulnerability enhancing/ reducing mountain features
Resource-        Input Infrastruc-
use absorption ture
intensificat-    capacity facility
Option-enhancing external links
Surplus     Replicating   Attracting
genera-       external       external
ion/trade   experiences   attention/
Limited Accessibility: Distance, semi-closeness, high cost of
mobility and operational logistics, low dependability of external
support, or supplies
(-)               (-)
Fragility: Vulnerable to degradation with intensity of use, low
productivity/pay-off options
(-)               (-)
Marginality: Limited, low pay-off options; resource scarcities and
uncertainties, cut off from the 'mainstream'
(-)               (-)
Diversity: High location specificity, potential for temporally and
spatially inter-linked diversified products/activities
(+)              (")
Niche: Potential for numerous, unique products/ activities
requiring capacities to harness them
(+)              (")
Human adaptation mechanisms: traditional resource management
practices-folk agronomy, diversification, recycling, demand
rationing, etc.
a (-) and (+) respectively indicate "extremely limited" and "relatively higher degree" of convergence between imperatives of mountain features and the
conditions associated with high degree of livelihood options/adaptation options. To enhance the earning opportunities as adaptations options against
vulnerabilities the degree of convergence indicated by (+) has to be increased. This would involve (i) enhanced accessibility, (ii) upgrading and development of
fragile/marginal lands or evolve high pay off activities suited to them; (iii) demarginalisation and empowerment of mountain communities; (iv) harnessing of
niche and high pay off diversified activities with equitable local gains and (v) build upon indigenous knowledge combined with R&D based scientific measures
to evolve resource management usage systems with high returns. All this needs greater understanding of mountain situation. Source: Table adapted from
Jodha (1997) applicable to different sectors in mountain areas
Traditional two-way adaptation system
The mountain people are acquainted with the above
circumstances (except perhaps the side effects of increased
physical and economic integration of mountain areas with the
mainstream economies), and through trials and errors over
the generations have evolved several practices and measures
to promote and enhance the range of survival and growth
options. Historically mountain communities have tried to
reduce bio-physical as well as socio-economic vulnerabilities
by means of a two way adaptation process:
• Adjusting their demands to restrictions imposed by
mountain circumstances;
• Adapting mountain conditions to their needs through
practices such as terracing to cultivate on fragile slopes
(Jodha 1998).
These patterns are still visible in remote and isolated mountain
The process of change: Resource use intensification and
weakening of traditional adaptations
While the two way adaptation process helped reduce
vulnerabilities in the subsistence economic context, it was
largely supply driven (i.e.,, demand was adjusted to supply
conditions)? Hence, it faced a gradual decline once resource
use system and production processes became demand driven
(when the mountain areas were integrated with the mainstream
economies). As a result, mountain resources were exposed to
serious degradation and depletion through inappropriate
intensification and over extraction induced by increased
demands. In most areas, this degradation led to a reduction in
the range of local resource-based earning options. The major
consequences ofthe integration with mainstream economies
(as summarized under Table 3) are briefly noted below. For
details see Jodha (1998).
(a) Integration and impacts on coping mechanisms
While integration with mainstream economies have led to a
various gains including availability of growth opportunities,
several indicators show that it has also led to a decline in
traditional coping mechanisms. This is a serious problem
communities where equally dependable alternative options
have not been created.
(b) Shift from supply-driven to demand-driven resource use systems
The most important consequence of imp roved links between
mountain communities and the mainstream economies is the
shift of resource use/production systems from being supply-
driven-to being demand-driven. Accordingly, the integration
process has promoted increased resource extraction in order to
meet external and internal demands. This change has made the
mountain areas more vulnerable both environmentally as well
as in a socio-economical context. The process applies to both
traditional farming systems as well to larger resource extraction
system for niche-resources (forest, mineral, hydropower etc.),
to meet the mainstream systems' demands. Loss of resource
regenerative practices, diversification measures, combining
production and conservation needs etc. are well known
unsustainability and vulnerability promoting responses to +
 Policy and development
TABLE 3. Vulnerability related impacts of closer integration of mountain areas into mainstream economies*
Positive impacts
Enhanced range of
livelihood options helping in
adaptations to vulnerability
Increased access to external supplies, markets, employment (productive migration), social transfers (welfare and
relief), investable resources etc.
Increased internal production cum exchange opportunities through investments, technologies infrastructural facilities
Scope for harnessing unique opportunities (niche resources) and gains from trade.
Increase in local capacities to harness new opportunities.
Negative side effects
Enhanced risks of increased
environmental and social
(economic) vulnerabilities
Increased pressure of internal and external demand on mountain resources, over extraction.
Strong extractive focus of development policies and market forces on selective niche-resources/products of
mountains (e.g., timber, mineral, hydropower etc.) exposing mountains to greater environmental degradation,
reduced resource regeneration and productivity.
Resource exploitation to primarily meet the needs of mainstream economy, ignoring the local social and
environmental concerns and by-passing the non-niche resource areas/activities.
Imposition/extension of externally evolved inappropriate technological and institutional interventions: (i) Promoting
indiscriminate resource intensification, and narrow specialization, and (ii) Marginalizing the traditional resource use
practices and institutional arrangements designed to guard against environmental/economic risks.
Marginalization of mountain communities and their concerns with little participation in mainstream decisions/actions
about mountains.
Increased high land - low land economic links with unfavorable terms of trade for mountains.
Persistent poverty and low skills/capacities and resources to benefit from development interventions; and widening
intra-mountain area disparities i.e., between accessible and less accessible areas.
* Uneven but increased integration of mountain areas with mainstream economy through physical infrastructure, market, development intervention, and
administrative controls. Source: Table based on evidence observations, and inferences from over 40 studies from different countries of HK-H region.
increasing demands by ignoring the natural limits to supply.
(c) Marginalization of traditional sources of resilience
Integration also led to marginalization and disappearance of
several indigenous knowledge systems, folk agronomic
practices, collective risk sharing arrangements and several
locally evolved and enforced institutional arrangements that
have been safeguarding against vulnerability promoting
processes. This resulted from external interventions (of
technological and institutional nature) in mountain areas
without sufficient understanding and consideration of
mountain specific conditions. Most of them emerged as side
effects of mountain development without mountain
perspective. Particularly, since 1950s, when state assumed the
responsibility of welfare and development, the external
interventions and plain-based experiences were imposed on
mountain areas, which in most cases disrupted the traditional
adaptation practices and measures without providing effective
substitutes (Jodha2002).
Adaptation options in the changed context
Despite the fact that traditional adaptations against
vulnerabilities have been marginalized, integration has resulted
in generating new coping strategies and adaptation options
against vulnerabilities, particularly in mountain areas with better
access and high production potential.
As far as natural disasters are concerned, degree of
vulnerability has been reduced because external support and
supplies means that communities no longer have to fend for
themselves. Besides, the subsidies and support systems for
production activities have also helped in enhancing sustenance
and development options. Himachal Pradesh in India, Ninang
and Kunming areas in China, Ham district in Nepal and
Northern territories Pakistan are same examples of places
where earnings through various production and marketing
activities have substantially increased. A number of sources
of vulnerabilities rooted in limited accessibility, marginality
fragility etc. are also controlled in many areas though
infrastructural development, resource-development,
improved market links, new technologies and income
enhancing activities.
However, the access and use of new potential adaptation
options are not uniformly available to all mountain areas.
Consequently, intra-mountain and inter-community
differentiations have significantly increased. The remote and
marginal areas have not benefited in terms of enhanced options
More importantly, a number of new options have
increased mountain communities' dependence on external
support and charity their access and control over local natural
resources has declined.
Besides, new options invariably involve intensification
of resource use and over-extraction of mountain niche and
their supplies to downstream economy with unfavorable
terms of trade to mountains. Consequently, one observes a
range of emerging indicators of unsustainability of existing
patterns of resource use. Thus unless sensitized to mountain
conditions, the present approaches promoting adaptations
against vulnerabilities may enhance the extent of the latter.
Some indicators ofthe same are already visible in many areas
(Jodha et al. 1992). The current trends indicating resource
use intensification driven by economic globalization and
global environmental change may accentuate the loss or
unreliability of newly promoted adaptation options, as
discussed below.
 Policy and development
New sources of growing vulnerabilities and needed
adaptation strategies
As mentioned in previous discussion, a major shift is evident
when one compares the traditional and present day source
and adaptation to vulnerability. While the local (community-
level) perceptions and practices were responsible for the
assessment and defenses against vulnerabilities in the past, it
is now macro-level, with external links and intervention
becoming more important in promoting both vulnerabilities
and the options against them. Furthermore, the external
factors acted as yet another contextual variable, to which
local communities had to adapt. As a result ofthe above shifts,
the macro-level public policies have become an important
locus for identification and promotion of adaptation strategies
against vulnerabilities in mountain areas. This becomes clear
once one looks at the sources of growing vulnerabilities
associated with economic globalization and global
environmental change.
In the following paragraphs, we will discuss the role of
global environmental changes in accentuating vulnerabilities
as well as its repercussions in the context ofthe Hindu Kush
Mountains. The discussion draws upon the issues and analysis
elaborated by Jodha (2000,2001b).
Global environmental changes: Skewed perspectives
There are two types of global environmental changes namely
'systemic type' and 'cumulative type' (Turner et al. 1990,
Kasperson and Kasperson 2001, Kasperson et al. 1995). Broadly
speaking, a systemic change is one that, while taking place in
one locale, can affect changes in systems elsewhere. The
underlying activity need not be widespread or global in scale,
but its potential impact is global in that it influences the operation
and functioning ofthe whole system. Emissions of C02 from
limited activities that have impacts on the great geosphere-
biosphere system of the Earth and causing global warming
offer a prime example. The cumulative type of change refers
to localized but widely replicated activities where changes in
one place do not affect changes in other distant places. When
accumulated, however, they may acquire sufficient scale and
potential to influence the global situation in various ways.
Widespread deforestation, extractive land-use practices,
ground water pollution/depletion, biodiversity loss etc. and
their potential impacts on the global environment serve as
examples. Both types of changes are the products of nature-
human interactions and are linked to each other in several
However, despite several uncertainties and information
gaps especially in the regional contexts, mainly due to
domination ofthe discourse by natural science groups working
on climate change and the high noise potential of issues debated
(e.g., dooms-day predictions), the 'systemic type' of
environmental change has received greater attention and
resource allocation for research and policy advocacy in the
global fora. Thus, until recently, the 'cumulative type', despite
more concrete evidence, certainties of impacts and possibilities
of well-focused remedial/adaptive measures, received limited
attention. This has led to 'skewed perspectives' on the whole
subject of global environmental change (Jodha 2001b). The
major consequence of this imbalance has been the lesser
attention to more practical and concrete options to address
global environmental issues.
Cumulative environmental change
While the mountain areas are subject to both types of changes,
due to elevation related features, the impacts of systemic
changes is more readily visible (e.g., through glacier melting
due to warming; upward shift of certain plant species; distortion
of flowering seasons for fruits such as hill apples etc.). However,
for the reasons stated above and their greater visibility to
communities, the cumulative type of changes should get greater
attention, especially in the short run. In the place-based contexts
these changes not only more readily expose the communities
to higher risks and vulnerabilities, but they get further
reinforced by people's efforts (through resource use
intensification etc.) to face the emerging risks and scarcities.
In short, the environmental risks and vulnerabilities of a
system, such as a mountain ecosystem, can be understood in
terms of instability or destruction of (a) natural resources, (b)
their productivity potential, and (c) largely invisible processes
represented by the biophysical functions and flows categorized
as regeneration, variability-flexibility, resilience, nature's cycles,
or energy and material flows. The environmental risks and
people's vulnerabilities in terms of reduced adaptation options
can be identified with a negative change in any of the three
categories of variables. Ultimately, however, the extent and
nature of environmental risk and vulnerabilities relate to
disruptions in the biophysical functions and flows (which in
mountain regions are very much linked to imperatives of
mountain specificities (see Table 1).
Traditionally, the mountain communities would guard
against such risks and vulnerabilities through folk agronomic
and institutional practices such as diversified farming. These
adaptations involved various other practices - such as product
recycling, flexible consumption patterns, transhumance and
migration - that directly or indirectly facilitated regulation of
pressure on resources and, hence, proved conducive to the
operation of biophysical processes for environmental stability
However, these land-extensive, non-extractive features of
traditional systems are incompatible with the resource-use
intensification forced by rising internal and external demands
on mountain resources.
Inappropriate intensification of resource use disrupts the
above functions and exposes the environment to serious
degradation. This process manifests the cumulative type of
global environmental change. It's more popularly understood
or projected components are deforestation, overgrazing,
extension of cropping to steep and fragile slopes, landslides
and mudslides, periodic flash floods, soil erosion,
disappearance of vital biophysical resources, and reduced
resource productivity. Some of these have been documented
as emerging indicators ofunsustainability in HK-H region.
The levels of environmental instability, risks and
vulnerabilities, which are already quite serious, are further
accentuated with the impacts of global systemic change (e.g.
global warming), and economic globalization.
Impacts of systemic changes
Compared to the information on cumulative changes, there is
a dearth of details on the potential systemic changes affecting
mountain areas. With full recognition ofthe limitations ofthe
regional information on systemic changes (e.g., their
conjectural nature and associated uncertainties of predicted
change scenarios), however, a few possibilities maybe stated.
Accordingly, the potential changes in the Hindu Kush- ^
 Policy and development
Himalayas resulting from global warming, as summarized by
different studies (Topping etal. 1990, ICIMOD 1993, IPCC2001)
include the following:
(i) Forests may have both quantitative and qualitative changes.
Some of the species may disappear; others may move
spatially. This may accentuate the already known current
negative trends relating to forest areas. The resulting
reduced biodiversity may influence both biophysical
functions and flow governing environmental stability,
thereby making the economy and survival strategies of
people more vulnerable to risks.
(ii) The region may have higher rainfall (convective, high-
intensity rains), which may cause increased runoff, flash
floods, soil erosion, and mud- and landslides, and could
influence overall farming systems. This will adversely affect
people's survival strategies as well as the basic biophysical
functions ofthe area.
(iii) Increased warming would lead to increased snow-melting
and consequent disturbance to hydrological cycles,
seasonality of flows of water, and related impacts on land
use and cropping intensities, disturbing the already
threatened diversity and sustainability of mountain
resource use. The environmental risks will, thus, be further
(iv) To the potential changes one may add a few more
possibilities. They include probable changes in the specific
mountain conditions (such as fragility, diversity, or niches)
andin their interrelationships; these changes may generate
new constraints and opportunities, influencing the
comparative advantages of mountains and their links with
other regions, and perspectives of public interventions in
mountain areas. At the microlevel, the agricultural systems
covering all land-based activities may undergo several
changes, including disturbance to well-adapted cultivars
and management practices, product and income flows,
and people's strategies for coping with risks (Jodha 1989,
1995). These changes, in turn, may influence resource-
use patterns, with implications for environmental stability.
The above changes may result in increased compulsions or
incentives for resource-use intensification, which may accelerate
the already observed cumulative changes and their impacts on
vital biophysical processes and flows; thereby affecting the
adaptation options against vulnerability. Table 4 presents some
possibilities of current trends in resource degradation
(cumulative changes) likely to be accentuated by systemic
changes. The impacts ofthe combined two types of changes
on biophysical processes and nature's flows are indicated by
the capital letters in Table 4.
Environmental change and social vulnerabilities
The final consequence of the changes mentioned above is
reflected in reduced livelihood options for mountain
communities and hence increased extent of vulnerabilities (see
Table 5).
The socio-economic vulnerabilities at the operational
level, are revealed by reduced range, viability, flexibility,
dependability, and pay-offs of production and resource-use
options to satisfy human needs. These problems may arise
owing to the breakdown or infeasibility of diversified, resource-
regenerative practices as well as to the degradation ofthe natural
resource base. On the institutional side, a different degree of
socio-economic vulnerability is exhibited by the slackening of
resource-management/protection systems, reduced access to
resources, the reduced range and quality of group activities,
and the marginalisation of collective sharing systems as well
community's collective stakes in local resources. Some of these
problems arise from disruptions in environmental and natural-
resource situations while others cause such disruptions, as
when socio-economic adjustments to environmental change
create further negative changes in the environmental situation
at secondary or tertiary levels. Table 6 indicates these
possibilities, which relate mainly to the predominant activity
(i.e., agriculture) of mountain communities. Such formulation,
however, can be present with respect to other activities.
Fuller understanding of risks and their processes may
help identify and evolve adaptation measures. Framework and
perception to address these and associated issues are elaborated
for different regions in two very comprehensive volumes on
the subject (Kasperson et al. 1995, Kasperson and Kasperson
2001). However, that falls outside the scope of this paper.
Economic globalization and vulnerabilities
Economic globalization with primacy to market friendly and
market driven processes is spreading to all countries and
regions. Though promoted as means to global growth and
prosperity, the process also carries risks. The participants
unprepared for the changes are likely to encounter more risks
and limited gains in the process. The mountain communities
like HKH, due to their specific biophysical conditions and
marginalization, fall under the above category. Due to disregard
ofthe mountain imperatives while designing and implementing
development efforts, the efforts have not led to substantial
progress. Insensitivity of market processes to the imperatives
of mountain conditions, while integrating mountain areas into
wider economic systems may further the pattern of neglect.
Besides, the rapid erosion of traditional coping strategies of
mountain communities in the face of market driven
technological and institutional changes, their inability to
effectively participate in the same change process, and the
reduced economic role and capacity ofthe state (due to market
friendly economic reforms) to extend welfare and development
support to them is going to make the communities more
Market and related changes are not new to mountain
communities. But globalization differs from the past changes
in terms of:
(i)   Unprecedented primacy accorded to market and
marginalization ofthe state and communities in economic
and related decisions and processes
(ii)   Reinforcement of the role of inter-connectedness of
economic transaction (specially trade flows involving
resources, products and services) globally helping the more
competitive entities
(iii) Facilitative and speed promoting integrative role of
information technology
(iv) The power accorded to formal institutions such WTO, which
promotes global perspectives at the cost of local concerns.
With such features empowering the market forces, and also
due to the spread of economic globalization to mountain
areas, the nature and extent of vulnerabilities are rapidly
changing. Even when most ofthe mountain products do not
get into global trade, globalization influences mountain areas
through major shifts in policies, programmes, priorities etc.
adopted by the state in response to the incentives, obligations
and compulsions created by market friendly arrangements
promoted by agencies such as WTO, World Bank, IMF etc. at
 Policy and development
TABLE 4. Potential accentuation of cumulative environmental change under the impacts of systemic environmental changes
Current problem (cumulative type of change) likely
to be accelerated by systemic change
Potential key manifestation of systemic change (impacts of global warming)
Vegetation changes: forest
size, location, composition,
growth cycle, biodiversity,
interactive processes
Increased convective rains.
floods, runoff, soil erosion,
changes in growing season,
hydrological cycle
Warming-led snow melt.
increased water flows, soil
erosion, changes in hydrology
mountains and flood plains
Deforestation, vegetation degradation, reduced
(R, F, N,
(R, N, F)
Soil erosion, landslides and mudslides, floods
(N, F, S)
Changes in land-use pattern, reduced diversity of
farming systems, increased resource-use intensity
and degradation
(R, F, N)
Increased vulnerability of people's survival
strategies to environmental instability due to
resource degradation and disruption
(R, F, S)
a, biophysical processes and flow likely to be affected;
Source: Adapted from Jodha (2001)
R, regeneration; F, flexibility, variability; N, resilience; S, energy and material flows.
TABLE 5. Environmental change and socio-economic impacts promoting vulnerabilities in mountain areas
Environmental changes and
underlying factors or responses to
Socio-economic impacts/vulnerabilities8
feasibility of traditional
production systems,
regeneration, resilience
Reduced range/quality of
livelihood options; control,
access to resources
Increased external
dependency, subsidy
marginalization unequal
Reduced collective
sharing (options) low
resilience, breakdown of
group action culture
Physical degradation of land
resources (W, S)b
Reduced variability, flexibility of
production factors (V, W)
Increased "ecological" subsidization
through chemical, physical,
biological inputs (V, W)
Vicious circle of resource
degradation, overextraction-
degradation (W, S)
Niche, technology, market-induced
overextraction, reduced resource
availability/access (V, W, S)
a: Details presented in the Table largely
agricultural areas as well; b: The capital
following resources likely to be affected
relate to agriculture dominated by stagnant production system but the items indicated by p apply to progressive
letters stand for worsening of the situation due to internal scarcities and external pressures with regard to the
by environmental degradation: W, water; V, vegetation; S, soil. Source: Adapted from Jodha (1995)
global level. The consequent emergence of micro-level
changes creates the circumstances that adversely affect the
range and quality of options against vulnerability available
to mountain communities. The specific processes and
impacts (summarized under Table 6) are elaborated below.
They are largely based on an exploratory study on impacts
of globalization on fragile mountain areas and communities
in selected areas of five countries in HK-H region (Jodha
(a) Ignoring links between environmental and socio-economic
There are visible incompatibilities between the mechanisms
and driving forces of globalization and imperatives of
mountain. While globalization calls for resource
intensification, narrow specialization and over extraction for
profitability, mountain imperatives call for diversified and
interlinked activities which combine production and
conservation concerns. This Vulnerability-wise incompatibility
has the following implication:
While the changes promoted by globalization may
result in economic gains, they disregard activities which
promote environmental sustainability and stable economic
options. Thus, the promoted options against economic
vulnerability may promote environmental vulnerability. Since
the new options differ significantly from traditional options,
a decline in the range of time-tested options against
vulnerability is imminent, especially when globalization is
(b) Decline of social transfers and support systems
The vulnerability is further accentuated by the loss of welfare
and development support due to the norms encouraged by
WTO such as privatization, deregulation and structural
reforms, which reduce the role of state and public sector. The
net result is reduced employment and income as well as ^
 Policy and development
support through R&D and infrastructure related services in
mountain areas.
(c) Erosion of niche-opportunities
'Niche' refers to resources activities/products having
comparative advantage to mountain areas/people. Production
of off-season vegetables; fruits NTFPs and seeds etc. are some
examples. As shown by recent evidence from HKH countries,
trade liberalization has led to the loss of'niche' as a number of
these products are produced in massive green houses in plains.
Similarly a number mountain products (e.g., fruits and flowers)
are losing to competition from these products from distant
countries due to trade liberalization.
Finally, profitability and selectivity-based intensive
exploitation as a result of globalization adversely affects the
mountains' niche. This is because the products are partly results
TABLE 6. Potential vulnerability enhancing factors associated with globalization in mountain context and approaches to adapt to them
Potential factors
(a)    Visible incompatibilities
between driving forces of
globalization and imperatives
of specific features of
mountain areas (fragility,
diversity, etc.)
(i)     Market driven selectivity, resource use intensification and over exploitation induced by uncontrolled external
demand versus (ii) fragility-marginality induced balancing of intensive and extensive resource uses;
diversification of production systems, niche harnessing in response to diversity of resources
Consequence: Environmental resource degradation loss of local resource, diversified livelihood options; increased
external dependence.
Accentuation of negative side
effects of past development
interventions under
globalization due to their
common elements
(approaches, priorities, etc.)
with adverse effects on
mountain areas
(c)    Globalization promoting
erosion of provisions and
practices imparting protection
and resilience to marginal
areas/ people (including
disinvestment in welfare
Common elements between the past public interventions and market driven globalization:
(i)     Externally conceived, top-down, generalized initiatives (priorities, programs, investment norms) with little
concern for local circumstances and perspectives, and involvement of local communities
(ii)    Indiscriminate intensification at the cost of diversification of resource use, production systems and livelihood
patterns causing resource degradation (e.g., deforestation, landslide, decline in soil fertility, biodiversity)
(iii)   General indifference to fragile areas/people excepting the high potential pockets creating a dual
economy/society; over-extraction of niche opportunities (timber, mineral, hydropower, tourism) in response to
external (mainstream economy) needs, with very limited local development
Consequence: Environmental degradation and marginalisation of local resource use systems, practices, and
knowledge etc., likely to be enhanced due to insensitivity of market to these changes and gradually weakened
public sector
(i)     Traditional adaptation strategies based on diversification, local resource regeneration, collective sharing,
recycling, etc., likely to be discarded by new market-driven incentives and approaches to production, resource
management activities
(ii)    Shrinkage of public sector and welfare activities (including subsidies against environmental handicaps, etc.)
depriving areas/people from investment and support facilities (except where externally exploitable niche
opportunities exist)
Consequence: Likely further marginalisation of the bulk of the mountain areas and people.
(d)    Loss of local resource access
and niche-opportunities
through the emerging
"exclusion process"
(e)    Adapting to globalization
process, possible approaches
to loss minimization
Niche resources/products/services with their comparative advantage (e.g., timber, hydropower, herbs, off-season
vegetables, horticulture, minerals, tourism etc.) and their likely loss under globalization through:
i)      Market-driven over extraction/depletion due to uncontrolled external demand
ii)     Focus on selective niche, discarding diversity of niche, their traditional usage systems, regenerative practices,
indigenous knowledge
iii)    Transfer of "niche" to mainstream prime areas through market-driven incentives, green house technologies,
infrastructure and facilities (e.g., honey, mushrooms, flowers produced cheaper and more in green house
complexes in the Punjab plains compared to naturally better suited Himachal Pradesh, India)
iv)    Acquisition and control of access to physical resources: forest, water flow, biodiversity parks, tourist
attractions by private firms through sale or auction by government, depriving local's access, destroying
customary rights and damaging livelihood security systems.
Consequence: Loss of comparative advantages to fragile areas or access to such gains for local communities
i)      Sharing gains of globalization through partnership in primary and value adding activities promoted through
market; building of technical and organizational capacities using NGOs and other agencies including market
agencies to promote the above
ii)     Promotion of local ancillary units (run by locals) to feed into final transactions promoted by globalization; this
needs institutional and technical infrastructure and capacity building
iii)    Provision for proper valuation of mountain areas resources and compensation for their protection,
management by local people for use by external agencies
iv)    Enhance sensitivity of market-driven initiatives to environment and local concern to be enforced by
international community and national governments
v)     All the above steps need local social mobilization, knowledge generation and advocacy movements; and
policy-framework and support
Consequence: If above steps are followed, there are chances of influencing the globalization process and reducing
its negative repercussion for mountain areas/people
Source: Adapted from Jodha (2000)
 Policy and development
of diversified and interlinked resource use systems thathelps
in maintaining the organic integrity, as well as health and
productivity of the natural resource-base. Market driven
patterns of resource use are insensitive to this aspect and hence
selectively focus on individual component disintegrating the
total system.
(d) Exclusion process
Mountain communities are losing their livelihood options and
adaptation strategies against vulnerabilities due to an emerging
"exclusion" process (i.e., making people resourceless and
optionless). As apart of economic liberalization, privatization
and deregulation promoted under globalization, the
governments favour market agencies, especially those that can
bring in foreign direct investment (FDI). As a part of this process,
in HKH region, governments have acquired the community
(and private lands) and given it to business firms in the name of
promoting development. There are also other emerging trends
showing communities deprived of their intellectual property
Another facet of "exclusion process" is people's inability
to participate in highly paying activities promoted by
globalization. This applies mainly to those who are not well
equipped orprepared to participate effectivelyinglobalization-
led changes or those who are unable to adapt quickly to the
Potential opportunities
Despite wide-spread criticism of economic globalization for
its vulnerability-promoting effects, there are some potential
opportunities to build adaptation strategies against the
vulnerabilities. These opportunities include:
• Improved trade opportunities for mountain product such
as specialty organic food and herbs
• Services such as mountain tourism, which will grow faster
in the times to come
• Surable gainful opportunities for associating mountain
people as ancillary partners withlowland market agencies
to harness opportunities created by globalization.
There are several scattered success stories indicating the above
possibilities (Jodha 2002). The availability of investable funds
and technologies for relating biophysical constraints in
mountain areas is another possibility offered by globalization
However, the key constraint is the lack of knowledge about
such possibilities and skills to harness them. Put differently, to
begin with one should focus on "identification of options"- to
minimize negative effects and harnessing of positive
opportunities created by globalization. These options could
form a part of regionally differentiated integrated coping
strategy for mountain areas to wisely and effectively adapt to
globalization. To build such a strategy, focused research in
different mountain area is a first step. Guided by this concern
ICIMOD has recently initiated work on "Globalization and
Fragile Mountains" covering areas in five countries of HKH
Adaptation strategies against enhanced vulnerabilities
Basic considerations for adaptation strategies
The first important factor to be understood while evolving
such strategies is that most ofthe present adaptation-option
reducing circumstances are primarily rooted in the external,
macro-level decisions and action (e.g., those promoting
economic globalization and unintentionally encouraging and
permitting environmental degradation). Hence, the
adaptation strategies (which will create micro-level options)
have to have strong elements of macro-policies and support
Secondly, since one of the root causes of (option
reduction) vulnerability promotion is indiscriminate
intensification of resources, this has to be supplemented by
high pay-off (high option generating) diversified, interlinked,
and equitable natural resource use systems. This would call for
focus on specific priorities and provisions at macro-policy
levels, which can help build complementarities between
diversification and intensification.
Third, sensitivity towards and involvement of community
level stakeholders in the policy-programme interventions to
TABLE 7. Indicative steps/measures to enhance adaptation options against vulnerabilities caused by cumulative type of global
environmental change
Adaptation areas
Operational steps
Amending Incentive Structures that
promote demand pressure and over
extraction of environmental resources and
services (ERS)
Assessment, valuation and realistic costing of environmental resources and services
Based on (a), (ERS) users pay to the protectors/conservators of ERS (e.g., low landers
compensating uplanders)
Curtail "free riding" tendencies and practices
Recognition and space for place-based
(micro-level) perspectives, practices in
global discourse on ERS
To reduce disconnects between supply and demand side stakeholders in ERS
To ensure on ground awareness and help concrete focus and action on option-
reducing ERS usage systems
To promote local responsibilities of global stakeholders
Sensitivity towards and involvement of
communities in ERS related policy-
To help build bottom up participatory strategies and approaches to ERS issues
Identify spatially differentiated steps to regulate ERS
Change focus of technological and
institutional interventions regarding ERS
To promote complementarities between extensive and intensive types of resource use
Upgrade, modify, and integrate components of traditional ERS management systems
in to modern ones
 Policy and development
TABLE 8. Indicative steps/measures to enhance adaptation options against vulnerabilities caused by economic globalization processes
Adaptation areas
Operational steps
Mechanisms to help mountain people
share gains of Globalization
> Share in primary and value adding activities based on mountain-located opportunities promoted by
> Partnership with external market agencies
> Equitable terms of trade (compensation for mountain)
> Land product/services under highland - lowland economic links
Strengthening and local participation in
harnessing of mountain niche
> Complement nature-endowed niche with human made niche facilities
> Ancillary role in harnessing of key resources (e.g., hydropower, NTFPs etc.) by external agencies
Arresting exclusion process
> Partnership in enterprises based on assets taken from local people
> Adequate compensation for unavoidable exclusion (i.e., loss of assets, opportunities due to global process)
Integration of mountain economies with
rest of the world on equal terms
> Capacity building
> Partnership with external agencies
Global advocacy and   concessions
> With special problems of mountains, provision for special window (exceptions to WTO rules) to help
mountain areas
> International concern and mobilization/dialogue supporting mountains for their contributions to global
commons (fresh water, biodiversity, hydropower helping downstream communities and economies)
enhance adaptation options against vulnerabilities is a crucial
requirement, because it is the "place-based" situation that finally
reflects the operational dimension of the problems and
relevance and effectiveness ofthe planned solutions.
Finally, an important step in designing adaptation
strategies is to look at the potential opportunities associated
with the risk or vulnerability promoting changes. This is
specifically, so in the case of economic globalization which
carries both risks and potential opportunities for mountain
areas and communities, as alluded to earlier.
Specific areas for identification of options against vulnerabilities
Given the broad framework of basic considerations mentioned
above some steps may be suggested to help reduce the
vulnerability promoting (option reducing) impacts of global
environmental change (cumulative type ones) and economic
globalization. They are summarized in Tables 7 and 8. Even
though scattered evidence on these aspects is already emerging
(Jodha 2000), but systematic research on the indicated measures
and their implementations will go a long way in enhancing
livelihood options for mountain communities to adapt to
emerging vulnerabilities more (Jodha 2000) effectively.        ■
This paper is a revised version of a paper presented at international
workshop on "Adaptation to Climate Change in Mountain
Ecosystems: Bridging Research and Policy", organized by IGES,
Japan and HCC, Nepal, at Kathmandu, 3-5 March 2004.
NS Jodha is senior Associate Scientist ofLnternational Center
for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Lalitpur,
NEPAL. E-mail:
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and NewYork: Methuen. 296 p
ICIMOD. 1993. The role of extreme weather events, mass movements, and
land use changes in increasing natural hazakrds. A Report of the
Preliminary Field Assessment andWorkshop on Causes ofthe Recent
Damage Incurred in South-Central Nepal; 1993 July 19-20.
Kathmandu: International Center for Integrated Mountain
Development (ICIMOD). 164 p
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Change 2001: Synthesis report, third assessment report ofthe
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Cambridge University Press
Jodha NS. 1989. Potential strategies for adopting to greenhouse warming:
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Easterling, PR Crosson and J Darmstadter (eds), Greenhouse
warming: Abatement or adaptation. Washington: Resources for the
Future, p 47-158
Jodha NS, M Banskotaand TPratap (eds). 1992. Sustainable mountain
agriculture, 2 vols. Delhi: IBH Publishing Company. 807 p
JodhaNS and S Shrestha 1993. Sustainable and more productive Mountain
Agriculture: Problems and prospects.Apaperpreseted at ICIMOD's
10th Anniversary, International symposium on 'Mountain
environment and development'. Kathmandu, Nepal
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Kasperson and BL Turner II (eds). Regions at risk: Comparisons of
threatened environments. Tokyo: United Nations University Press, p
Jodha NS. 1998. Reviving the social system-ecosystem links in the
Himalayas. In: Berkes F and C Folke (eds), Linking social and
ecological systems: Management practices antisocial mechanisms for
building resilience. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p
Jodha NS. 2000. Poverty alleviation and sustainable development in
mountain areas: Role of highland-lowland links in the context of
rapid globalization. In: Banskota M., TS Papola, and J Richter
(eds), Growth poverty alleviation and sustainable resource
management in mountain areas of South Asia. Kathmandu:
International Center for Integrated Mountain Development
(ICIMOD). p 541-570
JodhaNS. 2001a. Poverty and environmental resource degradation: An
alternative explanation and possible solutions. In: Jodha NS (ed), Life
on the edge: Managing agriculture and community resources in fragile
environments. Delhi: Oxford University Press
Jodha NS. 2001b. Global change and environmental risks in mountain
ecosystems. In: Kasperson JX and RE Kasperson (eds), Global
environmental risks. Tokyo: United Nations University and London:
Earth Scan, p 306-342
Jodha NS. 2002. Globalization and fragile mountains. An exploratory
research report submitted to MacArthur Foundation. Kathmandu,
Kasperson JX, RE Kasperson and BLTurner, II (eds). 1995. Regions at risk:
Comparison of threatened environments. Tokoy: United Nations
University. 588 p
Kasperson JX and R Kasperson (eds). 2001. Global environmental
risk. Tokyo: United Nations University and London: Earthscan.
512 p
Tropping JC, A Qureshi and SA Sherer. 1990. Implication of climate change
for the Asian and Pacific Region. Paper submitted to the Asia Pacific
Seminar on Climate Change, 1991 January 23-26, Nagoya, Japan.
Washington: Climate Institute
Turner BL, RE Kasperson, WB Meyer, KM Dow, D Golding, JX
Kasperson, RC Mitchell and SJ Ratick. 1990. Two types of global
environmental change: Definitional and spatial-scale issues in
their human dimension. Global Environmental Change 1(1,
December): 14-22
 Policy and development
Participatory fisheries management for livelihood
improvement of fishers in Phewa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal
Tek B Gurung1*, Suresh K Wagle1, Jay D Bista1, Ram P Dhakal1, Purushottam L Joshi2, Rabindra Batajoo3,
Pushpa Adhikari4 and Ash K Rai5
1 Agriculture Research Station (Fisheries), Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Pokhara, NEPAL
2 Kali Gandaki Fish Hatchery, Beltari Syangja, NEPAL
3 Cold Water Fisheries Development Center, Kali Gandaki, Syangja, NEPAL
4 Agriculture Development Office, Kaski, NEPAL
5 Fisheries Research Division, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Lalitpur, NEPAL
* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:
This paper deals with the participatory fisheries management program, aimed at and successful in livelihood improvement of fisher
community known as 'Pode' or 'Jalari' living near Phewa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal. The community, traditionally depending on fishing
activities for their livelihood, led a nomadic life along the rivers and lakes, carrying cast nets to feed their families. In the early 1960s,
when the fish catch declined due to over fishing, the Pode's only source of livelihood was threatened. Meanwhile, the Fisheries
Development Center, now Agriculture Research Station (Fisheries), was established in Pokhara in 1962 with the objective of assisting
the poorest fishing communities through cage fish culture and open water fisheries. To begin with, each family was enabled to buy a
single 50 m3 cage in order to start farming fish; the loans were underwritten by the local Agriculture Development Bank. The total fish
production from Phewa Lake in 2001 was estimated at 98 mt (224 kgha1: 52 mt from cage culture and 46 mt from open water
recapture fisheries). The income from fish production is shared among local fisher families; it has brought substantial changes in the
livelihood of the fisher community. A few years ago, it was difficult to find a literate member of the Pode community, but these days
many children attend school and some even college. The community has realized the importance of lake resources and devised a code
of conduct for sustainable fishery. The improvement on livelihood of fisher community is attributable to the combination of participatory
fisheries management with their traditional skill on fish handling as well as their easy access. Apart from supporting in livelihood of
poor communities, participatory fisheries management also contributes in maintaining ecological balance ofaquatic ecosystems.
Keywords: 'Pode', sustainable fishery, Phewa, cage culture, livelihood
Himalayan Journal of Sciences 3(5): 47-52, 2005 Received: 12 Feb 2005 Copyright©2005 by Himalayan Association
Available online at: Accepted after revision: 20 May 2005 for the Advancement of Science (HimAAS)
Small scale fishers, especially those on inland waters, are will not be excluded from development opportunities. This
among the poorest ofthe rural poor in developing countries also creates a forum where outsiders can work with the
facing apparendy insurmountable obstacles in the existing community and help to improve their specific capacities
economic and social power structures as they attempt to (Chat 2000).
better themselves (Berkes et al. 2001). However, a Nepal is rich in water resources, and fishing is a long-
participatory approach can overcome these obstacles standing tradition. The communities involved in fishing activities
(Jiggins and deZeeuwl992, Van de Fliert et al. 1999). Ideally, are mostly Tharu, Majhi, Malaha, Danuwar, Kewat, Bote,
a participatory approach to fishery creates an integrated Mushar, Mukhiya, Darai, Kumal, Dangar, Jalari, Bantar, Rai and
development strategy by fostering new relationships, ways other poverty-laden ones. Swar (1980) estimated there were
of thinking, and structures and processes (Campbell and about 80,000 fishers; however, it is estimated that there has
Salagrama2000). The participatory approach paradigm in recendy been a three- to five-fold increase in the fishing
research and development completely differs from the population due to the increasing population and deepening
conventional top-down approaches, and is an essential part poverty in Nepal (Gurung 2003a).
of Sustainable Livelihood (SL) programs (FAO 2000). It is a As a result of lack of appreciable management, mostwater
customer-focused program where the targeted group bodies ofNepal are over-fished and environmentally degraded
participates in the entire process, learning about the situation, threatening the biodiversity and livelihood of traditional
identifying problems, discussing alternatives, selecting communities (Bhandari 1998, Karki and Thomas 2004). In this
solutions, designing and implementing activities, evaluating article, we present an example of sustainable participatory
and disseminating results (Chat 2000). In these processes, fishery management practices which has been successful in
target groups share their traditional knowledge to identify improving the livelihood ofthe fishers' community substantially
problems and solutions, ensuring the poor and uninformed around Phewa Lake (Pokhara, Nepal). ^
 Policy and development
Beginning ofthe participatory approach to fishery
The Agriculture Research Station (Fisheries), Pokhara,
established in 1962 to improve the livelihood of poor people
through sustainable fishery, is a major stakeholder of this
participatory approach. Its relation with local fishers was
strengthened in 1972 when the caged fish culture program was
initiated with the cooperation of the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO), the United Nations Development Program
(UNDP) and Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, His
Majesty's Government of Nepal. To organize the local fishers,
mainly nomadic Jalari, in a forum where issues on participatory
TABLE 1. Cage fish culture production rate (kgm 3y_1) in Phewa
Production rate
Pradhan and Shrestha (1979)
Wagle (2000)
Swar and Pradhan (1992)
Sharma (1990)
Wagle (2000)
Present study
Present study
Present study
TABLE 2. Family number, cage holding and fish harvest from cage
fish culture in Phewa Lake
of cages
Fish harvest
Number      Weight
Source: Fish Grower's Association, Phewa Lake, Pokhara
fisheries management could be discussed, a fisheries
association known as Matsya Byawasayi Samitee Kaski was
founded. Fewa Matsya Byawasayi Samitee (FMBS), Nepali
version of'Phewa Committee of Fishers' was established as a
wing of this organization. The District Agriculture Development
Office and the Agriculture Development Bank of Kaski are also
the main stakeholders in their joint effort.
At first the fisher families were trained to manage cage
fish culture in the lake. Later, unsecured loans were offered for
cage material and fingerlings (Swar and Pradhan 1992, Gurung
and Bista 2003). The FMBS later formulated code of conduct
for gill net operation (the cage fish culture in the lake), marketing
and loan repayment systems. The major strategies adopted in
the participatory approach were community mobilization for
resource management and conservation, and fish stocking
Characteristic features of Phewa Lake
Phewa Lake is situated at the southwestern edge of Pokhara
Valley (28° 1' N, 82° 5' E, alt. 742 m) with a watershed area of
approximately 110 km2 (Ferro and Swar 1978). The total surface
area of the lake was estimated at 500 ha by Ferro and Swar
(1978), while Rai et al. (1995) reported 523 ha. More recently
Lamichhane (2000) estimated 443 ha of water surface area with
a maximum depth of 23 m. Phewa Lake is fed by two perennial
streams: Harpan Khola and Andheri Khola, as well as several
seasonal streams.
The lake has a single outlet, where water is diverted for
irrigation and hydropower generation. About 1700 wooden
plank boats and other craft are operating in the lake, mainly for
tourism services. It is estimated that 16% of Pokhara's total
income is generated through tourism (Oli 1997), and the
shorelines of Phewa Lake, especially the western side, comprise
one of the most popular tourist spots, with many hotels and
Several studies have revealed the mesotrophic status of
PhewaLake (Ferro 1980,1981/82, Fleming 1981, Nakanishiet
al. 1988, Rai 1998, Davis et al. 1998). Presently, the lake is facing
severe environmental problems as a result of nutrient loading
from agriculture, landslides, and rapid urbanization in the
surrounding area. Sewage from the surrounding settlements is
directed into the lake (Lamichhane 2000), and the volume
o   25
E   20
£   15
- Surface layer
■ Bottom layer
o  0)
Months (2000-02)
FIGURE 1. Seasonal changes in water temperature and transparency in Phewa Lake
 Policy and development
continues to rise dramatically in response to increased tourism
(Oli 1997). The recent trend is toward rapid eutrophication (Oli
1997, Lamichhane 2000, Rai 2000). However, the lake is also
seasonally oligotrophic due to heavy rainfall in its wider
catchment area (Rai 2000). Phewa Lake receives as much as
ten times more run-off during the monsoon season that the
rest ofthe year (Ferro 1981 /82). The lake is now infested with a
floating macrophyte, the water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes,
and blue green algae indicating enriched nutrient loading into
the lake.
Phewa Lake's water temperature ranges between 15 and
29° C and transparency varies between 1.2 to 4.1 m (Figure 1).
In the study period, the lowest transparency was recorded in
July 2000 due to monsoon siltation, and the highest in March
2001, probably due to the low productivity of the water in
Cage fish culture in Phewa Lake
Fish in the cages at Phewa Lake exclusively depend on plankton
that contains nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). These two
nutrients are major elements responsible for eutrophication.
Since fish becomes the food for humans, N and P are
displaced from the lake to the land (Pradhan and Pantha 1995).
Therefore, the subsistence cage farming is often cited as an
environment friendly livelihood approach.
Cage fish culture of plankton feeder fish in nylon or
polyethylene knot-less floating cages of approximately 5 m x 5
m x 2 m is a popular method of fish production in the lake
(Swar and Pradhan 1992, Gurung 2001). Silver carp
(Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (Aristichthys
nobilis) are reared at the rate of 10 fish nr3. The farmer stocks
25 g fingerlings in 25-35 mm mesh cage and they become
harvestable at 500-1000 g in 12-15 months (Rai 2000). Cages
may yield 1.33-5.5 kg offish per cubic meter per year, depending
on the trophic status ofthe lake (Table 1), excluding losses of
10-20% due to mortality and escape.
Fish production from cage culture was 37 mt in 2000,
while in 2002 it reached to 48.3 mt (Table 2). In addition, 6-8 mt
of fish are produced annually in experimental cages by the
Fisheries Research Station, Pokhara. In 2001, the total cage fish
production was estimated to be 52 mt.
Monetary income from 4-5 cages was adequate to cover
all expenses of a typical fisher family comprising 5 members
for a year (Swar and Pradhan 1992). To begin with, each family
was given a single cage, which only provided partial support
for the family (Sharma 1990), but the number of cages was
increased later (Table 2). The supply of quality fingerlings
became the main bottleneck. This was resolved when a fish
hatchery constructed in Pokhara under the aegis of HMG Nepal
and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) (Gurung
and Bista 2003)
Now some fishers owning as many as 16 cages are
producing about 3000-4000 kg of marketable fish per annum
(Table 2, 3). The annual income of these fishers comes to
approximately 200-300 thousand Nepalese rupees, equivalent
to US $2850-4280 at the current exchange rate of 70 NR = US$
(Gurung and Bista 2003). The fishers now pay 30-50 thousand
Nepalese Rupees annually as an income tax to the District
Development Committee after the fish harvest. Most families
now own their land, have houses with toilets, gas stove, and TV;
a few also possess motorbikes. With the increased income and
improving livelihood, community members are able to send
their children to school; at present, a dozen students are ready
to attend university. A few years ago, it was difficult to find a
single literate member ofthe community (Gurung and Bista
Open water fishery
Fishing is the traditional occupation of Pode or Jalari in Pokhara,
capture fishery using gill nets of mesh size up to 200 mm was
widely adopted during the 1960s (Rajbanshi et al. 1984, Swar
and Gurung 1988). Since 1975, the participatory approach has
been encouraging the fisher community to utilize their
TABLE 3. Number of production and nursery cages hold by
fisher's family in Phewa Lake
Number of families
Number of cages owned by each family
II Total production
— Total capture
FIGURE 2. Total fish production and contribution of total captured
fishery in Phewa Lake (Source: FMBS, Pokhara)
250 -,
VJ 150
_: 100
<B     ,	
0C    50
FIGURE 3. Annual fish production rate of Lake Phewa
 Policy and development
traditional skills and helping them earn livelihood easily. This
requires releasing (restocking) finger sized baby fish (fingerling)
into the lake and re-catching later (recapture) when they grow
bigger (Swar and Gurung 1988, Shrestha et al. 2001) using fishing
devices like gill net, cast net, line, hook etc.
The main native species that form the basis of Phewa
Lake fishery are Tor spp, Acrossocheilus hexagonolepis, Labeo
dew, Cirrihina reba, Mastacembelus armatus, Barilius spp.,
and Puntius spp. (Ferro 1980, Bista etal. 2002). The fishery in
Phewa Lake is comprised of exotic and indigenous fishes with
substantial contribution ofthe former (Wagle and Bista 1999).
The native and exotic fish species contributing to capture fishery
are listed in Table 4. Their contribution is ranked as high,
medium and low on the basis of annual abundance in catch
The total annual fish production ranged from 65 to 98 mt
in Phewa Lake between 1999 and 2002, out of which 46 mt were
captured in 2001 and31 mtin2002 (Figure2). Wagle and Bista
(1999) reported a 50.7 mt fish catch in Phewa Lake which
included a 20% augmentation ofthe recorded catch to account
for unrecorded harvest.
The total fish production in Phewa Lake reached about
98 mt in 2001 (Figure 2) contributing up to 219
kg-ha_1-y"1 (Figure 3). Mean fish production rate from
reservoirs in Asia was estimated to be 20 kg-ha_1-y~1 (De Silva
1988) suggesting that Phewa Lake is much more productive
than average Asian reservoir.
Market channeling
Pokhara city is a traditional market for fish products; however,
market channeling must be improved. Given the national
consumption rate of 1.5 kg per capita (Gurung 2003a) and
Pokhara's population of about 300,000, approximately 1.5 mt
offish can be easily sold every day in the local market. Only a
small portion of the total fish production of Pokhara valley is
marketed in adjacent districts and Kathmandu, mostiy during
winter when yield surpasses local consumption. In summer,
when fish catch is low, fish is supplied to Pokhara from outside
12 -I
I       I Total indigenous
—•— Mahseer catch
Market arrangement for cage cultured fish and loan repayment
A multi-stakeholder body that includes FMBS, Agriculture
Research Station (Fisheries), Agriculture Development Office
and local fish-marketers determine the wholesale price offish.
The FMBS determines the turn for marketing each owner's
fish. Fish are harvested early in the morning and brought to
the office premises located nearby the lake around 6 AM, where,
farmers are given a coupon to specify what was delivered, and
the fish is turned over to a contractor for marketing. The
contractor returns to the fisheries office to pay for the fish
after selling it. The fishers are then paid according to the coupon
TABLE 4. Fish species and their contribution in capture fishery of
Phewa Lake
FIGURE 4. Total indigenous fish catch and contribution of
T. spp (Mahseer) in Phewa Lake
Scientific name
Local name
Torputitora (Hamilton)
Tor tor (Hamilton)
Acrossocheilus hexagonolepis
Cirrihina reba (Hamilton)
Mastacembelus armatus
Chuche bam
Xenentodon cancila (Hamilton)
Dhunge bam
Channa gachua (Hamilton)
Channa striatus (Bloch)
Barilius barna (Hamilton)
Lam Fageta
B. bola (Hamilton)
B. vagra (Hamilton)
Barilius bendelisis (Hamilton)
Mystus bleekeri(Day)
Puntius sophore (Hamilton)
P. sarana (Hamilton)
P. titius (Hamilton)
P. ticto (Hamilton)
Nemacheilus rupicola
Garra annaldalei (Hora)
Clarias batrachus (L.)
Psilorynchus pseudochenesis
(Menon & Dutta)
Cirrhinus mrigala (Hamilton)
Catla catla (Hamilton)
Labeo rohita (Hamilton)
Aristichthys nobilis (Richardson)
Bighead carp
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix
Silver carp
Ctenopharyngodon idella
Grass carp
Cyprinus carpio (L.)
Common carp
 Policy and development
tendered. If they have to pay loan, 50% amount of earning is
deducted for repayment. In order to secure the best price,
many fishers deliver their live product.
Market arrangement for recaptured fish
The marketing of recaptured fish (caught after being restocked;
restocking is the act of releasing baby fish into the lake to increase
fish population) is well organized. Women fisher themselves
sell smaller fish weighing less than 2 kg each collected near the
shoreline in the local market. A contractor may purchase
recaptured fish larger than 2 kg each, which are collected every
morning and brought to a chilling center located at the southern
edge of the lake, where fresh, processed fillet and smoked
products are sold.
Conservation initiative
A substantial quantity of Mahseer (Tor spp.) and other native
fish were caught every year during '60s in Phewa Lake (Ferro
1980). However, the population was largely depleted and the
catch fishery of Mahseer declined sharply, contributing less
than 1.4 mty-1 (Figure 4).
There are 23 native fishes reported in Phewa Lake. The
abundance of some fish has changed over time. For instance,
Channa spp. and Clarias batrachushave been appeared more
frequently in catches, which was not the case earlier. Katie
(Acrossocheilus hexagonolepis) populations have decreased
noticeably. Until 1960s, people catched a mahseer as big as 40
kg (personal communication with local fishers), but now only
smaller individuals (< 10 kg) are caught. Mahseer is vulnerable
during spawning season, when they migrate towards shallow
inlet stream for breeding. To protect these spawners, the fisher
community has formed groups on their own initiative to patrol
inlet streams during the breeding season (monsoon) and
suppress illegal fishing (Gurung 2003b). Women's groups have
also been mobilized, and they have proven more effective than
their male counterparts at controlling fishing. It appears that
few traditional fishers indulge in non-conventional techniques
such as the use of electricity, explosives and poisons. Instead,
these practices are more typical of urban people visiting the
Phewa Lake area. Recently, the fisher community has also been
engaged in manual removal of water hyacinth and other invasive
macrophytes from the lake.
Code of conduct for sustainable fisheries management
Citizens of both developed and developing countries have a
stake in environment, for both their health and that of their
children (Downes and Brennan 1998). They now understand
that environmental protection and sustainable use of resources
such as lake and forest are fundamental to long-term prosperity
(Downes and Brennan 1998, FAO 2002). Accordingly, the fisher
community in close cooperation with other stakeholders has
formulated the following code of conduct:
i. Fishing zone: Fishing in lake by any means is prohibited
around 100 m ofthe Ratna Mandir, Fisheries Research Center,
the Barahi temple and the inlet stream of Harpan Khola.
ii. Fishing method: Fishing using explosive, chemicals and
battery operated electric rods are prohibited. Fishing by hook
and line, gill net, and cast net are allowed, except in restricted
areas and monsoon seasons. However, gill nets with mesh
smaller than 100 mm is not allowed in the offshore ofthe lake.
iii. Fish culture areas: Cages for fish culture can only be set at
three locations in the lake. The permitted sites are Khapaudi,
in front of Fisheries Research Center and Sedi Area.
Lessons learned
The lessons learned from the participatory fisheries approach
in recent decades are:
• Participatory programs in a community, which comprises
socially deprived and ethnic minorities takes along time to
become self-sustaining in the mainstay ofthe society
• The participatory approach to fishery can only be
sustainable if the income generated is substantial and
adequate to support the involved families.
• Deprived communities are inclined to depend on their
stakeholder for various needs in addition to technical
• The quality of twine, cage and net materials available in
Pokhara for fish farming is very poor. In the near future
attempts should be made to initiate local production of
quality gear for fishing and fish farming.
The successful application of the participatory fisheries
program of Phewa Lake has been implemented in other lakes
of Pokhara Valley, Kulekhani Reservoir in Makawanpur District,
and some parts of mid and far western development regions
ofthe country. In Kulekhani area, community displaced by the
construction of the Kulekhani hydropower dam has been
resetded and provided a source of income and employment
through cage fish culture and capture fisheries management.
Besides the hydropower reservoirs, hundreds of shallow lakes,
swamps, wedands and inundated areas exist in southern plains
(Bhandari 1998). In such waters implementation of
participatory fishery managements can improve the livelihood
of local communities and protect aquatic environments.
Costa-Pierce (1998) argued that cage aquaculture in Indonesian
Reservoir is neither environmentally nor socially sustainable.
The cage aquaculture was originally guaranteed to the displaced
people by provincial legislation, and they were supposed to be
granted exclusive control of production and marketing.
However the rewards of cage culture have been usurped by
the politically powerful and consolidated in the hands ofthe
urban rich. On the other hand, management ofthe extensive
cage fish farming system in Phewa Lake is fully controlled by
the fisher community; it is essential that this system be
maintained. Recent reports indicate that tourism activities can
adversely affect the ecology of pristine ecosystems through
the loading of nutrients into the water column (King and Mace
1974, Liddle and Scorgio 1980, Hadwen et at. 2003). Such studies
have not been yet carried out in Nepal, though Phewa Lake is
under intense pressure from tourism development (Oli 1997,
Lamichhane 2000). Since tourism is one ofthe most lucrative
economic sectors fostering around Phewa Lake, adequate
attention must be paid to sustainable management ofthe lake
ecosystem so that tourism and fishery may develop ^
 Policy and development
synergistically rather than adversarially
The threats to sustainability of Phewa Lake are sedimentation,
eutrophication and heavy infestation of water hyacinth. If these
are controlled, the life of the lake could be improved and
lengthened. It is anticipated that fishers can contribute to the
sustainable management of Phewa Lake, if they are allowed to
participate fully and share their skills and traditional knowledge.
Since, the participatory management of natural resources in
Phewa Lake has been proved to be an important avenue for
sustainable livelihood enhancement of poor, it is anticipated
that several other water bodies could be wisely managed to
bring deprived fisher communities into the mainstream of
society. ■
Our work was supported by a series of grants from the Ministry of Agriculture
and Cooperatives, Nepal Agriculture Research Council (Project
No.62359001), FAO/UNDP, JICA and Hill Agricultural Research Program
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 Research papers
Illustrated checklist of pea clams
(Mollusca: Bivalvia: Sphaeriidae) from Nepal
Hasko Nesemann* and Subodh Sharma
Aquatic Ecology Centre, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Kavre, NEPAL
* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:
The pea clams (Sphaeriidae) of Nepal are represented by 11 taxa. The highest diversity is found in the mid-altitudinal range between
795 and 1570 masl. Pea clams are poorly represented in the high Himalaya and the Terai. Faunal associations are with the Palaearctic
and Oriental regions and with Central Asia. Most pea clams are useful indicator species and, owing to their high abundance and long
life span, they are useful in monitoring the water quality of streams.
Keywords: Pisidium, Musculium, pea clam, indicator species, Sphaeriidae, Nepal
Himalayan Journal of Sciences 3(5): 57-65, 2005
Available online at:
Received: 22 Feb 2005
Accepted after revision: 12 May 2005
Copyright© 2005 by Himalayan Association
for the Advancement of Science (HimAAS)
At present, 11 taxa (10 species and one subspecies) of pea clams
are found in Nepal. Sphaeriids range from 70 to 2750 masl,
whereas the Corbiculidae, Unionidae and Amblemidae are
mainly restricted to the Terai, below 200 masl elevation. In the
mid-altitudes pea clams are a dominant part of the
macrozoobenthic communities of running water. Most species
are useful indicator organisms for biological water quality. The
average life span ranges from one to two or three years. The
activity period of two highly specialized taxa is confined to
temporary bodies of water and coincides with the 3 to 4
monsoon months of June to Sept. All other species are found
throughout the year. All taxa are briefly characterized by figures.
Four sphaeriids were not recorded by Nesemann et al. (2001)
and represent new records for Nepal. Additional remarks for
identification are given.
The study area is situated between the Kali Gandaki and Kosi
River Systems (27°35'-28°50' N, 83°45'-85°40' E). Field work
was carried out from September 2003 to April 2005. Pea clams
were collected qualitatively using nets of varying mesh size (1
mm, 500 pm, 150 pm), washed where appropriate, and
examined under a stereomicroscope. Living specimens were
fixed in 70% ethanol and presumably preserved in the same
medium and empty shells were dried. Specimens were
deposited in the reference collections of Kathmandu University
Museum and the Vienna Natural History Museum
(Naturliistorisches Museum Wien), Austria. In order to study
seasonal variation, frequent sampling was carried out in selected
cites within the middle Mountains ofthe Central Zone and the
Terai region in the Eastern Zone. In making identifications, we
relied primarily on a reference collection provided by Dr. Alexei
Korniushin, Kiev, Ukraine. Sketches were produced by H.
Nesemann. The biological water quality assessment is based
on the Nepalese Biotic Score NEPBIOS method, following
Sharma (1996). The four water quality classes and their
recommended uses are: Class I, excellent, recommended for
drinking; Class II, good, drinking possible after treatment; Class
III, fair, hazardous; Class IV, bad, unsuitable for any human use
except as a receptacle for sewage.
Family Sphaeriidae (= in part: Pisidiidae)
Genus Musculium Link, 1807
1. Musculium indicum (Deshayes, 1854)
(= Sphaerium indicum)
Distribution: Gangetic River basin in northern India (Prashad
1922) andNepal (Nesemannetal. 2001).
Occurence in Nepal: Common in streams of the upper
Bagmati River basin in the Kathmandu Valley, in the Punyamata
Khola, lower Ashi Khola and Cha Khola. Additional populations
were found recentiy in the Phewa Tal and Begnas Tal. Only
recorded from 790 masl to 1600 masl.
Ecology M. indicum lives abundantiy in the lower reaches of
small or medium-sized midhill streams, where a rich amount
of organic matter and detritus is found. It can also be found in
small eutrophic ponds and temporary paddy fields. Its
occurrence correlates closely with intensive agriculture and
natural bodies of shallow water, which are warm in summer. It
is largely absentfromupstreamheadwaters, springs andforest
Indicator value: This species tolerates awiderrange of organic
pollution than all other Sphaeriidae (Sharma 1996). It can be
found in spring pools of water quality class I-II, in eutrophic
streams of class II and even in critically polluted running waters
of class II-III to III, when there is enough oxygen due to high
water current and turbulence. It usually lives in association
with other Pisidium-species under betamesosaprobic
conditions. In more polluted zones (e.g. the Bosan Khola north
of Kirtipur and the middle reach of Bishnumati in Kathmandu
Valley), M. indicum is present in large quantities while other
sphaeriids are absent. ^
 Research papers
2. Musculium goshaltanensls nov. spec.
New to the fauna of Nepal: Musculium goshaltanensls nov.
spec, is confined to temporary waterbodies ofthe Punyamata
between Shree Khandapur and Dhulikhel. It is known only
from elevations of 1450-1470 masl.
Ecology: Records to date have been confined to paddy fields.
It occurs abundantiy as the sole sphaeriid or sympatricaUy
with Pisidium clarkeanum dhulikhelensis nov. subspec.
Abundance is low and it primarily occurs in dark black mud,
which is low in oxygen. Its activity period is June through
October. Diapausis of juveniles occurs in soil at a depth of >50
cm from the end of October to mid-June.
Indicator value: Lives in low oxygen conditions sufficient for
only a meager level of biological activity.
Description and differential diagnosis: Musculium
goshaltanensls nov. spec, differs from Musculium indicum in
the following characters: shell more elongated, adult length
usually >10 mm (8-9.5 mm inM indicum); caps always present;
thin-shelled and fragile, periostracum color gray to dark red-
brown with numerous dark concentric growing lines (yellow
to gray-blue without dark concentric growing lines in M.
indicum); inner shell surface dark and glossy (white to
yellowish-blue in M. indicum); hinge has thin and prolonged
anterior and posterior lateral teeth; minute cardinal teeth with
short curved triangular C2.
Genus Pisidium Pfeiffer, 1821
Subgenus Jenyns, 1832 (= Casertiana Fagot, 1892)
3. Pisidium (Euglesa) atkinsonianum Theobald, 1876
Distribution: Ganga and Brahmaputra River basins. Darjeeling,
Sikkim (Prashad 1925), Meghalaya (Subba Rao et al. 1995, coll.
of H. N. 2002), Nepal (Nesemannetal. 2001).
Occurrence in Nepal: P. atkinsonianum is known from nine
localities in the Kathmandu Valley, including the Bosan Khola
(Dudh Pokhari, Simpani), Godavari Khola, Bishnumati Khola
and upper Bagmati River in the Shivapuri hills where it ranges
from 1300 to 1680 masl. It is abundant from the Punyamata
Valley from Nala, Banepa, Dhulikhel to Panauti where it was
recorded from twenty-five localities and from three localities
of the Roshi Khola downstream from Panauti from 1430 to
1550 masl. The only known populations in the Cha-Khola
watershed are in four springs at Khasre and Rohini Bhanjyan
at 1785 masl and 2065 masl.
Ecology P. atkinsonianum is closely related to P. casertanum
and replaces the latter species in large parts ofthe central and
eastern Himalaya. It is largely confined to flowing water and
occurs in small- to medium-sized streams, being almost absent
from forest-streams and stagnant water bodies. Very large
forms are found in slightiy eutrophic water and agricultural
irrigation channels. It is often associated with Musculium
indicum in the lower reaches and Pisidium annandalei in the
upper reaches ofthe same streams.
Indicator value: P. atkinsonianum tolerates a wider range of
organic pollution than other Pisidium species and is able to
exploit habitats rich in detritus and fine organic material. It is
usually found in Class I-II to II-III water, indicating mainly
betamesosaprobic conditions, it occurs only rarely in Class I
environments. It is locally abundant, and very often the
dominant bivalve species with densities reaching several
hundred individuals per square meter. P. atkinsonianum is
therefore a good indicator species for low to moderate
4. Pisidium (Euglesa) casertanum Poli, 1791
Distribution: Widely distributed in the Palaearctic and Nearctic
region, it also occurs in some parts of South America, Africa
and Australia and is the most widely distributed species of
freshwater mollusc in the world (Clarke 1981). In Asia, P.
casertan um is found in the upper Indus River basin in Kashmir
(Prashad 1925, Subba Rao 1989), in China (Tibet) and eastwards
to the Amur River basin (Zeissler 1971). In Southeast Asia,
Brandt (1974) reported one locality in Thailand.
New to the fauna of Nepal: Kavre District, Banepa, small
springstream to the lower Chandeshwari Khola, 0.5 km SE of
Chandeshwari, 8.1.2005, elevation 1615 masl.
Ecology The species was found abundantiy in a very small
natural cold stream in dense mixed Rhododendron forest. The
water temperature was 11° C on 10th January, 2005. The
microhabitat was fine mud and leaf litter in very shallow pools.
No other bivalves occur so far upstream. P. casertan um lives in
association with the prosobranch gastropod Tricula montana
and the potamid crab Himalayapotamon spec, (sensu Brandis
and Sharma 2004).
Indicator value: This predominantly holarctic species of
temperate regions is known in Nepal only from this uppermost
headwater with constant low temperature and no
anthropogenic pollution, with Class I water quality.
Remarks: P. casertan um is distinguished from the closely allied
P. atkinsonianum by the following characters: small size,
maximumlength usually 3.0 to 3.7 mm; thick-shelled, surface
with fine irregular striations; periostracum yellowish to
redbrown in the posterior half; hinge more curved than in P.
atkinsonianum; anterior and posterior teeth rather thick;
cardinal teeth C2 and C3 distinctly curved; umbones more
prominent and more shifted posteriorly than in P.
Subgenus Odhneripisidium Kuiper, 1962
5. Pisidium (Odhneripisidium) annandalei Prashad, 1925
Distribution: Oriental region including some Mediterranean
parts of southeast Europe (Zeissler 1971), Sicily, southern Italy
and Greece. From Israel to Southeast Asia and India (Subba
Rao 1989), Bihar (Prashad 1925), Meghalaya (coll. of H.N. 2002),
Nepal (Nesemann et al. 2001), Thailand and Indonesia (Brandt
Occurrence in Nepal: Two localities in the southwest
Kathmandu Valley (Central Zone), Bosan Khola with
Dudhpokhari and Simpani, twenty localities in the Punyamata
Valley, numerous localities in the Ashi Khola and Cha Khola
watershed. Occurs from 795 to 2065 masl.
Ecology: P. annandalei is restricted to springs, springstreams
and small to medium-sized hillstreams. Coldwater tolerant, it
is relatively abundant in headwaters and upstream stretches. A
large form was found at high density in the spring pool of
Goshaikunda north of B anepa (1645 masl) surrounded by Pin us
roxburghii forest, where the water temperature was stable at
around 11° C; no other bivalve species were recorded at this
locale. In another spring pool between Kathmandu University
and Shree Khandapur (1490 masl) where the water temperature
ranges from 11-15° C, the eudominant P. annandalei occurs
sympatricaUy with several Musculium indicum specimens.
Indicator value: Although P. annandalei is widely distributed
from unpolluted oligosaprobic zones (Class I) to
betamesosaprobic organically polluted zones (Class II and II-
 Research papers
III), it is the most useful indicator species for drinking water
quality assessment. High abundance is only found in water
quality Class I and I-II, where Pannandalei reaches its largest
size and is often the sole bivalve present. With increasing organic
pollution and eutrophication, this species is successively
replaced by other Pisidium and Musculium species. In the
organically polluted zones ofthe lower Dhobi Khola and lower
Goshaitan Khola near Dhulikhel (1450 masl), which may have
water quality Class II-III during spring, a very dense population
of sphaeriids can be observed. The dominant taxa are
Musculium indicum and Pisidium atkinsonianum, whereas P.
annandalei is present in only small numbers.
6. Pisidium (Odhneripisidium) prasongi Kuiper, 1974
Distribution: Southeast Asia: Thailand (Brandt 1974), South
Asia: Nepal. P. prasongi appears to be a more widely distributed
species, previously overlooked due to its minute size, or mistaken
for immature P. annandalei.
New to the fauna of Nepal: Western region, Kaski District,
Pokhara Valley, Sano Tal Khola 0.75 km NW of Khapaudi, 14.
11. + 1. 12. 2004, Khahare Khola near Bhakunde Bagar, 1. 12.
2004, Khanjare KholaWof SanoTal, 2.12.2004, Central region,
Kavre District, Mahadevsthan, lower Ashi Khola 0.5 km SW of
Dhaitar, 4.1.2005. P.prasongi occurs in a very limited altitudinal
range between 795 and 815 masl.
Ecology: Recorded from only four streams in Nepal; it is
abundant in three localities ofthe Phewa Tal watershed. Sano
Tal Khola is a small cold midhill stream (16° C) with mixed
water from a stream and eutrophic lake. Here P. praso ngi occurs
in a dense population only in 150 m long stretch where the
stream enters into the wide Harpan-Khola-Phewa Tal
floodplain. After the stream mixes with the confluence of Sano
Tal, this species is associated with P. nevillianum and P.
clarkeanum. Khahare and Khanjare Khola are two geothermal
springstreams (22° C) with highly diversified benthic
invertebrate communities. In the Ashi-Khola watershed only
a few specimens of P prasongi were collected together with
Musculium indicum and P. nevillianum. Elsewhere this stream
is predominantiy colonized by P. annandalei.
Indicator value: This species is confined to running water and
found in unpolluted to slightiy polluted waters of water quality
Class I-II to II. P. prasongi replaces P. annandalei below 800
masl. Although P. prasongi is locally abundant, its very limited
distribution severely restricts its utility in biological water quality
monitoring. Since it is highly localised within Nepal, the
occurrence of P.prasongi may indicate a unique habitat type
within Nepal.
Remarks: Pprasongiis distinguished from the closely allied E
annandalei by the following characters: small size, maximum
length usually 2.0 to 2.2 mm; thin shell; oval outline; shell surface
with fine regular striations and pale periostracum; hinge:
anterior and posterior teeth shorter and less swollen than in E
annandalei; cardinal teeth C2 and C3 curved.
7. Pisidium (Odhneripisidium) kuiperi Dance, 1967
Distribution: India: Sikkim (Dance 1967), Nepal (Nesemann et
Occurence in Nepal: Hitherto, this species was known only
from the upper Bhageri Khola at Godawari, southern
Kathmandu Valley at 1555 masl. A second locality wasrecentiy
found (24, 25. 10. 2003) in the small effluent stream of the
DhumbaTalnear Jomson, Mustang District, upper Kali Gandaki
Ecology: In Mustang P. kuiperi lives abundantiy in the fine dark
brown mud of slow-running stretches of the stream within
acidophilic Juncaceous vegetation. It is accompanied by the
Lymnaeids Galba truncatula and Radix hookeri at 2700 masl.
Indicator value: Bothlocalities in Nepal are unpolluted waters
of water quality Class I-II.
Remarks: In outward appearence live specimens are similar to
P. casertanum in size, shape, periostracum color and concentric
striations, but differ by in the ligament pit in subgeneric level.
Subgenus Afropisidium Kuiper, 1962
8. Pisidium (Afropisidium) ellisi Dance, 1967
Distribution: Sikkim (India), Nepal.
New to the fauna of Nepal: Kavre District, Banepa, three
springstreams to the lower Chandeshwari Khola, 0.8 km E of
Chandeshwari, 15.1.2005, elevation 1585-1650 masl; Rohini
Bhanjyan, springstream of Cha-Khola, 26. 3. 2005, elevation
2065 masl; Kaphalbot, springstream of Ashi-Khola, 7.4.2005,
elevation 1765 masl.
Ecology: Specimens were collected in small natural cold
streams in dense mixed and oak forest. The microhabitat is
fine red-brown mud in very shallow pools, where the pea clams
are found on the sediment surface. P. ellisi usually lives in
association withlarge numbers of P. annandalei. Other bivalves
found in these waters axe P. casertanum and P. atkinsonianum.
Additional taxa in this assemblage are the prosobranchia Tricula
montana (Pomatiopsidae), two Spring Spire Snails (Erhaia spec,
new to the Fauna of Nepal), the Potamid crab
Himalayapotamon spec. (sensuBrandis and Sharma 2004) and
the Red Algae Batrachospermum moniliforme
(Rhodophyceae: Nemaliomales).
Indicator value: Xenosaprobic to oligosaprobic condition of
natural oak-forest springs. Water quality Class I. Among all pea
clams, P. ellisi is the best indicator of high quality water.
Remarks: P. ellisi can be identified by the following characters:
very small shell, length 1.6-1.8 mm (Chandeshwari), 2.0 mm
(Cha-Khola); external ligament prominent and long; the anterior
lateral teeth much closer to the cardinal teeth than the posterior
laterals; periostracum yellowish-brown with fine concentric
striation; most shells dark in appearance having been stained
black or brown by the sediment.
9. Pisidium (Afropisidium) clarkeanum G.& H. Nevill, 1871
Distribution: A widely distributed species in South and
Southeast Asia, known from India (Prashad 1925, Subba Rao
1989, Nesemann et al. 2003), Nepal (Nesemann et al. 2001),
Myanmar, Thailand and Laos (Brandt 1974).
Occurrence in Nepal: Terai in Western, Central and Eastern
regions (15 localities): Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari and Rautahat
Districts. Midhills, Kavre District: Mahadevsthan, lower Ashi
Khola near Kunta (798 masl). Kaski District: Phewa Tal, Sano Tal
and Begnas Tal (795 masl), Phusre Khola, Orlan Khola, Khudi
Khola, Deura Khola, Chyanladi Khola and Gaduwa Khola. This
species is found mostly in warm subtropical lowland waters
from 70 to 140 masl. It also occurs at mid-altitudes whenever
the local climate andhydrology (geothermal springs of Pokhara
Valley) provide suitable microhabitats.
Ecology: In the Gangetic plain and Terai P. clarkeanum is
abundant in slowly running streams and rivers; it is occasionally
found in the littoral zone along the shores of lakes and large
ponds where it prefers lentic areas with a soft muddy bottom.
In the mid-altitudinal range, it is very often found sympatricaUy ^
 Research papers
with P nevillianum, butis usuallyless abundant
than the latter species. By comparison with E
nevillianum, P. clarkeanum is restricted mainly
to lentic microhabitats, preferring sediments
such as mud enriched with detritus or silt.
Indicator value: P. clarkeanum is a very good
indicator for mesosaprobic conditions with
moderate organic pollution. It is dominant in
betamesosaprobic to alphamesosaprobic
waters with water quality Class II or II-III.
10. Pisidium (Afropisidium) clarkeanum
dhulikhelensis nov. subspec.
Distribution: Nepal, Kavre District, endemic
to the upper Punyamata Valley.
New to the fauna of Nepal: This is considered
to be a distinct subspecies of P. clarkeanum. It
is confined to temporary waterbodies of the
Punyamata between Panauti and Banepa. P.
clarkeanum dhulikhelensis nov. subspec. is
known only from elevations between 1430 and
1495 masl.
Ecology This is ahighly specialized species able
to exploit the temporary aquatic habitats of
paddy fields where it may occur at very high
densities and is often the sole bivalve species
present, although it may occur withMusculium
goshaltanensls nov. spec. Other bivalves cannot
survive permanentiy in suchhabitats, although
they are occasionally carried into paddy fields
withfloodwaters. P.clarkeanum dhulikhelensis
nov. subspec. lives in association with the fairy
moss Azolla pinnata var. africana. Life span:
Activity period June to October. Diapausis of
juveniles in soil depth of >50 cm from end of
October to mid-June.
Indicator value: The presence of Pisidium
clarkeanum dhulikhelensis indicates a fairly
good oxygen level in water and sediment,
equivalent to a betamesosaprobic situation of
water quality Class II.
Description and differential diagnosis: P.
clarkeanum dhulikhelensis nov. subspec. can
be distinguished from P. clarkeanum sensu
stricto by the following characters: thin tumid
shell with colorless pale periostracum; oval
outline (subtrigonal in P. clarkeanum),
prominent umbones always with distinct caps,
more central than in P.clarkeanum hinge more
elongated with thin teeth; P2 always curved, C2
always prominent and closer to a 2 than in the
nominate subspecies.
TABLE 1. Zoogeographical comparison of different Eurasian Sphaeriidae fauna
(West) Palaearctis
Pisidium s. str.
cas. ponderosum
stewarti (subfossW)
cl. dhulikhelensis
11. Pisidium (Afropisidium) nevillianum
Theobald, 1876
Distribution: South and Southeast Asia: India (Prashad 1925,
Subba Rao 1989, Nesemann et al. 2003), Bangladesh (Brandt
1974, Subba Rao 1989), Nepal (Nesemann et al. 2001), Thailand
(Brandt 1974).
Occurrence in Nepal: Terai in Central and Eastern regions (20
localities). Adittional records from Terai: BishazariTal (coll. E
B. Budha, TU Kirtipur), from midhills in Central region (Kavre
District): Cha Khola, Ashi Khola. Midhills in Western region
(Kaski District): Phewa Tal, Begnas Tal, Sano Tal, GaduwaTal,
Orlan Khola, Khudi Khola, Deura Khola, Chyanladi Khola,
Gaduwa Khola and Tal Khola. P. nevillianum is found at
elevations between 75 and 920 masl.
Ecology: This is a subtropical species requiring high water
temperatures during the summer and monsoon; it also needs
organic matter and detritus to flourish. P. nevillianum is very
 Research papers
common across a wide range of streams and small rivers and
is a dominant species in larger lakes in the midhills. High densities
were observed in agricultural irrigation channels, where P.
nevillianum is usually accompanied by P. annandalei. Unlike
P. clarkeanum, P. nevillianum is predominantiy found in lotic
microhabitats. It prefers sediments with a mud and sand
mixture or even pure sand.
Indicator value: P. nevillianum lives mainly under
betamesosaprobic conditions. Due to its wide range and
abundance, it is a very useful indicator for water quality class
II. It also occurs in slightly polluted midhill irrigation channels
(together with Odhneripisidium species) of Class I-II and
occasionally in Terai in critically polluted zones of Class II-III,
wherever the water current provides enough oxygen.
Zoogeographical comments
The Eurasian continent is sharply divided by the Alpine/
Himalayan mountain range system (Banarescu 1992) into the
northern Palaearctic and southern Oriental region. The faunal
composition of Sphaeriidae in the Nepalese mid-altitudinal
range is a mixture of both regions and can be described as a
transitional zone, although all running waters are part ofthe
Gangetic watershed. Afropisidium originates from the Oriental
region, whereas Odhneripisidium is centred in Central Asia.
From the Palaearctic region Musculium has invaded the
southern Himalayan midhills. The predominantiy palaearctic
Euglesa, although highly diverse, is poorly represented in Nepal.
The ecological niches of European Euglesa are partially
occupied in Nepal by Odhneripisidium, Afropisidium and
Musculium. Two pea clams P. (O.) kuiperi, P. (A.) ellisi are
endemic to the Central Himalayan region in Nepal and Sikkim.
The only widespread species in Europe and Asia is Pisidium
casertanum. In contrast to the temperate zones of the
Palaearctic, where P. casertanum is very common, it is rare in
South and Southeast Asia, where it is limited to a few cold
water habitats. Two pea clams M. goshaltanensls n. sp. and P.
(A.) clarkeanum dhulikhelensis n. subspec. are endemic to
Punyamata Valley, obviously evolved with an ancient
pleistocene lake. ■
Banarescu E 1992.Distribution and dispersal of freshwater animals in North-
America and Eurasia. In: Banarescu P (eds) .ZoogeographyofFreshWaters,
Vol 2. Aula-Verlag, Wiesbaden, Germany, p 519-1091
Brandis D and S Sharma. 2004. Biodiversity and biogeography of
Himalayan freshwater crabs. In: International Conference on the Great
Himalayas: Climate, Health, Ecology, Management and Conservation,
2004 Ian 12-15, Kathmandu, Nepal. Organised by Kathmandu
University, p 55-65
Brandt RAM. 1974. The non-marine aquatic Mollusca of Thailand. Archiv fur
Molluskenkunde 105(1-4): 1-423
Clarke AH. 1981. The Freshwater Molluscs of Canada. Ottawa: National Museum
of Natural Sciences. 446 p
Dance SE 1967. Pisidium collected by the 1924 Mount Everest Expedition, with
descriptions of two new species (Bivalvia: Sphaeriidae). Journal of
Conchlogy London 26(3): 177-180
Nesemann H, A Korniushin, S Khanal and S Sharma. 2001. Molluscs of the
families Sphaeriidae and Corbiculidae (Bivalvia: Veneroidea) of Nepal
(Himalayan mid-mountains and Terai), their anatomy and affinities. Acta
Conchyliorum 4:1-33
Nesemann H, G Sharma and RK Sinha. 2003. The Bivalvia species ofthe Ganga
River and adjacent stagnant water bodies in Patna (Bihar, India) with
special reference on Unionacea. Acta Conchyliorum 7:1-43
Nevill G and H Nevill. 1871. Descriptions of New Mollusca from the Eastern
Regions. Journal ofthe Asiatic Society ofBengal 40:1-11
Frashad B. 1922. Observations on the invertebrate fauna of the Kumaon Lakes
III. The Freshwater Mollusca. Records of the Indian Museum 24:11-17
Frashad B. 1925. Notes on lamellibranch in the Indian Museum. 6. Indian species
ofthe genus Pisidium. Records ofthe Indian Museum 27:405-422 pi 7+8
Sharma S. 1996. Biological assessment of water quality in the rivers of Nepal
[thesis]. Wien: Universitat fiir Bodenkultur. 257+cxxxiv p
Subba Rao NV 1989. Freshwater Molluscs of India Calcutta: Zoological Survey
of India, xxiii+289 p
Theobald W. 1876. Descriptions of the new land and freshwater shells from
India and Burma. Journal of theAsiaic Society of Bengal 45(2): 184-189
Zeissler H. 1971. Die Muschel Pisidium. Bestimmungstabelle fiir die
mitteleuropaischen Sphaeriaceae. Limnologica&(2): 453-503
Plates on the next pages
 Research papers
PLATE I. Musculium and Euglesa
1 and 2: Musculium goshaitanensis, Kavre, Dhulikhel, Paddy-field near Dhobi-Khola, length 10.3 mm, Holotype, Natural History Museum Vienna, Mollusca
Collection No. 103317
3 and 4: Musculium indicum, Kavre, Dhulikhel, Dhobi-Khola, length 9.6 mm, Natural History Museum Vienna, Mollusca Collection No. 103311
5 and 6: Pisidium (Euglesa)atkinsonianum, Kavre, Dhulikhel, Dhobi-Khola, length 5.8 mm. Natural History Museum Vienna, Mollusca Collection No. 103306
7 and 8: Pisidium (Euglesa) casertanum, Kavre, Banepa, Chandeshwari Khola watershed, small spring-stream, length 3.8 mm, Natural History Museum
Vienna, Mollusca Collection No. 103304
Note: All figures are in the same scale.
 Research papers
PLATE II. Afropisidium
1 and 2: Pisidium (Afropisidium) clarkeanumsensu stricto, Kavre, Asi-Khola near Kunta, length 4.7 mm, Natural History Museum Vienna, Mollusca Collection
No. 103305
3 and 4: Pisidium (Afropisidium) clarkeanum dhulikhelensis, Kavre, Dhulikhel, Paddy-field near Dhobi-Khola, length 4.7 mm, Holotype, Natural History
Museum Vienna, Mollusca Collection No. 103313
5 and 6: Pisidium (Afropisidium) nevillianum, Kavre, Asi-Khola near Kunta, length 3.9 mm Natural History Museum Vienna, Mollusca Collection No. 103307
7-9: Pisidium (Afropisidium) ellisi Kavre, Banepa, Chandeshwari Khola watershed, small spring-stream, length 2.0 mm, Natural History Museum Vienna,
Mollusca Collection No. 103308
Note: All figures are in the same scale.
 research papers
PLATE III. Odhneripisidium
1 and 2: Pisidium (Odhneripisidium)kuiperi, Mustang, Dhumba Tal effluent near Jomson, length 3.6 mm, Natural
History Museum Vienna, Mollusca Collection No. 103309
3 and 4: Pisidium (Odhneripisidium) annandalei, Kavre, Dhumba Tal Asi-Khola 2.5 km upstream of Dhaitar,
length 2.5 mm, Natural History Museum Vienna, Mollusca Collection No. 103310
5 and 6: Pisidium (Odhneripisidium)prasongi, Kaski, Sano Tal-Khola near Phewa Tal, length 2.1 mm, Natural
History Museum Vienna, Mollusca Collection No. 103303.
Note: All figures are in the same scale.
PLATE IV. Sphaeriidae characters of hinge
1: Musculium indicum
2: Musculiumgoshaltanensls
3: Pisidium clarkeanum
4: Pisidium clarkeanum dhulikhelensis
5: Pisidium ellisi
6: Pisidium nevillianum
7: Pisidium atkinsonianum
8: Pisidium casertanum
9: Pisidium kuiperi
10: Pisidium annandalei
11: Pisidium prasongi
Note: Figures not in the same scale.
 Research papers
Composition, distribution and diversity of tree species under
different management systems in the hill forests of
Bharse Village, Gulmi District, Western Nepal
Chinta Mani Gautam* and Teiji Watanabe
Laboratory ofGeoecology, Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, JAPAN
* To whom corresponds should be addressed. E-mail:
Species composition, distribution and diversity of tree species were compared in three forest stands in the Bharse area, Gulmi District,
Nepal. These forests have distinct management systems and are used for different purposes: Raiker (RK) for controlled-cutting, Raniban
(RB) for cattle grazing, and Thaple (TL) for both cutting and cattle grazing. The total density of trees in RK was higher (2640 ha1) than that
in RB (2533 ha1) and TL (1875 ha1). However, the largest basal area (105 m2ha1) was found in RB while RK and TL were calculated at
72 m2ha1 and 58 m2ha1, respectively. The distribution of species showed clump behavior in the grazing forests whereas mixed (clump
and regular) distribution occurred in the controlled-cutting forest. Trees with small diameter size were more in the controlled-cutting
forest (RK) than the forests used for grazing and/or cutting (RB and TL). Species richness was highest in forest opened for cattle grazing.
However, values oftree species diversity and evenness were higher in the controlled-cutting forest than in the forests with grazing and/
or cutting. One might conclude that controlled cutting is more effective than grazing and/or cutting in conserving the diversity of tree
Keywords: Trees, distribution, composition, diversity, management system, hill forest, Nepal
Himalayan Journal of Sciences 3(5): 67-74, 2005
Available online at:
Received: 20 Aug 2004
Accepted after revision: 27 April 2005
Copyright©2005 by Himalayan Association
for the Advancement of Science (HimAAS)
The structure oftree species diversity in hill forests varies greatly
from place to place due to variation of altitude, orientation of
slope, nature of soil, and type and intensity of disturbance
(Stainton 1972, Vetaas 2000). Natural disturbances such as forest
fire, landslide, volcanic activity, and climatic change, determine
forest dynamics and tree diversity (Burslem and Whitmore
1999, Masaki et al. 1999). They can also affect tree population
and can modify interactions among species in plant
communities (Connell 1978, Huston 1994). Similarly,
anthropogenic disturbance may regulate the regeneration
dynamics, structure and floristic composition of forest (Ewel
et al. 1981, Hong et al. 1995). The effect of anthropogenic
disturbance on forests may be either positive or negative,
depending on the intensity of the disturbance. However, the
disturbance intensity may differ from place to place among
the existing forests in a particular area. Disturbance may
increase species richness in old growth forest (Sheil 1999) and
may maintain species diversity (Huston 1979, Petraitis et al.
1989). Frequent and low intensity disturbance (for example,
grazing, or extraction of firewood and fodder) strongly affects
forest structure and the succession oftree species in the forest
(Ramirez-Marcial et al. 2001). However, such factors do not
necessarily hamper a genuine old-growth forest (Phillips et al.
1997). Therefore, any generalization about the effect of
anthropogenic disturbance on forest needs further research
and discussion.
Species composition of forests has been documented for
Nepal over several decades (Hara 1966, Shrestha 1982).
Anthropogenic disturbances in the form of deforestation for
diverse purposes (collection of timber and firewood, expansion
of agriculture land and human settlement) have been a serious
issue for sustainable development since the 1970s (World Bank
1978, Bishop 1990). Most previous studies have focused on the
socio-economic and environmental impact of decline in forest
cover. The ecological changes associated withhuman-induced
disturbance of forests in the hill forests of Nepal have, however,
received relatively little attention (Khatry-Chhetry 1997,
Acharya 1999). This study analyzes the impact of human-
induced disturbance under three different forest management
systems in terms of species composition, distribution pattern,
and diversity.
Study area
Within the Bharse area (1400-2572 masl), we selected three
forest stands: Raiker, Raniban, and Thaple (hereafter RK,
RB, and TL, respectively) (Table 1). The forest cover in this
area has remained virtually unchanged since the 1960s,
though the disturbance intensity among the forest stands
has varied (Gautam and Watanabe 2004a). Alow degree of
disturbance characterizes RK whereas the RB and TL have
been known to moderate and high levels of disturbances,
We surveyed 55 plots, each covering 50 m2. These forest
patches lie on the southern slope ofthe Satyabati Range. The
highest summit of this mountain ridge attains 2572 masl, and
the area is characterized by steep slopes (>30°). Annual rainfall
is 2500-3000 mm. Snowfall occasionally occurs during winter
seasons on the top ofthe Satyabati Range. The predominant
forest tree species are Quercus species at higher altitude and
Schima-Castanopsis species at lower. ^
 Research papers
The forests selected for this study have been managed by local
people since 1952 (Budhathoki 1955, Gautam 2005). RKhas
been used only for timber cutting, for which the management
committee collects a fee. RB is open for cattle grazing but the
collection of forest products of any kind is prohibited. In some
places, however, evidence of tree-cutting (stumps) andlopping
was observed. TL is used for both cutting (fodder, firewood
and timber) and cattle grazing. Therefore, TL, though located
farther from settlements, has more intense disturbance than
RK and RB.
The number of sampled plots varies according to the size and
shape ofthe forests. The circular plot with radius of 3.99 mwas
designed with slope correction in the mountainous area.
Circular plot was preferred over rectangular one, for it is
convenient to construct. The spacing between the plots in a
given forest patch was about 200 m. In each plot, we measured
floristic composition (total number of woody species), stand
structure (species type and density), and dbh at 1.3 mheight
for trees with diameter greater than 5 cm. The measurements
were conducted in Nov-Dec 2002 and Mar-Apr 2003.
We calculated relative values of density, frequency, and
dominance in order to find the importance value index (TVI)
and the important percentage (IMP) for each species according
to Mueller-Dombois and Ellenberg (1974) .We broke down dbh
into ten classes of diameter size (in centimeters): 5-10,10-15,
15-20,20-25,25-30,30-35,35^10,40^15,45-50, and > 50; then
we determined the stocking density of each size class. We
calculated expected values for each diameter class using a
negative exponential model following de Liocourt (1898) (Eq
1), in order to determine the impact of human disturbance on
each diameter class oftrees.We analyzed distribution of species
using variance to mean ratio (Ludwig and Reynolds 1988) at
the forest level.
aqn_1  aqn
aqn~3 aqn
.aq3  aq2  aq1 a
a, number of trees in the largest size class of interest
q, ratio between diameter class
n, number of classes (de Liocourt 1898)
We calculated species richness or number of species
per unit area (Shannon and Weiner 1949, Margalef
1958); species diversity index (Simpson 1949); and
evenness, or distribution of abundances among the
species (Shannon and Weiner 1949) following Eq2,
Eq3, Eq4, andEq5.
Species richness
a.   Margalef index
S, number of species
In, natural logarithm
n, total number of individual trees in the area
X, Simpson's concentration of dominance
pt, the proportion of individuals found in the i
Forests ofthe Bharse area are considered indigenously managed
forests except for some privately owned patches, even though
in the legal sense they are all under the national forest owned
by the government. The forest management system in the
Bharse area was formally initiated in 1952 by communities
within the VDC in order to protect forest resources and reduce
the risk of landslide, drought and scarcity of water (Budhathoki,
1955). At first there were six banpales (forest guards) under
the forest management committee, including eleven members
of the Village Panchayat. Since 1995 there have been only two
banpales to manage the entire forested area of Bharse. Every
household contributes to the protection of forest resources by
respecting the regulations they themselves drew up. As a result,
the forest areahas increased (Gautam andWatanabe 2004a).
Atotal of 652 trees representing 32 species were identified
within the sampled areas in three forest stands: 198 trees (15
species) in RK, 304 trees (22 species) in RB, and 150 trees (11
species) in TL. The largest number of trees, 2640 ha1, was found
in forest RK (Table 2) whereas the greatest basal area, 105.19
irfha1, was found in RB (Table 3). Both the number of trees
(1875 ha1) and the basal area (58.35 m2-ha"1) were smallest in
TL (Table 4).
Species-area curve
A species-area curve for natural forest indicates the quick
addition of newer species in consecutive plots at first, followed
by stabilization (Shankar et al. 1998). In our study, the rate of
species addition increased gradually up to the 4th plot and was
constant from the 4th to 6th plot in all forests (Figure 1). In RB
TABLE 1. General characteristics of the studied forests
SR =
b. Shannon-Weiner index
Area (km2)
Sample plots
Slope aspect
Altitude (m)
Slope gradient
Distance by foot from
settlement in minutes
Soil type/texture*
subgroups of ustorthents
/loamy skeletal
Simpson's diversity
D = \-X   (A = ^/?f)         (Eq4)
Managed, but
Open: no
only for timber
open for
restriction on either
Management status**
paying a fee to
cattle grazing or
collection of forest
RK: Raiker; RB: Raniban; TL: Thaple; *LRMP (1986); "Field survey in 2002
 Research papers
TABLE 2. Statistical summary oftree species ofthe forest in Raiker (RK)
Schima wallichii (D.C.) Korth.
Quercus lanata Roxb.
Rhododendron arboreum Smith
Quercus semecarpifolia Sm.
Castanopsis indica (Roxb.) A. DC.
Luculla gratissima (Wall.) Sweet.
Myrica esculenta Buch-Hom. ex D. Don
Lauri layanch*
Pinus roxburghii Sargent
Myrsine semiserrata Wall.
Osmanthus fragrans (DC.) H.Hara.
Traxinus floribunda Wall.
Machilus odoratissima Nees
Castanopsis tribuloides (Smith) A. DC.
Eriobotrya dubiya (Lindl.) Dence.
Total (n=15)
D: density; F: frequency; BA: basal area;
percentage; *: local name
RD: relative density; RF: relative frequency; RDM: relative dominance; IVI: importance value index; IMP: important
TABLE 3. Statistical summary oftree
species ofthe forest in Raniban (RB)
Quercus semecarpifolia Sm.
Quercus lanata Roxb.
Lyonia ovalifolia (Wall.) Drude
Schima wallichii (D.C.) Korth.
Rhododendron arboreum Smith
Castanopsis tribuloides (Smith) A. DC.
Eurya cerasifolia (D. Don.) Kobuski
Castanopsis indica (Roxb.) A. DC.
Prunus cerasoides D. Don
Machilus odoratissima Nees
Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don
Alnus nepalensis  D. Don
Reus nemorelis Wall
Grewia species
Eriobotrya dubiya (Lindl.) Dence.
Quercus spicata Smith
Litsea doshina Buch.- Ham.ex D.Don
Garuga pinnata Roxb.
Michelia champaca  L.
Myrsine semiserrata Wall.
Pyruspashia   Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don
Ghan Ghane*
Total (n=22)
D: density; F: frequency; BA: basal area; RD: relative density; RF: relative frequency; RDM: relative dominance; IVI: importance value index;
IMP: important percentage; *: local name
 Research papers
TABLE 4. Statistical summary oftree
species of the forest
in Thaple
Quercus semecarpifolia Sm.
Rhododendron arboreum Smith
Eurya cerasifolia (D. Don.) Kobuski
Lindera species (Shere*)
Garuga pinnata Roxb.
Lyonia ovalifolia  (Wall.) Drude
Myrsine species (Bajra Danthhi*)
Ilex insignis Hook. F.
Ghan Ghane*
Lindera species (Goal Saple*)
Total (n=11)
D: density; F: frequency; BA: basal area; RD: relative density; RF: relative frequency; RDM: relative dominance;
IMP: important percentage; *: local name
TABLE 5. Distribution pattern
of dominant and co-dominant species
Distribution pattern
Raiker (RK)
Raniban (RB)
Thaple (TL)
Castanopsis tribuloides
Castanopsis indica
Eurya cerasifolia
Garuga pinnata
Lindera species (Shere *)
Luculia gratissima
Lyonia ovalifolia
Patale *
Myrsine species
Quercus semecarpifolia
Quercus lanata
Rhododendron arboreum
Schima wallichii
importance value index;
TABLE 6. Density-diameter distribution
Raikar (RK)
Raniban (RB)
Thaple (TL)
Ratio (q)
OD: observed density; ED: expected density; -: absence
Ratio (q) was calculated using negative exponential model (de Liocourt 1898)
*: local name; R: regular; C: clumped; -: absence
the curve leveled off between the 7th and the 19th plot and
then increased slightly up to the 21 st plot. The curve leveled off
completely after the 21 st plot. In RK, the curve leveled off after
the 10th plot, whereas in TL it leveled off after the 11th plot.
The curve of all forests shows that the sample plots are sufficient
for these specific forests. The species-area curve for TL shows
that the number of species is small compared to other forests
(Figure 1). Grazing and cutting led to the poor number of
Species composition
The importance percentage (IMP) shows that Schima wallichii
is a dominant species of forest RK (Table 2). The co-dominant
TABLE 7. Diversity indices ofthe studied forests
Diversity indices
Shannon-Wiener's index
Simpson's index
Evenness (Shannon-Weiner)
species of RK are Quercus lanata and Rhododendron arboreum.
Quercus semecarpifolia is the dominant species of RB and TL
(Tables 3 and 4). The co-dominant species of these forests
 Research papers
26 n
21 -
2     16-
11 -
3 6-
distribution among all forests
(Table 5). In forests open to cattle
grazing (RB) and cattle grazing
plus cutting (TL), all species
showed a clumped distribution,
with the exception of Myrsine
species in forest TL. Castanopsis
tribuloides, Quercus lanata, and
Schima wallichii were found to
have regular distribution in forest
managed for cutting (RK); but a
clumped distribution in RB. No
uniform distribution occurred
among the forests studied.
2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9   10 11   12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21  22 23 24
Plot number
FIGURE 1. Species-area curves for forests RK, RB and TL
are quite different: Rhododendron arboreum, Eurya ceracifolia
and Lindera species (Shere inlocal name) in TL, Quercus lanata,
Lyonia ovalifolia and Schima wallichii in RB.
The tree species composition of all surveyed forests is
given in Figure 2. Some species were found only in one
particular forest (Figure 2). However, two species (S29 and
S31) were found to be common in all three forests. Eight species
(S02, S03, S04, S18, S20, S21, S28 and S32) were found to be
common to RK and RB, whereas four species (S05, S08, S10
and SI7) were common to RB and TL. Forests RK and TL do
not have species in common except the two most prevalent
species, S29 and S31. In summary, RK and TL have different
characteristics in their species composition, whereas RB has
many species in common with both RK and TL (Figure 2).
Species distribution
Two species, Quercus semecarpifolia and Rhododendron
arboreum, were consistently found to be in clumped
/"""^         S23
/   S11              S13
S25 \
/                              S14
\             S10     |\
f         \              /              S31
\  S17    /   \
\   508/    S27 1
S12    \      /
S07                JV                S29
/    S06
S24    \ \^_
-^/                   S15
V      S22              \S03        S04        S02/       S01              j
\                           \S18   S20   S21/                   S09  /
\        S16       \                       /    S30              /
\                         \S28    S32/               S19  /
\.                       \v^/     S26           "/
FIGURE 2. Species composition in the studied forests. S01.
are species symbols (see Tables 2-4)
Density-diameter distribution
There were large differences
among forests in the densities of
each dbh size class (Table 6). The
theoretical distribution of density-
diameter in an uneven-aged forest should roughly approximate
a reverse J (Kairo et al. 2002). But in the studied forests the
density-diameter curve showed a multimodel distribution quite
different from the typical reverse J (Figure 3). In each of our
stands, the density ofthe 15-20 cm diameter class was higher
than those of the preceding and successive size classes. We
surmised, therefore, that 15-20 cm was the undisturbed class
for all forests. We then calculated the ratio between the actual
densities of diameter classes and the expected values, using de
Liocourt's negative exponential model.
For the 10-15,20-25 and 40-45 cm dbh classes, the tree
density is low in RK compared to the density of preceding and
successive dbh classes (Figure 3a). No trees were found with
diameter size greater than 45 cm in RK. However, the observed
density of the 25-30 and 30-35 cm dbh classes was slightly
higher than the expected density.
In contrast, the density of 5-10 cm dbh trees was very
lowinRB compared to the 10-15 cm dbh class (Figure 3b).
Small differences were found between observed and
expected tree densities in the 10-15, 20-25 and 40-45 cm
dbh classes. The density of smaller size trees was low in RB
due to grazing.
The total number of trees was quite low in TL, and, due to
grazing and cutting, there were quite few of small trees (Figure
3c). The observed density ofthe 30-35 and 45-50 cm dbh classes
was smaller than their preceding and successive dbh size
Diversity indices
Species richness of Margalef ranged from 1.99 to 3.67, with RB
having the highest value and TL the lowest (Table 7). Similar
pattern was observed by Shannon-Weiner index. However, RK
had the highest values for Simpson's index (0.87) and evenness
TL, distant from the settlements of Dabhung and Bharse,
showed signs of more intense disturbance than RK and RB,
which are located near the above settlements. Our research
shows that this difference is due to the fact that a wide variety
of resources are legally harvested fromTL (Table l).This finding
contradicts the general consensus that forests close to
settlements are invariably more intensively exploited than more
remote forests (e.g., Acharya 1999, Sagar et al. 2003). ^
 Research papers
1400 -,
Sr    800
Analysis oftree species composition in the
three forests showed different assemblages with
different dominants and co-dominants. However,
there were some similarities (Figure 2). The two
major species in the study area, Quercus
semecarpifolia and Rhododendron arboreum,
were found in all three sites. The main differences
in the species composition maybe due to altitudinal
gradient (Table 1), a feature not addressed in this
Clumped distribution is common in
undisturbed forests, while regular distribution is
generally found only in very uniform
environments (Odum 1971). Species distribution
in our study sites tended to be clumped, except
for Myrsine species, in those forests subject to
grazing and/or uncontrolled cutting whereas
more species were found to have regular
distribution in those forests with controlled-
cutting and no grazing (Table 4). Two species,
Quercus semecarpifolia and Rhododendron
arboreum, showed no effect of such disturbances
on dispersal behavior and were characterized by
clumped distribution. The various patterns of
distribution of a species in each forest might have
been caused by various factors such as mode of
seed dispersal (Richards 1996), gap on growth of
numerous saplings (Newbery et al. 1986) as well as
peculiarities of topography, slope, and soil.
Assuming that the undisturbed tree size is 15-
20 cm dbh for all forests, the observed values
should be similar to the values (Figure 3) predicted
by de Liocourt's negative exponential model.
According to this model, the ratio between the
numbers of trees in neighboring diameter classes
should be roughly constant for a particular forest,
but actually varies from one forest to another. This
prediction has been confirmed in a number of
uneven-agedforeststhroughoutthe world (Clutter
et al. 1983) and applies particularly well to mixed
forests with continuous natural regeneration.
If we compare the observed values for the
5-10 cm dbh class in each forest with the expected
values, we find that regeneration of trees has been
more effective in the controlled-cutting forest (RK)
than in either the forest opened for grazing (RB)
or the forest used for both grazing and cutting
(TL). The density ofthe 5-10 cm dbh class in forests
RB and TL (Figure 3b and 3c) indicates that a
cattle grazing has had a direct and substantial effect
on the regeneration of tree species due to
trampling and over-browsing. Forest TL showed
the significant differences between the expected and observed
values, except for the 35^10 cm and 40-45 cm dbh classes.
However, the density in each dbh is smaller than that in the
other studied forests. RK showed more complex results,
although only two dbh classes have notable differences between
observed and expected values (Figure 3a).
The different shapes of density-diameter distribution
(Figure 3) show the extent of effect of disturbances on the
density of dbh classes. In a montane rain forest in Mexico,
Ramirez-Marcial et al. (2001) found that stem density decreases
with disturbance intensity. Our study also found that the stem
density declined with increasing disturbance. Grazing damages
a. (RK)
i Observed density
- Expected density
5-10   10-15  15-20 20-25 25-30 30-35 35-40 40-45 45-50   >50
b. (RB)
i Observed density
- Expected density
5-10   10-15 15-20  20-25 25-30  30-35 35-40  40-45 45-50    >50
c. (TL)
I Observed density
- Expected density
5-10   10-15  15-20 20-25 25-30 30-35 35-40 40-45 45-50   >50
DBH class (cm)
FIGURE 3. Density-diameter distribution of the studied forests
saplings through trampling and browsing (Glatzel 1999, Roder
et al. 2002); therefore, the density of small diameter classes is
low in the forests opened to grazing (Gautam and Watanabe,
Both indices of species richness (Margalef and Shannon
Weiner) showed higher values in forest RB than RK and TL.
However, species richness value alone, though interesting, is
not informative enough (Onaindia et al. 2004). Simpson's
diversity index and evenness (Shannon-Weiner) showed a high
value in RK (Table 7), which means that the controlled-cutting
forest is in a more advanced state of regeneration compared
to those forests open to grazing and/or cutting.
 Research papers
Species richness was highest in RB; however, RB also had
the lowest value for evenness (Table 7), showing that the species
are not equally abundant. This may be due to the presence of
fugitive species. Only competitive species can survive in area
with little orno disturbance, while fugitive species can survive
in areas with high level of disturbance. Therefore, species
richness is maximal at an intermediate level of disturbance
(Abugov 1982). TL, a highly disturbed forest, has a medium
level of evenness, which is an indication that high disturbance
might have an adverse impact on evenness. However, both
species richness and diversity are lowest among the studied
forests because of the direct influence of disturbance. The
comparison of species richness, distribution pattern, and
diversity oftree species suggests that controlled-cutting is more
conducive to higher diversity than either open grazing or
completely open management.
The studied forests are under the national forests,
controlled and managed by local people through coherent
rules and regulations. Such forests are distributed
throughout the entire country, and are known as an
"indigenous managed forests." Generally, in Nepal, there is
no consistency in defining the forest cover at the national
level (HMGN 1988, HMGN 1993, DFRS 1999). It is therefore
difficult to generalize how much area of forest cover is under
each form of management. This study suggests that the
indigenous knowledge of local people is quite sound for
protecting the forest resources using various methods of
management over a period of many decades. Nevertheless,
studies found that many species adapted to open grazed
forests can disappear (Bengtsson et al. 2002, Onaindia et al.
2004). It is likely that, in the present study, grazing resulted
in a forest with more openings and gaps, leading to a higher
abundance of large trees and fewer saplings. However,
controlled cutting conserves the cover of those tree species
typical of natural forests. Therefore, ahigh value of diversity
can be found in those forests that have been managed for
controlled-cutting. The observed value of 0.87 for Simpson's
diversity in a controlled-cutting forest is higher than the
average value of 0.85 reported from 104 patches of managed
forests in the entire Middle Hills of Nepal (Tachibana and
Adhikari 2004). It is also higher than the range of 0.70-0.82
observed in two community forests in the mid-west Nepal
(Kunwar and Sharma 2004). These observations suggest that
controlled cutting is the best type of management for the
study area as far as the diversity oftree species is concerned.
An analysis ofthe composition, distribution (stand structure),
and diversity of tree species in studied forests shows that
controlled-cutting is more effective than some other
management systems in conserving the diversity oftree species.
However, there is no clear visible trend in the distribution of
density-diameter classes. The density-diameter distribution
indicates poor regeneration in forests used heavily for cattle
grazing. The density was extremely low in the forest open to
both cutting and grazing. However, the largest basal area was
found in the grazing forest. Our data shows that the forests with
grazing (RB and TL) were characterized by clumped distribution
of species, whereas the forest with controlled-cutting (RK) was
mixed (clumped and regular). The moderately disturbed forest,
Raniban (RB), showed the highest species richness ofthe three
forests. The differences are probably due to effective forest
management practices by the local inhabitants. ■
We are grateful to Bahadur Ale for plant identification by local name, and
Sabita Poudel, National Herbarium Center, Godawari for assistance with
botanical nomenclature. Our sincere thanks go to Ram Bahadur Kala for his
generous support in the field.
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 Research papers
Fuelwood harvest, management and regeneration of two community
forests in Central Nepal
Bharat Babu Shrestha
Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, NEPAL
For correspondence, E-mail:
From July to December 2003 we studied the impact of forest resource use and management practices on community structure
and regeneration of locally managed Shorea robusta (sal) forest in the mid-hills of central Nepal. We carried out a household
survey in two villages (Namjung village of Gorkha and Khari village of Dhading district), and studied the community structure
and regeneration of important multipurpose tree species (Shorea robusta Gaertn. and Schima wallichii'(DC.) Korth.) in community
forests. Dependency on forests has been decreasing due to limited access to resources, decrease in cattle number and the
cultivation of more fuelwood and fodder trees in non-forested land. Nonetheless, forests remain the major source of fuelwood,
supplying 63% ofthe total. Alternative energy sources (biogas and solar cell) were not significant at the time of our study. 5.
robusta was the dominant tree in both forests, with high relative density (74%) in Namjung forest (NF) and 50% in Khari forest
(KF); its importance value index (IVI) was 171 in NF and 152 in KF. Tree density of sal in NF was the highest (909 tree ha1) among
the reported values in references for the same species. Both forests had comparatively low species diversity (1.09 in NF and
1.30 in KF); local management appears to contribute to reduced diversity. Regeneration of sal was sustainable and fairly high,
with a typical reverse- J-shaped size class diagram (in NF), a good predictor of mono-dominant sal forest. Regeneration of 5.
wallichiivjas unsustainable in both forests.
Keywords: Schima wallichii, Shorea robusta, size class diagram, species diversity
Himalayan Journal of Sciences 3(5): 75-80, 2005 Received: 15 July 2004 Copyright©2005 by Himalayan Association
Available online at: Accepted after revision: 23 May 2005 for the Advancement of Science (HimAAS)
Rural people depend on forest resources for their energy To elucidate the relationship between fuelwood consumption
needs, fodder, timber and employment. Fuelwood is one of and forest structure, the use patterns of fuelwood in two villages
the most important forest resources, accounting for an of central Nepal and their forests were studied with the following
estimated 7% ofthe world's total energy supply (FAO 1999). It specific objectives: 1) to quantify the use of forest resources
plays a major role (80%) in the energy supply of Nepal, and its (fuelwood and fodder) by local people; 2) to identify the relative
consumptionis increasing by 2.0% per annum (Shrestha 2000). importance of forest and non-forest sources of fuelwood and
Fuelwood has the potential to be an attractive renewable fodder; and 3) to assess the impact of local management on
source of energy because it is C02-neutral and economically forest structure and regeneration,
affordable for rural people. Fuelwood consumption is not and
will not be the main cause of deforestation; non-forest land is Materials and methods
and will continue to be the main source of fuelwood (RWEDP Study site
1997). However, some people believe that the demand for We surveyed fuelwood consumption in two mid-hill villages of
fuelwood in developing countries can only be met by over- central Nepal: Majhitar of Namjung Village Development
exploitation of forests, which is the major cause of deforestation Committee (VDC), Gorkha district, and Kumaltari of Khari
(Schulte-Bispingetal. 1999). To resolve these conflicting views, VDC, Dhading district; we refer to these as NV and KV
we need adequate reliable data, which, in the case of Nepal, is respectivly. There were 78 households in NVand 116 in KV;
lacking (Shrestha 2002). about 90% households were engaged in subsistence agriculture.
Forested areas, a major source of fuelwood, are They obtained timber from the forest, but fuelwood and fodder
decreasing at the rate of 1.8% per annum in Nepal (FAO 2001) were obtained from both farmland and forest,
and all five Development Regions suffer fuelwood deficits We studied vegetation structure and regeneration in
(RWEDP 1997). The impact of fuelwood collection on forests Jhakreko Pakha, or "Namjung forest" (NF) near NV and
has been controversial and its role in rural livelihoods and Devisthan Community Forest, or "Khari forest" (KF) near KV
deforestation the subject of considerable debate. The practice NF lies on the south-east face of ahill with slope 60° at 27° 56'
of using a few selected species for fuelwood and absolute N, 84° 43' E, alt. 500-800m; KF lies on the north-west face of a
conservation of dominant species in community-managed hill with slope 70° at 27° 56'N, 84°44'E, alt. 450-1000m. NFhas
forests may affect the regeneration process and community been protected for the past 15 years, and the use of Shorea
structure of forests. The impact of fuelwood collection on robusta (sal) in any form has been prohibited. Limited timber
forests is largely determined by the extent of peoples'relative harvesting for non-commercial purpose was permissible,
dependency on forested and non-forested lands for fuelwood. provided royalties were paid. KF has been protected for the ^
 Research papers
last four years, and the use of sal and Terminalia alata in any
form were completely prohibited. The harvest of Schima
wallichii and Castanopsis indica for non-commercial purposes
were allowed in KF Sal is the dominant tree species in both
forests; major associated species are S. wallichii and Terminalia
aZafainNFandS. wallichii, C. indica and Engelhardia spicata
in KF. Grazing was common in both forests. Forest fires were
less common in recent years but were more frequent until 4-
5 years back. Fallen branches, dead trees and live individuals of
shrub species were collected for fuelwood. In KF the practice
of thinning has been implemented at limited areas.
Sampling and data analysis
Household survey
We collected field data during October 2003. Using structured
questionnaires, we surveyed 12 households (representing >10%
of total) in each village. All ethnic groups and economic classes
were proportionately represented in the samples. The survey
focused particularly on the supply of fuelwood and fodder
from farmland and foresdand. The woody part of fodder left
over by animals is also used as fuelwood; thus it was included
in our survey. We determined the number of domestic animals
percapita, per capita fuelwood consumption (kg/person/year),
and proportion of total supply of tree (woody) fodder and
fuelwood derived from forest and farmland.
Household survey
The average family size was six persons and the average
number of domestic animals 12 per family in NF, and seven
and 10.5 respectively in KF Forest resources were being used
for non-commercial and domestic purpose. The dependency
of local people on forests for fuelwood and fodder had
decreased in 50% of households, remained the same in 33%
and increased in 17% as compared to 10 years prior to our
study. The decrease in dependency, where it occurred, was
due to reduced supply, restriction in use, reduced numbers of
catde, and installment of biogas and solar power facilities.
Increased use of forest resources was related to increase in
family size, increase in number of cattle, and decreased supply
of fuelwood and fodder from farm land. The four preferred
species for fuelwood were Schima wallichii, Lagerstroemia
parviflora, Adina cordifolia and sal. People depended more
on forest (63% of total supply) than farmland (37%) for
fuelwood (Table 1). Per capita fuelwood consumption was
541 /kg/person/year in NV and 388 kg/person/year in KV
Fuelwood was used for cooking (both for humans and animals)
and for space heating. Generally, fuelwood was cut during
February-March, sun-dried for a few weeks and stored in a
dry place for use throughout the year. 95% of households used
fuelwood for cooking and space heating, and 92% used kerosene
Forest sampling
In view ofthe heterogeneous landscape,
we chose to use relatively small quadrats
of 10m x 10m. Each forest was divided
vertically into halves and in each a single
quadrat was laid out at altitude
increments of 50m. We studied twelve
quadrats in NF from 500 to 750 masl and
17 quadrats in KF from 500 to 950 masl.
In KF a single quadrat was studied at each
of 500, 550 and 950 masl due to the
physical inaccessibility of potential
sampling sites. We measured diameter at
breastheight (dbh, at 137 cmheight), of
all trees (dbh >10 cm), and we counted
the number of saplings (>20 cm height
and < 10 cm dbh) and individuals of shrub
species. We did not record seedlings or
herbs. We identified plants with the help
of standard references (Stainton 1997,
Polunin and Stainton 2000). The
nomenclature follows DPR (2001). We
calculated density (ha1), frequency (%),
and basal area (m2-ha"1) of trees, as well
as their relative values. Importance Value
Index (IVI) was calculated as the sum of
relative values of density, frequency and
dominance (Zobel et al. 1987). Tree
density and dbh classes (10-15 cm, 15-20
cm, 20-25 cm, etc.) of sal and S. wallichii
were used to develop a size-class
distribution diagram. Simpson's index of
dominance (C) and the Shannon-Wiener
index of species diversity (H') were
calculated following Barbour etal. (1999).
We compared the species diversity ofthe
two forests (tree layer) using the Student
t-test following Jayaraman (2000).
TABLE 1. Comparison of per capita domestic animals, and supply and types of fodder and
fuel wood in two villages
Fodder type
Supply of tree
fodder (%)
Grass    Tree     Forest
Per capita
Supply of
fuelwood (%)
Forest      Farm land
Namjung        2.15         50        50         39
Khari              1.63         48        52         29
Average         1.89         49        51         34
TABLE 2. Density (D, ha1), Basal Area (BA, m2 ha1) and Importance Value Index (IVI) of
tree species at Namjung Forest (NF) and Khari Forest (KF)
Name                                                    Namjung Forest (NF)
Khari Forest (KF)
Shorea robusta Gaertn.                             909
Schima wallichii (DC.) Korth.                      108
Semecarpus anacardium L.f.                      67
Terminalia alata Heme ex Roth                   25
Syzygium cumlnl(L) Skeels                       17
Lagerstroemia parviflora Roxb.                   17
Engelhardia spicata Leschen. ex Blume       17
Cleistocalyx operculatus (Roxb.) Merr.         17
& Perry
Mangifera indica Linn.                               17
Wendlandia sp.                                        17
Adina cordifolia (Wild, ex Roxb.) Benth.         8
& Hook. f. ex Brandis
Castanopsis indica (Roxb.) Miq.                   8
Total                                                     1227
 Research papers
15-   20-   25-   30-   35-   40-   45-   50-   55-
15    20    25    30    35    40    45    50    55    60    65
Diameter classes (cm)
FIGURE 1. Density of different diameter classes of trees of S.
robusta in Namjung forest
10-15  15-20   20-25 25-30   30-35 35-40   40-45 45-50
Diameter classes (cm)
FIGURE 2 Density of different diameter classes of trees of
S. wallichii in Namjung forest
£   40
S  30
c   20
]S. robusta hS. wallichii
10-    15-    20-    25-    30-
15     20     25     30     35
35-    40-    45-    50-    55-
40     45     50     55     60
Diameter classes (cm)
FIGURE 3 Density of different diameter classes of trees of S. robusta
and S. wallichii in Khari forest
for lighting. Most ofthe households used the "improved stove,"
which significandy reduced fuelwood consumption. Alternative
energy sources such as biogas and solar panels were not
widespread: only 5% ofthe households used biogas and 8%
solar power. Many households were facing problems in
collecting fuelwood, but they had not installed biogas due to
economic constraints and lack of technical know-how. Most,
however, believed that the used of biogas was a good idea.
Every household kept domestic animals such as cow,
buffalo, and goat. Per capita ownership of domestic animals
(0.78) was higher than the national rate (CBS 2002). Due to the
highly accidented landscape, buffaloes were kept at home on a
permanent basis, while cows and goats were brought to nearby
forest and grassland for grazing. As fodder, villagers used grasses
(non-woody herbaceous fodder plants) and tree fodder in
nearly equal amounts (Table 1). Farmland was the major source
of tree fodder (66% of total supply). In the past, a greater
proportion of fodder had been derived from the forest. Sal
was the preferred tree for fodder, but use of this species as
fodder was restricted after the inception of community
management. People could harvest sal only by thinning in
specified months.
Besides timber, fuelwood and fodder, people also used
the leafy branches of Castanopsis indica for roofing, small
trees of Schima wallichii, Holoptelea integrifolia and Adina
cordifolia as support (locally called thakra) in growing
vegetables, medium sized trees of S. wallichii and sal for making
plows, and leafy branches of Engelhardia spicata and S.
wallichii as green manure and mulch. Black dye extracted
from the bark of mature sal was used for painting doors,
windows and verandas. Most of villagers were in favor ofthe
current conservation practices, but some wanted more access
to fodder plants such as sal.
Both forests were dominated by sal, with S. wallichii as co-
dominant. In NF 12 species were recorded at tree stage (Table
2). Density ranged from 8 to 909 ha-1, and basal area ranged
fromO. 13 to 30.97 m2 -ha-1. The total basal area of all tree species
was 45.56 m2-ha_1. Sal had the highest TVI (171), which was
nearly four times higher than the TVI of the co-dominant species,
S wallichii (46). Sal was fairly regenerating with a typical reverse-
I-shaped size-class distribution (Figure 1). The sapling-to-tree
ratio was 14:1, with sapling density at 12,642 ha-1. The
regeneration of S. wallichii was poor, as was reflected in the
bell-shaped size-class distribution curve (Figure 2). The sapling-
to-tree ratio was 1.23:1, and the sapling density was 133 ha-1. In
Khari Forest (KF), eight species were recorded in tree stage
(dbh >10 cm, Table 2). The total basal area of all trees was 15.48
m2-ha_1. KF trees are larger than NF, with average dbh of 30 cm
(N = 19) and open canopy. The relative density of sal was 50%
whereas that of S. wallichii, an important associate species,
was 33.46%. Sal regeneration was discontinuous, with
individuals not represented in dbh classes of 15-20 cm, 20-25
cm and 40-45 cm (Figure 3). Sapling density was 6383 ha-1
(Table 3), and sapling-to-tree ratio was 51:1. S. wallichii
appeared to be regenerating, but its density was very low (Table
2). Two dbh classes were absent from the population of S.
walichii (Figure 3). Sapling density was 505 ha-1 and sapling-
to-tree ratio was 6:1. Seven tree species in NF and eleven in KF
were represented only at the sapling stage (Table 3). There
were six shrub species in NF and nine in KF (Table 4).
Forest fire, grazing and lopping were important pressures
on both forests. Fire damage was followed by termite +
 Research papers
infestation. We observed saplings that had fallen due to fire
damage and subsequent termite infestation. In KF tree felling
was very frequent before the beginning of community
management. Stumps were present in 65% of quadrats, up to
five stumps in a single sample (10 m x 10 m). A total of 31
stumps were recorded (sal21, Schima wallichii!, Castanopsis
indica 1, Wendlandia 1 and Lyonia ovalifolia 1). The total
density of stumps was 182 ha1, which was more than the density
of dominant tree (sal, 125ha "1).
Tree species richness was higher in NF than in KF (Table
5). The contribution of a single dominant species (sal) was
much greater than other associated species (Table 2).
Therefore, NF had a higher Simpson's index (C) but a lower
Shannon-Wiener index (H') than KF. Despite the small number
oftree species, KF had a significandy higher species diversity (t
= 2.788, df = 470, p <0.01) due to high species evenness. KF also
had high species diversity for shrubs.
Use of forest resources
People in the study area depended on forest resources for
their subsistence livelihood, primarily as a source of fuelwood
and fodder. The contribution of these two forest resources
(fuelwood and fodder) to Nepal's national income is significant
(Katila 1995). Acommunity forest, if managed on an equitable
and sustainable basis, can satisfy these basic needs and
improve the livelihood of rural people in Nepal (Maharjan
There was a wide difference between in two villages
studied in per capita fuelwood consumption (Table 1). The
higher rate in NV was due to the greater number of domestic
animals per capita. A significant amount of fuelwood was
consumed in cooking animal feed. People used to fell trees for
fuel wood but in recent times this practice has been prohibited
in the community forest. Woody parts of fodder not consumed
by animals were an important source of fuelwood from the
agricultural sector. Old and dying fodder trees on agricultural
land were harvested for fuelwood. The amount of fuelwood
derived from the forest had been decreasing, and people had
been spending more time collecting fuelwood. People had been
learning to use agricultural residues as fuel, and improved stoves
had significandy reduced fuel wood consumption, but the forest
was still the major source, supplying 63% ofthe total fuelwood
(Table 1).
In comparison to the situation ten years ago, dependency
on the forest for fodder and fuelwood has decreased in 50% of
households. Extraction of these resources from the forest has
decreased and the use of several preferred species has been
restricted. This has forced people to grow more fodder trees
on their private land, and to make better use of agricultural
residues (e.g., the woodyparts of fodder), which had not used
until few decades back. Most ofthe villagers were aware that
growing trees on agricultural land was useful for soil
conservation and as a convenient source of fodder and
fuelwood; nevertheless, due to the shortage of crop land, the
practice is not common. Concerted efforts by government
agencies and non-government organizations to provide support
services integrating indigenous knowledge may motivate people
to grow more trees on agricultural land (Paudel 2003), thereby
reducing pressure on the forest.
S. wallichii was the preferred tree for fuelwood.
Regeneration of this species was very poor and discontinuous
in both forests (Figure 2 and 3, Table 3); this may be direcdy
attributed to fuelwood extraction Unfortunately, use of fossil
TABLE 3. Sapling density (ha n) of trees in Namjung forest (NF) and
Khari forest (KF)
Adina cordifolia (Wild, ex Roxb.) Benth. &
Hook. f. ex Brandis
Antidesma acidum Retz. *
Bridelia retusa (L.) Spreng. *
Callicarpa i/esf/te Wall, ex C.B. Clarke *
Castanopsis indica (Roxb.) Miq.
Cleistocalyx operculatus (Roxb.) Merr. & Perry
Engelhardia spicata Leschen. ex Blume
Holoptelea integrifolia (Roxb.) Planch. *
Kummo *#
Lagerstroemia parviflora Roxb.
Lyonia ovalifolia (Wall.) Drude *
Mangifera indica Linn.
Phyllanthus emblica Linn. *
Schima wallichii (DC.) Korth.
Semecarpus anacardium L.f.
Shorea robusta Gaertn.
Syzygium cumlnl(L) Skeels
Terminalia alata Heme ex Roth
Terminalia belerica (Gaertn.) Roxb. *
Terminalia chebula Retz. *
Wendlandia sp.
* Tree species represented only by saplings; # Local name
TABLE 4. Density (ha1) of Shrubs in Namjung forest (NF) and Khari
forest (KF)
Ardisia solanacea Roxb.
Eurya acuminata DC.
Holarrhena pubescens (Buch.-Ham.)
Wall, ex D.Don
Inula cappa\l\la\\. ex DC.
Maesa macrophylla (Wall.) A. DC
Melastoma normale D.Don
Rhusjavanica Linn.
Swida oblonga (Wall.) Sojak
Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz.
Zizyphus sp.
TABLE 5. Simpson's index (C) of dominance and Shannon-Wiener
index (FT) of species diversity for Namjung forest (NF) and Khari
forests (KF)
Plant habit
NF             KF
0.55            0.36
0.30            0.22
 Research papers
fuels by rural people is neither economically feasible nor
environmentally friendly. Efficientuse of available agricultural
residues through technical innovations maybe a better solution
to the problem of diminishing fuelwood supply. An improved
wood energy system might help to mitigate climate change by
reducing reliance on fossil fuels and sequestering C02 (the
most important greenhouse gas) in growing trees (Heruela
2003). It would also result in significant foreign exchange saving
for countries like Nepal. Alternatively, popularization of biogas
and solar cells may reduce dependency on fuelwood.
Forest structure
The community structures of NF and KF were quite distinct in
term ofthe contribution of dominant species and basal area
cover. These two forests had an equal number (19) of tree
species but seven species in NF and 11 in KF were found only in
sapling stage (Table 3). Most ofthe species represented only in
sapling stage do not yield high quality timber when they mature
to tree, nor are they preferred for fodder or fuelwood. Since
the initiation of community management, however, pressure
on these species as a source of fodder and fuel wood has
increased due to restrictions on the use ofthe preferred tree
The number of species forming tree canopy was high in
NF but single dominant species (sal) had very high density and
relative density (Table 2); therefore NF is developing into
mono-dominant sal forest. Density of sal was higher than values
reported for sal anywhere else in Nepal (Giri et al. 1999) or
India (Negi et al. 2002). Basal area of sal (30.97 itfxha1) and
total basal area (45.56 m2xha1) of all trees were also higher
than in a Terai sal forest (Giri etal. 1999). However, individual
sal trees were small, with average dbh of 18 cm (N = 113). A
mono-dominant sal forest (relative density >70%) is particularly
susceptible to the sal borer (Hoplocerambyx spinicornis) due
to lack of ecological balance (Negi et al. 2002). We would
recommend that the management of this forest be modified:
thinning of sal and restraint in exploitation of other species
such as S. wallichii can prevent the forest from progressing
toward monodominant type.
Although sal was the dominant tree species in KF, its
density (125 ha-1) was very low in comparison to Giri et al.
(1999) and Negi et al. (2002) and distribution was not uniform
(frequency 41%). However, sapling density (Table 3) and
sapling-to-tree ratio (51:1) for sal was high as compared to NF
(14:1), indicating high regeneration potential. This forest may
also develop into mono-dominant sal forest if the management
practice is not changed.
Density and species richness ofthe shrub layer was higher
in KF than in NF (Table 4), which appears to be due to the
open canopy condition in former. Intense disturbance and
excessive felling of trees in the past resulted in open canopy in
KF, allowing the growth of large number of shrub species.
Similarly, recent conservation efforts have resulted in a rapid
increase in sapling density (Table 3) oftree species.
Despite the higher tree species richness in NF (Table 2),
it has a lower species diversity (Table 5). The contribution to
forest community of a single dominant species (sal) was very
high while other species became rare. It appears that associated
species have been over-exploited for sal conservation. Fifteen
years of local management have preserved a forest but
disturbed the natural ecosystem. KF, which has been conserved
for four years, had a significandy higher species diversity
(p<0.01) due to higher species evenness (i.e. more uniform
distribution of relative density among the species). The decrease
in species diversity due to local extinction of less common
species makes the ecosystem less stable. Ecosystem stability
cannot be ensured merely by high species diversity, but diversity
is certainly a prerequisite for ecosystem stability (Naeem and
Li 1997, McCann 2000). Both of these forests had alower species
diversity than natural sal forests studied in India (e.g., Pandey
and Shukla 1999, Shankar2001). Therefore, conservation of
species diversity should also be a priority of community forest
The reverse-J-shaped size-class distribution (Figure 1) of sal in
the studied forests indicates sustainable regeneration (Vetaas
2000). The absence of certain larger dbh classes from the
population was due to severe disturbance in the past before
conservation. Forest conservation gready increased the sapling
density (Table 3) and sapling-to-tree ratio. Thus sal will continue
to be the dominant species of these forests in future if the same
management practice prevail. However, S. wallichii, the most
important associate of sal in this forest, had a bell-shaped size-
class distribution (Figure 2), which indicates the lack of
sustainable regeneration (Vetaas 2000). Sapling density (Table
4), and sapling-to-tree ratios were very low. S. wallichii was
the most preferred species for fuelwood; with the use of sal
restricted, S. wallichii was also being harvested to meet timber
needs. Finally, regeneration by coppice is weaker in S. wallichii
than in sal. The combined effect of all these anthropogenic
disturbances and inherent behavior has hampered the
regeneration S. wallichii in NF.
The size-class distribution curve of sal in KF resembled
neither a reversed J nor a bell shape (Figure 3). Since the
lowest diameter class had the highest density, the
regeneration potential was high, but regeneration had not
been continuous in the past. The poor representation of
two successive small-dbh classes might have been due to
intense forest fires in successive years, which prevented
seedling establishment and sapling recruitment and resulted
in the discontinuous population structure of sal in KF. Recent
management practice has rapidly increased the sapling
density (Table 3). Within a few decades this forest may
change into a dense forest with closed canopy. The canopy
closure occurs at an exponential rate and the time required
for full canopy closure depends on the type and magnitude
of disturbance and on the species involved in regeneration
(Valverde and Silvertown 1997); it may range from 8 to 40
years for tropical and temperate forest. The status of S.
wallichii in KF was better than that in NF, with high sampling
density (Table 3) and sapling-to-tree ratio, and good
representation of small trees in the population (Figure 3).
The forest had several moist sites, which are suitable for
growth of S. wallichii. The open canopy also promoted
sapling recruitment and tree growth at early stage.
The regeneration potential of sal was fairly high in both
these forests, and regeneration was continuous in NE The
density of sapling and small trees has increased rapidly in recent
years as the effect of community management. In Nepal,
sustainable regeneration of sal has been reported from both
Terai (Rautiainen 1996 and Giri et al. 1999) and the hills (Rai et
al. 1999). However, regeneration was not sustainable in natural
dense forest with a high density of larger trees (Rai etal. 1999).
Sal has been facing a serious threat to its existence in the
tropical and subtropical belts of India due to infestation by the
sal borer (Hoplocerambyx spinicornis) and also to moisture
stress caused by the combined effects of intensive grazing, ^
 Research papers
repeated fire, lopping and indiscriminate harvesting (Negi et al.
2002). Mortality rates of seedling and smaller trees are high
under these situations. The problems of stem borer and heart
and root rot diseases have also been reported from a leasehold
forest in Rupandehi of Nepal (Hartz 1999). Although the extent
of damage was not serious, damage frequency and distribution
have been increasing and that trend is likely to deteriorate in
the future. The problem will be more serious if it spreads into
community forests, which are evolving toward mono-
dominance due to excessive removal ofthe unprotected plant
species. As noted before, mono-dominant sal forest is more
susceptible to sal borer attack (Negi et al. 2002) probably due to
local extinction of borer's natural predators. Similarly, large-
scale defoliation (>90%) of young sal leaves by red ants has
been observed in a few community managed sal forests in
Gorkha (Nepal) (personal observation, June 2005). This,
obviously, has a negative impact on the growth and survival of
individual trees and on the sustainability ofthe forest. However
the community structure and insect-plant interactions in these
forests have not been studied.
In comparison to the situation ten years ago, dependency on
forests for fodder and fuelwood has decreased in 50% of
households due to increased supply from non-forest lands,
decrease in cattle number, andlimited access to forest. Although
fuelwood has been extracted from both forest and non-forest
lands, forests were the major source (63%). Limited access to
forest has encouraged people to use fuelwood from non-forest
sources more efficiently. The trend showed that with
technological innovations in fuelwood use, alternative energy
(biogas and solar cell), and growth of more trees in non-forest
lands, dependency on forests for fuelwood will decrease in the
future. The regeneration potential of sal (Shorea robusta Gaertn.)
was fairly high in both community forests, but community
management in the NF and KF appears to be non-sustainable,
as the species diversity has been decreasing. The present
management practices may lead to the development of mono-
dominant sal forests with insignificant contributions from other
associated species. Schima wallichii, a multiple use plant, has
become the most preferred tree species for fuelwood.
Regeneration of this species was not sustainable and it has been
overexploited for the sake of sal conservation. ■
Financial support from the University Grant Commission (Kathmandu,
Nepal) through a Mini Research Grant is gratefully acknowledged. I thank
Giriraj Tripathi (Amrit Science Campus, Kathmandu) for valuable assistance
during project development; PK Jha and HD Lekhak (Central Dept. of
Botany, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu) for critical comments on the
work; NPS Duwadee (National Integrated College, Kathmandu) for helping
in plant identification; and D Shrestha, DB Shrestha, KK Shrestha and RK
Shresthafor field assistance. Thanks are also due to all respondents to our
household survey. I also thank the authorities of both community forests for
granting permission to work in the forest.
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Health costs of pesticide use in a vegetable growing area,
central mid-hills, Nepal
Kishor Atreya
Aquatic Ecology Centre (AEC), Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Kavre, NEPAL
For correspondence, E-mail:
This pilot study estimated the health costs resulting from pesticide-related acute health symptoms in a mid-hill vegetable growing
area of Nepal. Farmers reported up to 13 acute symptoms due to the use of pesticides. Using the averting cost approach, on average
a farmer spent NR 119 (US$ 1.58) annually for safety gear (at the time of study, NR 75 equaled US$ 1). Using the cost-of-illness
approach, the total annual household expenditures due to the use of pesticides ranged from NR zero to NR 4451, with an average of
NR 1261. Similarly, household willingness to pay (WTP) for safer pesticides ranged from as low as NR 1500 per year to as high as NR
Himalayan Journal of Sciences 3(5): 81-84, 2005
Available online at:
Received: 1 Oct 2004
Accepted after revision: 12 May 2005
Copyright©2005 by Himalayan Association
for the Advancement of Science (HimAAS)
Household is the primary supplier of labor inputs required to
operate subsistence farms, hence the health of household
members is critical to productivity, and it is no secret that the
use of pesticides in farms has a significant impact on farmers'
health (Rola and Pingali 1993, Ande and Pingali 1995, Ande et al.
1998, Ajayi 2000). There are also correlations among higher
productivity, high chemical input use, environmental
degradation and adverse effects on human health wherever
commercial agriculture is widespread (Wilson 2000). In Sri
Lanka, studies using the cost-of-illness approach (Wilson 2000,
Wilson and Tisdell 2001, Wilson 2002a and b, Wilson 2003) have
estimated that a farmer on average incurs a cost of around US
$ 97.58 annually in handling and spraying of pesticides. Using
the defensive behavior approach, the cost was estimated to be
around US $ 7.23 a year. Additionally, WTP came up with a
higher value, US $ 204.83, because it considers all costs, including
the tangible costs of ill health (both direct and indirect), and
averting/defensive behavior costs as well as intangible costs.
Dung and Dung (1999) estimated the health cost at over US $
6.92 per rice season. Ajayi (2000) estimated US $3.92 per
household per season in the case of cotton-rice systems in
Cote dTvoire, West Africa. Yanggen etal. (2003) found that the
immediate costs equaled the value of 11 days of lost wages per
year in the Carchi, Ecuador. Clearly, the environmental and
social costs of pesticide use are enormous. Table 1 summarizes
findings from assessments in a number of countries, revealing
costs totaling millions of dollars.
Farmers, especially in developing countries like Nepal,
do not take account ofthe expenditure incurred in the treatment
of illness arising from direct exposure to pesticides, and they
dismiss intangible costs such as discomfort, pain and suffering
as a normal part of their work. Because of the lack of
appropriate methodologies and reliable data, the health impacts
of pesticide use have traditionally been omitted from the
analysis of returns on agricultural research and from the
evaluation of specific agricultural policies. Therefore, this study
focuses on estimating the averting behavior costs, costs-of-
illness, and WTP - i. e., the economic value of costs incurred by
subsistence farmers due to direct exposure to pesticides during
handling and spraying.
In the study area, farmers spray insecticides such as
parathion-methyl (classified as extremely hazardous 'la' by
WHO, see IPCS 2002); dichlorvos (highly hazardous Tb');
cypermethrin, deltamethrin, and fenvelerate (moderately
hazardous 'II'), and fungicides such as mancozeb, and
carbendazim (non-hazardous under normal use 'U') on crops
such as potato (Solanum tuberosum), tomato (Lycopersicon
esculent um), bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), cucumber
(Cucumis sativa), chili (Capsicum spp.), cabbage (Brassica
oleraceavax. capitata) and cauliflower (Brassica oleraceavax.
botrytis). On average farmers were spraying pesticides on crops
like potato for 12.3 years, tomato for 9.8 years, and other crops
such as bitter gourd and cucumber for 2.7 years. Introducing
new crops meant dealing with more toxic pesticides.
Surprisingly, only one-fifth of the respondents had taken
integrated pest management (IPM) training. Thus, there is an
urgency to raise awareness on pesticides, their alternatives and
IPM. Many respondents reported eye irritation, headache and
skin irritation or burns (Table 2). Similarly, one-third had
experienced weakness, respiratory depression, sweating,
muscle twitching and chapped hands. As many as 13 symptoms
were identified as immediate effects of pesticide exposure,
averaging six acute symptoms per person per year.
Manyfarmers believed that safety measures only hinder
their work. For example, they thought that wearing a mask
makes breathing difficult. They preferred to wear a long-sleeved
shirt or long pants (75% of the respondent) or a handkerchief
(37.5%). However, 12.5% ofthe respondents were not using
any protective measures - not even a long-sleeved shirt or
long pants. One ofthe main reasons for not using any safety
measure is the lack of awareness of the acute and chronic
effects that pesticides are known to have on human health.
On average, averting costs for each farmer was a meager
NR 119.2 annually on safety gear (Table 3). Farmers also treat
acute symptoms with local cures such as salt-water gargle, oil
massage, turmeric (Curcuma longa) water, papaya (Carica ^
/  ^3.£70J,
TABLE 1. Environmental and social cost of pesticide use in different countries
External cost estimated per year
Sri Lanka
III health cost to farmers from pesticide exposure = 10
weeks' income
Wilson and Tisdell
61% higher health costs for farmers exposed to
pesticides than those not exposed
Pingali etal. (1995)
Health cost of over US $ 6.92 each per rice crop
Dung and Dung (1999)
Annual indirect and external cost of pesticide
use = US$10 million
Ajayi et al. (2002)
West Africa
The economic value of the pesticide-related health
costs equals to US$ 3.92 per household per season
in the case of cotton-rice systems
Ajayi (2000)
The immediate costs of a typical intoxication (medical
attention, medicines, days of recuperation, etc.)
equaled the value of 11 days of lost wages
Yanggen et al. (2003)
Cotton growers incur a mean of US $ 4.73 in Sanyati
and $ 8.31 in Chipinge on pesticide related direct
and indirect acute health effects
Maumbe and Swinton
TABLE 2. Incidence of acute health
symptoms. Number of respondents, N ■■
Acute symptoms
Eye irritation
23 (95.8%)
20 (83.3%)
Skin irritation/burn
20 (83.3%)
11 (45.8%)
Respiratory depression
9 (37.5%)
Excessive sweatinq
8 (33.3%)
Muscle twitching/pain
8 (33.3%)
Chapped hands
8 (33.3%)
Throat discomfort
7 (29.2%)
Pain in chest
6 (25%)
5 (20.8%)
Blurred vision
5 (20.8%)
1 (4.2%)
1 (4.2%)
Other symptoms like dizziness,
nose irritation, thirst, etc.
7 (29.2%)
papaya) and tomato, eating mint (Mentha spp.) and basil
(Ocimum sanctum) plant; they seek medical attention only
when suddenly exposed to pesticides. On average, farmers
spent only NR 97.5 as medication costs each year to treat acute
illness because most of these symptoms last only for a single
day in general (Table 3).
On an average, households' productivity loss was found
6.54 days (equals NR 981.7) a year due to pesticide-related
health problems (Table 3). One respondent mentioned that,
due to illness, she could not sprayed pesticides on her bitter
gourd when necessary, resulting in aloss of NR 1500 that season.
On average, other costs associated with pesticide exposure
come to NR 181.2 per year per household. Loss of productivity
due to pesticide exposure was found to be greater than the
total cost of averting behavior, medication and other costs.
This indicates that pesticide use associated health problems
increased the indirect costs rather than the direct costs. It is
therefore important that cost-benefit analyses of pesticide use
should take such costs into account, along with the cost of
environmental degradation.
Finally, an open-endedWTP bid for safer pesticides was
administered, keeping crop area and productivity constant
(same as the previous year), with expenditure on pesticides
during the previous year being used as a reference point and
taking into account the full range of consequences of illness
including productivity loss, effects on other family members,
and possible long term health impacts as well as immediate
discomfort, pain and stress. The possible effects of pesticides
on environment: soil, water, air, animals and birds were not
explained to participants at the time ofthe exercise. Considering
the aforementioned effects of pesticides, farmers were asked,
"How much would you be willing to pay per year (please state
the highest value) for the use of a safer pesticide?" This study
found a wide range ofWTP bids, ranging from NR 1500 to NR
50,000 peryear per household (Table 3). The WTP bids exceeded
the sum of cost of illness and averting cost because the WTP
bids take into account pain, suffering, discomfort and other
intangible costs in addition to the aforementioned costs.
Farmers in the study area were willing to increase their pesticide
expenditure by 94.2% if provided with safer pesticides or other
sound alternatives.
In conclusion, while commercialization of agriculture has
resulted in the introduction of new crops such as bitter gourd
and cucumber, it has also resulted in increased exposure to
hazardous pesticides due to which farmers are experiencing
acute health symptoms. The medication and averting
expenditures are inadequate. The productivity loss was found
to be significant. It is strongly recommended that a nationwide
survey be conducted to determine the overall costs of pesticide
use in Nepal. Such costs should be taken into account when
programs and policies relevant to pesticide use are formulated.
Only acute symptoms that appeared within 48 hours of pesticide
sprays were considered. Long-term and chronic health
impairments were not considered due to methodological
difficulties. This study applied three morbidity valuation
methods: cost-of-illness (COI), which measures the cost
incurred as a result of illness; contingent valuation (the most
commonly used stated preference method), which measures
respondents' WTP for hypothetical health improvements and
the averting behavior (a revealed preference method) that
estimates WTP from observed behavioral responses to real
situations. See Table 4 for a summary of the three most
common morbidity valuation methods for this study. COI
includes medication costs (present market value ofthe materials
used and time taken to prepare local treatments, consultation
fee, hospitalization cost, laboratory cost, medication cost, travel
cost to and from, time spent in traveling, and dietary expenses
resulting from illness), productivity loss (work efficiency loss in
farm, loss of work days in farm, number of family members
involved and time spent by them in assisting or seeking
treatment for the victim), and other costs (crop losses / damage
due to inability to tend them, costs associated with hiring
replacement labor, and any income foregone due to illness).
Averting costs includes precautions taken to reduce direct
TABLE 3. Statistical measures for the selected variables (1
N = 24)
SE of Mean
Female = 0, Male = 1
Years of schoolinq
IPM Traininq
No = 0, Yes = 1
Pesticide use in potato
Pesticide use in tomato
Pesticide use in other crops
Symptoms experienced
Avertinq Costs
Medication Costs
Productivity loss
Other Costs
Total cost-of-illness (sum of medication,
and other costs)
WTP for safer pesticides
Expenditure on unsafe pesticides
TABLE 4. Evaluations of three most
common methods for
morbidity valuation
Method                 Approach
Cost-of-illness         Measures direct costs such as medical
expenses and indirect costs such as
foreqone earninqs.
Relative ease of application and
explanation. Does not require household
Does not measure WTP. Iqnores important
components of WTP such as pain and
Continqent Surveys elicit WTP for hypothetical
Valuation chanqes in health effects.
Flexibility allows application to variety of
health effects. If desiqned properly, allows
measurement of complete WTP, includinq
Hypothetical nature introduces many
sources of potential inaccuracy and
imprecision. Method is controversial and
often expensive.
Avertinq Infers WTP from costs and effectiveness
Behavior of actions taken to defend aqainst illness.
WTP estimates based on actual behavior.
Difficult to isolate value of health from other
benefits of avertinq action. Difficult to
measure individual perceptions of cost and
effectiveness of avertinq action.
Source: EPA (2000)
exposure to pesticide such as mask, handkerchief, and so on.
The study was carried out during 2004 in Srirampati of
Hokse Village Development Committee in Jhikhu Khola
Watershed of Central Nepal, which is about 40 km northeast of
the capital. Twenty-five farmers spraying pesticides in his/her
farm were randomly selected and interviewed with a carefully
designed questionnaire that was also translated into Nepali
language. For this study, due to the small sample, minimum,
maximum, mean and standard deviation of mean for the
selected variables are provided. One questionnaire was
excluded due to duplication: both father and son were
inadvertentiy interviewed. ■
I am thankful to the South Asian Network for Development and
Environmental Economics (SANDEE) for a study grant. I am also indebted
to CI evo Wilson, The University of Queensland for providing relevant papers
including his PhD dissertation and to KR Paudyal, CIMMYT-Nepal for
suggestion in designing survey questionnaire.
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derValk. 2002. Socio-economic assessment of pesticide use in Mali.
Germany University of Hanover. Pesticide Policy Project special issue
publication series no 6. xvi+70 p
Ajayi OC. 2000. Pesticide use practices, productivity and farmers'health:
The case of cotton-rice systems in Cote d'lvoire, West Africa. Germany:
University of Hanover. Pesticide Policy Project special issue
publication series no 3. xxvii+172+xii p
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Biology of mistletoes and their status
in Nepal Himalaya
Mohan Prasad Devkota
AmritScience Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, NEPAL
For correspondence, E-mail:
The mistletoes constitute a polyphyletic group of flowering parasitic plants and are commonly known as "Ainjeru" or "Lisso" in
Nepali. Of the over 1300 mistletoe species occurring worldwide, Nepal is home to 19. Mistletoes are entirely dependent on their hosts
for water and nutrients and affect their hosts mainly by competing for limited resources. Mistletoes play a vital role in natural plant
communities by interacting with hosts, herbivores and dispersers. A large number of invertebrates and vertebrates use mistletoes as
a shelter, as nesting and roosting place and as an important source of food. Oddly, botanists have accorded little attention to Nepal's
mistletoes, and our knowledge of this remarkable group of plants is quite deficient.
Himalayan Journal of Sciences 3(5): 85-88, 2005
Available online at:
Received: 23 Dec 2004
Accepted after revision: 18 May 2005
Copyright©2005 by Himalayan Association
for the Advancement of Science (HimAAS)
Mistietoe (order: Santalales) refers to a group of perennial
flowering plants attached to branches of other trees and shrubs
as aerial parasites (Barlow 1987, Kuijt 1990). The name 'mistietoe'
derives from theAnglo-Saxonmisteltan (ormistiltan); 'mistel'
meaning dung, and 'tan' meaning twig. Thus it literally means
'dung-on-a-twig' (Calder 1983). Taxonomically, the mistietoes
constitute a highly specialized and diverse group of
angiosperms. They are obligate stem parasites whose
dependency ranges fromholoparasitic to hemiparasitic, and
they are characterized by the development of a haustorium,
an absorptive organ that serves as a sort of root, attaching to
the host and penetrating its conductive tissues in order to pass
nutrients to the parasite.
Despite a large number of botanical explorations in Nepal,
biologists have made scanty collection of mistietoe specimens.
The heterogeneous geomorphology ofthe Himalayas and the
rich floral diversity offers a good habitat for a variety of mistietoe
species. In their comprehensive catalogue of Nepalese flowering
plants, Hara et al. (1982) mentioned 12 mistietoe species
belonging to six genera of Loranthaceae and three species
belonging to two genera of Viscaceae. While this number has
been confirmed by recent publications (Press et al. 2000 and
HMGN 2001). Devkota and Glatzel (2005) and Devkota and
Koirala(2005) havereportedfourspeciesnewtoNepal: Viscum
multinerve Hayata, V. loranthi Elmer and V. moniocum Roxb
ex DC (family Viscaceae), and Scurrula gracilifolia (Schult.)
Danser (family Loranthaceae), extending the list of mistietoe
species to 19.
Grierson and Long (1983) have reported 15 mistietoe
species belonging to Loranthaceae and six species of
Viscaceae in Bhutan. Apart from some scattered data (e.g.,
Zakaullah 1977, Zakaullah and Khan 1982), no information
on mistletoe diversity is available from Western Himalayas.
However, over 1300 species have been reported from the
world (Table 1).
Mistietoe families Loranthaceae and Viscaceae have separate
geographic origins and different cytological history (Barlow
1983). Loranthaceae are older than the Viscaceae; they
originated in the mesic, warm to mild, closed forest of
Cretaceous Gondwana, dispersing subsequentiy to Africa,
Europe, and North America (Barlow 1983). The parasitic habit
did not arise as a response to water stress but rather due to
competition for nutrients in complex ecosystems (Barlow
1983). The younger Viscaceae, previously considered to have a
Laurasian origin in the Tertiary period (Barlowl983), are now
believed also to have originated in Gondwana (Barlow 1987).
Nearly all mistletoe genera are exclusively tropical or subtropical
and only ahandful of species are found elsewhere (Kuijt 1969).
The Loranthaceae and Viscaceae are presentiy distributed
widely throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and
Australia, ranging from boreal climate to temperate, tropical,
and arid zones, and absent only from extremely cold regions
(Barlow 1983, Kuijt 1969). The Loranthaceae is distributed
primarily in tropical and south temperate habitats; Africa,
Indomalaya-Australia, and South America are the major
centers of diversity. The Viscaceae are also widespread in the
tropics but extend further towards the northern temperate
zone (Barlow 1987).
Host range
Mistietoes are found on a wide range of woody plants, from
forest trees, avenue trees, fruit trees and ornamental trees to
shrubs, thorny scrubs, euphorbs and cacti. Mistletoes
preferentially parasitize trees and shrubs, and their greatest
diversity is found in forests and woodlands (Kuijt 1969, Calder
1983, Hawksworth 1983). They prefer disparate hosts in diverse
biomes: conifers in boreal forests (Hawksworth 1983,
Hawksworth andWiens 1996), succulent euphorbs and cacti in
the African and South American deserts (Martinez del Rio et
al. 1996, Polhill andWiens 1998), monocots and bracken ferns
(Fineran and Hocking 1983) and orchids (Kuijt and Mulder^
1985) in tropics. Many individual mistietoe species are capable
of parasitizing a large number of host species (Table 2).
Distribution pattern
The distribution of mistietoes in natural plant communities is
not uniform, being affected by many local environmental
factors. Mistietoes spread mainly along roadsides, riverbanks,
in the vicinity of fields and villages, in orchards, on warm slopes
and in forests (Zakaullah and Khan 1982, Xiao and Pu 1988,
Lopez et al. 2002, Devkota 2003). Hawksworth (1959), Ganguly
and Kumar (1976) and Zakaullah (1977) reported the highest
frequency of mistietoes on ridges; fewer were found on slopes
and fewest on the plains. The high density of mistietoe on ridges
is due to the presence of ample light intensity (Ganguly and
Kumar 1976, Lopez et al. 2002). Distribution of mistietoes in the
Annapurna Conservation Area, is impacted by three major
factors: forest structure, site mesoclimate andzoocore dispersal
(Devkota 2003). The distribution of host trees and the behavior
of avian visitors seem to be primary factors determining the
distribution of mistietoes in Kathmandu Valley (Devkota and
Acharya 1996). Kuijt (1969) concludes thatmistietoe distribution
depends entirely upon the habits ofthe birds that disseminate
the seeds.
Mistletoe-host interaction
Mistletoes affect host viability by withdrawing essential
resources. The parasite competes with its host for water,
inorganic nutrients and organic compounds. The extent to
which the host is affected depends not only on how much of
the resource is diverted by the parasite, but also on the overall
supply available to the host (Graves 1995). Some leafy mistietoe
may live for decades in association with their host trees and
resultinlittle apparent damage (Schulze and Ehleringer 1984),
while others inflict severe damage.
Mistietoes affecthosts in many ways, including reduced
growth, diminished vigor, premature mortality, impaired quality
and quantity of wood, reduced fruit set, and heightened
susceptibility to attack by other agents such as insects or fungi.
When one part ofthe host is intensively attacked by mistietoe,
the reproductive and photosynthetic potential ofthe part distal
to the infestation declines leading to death ofthe part (Kuijt
1969). But the extent of damage caused to the host depends on
size ofthe parasite, the growth rate and metabolic activity of
the parasite, the degree of dependency on the host for resources,
and the stage of development of the host (Hawksworth 1983).
In Australia, however, Race and Stelling (1997) did not find a
significant correlation between the health of individual host
plants and the number of mistietoe plants afflicting them; they
concluded that mistietoe may not necessarily be harmful to its
Mineral nutrition
While mistietoes are entirely dependent on their hosts forwater
and nutrients (Glatzel 1983, Popp andRichter 1998), they differ
greatiy in the extent to which they rely on the supply of
photosynthetic products from their hosts. The extent to which
mistietoes depend on heterotrophic carbon input from the
host is one of the most important aspects in the mistietoe
Xylem tapping mistletoes are capable of fixing
atmospheric carbon dioxide and are therefore partially
heterotrophic; others also parasitize phloem of their hosts and
are regarded as holoparasites. The latter group lacks chlorophyll
or has reduced photosynthetic organs, whereas the xylem
parasites are regarded as 'obligate hemiparasitic' as they rely
only partially onhost-derived carbon (Tsivion 1978). The xylem
tapping mistietoes have a higher transpiration rate than their
host, as a mechanism to draw sufficient nutrients from the
host xylem sap. Since there is no phloem connection between
host and such mistietoes, re translocation of excess nutrients
back to the host cannot occur. As a result, mistietoe tissues
accumulate higher concentrations of nutrient elements than
those of their hosts (Glatzel 1983, Devkota 2003).
Mutualism involving mistletoes and birds
Many bird species are intricately involved in the life cycle of
mistietoes especially in pollination and seed dispersal (Kuijt
1969, Barlow 1983, Reid 1991, Ladley and Kelly 1995a). The
establishment of the host-mistletoe association cannot be
examined without understanding the role of seed-dispersing
birds, especially the frugivores. The feeding habits ofthe birds
and the duration of seed retention within their body determine
the successful dispersal ofthe mistietoes.
Old world sunbirds (Nectariniini), Oriental flowerpeckers
(Dicaeini) and white-eyes (Zosterops), Australianhoneyeaters
(Meliphagidae), and neotropical humming birds (Trochilidae)
are the most common avian pollinators (Docters van Leeuwen
1954, Gill and Wolf 1975, Reid 1986). Studies byAli (1931) and
Davidar (1978,1983,1985 and 1987) in the Oriental regionhave
shown that the sunbirds and the flowerpeckers, when foraging
for nectar, probe mistietoe flowers in distinct ways, thus
effecting pollination.
Most Loranthacean species have fleshy, animal-dispersed
single-seeded fruits (Kuijt 1969, Johri and Bhatnagar 1972),
which are an important source of food for many bird species
worldwide (Docters van Leeuwen 1954, Kuijt 1969, Reid 1986,
Watson 2001). Small frugivorous birds that feed largely on the
fruits of mistietoes have evolved independentiy several times
in different parts ofthe world and are the major fruit consumers
and most effective dispersers of their fruit (Ali 1931, Dowsett-
lemaire 1982, Davidar 1983, Liddy 1983, Godschalk 1985). For
the mistietoes, where germination is entirely dependent on
bird dispersal to remove the exocarp, Ladley and Kelly (1996)
conclude that while the current population of sunbirds and
flowerpeckers does not appear to threaten mistietoes survival,
the role ofthe dispersers needs to be considered when pursuing
mistietoes conservation assessment.
Sexual reproduction in a large number of mistietoe species is
influenced by birds, which play a significant role in their pollination
and dispersal. Most Loranthaceous mistletoes have large, brightiy
colored, hermaphroditic flowers, which produce abundant
nectar and are bird-pollinated (Kuijt 1969). Ali (1931) concludes
that the propagation strategy of mistietoe is so inextricably linked
to the behavior of sunbirds and flowerpeckers that they would
soon die out altogether in the absence of the birds. Viscaceous
mistietoes are pollinated by insects (hymenopterans) or wind
(Kuijt 1969), but birds are also important in seed dispersal. In a
large number of Loranthaceae and Viscaceae species the
succulent fruit pulp (mesocarp) contains nutrients to attract
avian dispersers, and endocarp is viscous in order to cement the
seed on host branch. Some Viscaceous genera (Arceuthobium
and Korhalsella) are dispersed locally by fruits with explosive
mechanisms; however, they may also be dispersed over long
distances when the seeds stick to the plumage or pelage of birds
and mammals (B arlow 1983).
TABLE 1. Number of genera and species of Mistletoe in the world
and in Nepal
ca. 1319
Source: *Nickrent 2002; "Hara et al. 1982, Devkota and Glatzel 2005a,
Devkota and Koirala 2005b
TABLE 2. Number of host species for some important mistletoe
Mistletoe species
Number of host
Dendrophthoe falcata
401 (227 genera and
77 families)
Hawksworth et al.
27 (23 genera)
Ganguly and Pal (1975)
Scurrula elata
48 (40 genera and 26
Devkota (2003)
Scurrula parasitica
38 (30 genera and 22
Devkota (2005)
Scurrula pulverulenta
81 (58 genera and 34
Viscum album
452 (96 genera and 44
Barney etal. (1998)
Seed dispersal depends primarily on animals, which are
attracted by the colorful fruits or fleshy appendages. Insects
are the main pollinators ofthe Santalaceae, but humming birds
also are pollinating agents for two South African genera (Kuijt
1969). Among the Santalaceae, bird dispersal predominates
(Kuijt 1969), but ants are also important dispersal agents. The
pollination biology of the Misodendraceae is less well
understood. Single-seeded fruit (achene), with three barbed
awn and a sticky disc at the radical end of Misodendraceous
mistietoes plants are dispersed by wind.
The misunderstood mistletoes
Several studies in the past have concluded that mistietoes are
an important structural and functional component of forests
and woodland communities. The common opinion that
mistietoes are destructive weeds should be challenged. Due
to their parasitic nature, mistietoes have been considered
invasive pests, and as a detriment to forest health by policy
makers, foresters, forest owners, lay people and even
biologists. Mistietoes need to be promoted as indicators of
habitat health, rather than agents of destruction; as Ladley
and Kelly (1996) and Watson (2001) suggested, they should be
"considered a keystone resource in woodlands and forests,
having a disproportionate influence on the distribution
patterns of animals." Besides having profound consequences
for those species associated with their hosts, mistletoe
infection can also have a strong impact on the larger
communities in which it occurs by (for instance) altering forest
structure and composition (Geils and Hawksworth 2002).
Compared to those ofthe NewWorld, OldWorld mistietoes
are under-represented in the mistietoe literature despite their
dominating presence in highly diverse ecosystems from tropics
to temperate. The role of mistietoes in the biodiversity ofthe
Himalayas is unexplored, and it is unknown how mistietoes
affect biodiversity. There is very little information available on
the mistietoes ofthe Nepal Himalaya; most reports come from
the Western Himalayas of India and Pakistan, and a few from
the Southernparts of India (Ali 1936, Davidar 1978).
Potential threats to mistletoes of Nepal Himalayas
The broad-leaved forests ofthe temperate region (2000-3000
masl) constitute the most suitable habitat for mistletoes in
Nepal (Devkota 2003). Nepal's forests, unfortunately, are facing
severe stress due to increasing demand for agricultural land,
timber, fuelwood and fodder, and to encroachment of
settlements on forest areas. The most critical threat to
biodiversity is habitat destruction (HMGN/MFSC 2002).
Deforestation and land degradation are serious problems in
Nepal and major threats to the natural populations of
mistietoes. Other threats include depredation by insects and
fungal disease; vegetation succession; pressure on bird species
that serve as mistletoe pollinators and disseminators;
collection of mistietoe for fodder during the flowering and
fruiting seasons; and, in general, human negligence of a group
of plants incorrectiy identified as pests.
Management requirements
Despite their parasitic nature, the mistietoes play important
roles in natural ecosystems. Regardless of the National
Biodiversity Strategy (HMGN/MFSC 2002), policy makers of
Nepal have failed to recognize the importance of mistietoes in
biodiversity conservation. As an initial step, we need a
nationwide study ofthe current status of mistietoe, including
identification ofthe host range of individual mistietoe species.
The government of Nepal should take the initiative in designing
and implementing an action plan to protect mistletoes;
Tribhuvan University, IUCN, ICIMOD, andWWF Nepal, should
be involved as well. Mistietoe conservation can be initiated by
adopting the following measures:
Immediate protection measures
• Conduct mistietoe inventories throughout the country,
especially in all protected areas, with a view to conservation
management and identify the potential mistietoe habitats,
• Restore and reforest potential habitats especially in
broadleaf forests at middle elevation,
• Impose strict rules against fodder collection and tree felling
in potential habitats,
• Stop agricultural expansion and grazing in and around
potential habitats.
Long term conservation action plan
• Develop a long-term mistietoe conservation plan for
• Continue to monitor mistietoe population in their potential
habitats; establish and maintain a mistietoe database of
• Control human induced disturbance, set the forest
resources for natural regeneration and discourage the use
and introduction of alien species,
• Control pests affecting mistietoes. _\+
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Author index for Volume 2, 2004
Issue 3, January, p 1-70
Bajracharya, Devendra M. Two new records of Eria Lindl.
(Orchidaceae) for Nepal [RESEARCH PAPER], p 46-47,
Bajracharya, RoshanM. Discharge and sediment loads of two
streams in the mid-hills of central Nepal [RESEARCH
PAPER], p 51-54
Balla, Mohan K. See Pandit, 33-36
Burlakoti, Chudamani. Quantitative analysis of macrophytes
of Beeshazar Tal, Chitwan, Nepal [RESEARCH PAPER], p
Chaudhary, Ram P. How to control illegal wildlife trade in the
Himalayas [RESOURCE REVIEW], p 15-16
Clemente, Roberto. See Bajracharya, 51-54
Dani, Ram S. Two new records of Viola L. (Violaceae) for
Nepal [RESEARCH PAPER], p 48-50
Gautam, Krishna H. Ethnosilvicultural knowledge: A
promising foundation for integrating non-timber forest
products into forest management [ARTICLES], p 55-58
Holling, C S. Theories for sustainable futures [POLICY], p 12-
Ives, Jack D. Himalayan perceptions: Environmental change
and the well-being of mountain peoples [PUBLICATION
PREVIEW], p 17-19
Karmacharya, Siddhi B. See Burlakoti, 37-41
Koirala, Madan. Vegetation composition and diversity of Piluwa
micro-watershed in Tinjure-Milke region, east Nepal
Kunwar, Ripu M. Quantitative analysis of tree species in two
community forests of Dolpa district, mid-west Nepal
Pandit, Karun. Indigenous knowledge of terrace management
in Paundi Khola watershed, Lamjung district, Nepal
Pathak, Janak. Methods to reduce soil erosion and nutrient losses
in Kavre district, central Nepal [RESEARCH PAPER], p 42-
Sharma, Shiv P. See Kunwar, 23-28
Sharma, Subodh. See Bajracharya, 51-54
Shrestha, Krishna K. See Bajracharya, 46-47, 50 and Dani, 48-
Sicroff, Seth. Let's air our dirty laundry [EDITORIAL], p 9
Uprety Rajendra. Chemical research should be a national
priority [CORRESPONDENCE], p 10
Watanabe, Teiji. See Gautam, 55-58
Weinberg, Steven. Scientists: Four golden lessons [ESSAY], p
11 ■
Volume 3
Issue 5
Jan-June 2005 ISSN 1727 5210
Assistant Editors
Kumar P Mainali
Ripu M Kunwar
Shishir Paudel
Executive Editor
Arjun Adhikari
Bharat B Shrestha
Rajan Tripathee
Editorial Assistant
Language Editor
Seth Sicroff
Kushal Gurung
Kanak B Kshetri
Himalayan Journal Online
Full text of all papers, guide to authors,
resources for writing and other materials
are available online at
Published by
Himalayan Association for the
Advancement of Science, GPO Box 2838,
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The Editor
Himalayan Journal ofSciences
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Tel: 977-1-5525313 0
E-mail: himjsci @
To visit the office
Himalayan Journal ofSciences
ICIMOD, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, NEPAL
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Advisory Board
Dr J Gabriel Campbell
Director General, International Center for
Integrated Mountain Development,
Khumaltar , Lalitpur, Nepal
Dr Ram Prasad Chaudhary
Professor, Central Department of Botany,
Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
Dr Monique Fort
Professor, Centre de Geographie Physique,
University of Paris, France
Dr Mohan B Gewali
Professor, Central Department of Chemistry
Tribhuvan University Kathmandu, Nepal
Dr Jack Ives
Professor, Department of Geography and
Environmental Studies, Carleton
University Ottawa, Canada
DrPramod KJha
Professor, Central Department of Botany
Tribhuvan University Kathmandu, Nepal
DrUdayR Khanal
Professor, Central Department of Physics,
Tribhuvan University Kathmandu, Nepal
Dr Damodar P Parajuli
Joint Secretary Ministry of Forest and Soil
Conservation, HMG Nepal
Dr Bishwambher Pyakuryal
Professor, Central Department of
Economics, Tribhuvan University,
Kathmandu, Nepal
Dr Madhusudhan Upadhyaya
Nepal Agricultural Research Council,
Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal
Dr Teiji Watanabe
Associate Professor, Hokkaido
University Japan
Dr Pralad Yonzan
Resources Himalaya,
Kathmandu, Nepal
Reviewers of this Issue
Dr Madan Koirala
Central Department of Environment,
Tribhuvan University Kathmandu
Dr Roger White
International Center for Integrated
Mountain Development, Lalitpur
Dr Krishna Chandra Paudel
Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation,
HMGN, Kathmandu
Dr Dilip K Gautam
Department of Hydrology and
HMGN, Babarmahal, Kathmandu
Dr Shiva H Achet
Roosevelt University
Chicago, USA
Dr Madav K Shrestha
Institute of Agriculture and Animal
Tribhuvan University Rampur
Mr KG Rajbansi
Royal Nepal Academy for Science and
Technology Lalitpur
Dr Krishna Kumar Shrestha
Central Department of Botany
Tribuvan University, Kathmandu
Dr Nabin Acharya
Department of Plant Resources,
Godavari, Lalitpur
Dr PK Jha
Central Department of Botany
Tribhuvan University Kathmandu
Dr Binod Bhatta
Institute of Water and Human Resource
Development, Kathmandu
Dr Ram Prasad Chaudhary
Central Department of Botany,
Tribhuvan University Kathmandu
Dr Kanta Paudyal
Amrit Science Campus,
Tribhuvan University Kathmandu
Dr Dinesh Raj Bhuju
Royal Nepal Academy for Science and
Technology, Lalitpur
Dr DB Zobel
Deptartment of Botany and Plant
Pathology Oregon State University USA
Dr DP Joshi
Central Department of Environmental
Science, Tribhuvan University
Dr Mukesh Chettri
Amrit Science Campus,
Tribhuvan University Kathmandu
Dr Fred Naggs
Department of Zoology
The Natural History Museum, London
Dr Indira Devi
Department of Agril Economics, College of
Horticulture, Keral Agriculture University,
Kerala, India
Personal: NRs 100.00
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Outside Nepal: US $10.00


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