Advertisement

Conclusions

  • Anup SaikiaEmail author
Chapter
  • 456 Downloads
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Geography book series (BRIEFSGEOGRAPHY)

Abstract

Human populations have transformed ecosystems locally, regionally and globally. In the north east India biodiversity hotspot as well, human populations are slowly transforming the region’s ecosystems. There can be no room for complacency taking the convenient but untenable explanation that other biodiversity hotspots are equally under threat. In many ways north east India represents a scenario wherein the progression and acceleration of the anthropocene has occurred. The region is emblematic of the challenges faced by societies that are barely industrialized and heavily forest sector dependent. Population growth has rendered age old practices like shifting cultivation (jhum) untenable and progressively less ecologically friendly. If the anthropocene is conceptualized as denoting the current interval of time, dominated by human activity then India’s north eastern region fits in very precisely, given its systematic domination of the landscape by humans. High human population density in areas close to protected areas and the biomass requirements of these households is problematic in north east India. Fuelwood, issues of encroachment and illegal logging are all eating into the vitals of the region’s forest resources. Indeed the time is ripe to act to save the rich forest resources of this hotspot from further decimation.

Keywords

Anthropocene Human dominated landscape Forest Hotspot Shifting cultivation 

References

  1. Achard F, Eva HD, Stibig H, Mayaux P, Gallego J, Richards T, Malingreau J (2002) Determination of deforestation rates of the world’s humid tropical forests. Science 297:999–1002. doi: 10.1126/science.1070656 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Banfai DS, Bowman DMJS (2007) Drivers of rain-forest boundary dynamics in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia, a field assessment. J Trop Ecol 23:73–86. doi: 10.1017/S0266467406003701 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhatt BP, Sachan MS (2004) Firewood consumption pattern of different tribal communities in northeast India. Energy Policy 32:1–6. doi: 10.1016/S0301-4215(02)00237-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brodie J, Post E, Laurance WF (2012) Climate change and tropical biodiversity: a new focus. Trends Ecol Evol 27:145–150. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2011.09.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Conservational International (2013) The biodiversity hotspots. http://www.conservation.org/where/priority_areas/hotspots/Pages/hotspots_main.aspx. Accessed 24 May 2013
  6. Davidar P, Arjunan M, Mammen PC, Garrigues JP, Puyravaud JP, Roessingh K (2007) Forest degradation in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot: resource collection, livelihood concerns and sustainability. Curr Sci 93:1573–1578Google Scholar
  7. Davidar P, Sahoo S, Mammen PC, Acharya P, Puyravaud JP, Arjunan M, Garrigues JP, Roessingh K (2010) Assessing the extent and causes of forest degradation in India: where do we stand. Biol Conserv 143:2937–2944. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.04.032 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ellis EC, Goldewijk KK, Siebert S, Lightman D, Ramankutty N (2010) Anthropogenic transformation of the biomes 1700–2000. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 19:589–606. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00540.x Google Scholar
  9. Ellis EC (2011) Anthropogenic transformation of the terrestrial biosphere. Phil Trans R Soc. Am 369:1010–1035. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2010.0331 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Laurance WF (2007) Have we overstated the tropical biodiversity crisis. Trends Ecol Evol 22:65–70. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2006.09.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Laurance WF, Useche DC, Shoo LP, Herzog SK, Kessler M, Escobar F, Brehm G, Axmacher JC, Chen IC, Gámez LA, Hietz P, Fiedler K, Pyrcz T, Wolf J, Merkord CL, Cardelus C, Marshall AR, Ah-Peng C, Aplet GH, Arizmendi MD, Baker WJ, Barone J, Brühl CA, Bussmannx RW, Cicuzzae D, Eilu G, Favila MF, Hemp A, Hemp C, Homeier J, Hurtado J, Jankowski J, Kattána G, Kluge J, Krömer T, Lees DC, Marcus Lehnert M, Longino JT, Lovett J, Martin PH, Patterson BD, Pearson RG, Peh KSH, Richardson B, Richardson M, Samways MJ, Senbeta F, Smith TB, Utteridge TMA, Watkins JE, Wilson R, Williams SE, Thomas CD (2011) Global warming, elevational ranges and the vulnerability of tropical biota. Biol Conserv 144:548–557. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.10.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Myers N (1991) Tropical forests: present status and future outlook. Climatic Change 19:3–32. doi: 10.1007/BF00142209 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nongbri T (2001) Timber ban in north-east india: effects on livelihood and gender. Econ and Polit Weekly 36:1893–1900Google Scholar
  14. Puyravaud JP, Davidar P, Laurance WF (2010) Cryptic loss of India’s native forests. Science 329:32. doi: 10.1126/science.329.5987.32-b CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Phillips OL, Aragao LEOC, Lewis SL, Fisher JB, Lloyd J, Lopez-Gonzalez G, Malhi Y, Monteagudo A, Peacock J, Quesada CA, van der Heijden G, Almeida S, Amaral I, Arroyo L, Aymard G, Baker TR, Banki O, Blanc L, Bonal D, Brando P, Chave J, de Oliveira ACA, Cardozo ND, Czimczik CI, Feldpausch TR, Freitas MA, Gloor E, Higuchi N, Jimenez E, Lloyd G, Meir P, Mendoza C, Morel A, Neill DA, Nepstad D, Patino S, Penuela MC, Prieto A, Ramirez F, Schwarz M, Silva J, Silveira M, Thomas AS, Steege H, Stropp J, Vasquez R, Zelazowski P, Davila EA, Andelman S, Andrade A, Chao KJ, Erwin T, Fiore AD, Honorio EC, Keeling H, Killeen TJ, Laurance WF, Cruz AP, Pitman NCA, Vargas PN, Ramirez-Angulo H, Rudas A, Salamao R, Silva N, Terborgh JW, Torres-Lezama A (2009) Drought sensitivity of the Amazon rainforest. Science 323:1344–1347. doi: 10.1126/science.1164033 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rawat YS, Vishvakarma SCR, Todaria NP (2009) Fuel wood consumption pattern of tribal communities in cold desert of the Lahaul valley, north-western Himalaya, India. Biomass Bioenergy 33:1547–1557. doi: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2009.07.019 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Saikia A (1998) Shifting cultivation, population and sustainability: the changing context of northeast india. Development 41:97–100Google Scholar
  18. Saikia A, Hazarika R, Sahariah D (2013) Land use land cover change and fragmentation in the Nameri Tiger Reserve, India. Geografisk Tidsskrift-Danish Journal of Geography 113:1–10. doi: 10.1080/00167223.2013.782991 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Slaughter RA (2012) Welcome to the anthropocene. Futures 44:119–126. doi: 10.1016/j.futures.2011.09.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Steffen W, Persson A, Deutsch A, Zalasiewicz J, Williams M, Richardson K, Crumley C, Crutzen P, Folke C, Gordon L, Molina M, Ramanathan V, Rockstrom J, Scheffer M, Schellnhuber HJ, Svedin U (2011a) The Anthropocene: from global change to planetary stewardship. Ambio 40:739–761. doi: 10.1007/s13280-011-0185-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Steffen W, Grinevald J, Crutzen P, McNeill J (2011b) The Anthropocene: conceptual and historical perspectives. Phil Trans R Soc Am 369:842–867. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2010.0327 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tucker RP (1988a) The depletion of India’s forests under British imperialism: planters, foresters, and peasants in Assam and Kerala. In: Worster D (ed) The ends of the earth: perspectives on modern environmental history. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  23. Tucker RP (1988b) The British empire and India’s forest resources: the timberlands of Assam and Kumaon 1914–1950. In: Richards JF, Tucker RP (eds) World deforestation in the twentieth century. Duke University Press, DurhamGoogle Scholar
  24. Tickell C (2011) Societal responses to the Anthropocene. Phil Trans R Soc Am 369:926–932. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2010.0302 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tisdell C, Roy K (1997) Sustainability of land use in north-east India: Issues involving economics, the environment and biodiversity. International Journal of Soc Econ 24:160–177. doi: 10.1108/03068299710161188 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Vitousek PM, Mooney HA, Lubchenko J, Melillo JM (1997) Human domination of earth’s ecosystems. Science 227:494–499. doi: 10.1126/science.277.5325.494 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Vuohelainen AJ, Coad L, Marthews TR, Malhi Y, Killeen TJ (2012) The effectiveness of contrasting protected areas in preventing deforestation in Madre de Dios, Peru Environ Manage 50:645–663. doi: 10.1007/s00267-012-9901-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zalasiewicz J, Williams M, Steffen W, Crutzen P (2010) The new world of the Anthropocene. Environ Sci Technol 44:2228–2231. doi: 10.1021/es903118j CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Zalasiewicz J, Williams M, Fortey R, Smith A, Barry TL, Coe AL, Bown PR, Rawson PF, Gale A, Gibbard P, Gregory FJ, Hounslow MW, Kerr AC, Pearson P, Knox R, Powell J, Waters C, Marshall J, Oates M, Stone P (2011) Stratigraphy of the Anthropocene. Phil Trans R Soc Am 369:1036–1055. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2010.03151471-2962 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyGauhati UniversityGuwahatiIndia

Personalised recommendations