Sacred Groves of Himachal Himalayas and their role in natural resource management in a changing environment

Poster Session
UMESH, Narta - Department of Botany, Govt. Post Graduate College, Seema (Rohru), Himachal Pradesh, India
Sarvesh K SOOD - Department of Biosciences, H. P. University, Shimla-5, India


In Himachal Himalaya which is commonly referred to as dev-bhumi (land of Gods) in India, the overlap of geography, religion and culture has created a situation that has favoured their integration with sustainable natural resource use and management. Such integration is reflected in the institution of sacred groves (forests of the God) preserved on religious grounds and based on certain taboos and strong beliefs supplemented by mystic folklores are indicators of the conservation ethics of local community. Modernisation is gradually changing the life and culture of the aboriginals, but the institutions of sacred groves have withstood these waves of change. They have been promoting in-situ conservation of biodiversity and simultaneously have rendered a plethora of ecological and socio-economical services to people of the region.  The present paper attempts to present the effectiveness of sacred groves in natural resource management in Himachal Pradesh in India in a changing environment.