Nanj Village

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 Location  Ecosystem Type    Conservation Type    Area(hectare)  Legal status 
 Mandi, Himachal Pradesh  Forest  Ecosystem Conservation  70  Protected Forest

Case Study (2009)


Nanj village is situated 100 km from Shimla, in the Karsog taluka of Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh. Since 1992, the villagers of Nanj have succeeded in protecting about 70 ha of adjoining forest. This village lies in the Middle Himalayan region where the forest includes species like daru haridra, deodar, khirik or toon, pine, simbal, amla, kambal and sisoo. The fauna includes leopard, barking deer, jungle fowl and Rhesus macaque. The legal status of the land is Demarcated Protected Forest. The main communities residing in Nanj are rajputs, brahmins and gujjars (Muslim). The scheduled caste comprise kolis and chamars. The total population of the village is 700. Agriculture and service are the primary occupations. The villagers depend on the forest to fulfil their fodder and biomass needs. Although the village owns significant livestock with 500 cattle, 60 buffaloes, 50 sheep and 40 goats, grazing is restricted in the forest.

The mahila mandal of the village took the initiative for conservation in this village in 1992. One of the reasons was that the women had to walk about 15 km for fodder and in those areas they were harassed by local villagers because of competition for fodder. Nanj has traditionally been known for a fertile and irrigated plateau of land. However forest degradation, resulting in excessive soil loss, has rendered this land infertile over a period of time. The women decided to take steps to alleviate the fodder scarcity and closed the forest for free grazing. Some of the rules laid down by them were:

1. Complete ban on free grazing in the protected forest.

2. Fodder collection to be done on days decided in the village general meeting. Collection to be done by all families together.

3. No individual collection of fodder.

4. Only one bundle of grass allowed per family per day.

All castes participate in the protection under the management of the mahila mandal. The mahila mandal has an 11-member elected committee which meets once a month.

Very successful regeneration has taken place with many of the native species returning. The community has benefited by overcoming fodder scarcity in the village.

Although there is information that due to protection given to one area resource pressures were diverted to the adjacent forest area, there are no further details available on this. 

  This case study was compiled based on the CCA Directory questionnaire answered by Akshay Jasrotia, Himalaya Bachao Samiti, Chamba, in April, 2001.  

Nekram Sharma
Vill and PO Nanj,
Tehsil Karsog, Dist Mandi
171304 HP

Himalaya Bachao Samiti
Vill Kamla, PO Garnota
Sub-tehsil Sihunta
Chamba 175207 HP

This case study was part of the Directory on Community Conserved Areas (2009), published by Kalpavriksh. The directory can be downloaded here.

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An article about the villagers replacing pine monoculture with other varieties.

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