KARNATAKA

Bandipur’s contributions on the global front

The economic valuation is based on a report by the Centre for Ecological Services Management at the Indian Institute of Forest Management.File Photo

The economic valuation is based on a report by the Centre for Ecological Services Management at the Indian Institute of Forest Management.File Photo  

The sprawling 1,469.69 sq km that forms Bandipur Tiger Reserve is performing yeoman services on a global scale.

The report on the economic valuation of tiger reserves by the Centre for Ecological Services Management at the Indian Institute of Forest Management, estimates that out of Rs. 6,405.7 crore of services generated by Bandipur annually, 80.93% of benefits are on the global level.

The report estimates that 3.06% of the flow benefits are accrued at the local level, while 16.01% are at the national level.

For instance, the report notes that locals get Rs. 2.86 crore worth of firewood every year, grazing provides Rs. 13.2 crore worth of fodder, while non-timber forest produce (honey, medicinal plants, wild fruits, tubers, and others) amount to Rs. 23.9 crore annually. Along with this, employment generation too contributes to the local economy.

In addition, the park contributes nearly 1,121 billion litres of water to the Cauvery worth Rs. 2,067 crore per year; while the forests prevent soil loss and nutrient loss that would have cost Rs. 82.59 crore to rectify. These are considered to have significant national contributions.

However, globally, the reserve plays a key role in sequestering and storage of carbon. The forests store 1.2 crore tonnes of carbon (worth Rs. 8,6958 crore), apart from sequestering 3.45 lakh tonnes of carbon annually (or Rs. 1,418 crore worth of social cost saved annually).

Similarly, as a place that is a habitat for species as well as gene-pool protection (which increases a species’ chance of surviving disease and other disasters), Bandipur’s contributions were considered to be a global service.

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