JEP  Vol.2 No.7 , September 2011
Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Sacred Groves and Conservation of Biodiversity in the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve of India
Abstract: The sacred groves in the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve (PBR) of India were studied to understand the concept of traditional ecological and biodiversity conservation systems. A questionnaire survey was conducted in the selected villages of the PBR along with the survey of sacred groves. In 10 selected villages of the PBR 7 sacred groves were managed by Mawasi and 16 sacred groves by Gond tribal communities. Different deities were worshipped in the sacred groves and each grove was named after the deity dwelling in the respective sacred grove. A total of 19 such deities were recorded during the survey worshipped by the local people. In study area, various traditional customs associated with sacred groves were in practice. The sacred groves were rich in plant genetic diversity and were composed of many ethnobotanically useful species, including wild edible fruits, medicinal plants, fodder, fuelwood and timber yielding species. Given the importance of conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem attempts should be made to maintain the sanctity of sacred groves.
Cite this paper: nullC. Kala, "Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Sacred Groves and Conservation of Biodiversity in the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve of India," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 2 No. 7, 2011, pp. 967-973. doi: 10.4236/jep.2011.27111.

[1]   P. S. Ramakrishnan, “What is Traditional Ecological Knowledge?” In: P. S. Ramakrishnan, R. K. Rai, R. P. S. Katwal and S. Mehndiratta, Eds., Traditional Ecological Knowledge for Managing the Biosphere Reserve in South and Central Asia, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2002, pp. 3-12.

[2]   C. P. Kala, “Ethnobotanical and Ecological Approaches for Conservation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants,” Acta Horticulturae, Vol. 860, 2010, pp. 19-26.

[3]   B. S. Sajwan and C. P. Kala, “Conservation of Medicinal Plants: Conventional and Contemporary Strategies, Regulations and Executions”, Indian Forester, Vol. 133, No. 4, 2007, pp. 484-495.

[4]   S. Tokarev, “History of Religion,” Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1989.

[5]   J. D. Hughes, “Pan’s Travel: Environmental Problems of the Ancient Greek and Romans,” Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1990.

[6]   B. Gowda, “Sacred Plants,” Kalpataru Research Academy, Bangalore, 2006.

[7]   M. Gadgil, F. Berkes and C. Folke, “Indigenous Knowledge for Biodiversity Conservation,” A Journal of the Human Environment, Vol. 22, 1993, pp. 151-156.

[8]   K. C. Malhotra, Y. Ghokhale, S. Chatterjee and S. Srivastava, “Cultural and Ecological Dimensions of Sacred Groves in India,” INSA, New Delhi, 2001.

[9]   B. Ramachandran, “Significance of Kavu—A Note on the Sacred Grove of Kerala in Eco-Cultural Context,” Journal of Human Ecology, Vol. 10, No. 4, 1999, pp. 285-288.

[10]   P. Joshi and Y. Shrivastava, “Drops of Nature Conservation—Sacred Grove,” Journal of Human Ecology, Vol. 11, No. 5, 2000, pp. 327-330.

[11]   V. Xaxa, “Oraons: Religion, Custom and Environment,” In: G. Sen, Ed., Indigenous Vision, Saga Publication, New Delhi, 1991, pp. 101-109.

[12]   M. Gadgil and V. D. Vartak, “Sacred Groves of Western Ghats in India,” Economic Botany, Vol. 30, 1976, pp. 152-160. doi:10.1007/BF02862961

[13]   V. D. Vartak and M. Gadgil, “Studies on Sacred Groves along the Western Ghats from Maharashtra and Goa: Role of Beliefs and Folklores,” In: S. K. Jain, Ed., Glimpses of Indian Ethnobotany, Oxford University Press, Bombay, India, 1981, pp. 272-278.

[14]   M. Gadgil and F. Berkes, “Traditional Resource Management Systems,” Resource Management and Optimization, Vol. 18, 1991, pp. 127-141.

[15]   V. Bhasin, “Religious and Cultural Perspective of a Sacred Site – Sitabari in Rajasthan,” Journal of Human Ecology, Vol. 10, 1999, pp. 329-340.

[16]   S. A. Bhagwat and C. Rutte, “Sacred Groves: Potential for Biodiversity Management,” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 4, No. 10, 2006, pp. 519-524. doi:10.1890/1540-9295(2006)4[519:SGPFBM]2.0.CO;2

[17]   EPCO, “Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve,” Environmental Planning and Co-ordination Organization, Bhopal, 2001.

[18]   E. A. Jayson, “An Ecological Survey at Satpura National Park, Pachmarhi and Bori Sanctuaries, Madhya Pradesh,” Indian Journal of Forestry, Vol. 13, No. 4, 1990, pp. 288-294.

[19]   C. P. Kala, “Home Gardens and Management of Key Species in the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve of India,” Journal of Biodiversity, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2010, pp. 111-117.

[20]   C. P. Kala, “Ethnomedicinal Botany of the Apatani in the Eastern Himalayan Region of India,” Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, Vol. 1, 2005, pp. 1-12.

[21]   P. C. Alexander, “Buddhism in Kerala,” Annamalai University Historical Series, No. 8, Madras, 1949.

[22]   D. Brandis, “Indigenous Indian Forestry: Sacred Groves,” Oriental Institute, England, 1897.

[23]   P. S. Ramakrishnan, “Conserving the Sacred for Biodiversity: The Conceptual Framework,” In: P. S. Ramakrishnan, K. G. Saxena and U. M. Chandrashekara, Eds, Conserving the Sacred for Biodiversity Management, Oxford and IBH Publishing Co., New Delhi, 1998, pp. 3-16.

[24]   S. A. Bhagwat, C. G. Kushalappa, P. H. Williams and N. D. Brown, “A Landscape Approach to Biodiversity Conservation of Sacred Groves in the Western Ghats of India,” Conservation Biology, Vol. 19, No. 6, 2005, pp. 1853-1862. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00248.x

[25]   P. K. Pandit and R. K. Bhakat, “Conserving of Biodiversity and Ethnic Culture through Sacred Groves in Midnapore District, West Bengal, India,” Indian Forester, Vol. 133, No. 3, 2007, pp. 323-344.

[26]   A. D. Khumbongmayum, M. L. Khan and R. S. Tripathi, “Sacred Groves of Manipur—Ideal Centres of Biodiversity Conservation,” Current Science, Vol. 87, 2004, pp. 430-433.