2424242424NTTR December 17 - 30, 2007NTTR December 17 - 30, 2007NTTR December 17 - 30, 2007NTTR December 17 - 30, 2007NTTR December 17 - 30, 2007
Human activities are principalcauses for change in naturalresources. These activities includeenvironmental consumption andintroduction of plant species fordifferent purposes. The ruralpeople of Nepal highly depend onplant resources for medicine,timber, fuel-wood, food, fodderplants, buildings, animal-sheds,wild genetic resources forimproving crop plants, etc.In Nepal, many scientistsexplored and documentedinformation on plant resource usesfrom different parts of Nepal.Among the useful plants recorded,a renowned ethnobotanist, Dr. N.P. Manandhar reported that 800species were recorded asmedicinal plants, 440 species aswild food plants, 100 species asfodder and animal bed, 71 speciesas fiber bearing plants, and 30species as spices. This indicatesthat the people of Nepal exertpressure on plants of differentecosystems. To describe theimpact of people on plantresources of forests and commonlands of western Chitwan, Nepal,field observation and datagathered for “the reciprocalrelationship study betweenpopulation and environmentconducted in 1996, 2000 and2006” were used.
Impact of conversion of land
The forest and common landsare the habitats for growingindigenous plants. These lands areconverted for the purpose ofconstructing huts, or buildings ofclubs/ gymnasium/ temples. Insome areas, common or forest
Human Impact on Plant Resources
Evidences from WesternChitwan, Nepal
lands are converted to agriculturalfields, agricultural lands to fallowor abandoned or protected areasin western Chitwan. This type ofhuman activity replaces naturalecosystems temporarily orpermanently and changes flora ofthe area. For instances,
Oxalis corniculata, Rungia parviflora,Desmodium triflorum
of thecommon lands of Ghailaghari ofJagatpur area were replaced by
Urtica dioica, Clerodendrum viscosum,
when the land wasprotected by Park and PeopleProgram in collaboration with localpeople of the area.
Impact of agriculture
In rural areas, farmers live in ahouse with a courtyard, kitchengarden and khetland or bariland.They also keep some animals,especially buffalo, cattle, goatsand sheep. To keep animals andstore other farm products (straw)and fuelwood, each farmer has aDhansar. They also have plantedBakaino for fodder and fuelwoodor
as hedgeplants. Some farmers use localplants, for example,
as green manure and
as insect repellent.Agricultural entomologists are nowsearching alternative way toreplace or find out the integratedpest management. They areconducting experiments to screeneffectiveness of plants forcontrolling insect pests of differentcrops. If the tested botanicals areused on commercial scale, thechange on vegetation may bemarked due to mass exploitation ofthe plants for their products.
Impact of grazing or foddercollection
Domestic animals either grazein the natural or man-madeenvironments or stall-feed. Due todaily use of the track by theanimals and even by humans, onecan see the trampling effect on theground flora. Animals are alsoselective in grazing and graze onplants, which are palatable. Theunpalatable plants are left in theground, as a result the habitat iscovered by weedy species like
Lantana camara, Eupatorium odoratum, Clerodendrum viscosum, Parthenium hysterophorus, Ageratum houstonianum
especially on thegrounds of the roadsides,canalways and other commonlands.
Impact of tourism industry
In Chitwan, Wildlife tourism isvery famous and uses the riverineforest and the grassland habitatsto see one-horned rhinoceros,peacock, deer, hogs, fowls, etc. inthe Chitwan National Park andvillages/ parts of western Chitwan.As a result of tourists flow inChitwan, many hotels and lodgeswere made using local plantmaterials including plant canes,poles, posts, beams and plantfibers. In the lodge or hotelenvironment, also a lot of alienornamental plants were introducedfor beautification. Some plants, forexample
- acommon species with strongpropagating potential, arebecoming problem even in the jungle of National Park. Besides,this industry also consumes a lotof fuelwood for warming rooms,