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Beliefs and institutional mechanisms for maintenance of sacred groves of Khasi hills, Meghalaya

Author: 
Kharkongor, B. and Tiwari, B. K.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Despite growing concern for the decline of sacred groves, measures for implementation of the various conservation strategies suggested by various organizations and researchers are still on the rough track. This study was conducted in West Khasi Hills and East Khasi Hills districts of Meghalaya using standard social science methods. It was found that several sacred groves of the district have been immensely degraded and a good number of them have lost their sacredness with time. Some of them have been converted into community forests while others have been commercially exploited. A significant reduction in area of these natural heritages was noticed and unless suitable mechanisms are put in place, most sacred groves of the district will be lost. The beliefs and traditional institutional mechanisms central to conservation and continued existence of sacred groves are eroding and science behind the concept is not percolating among the communities who had maintained the sacred grove since time immemorial.

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