IMHE OpenIR  > Journal of Mountain Science  > Journal of Mountain Science-2017  > Vol14 No.2
Collecting Ophiocordyceps sinensis: an emerging livelihood strategy in the Garhwal, Indian Himalaya
Corresponding AuthorLaura CAPLINS
Source PublicationJournal of Mountain Science
AbstractIn the Garhwal of Uttarakhand, India, the Bhotiya, an ethnically and culturally distinct tribal group, were historically engaged in seasonal migration (i.e. transhumance) to take advantage of scarce mountain resources and trade relations with Tibet. This livelihood practice has all but disappeared. Households are adapting to these changing circumstances by engaging in the collection and sale of the valuable alpine medicinal fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis, widely known as Cordyceps. The collection of this fungus has exploded, emerging as a lucrative yet high-risk livelihood strategy for many Bhotiya communities. The Bhotiyas' historic herding and trade-based interactions and knowledge of these alpine environments where Cordyceps are found uniquely positions them to access this valuable biological resource. Elsewhere in the Himalayan region, some households are earning as much as two-thirds of their income from the collection of Cordyceps; in China Cordyceps is now listed as an endangered species due to intense over-exploitation in the Tibetan Plateau. This paper seeks to fill the void in the scientific literature on the social, ecological and economic aspects of the emerging Cordyceps trade in the Garhwal. Our study investigates the socio-spatial dimensions of Cordyceps collection in the high alpine meadows. We document how a fusion of local knowledge and practice with alpine mountain systems has served to reinvigorate the economic integrity of mountain communities at a time of rapid socio-economic change and to reimagine a new relationship between alpine resources and community well-being. The article offers suggestions to address the sustainability of both Cordyceps collection and livelihood activities which hinge on this fungus population. We find a need for (1) community-based conservation measures that are rooted in (2) secure resource access rights for local communities to continue sustainable collection and sale of Cordyceps and (3) participatory-and science-based processes for determining appropriate local collection numbers.
KeywordCordyceps(ophioCordyceps Sinensis) Garhwal Himalaya Livelihood Alpine Meadows Bhotiya Sustainability
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Document Type期刊论文
CollectionJournal of Mountain Science_Journal of Mountain Science-2017_Vol14 No.2
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GB/T 7714
Laura CAPLINS,Sarah J. HALVORSON. Collecting Ophiocordyceps sinensis: an emerging livelihood strategy in the Garhwal, Indian Himalaya[J]. Journal of Mountain Science,2017,14(2):390-402.
APA Laura CAPLINS,&Sarah J. HALVORSON.(2017).Collecting Ophiocordyceps sinensis: an emerging livelihood strategy in the Garhwal, Indian Himalaya.Journal of Mountain Science,14(2),390-402.
MLA Laura CAPLINS,et al."Collecting Ophiocordyceps sinensis: an emerging livelihood strategy in the Garhwal, Indian Himalaya".Journal of Mountain Science 14.2(2017):390-402.
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