Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Development
Sustainable development depends upon participation by the people, and their awareness of the environmental effects of their actions. This paper analyses the awareness of the deforesting effect (DFE) of firewood use in the users. It shows that those who bear the costs of deforestation, either by travelling long distances, or by buying all their firewood, are more likely to be aware than others of DFE. Specifically, ceteris paribus, households that buy all their firewood are 3 times as likely to be aware as households that collect at least part of their firewood, ceteris paribus. Likewise, every extra kilometre travelled to collect free firewood increases the odds of awareness by 94%, ceteris paribus. Income, education of the head, and community affiliation show no significant association with awareness. However, those in poorer dwellings are more likely to be aware of the DFE than those in pucca houses, ceteris paribus. Large cultivators are more likely to be aware of DFE, whereas ag. Labour are less likely to be aware than other occupations, controlling for other factors. Significantly, firewood users in less fertile districts appear to be more likely to be aware of the DFE effect than firewood users in more fertile districts. This study also reveals the severe limitations of tools of bivariate analysis (correlations, cross-tabulations, chi- squares) in multivariate situations involving survey data. In some cases bivariate tools fail to detect associations revealed to be significant by logistic analysis, and in other cases, they detect a spurious association by attributing the effects of excluded variables to the included independent variable. The results of the study suggest that reforestation/social forestry efforts should shortlist villages far removed from free firewood, or purchasing their entire stock of firewood. And that education of DFE should have a special focus on agricultural labour, dwellers of pucca houses, and more fertile districts, relative to other groups.
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- Gangopadhyay, Shubhashis & Ramaswami, Bharat & Wadhwa, Wilima, 2005. "Reducing subsidies on household fuels in India: how will it affect the poor?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(18), pages 2326-2336, December.
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