The Village Common Forests (VCFs) commonly known as Mauza forests as well play a crucial role

to manage a standard for the protection of biodiversity, natural environments in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) and in conserving forest resources with sustainable utilization. Its sound biodiversity nurses rare plant and animal species that are not usually found in state-owned reserves or unclassified forests in the present situation and watershed function as well. For example more than 162 plant species under 60 families in the VCF of the Bandarban Hill District, with larger valuable tree species that are not usually found in other forests. Recently, a total number of 135 species under 39 families belonging to 12 orders of economically important insects were reported from 20 VCFs of CHTs. The material values of VCFs can be easily estimated in terms of provided fuelwood, herbs, roots, bamboo shoots, wild fruits, vines, and leaves for cooking or medicinal use. Besides, some VCFs consist mostly of bamboo brakes, while others contain a more heterogeneous stand of lives.
Image: A Village Common Forest (VCF)
During the British colonial period, more particularly from 1871 to 1885 indigenous villagers of hill tracts who lost access to land that was nationalized were forced to move into state-owned reserve forests. There they anticipated their traditional resource management patterns to retain forest cover for long-term use. This gave birth to VCFs of today where shifting cultivation is prohibited by socially enforced sanctions and religious taboos. These forests are directly managed, protected, and used by indigenous village communities to fulfill their daily demands. According to the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regulation, 1900 the leadership of the Mauza Headman (the smallest administrative unit for revenue collection in the CHTs), Karbari (village head or elder), educational or religious institutions, or a committee formed by leaders from one or more villages manage such kind of forest.  The VCFs are generally small, averaging from 20 to approximately 1000 hectares in size and consisting of naturally grown or regenerated vegetation. Though it is controversial about the total number of VCF, it might be more than 300 in numbers.

Among 1,635,250 existing recorded species about eighty percent of the mentioned species covered by insects globally. The natural forests are home to different economic species of insects; they work as functional groups in forest ecosystems and they are good indicators of a healthy forest ecosystem as well. In brief, it can be said forest insects play a principal role in plant reproduction, soil fertility, sustained forest health and diversity. In addition, the economy of forest-adjacent communities particularly the twelve ethnic groups in CHTs is greatly influenced by insects directly and indirectly. For instance, insects generate income sources by proving natural nectar, wax, silk, and supporting food security. As a normal part of the diet throughout the year or in seasons of occurrence edible insects like mole crickets, grubs, grasshopper, termites, larvae, caterpillars, Cockroach, beetles, giant water bugs, scorpions etc. are utilized in ethnic groups in CHTs. The high nutritional value of edible insects is recognized by Longvah et al. (2011) through comparison research in essential amino acids, minerals composition among insect fresh weight (silkworm pupae) and common animal foodstuffs fresh weight.

Edible insect as food and feed has emerged as an agile issue due to the rising cost of animal protein, food and feed insecurity, growing population and rising demand for protein among the middle class. More than 1 900 species of edible insects are eaten by more than 2 billion people including 3,000 ethnic groups around the world. Its global market is about $16 billion. Which is expected to grow over the next six years with a significant growth rate? The most commonly eaten insect orders are Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Orthoptera, Homoptera, Isoptera and Hemiptera. Edible insects inhabit a large variety of habitats, from aquatic ecosystems and farmed land to forests.
With different published reports and a survey, it revealed that more than thirteen species of insects such as Omphisa fuscidentalis (Crambidae: Lepidoptera), Gryllides sp., Gryllus confirmatus (Gryllidae: Orthoptera); Microcerotermes sp.  Odentotermes sp. (Termidae: Isoptera); Apis (Apidae: Hymenoptera); Wasps (Vespidae: Hymenoptera); Belostoma sp., Lethocerus sp. (Belostomatidae: Hemiptera); Cicada sp. (Cicadidae: Hemiptera); Rhynchophorus sp(Curculionidae: Coleoptera);  Grasshopper  (Acrididae: Orthoptera); Ants (Formicidae: Hymenoptera) are consumed by indigenous communities in Chittagong. Larvae of Apis and wasps are popular food items in all indigenous communities.

Edible insects may create an opportunity for health, environmental, livelihoods and earn foreign currency as well. However, food safety and environmental sustainability must be considered.
On the basis of modified DeFoliart (1991) some major issues need to be contemplated to promote insects as a human food source,
1) Enhancing habitat conservation and management
2) Reducing poaching in parks and wildlife preserves by allowing sustainable use of the food insect resources by the local people.
3) Reducing both inorganic and organic pollutions
4) Increasing environmental and economic efficiency by developing dual product systems
5) Reducing by recycling agricultural and forestry wastes into high‐quality food or animal feedstuffs.
6) Economic and marketing data exploring.
7) Sufficient knowledge of postharvest handling of insects and improved processing and storage.
8) The practice of domestication and husbandry or farming of edible insects.

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