ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From Paper to Practice

While Madhya Pradesh is an acknowledged leader in implementing the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, operationalising the local-level biodiversity management committees is a continuous challenge. The state’s multipronged approach with a focus on bio-fi nance, regulatory fl exibility, convergence with other government schemes, and enabling policy environment holds the key to building empowered, Atmanirbhar biodiversity management committees.

Assessing Marine Plastic Pollution in India

The rampant use of plastics in India and inefficient waste management practices have led to plastic waste being either piled up on dumpsites or finding their way into the open sea, contributing to the global problem of marine plastic pollution. Marine plastic pollution is a threat to the well-being of marine creatures and humans, and there are heavy economic costs as well. Providing a picture of the situation along India’s coast, this study points to the dire consequences in store if no or limited action is taken.

Biofortification

Biofortification refers to the increase in the amount of essential vitamins or provitamins or minerals in crops to improve the nutritional status of the people. The article argues that biofortification may not be an effective weapon to fight against the hidden hunger since it demonstrates limited capacity for nutritional enhancement and suggests a couple of alternatives.

Management of Marine Protected Areas in India

The contributions of Marine Protected Areas vary greatly depending on their size, age, types and intensity of resource extraction in their area and level of financial support for management. Taking India as a typical example, how modern legal rationality, especially with respect to conservation, is entrenched in the idea of territorial control, undermines the efforts of the forest department in seascapes, and triggers conflicts, is described. Marine conservation should be motivated by a non-territorial rationality and engage seriously with alternative approaches such as dynamic co-management and legal pluralism.

National Board for Wildlife and the Illusion of Wildlife Protection

The recent approvals granted by the National Board for Wildlife permitting ecologically destructive activities within national parks and sanctuaries have generated a lot of concern. A significant part of the concern is with respect to the timing, and whether it is appropriate to approve projects during the COVID-19 lockdown. Other larger issues of concern point to the fact that the NBWL has become a “clearing house” for projects, where, irrespective of its impact on wildlife, projects are approved and that the decisions of the board are guided more by economic, strategic, political and other considerations and rarely in terms of wildlife conservation. The NBWL is the apex body for conservation of wildlife and its habitat, and the NBWL’s role is of critical importance to ensure the long-term protection of India’s biodiversity.

Developing Electronic Peoples’ Biodiversity Registers

Wide participation at the grassroots is an important prerequisite for effective documentation, management and monitoring of biological resources. India has long recognised the need for the documentation of biodiversity and associated knowledge. Yet, the progress made through peoples’ biodiversity...

Biodiversity in and around Farmlands

Farmlands and farm practices are increasingly getting homogenised due to the all-pervasive intensification of agriculture. Often blurred in this production maximising system is the biodiversity in and around farms—both wilderness and agricultural—that dots farm neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, unlike biodiversity associated with more recognisable landscapes, such as protected areas and nature reserves, loss of biodiversity in and around farms due to agricultural intensification has not gained as much attention as it deserves. This paper highlights the potential roles that it can play to address challenges of food and nutritional security and securing rural livelihoods by drawing upon specific case studies across India and elsewhere.

Exploring the 4-Cs Framework

In India, mainstream environmentalism and development situate biodiversity conservation and human well-being as mutually exclusive goals. This is contentious because a large section of India’s population has inextricable economic, social, political, and cultural linkages with its rich biodiversity. The 4-Cs framework is suggested to address human well-being within the purview of ecosystem assessment and management by incorporating multiple social-ecological variables. Examples of domains, attributes, and indicators of human well-being are examined in the context of the Forest Rights Act (2006). Further, the framework can be tailor-made to guide conservation practitioners, establish the discourse on human well-being in the field of biodiversity science, and broaden the normative understanding of human well-being as an essential outcome of biodiversity conservation.

Biodiversity-focused Development

“ Sustainable development” and “sustainability” may be among the most used phrases across discourses, both mainstream and radical, on “development.” As in any conceptualisation, disciplinary frameworks and value judgments matter here as well. The goal of sustainable development is to meet the needs...

Practices as Political

Whether the “practising Adivasi” or the practitioners of traditional knowledge are subjects of different rationality is examined here. Through a study of the Lepcha traditional practices in the east Himalayas, it is argued that the practising Adivasi or indigenous peoples are indeed presenting empirical sites of “ethico-political articulations,” or “Ecosophy,” a term Félix Guattari uses in The Three Ecologies to advocate a normative theory and a “futuristic” approach. The study affirms that the recalcitrant Adivasis, who, as groups of our times, are presenting us with life-sustaining zones of pristine biodiversity as alternatives to the nature-devouring, deep industrialisation models of the modern state.

Problems with the Eco-Sensitive Zone

Eco-Sensitive Zones are being touted by the government as transition zones around protected forest areas, that would minimise forest depletion and man-animal conflict. This report, from the Corbett National Park, suggests how ESZs marginalise local interests and would prove detrimental to conservation in the long run.

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