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

ConservationSubscribe to Conservation

Mainstreaming Climate Change Commitments through Finance Commissions

This analysis suggests that climate change criterion in the intergovernmental fiscal transfer mechanism in India is a significant step to incentivise the conservation of forests. However, the macropolicy channel of this link is through the public expenditure priorities related to climate change commitments by the state governments.

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.

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.

Tribal Rights and Heritage Conservation in the Western Ghats of Karnataka

In the context of Karnataka, the implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 in the heritage sites of the Western Ghats makes for an important case study of how the concerns of tribals and indigenous people are often marginalised in the debates around conservation. Analysing the process of assigning heritage status to the sites located in the state, reports of government committees on the conservation and global studies show that conservation models that vouched for exclusion of human habitants in ecologically sensitive areas failed to conserve biodiversity. Hence, the adoption of an inclusive and participatory approach is the need of the hour.

Man and Wild

Immersion in the wild is about coexistence, not confrontation.

History, Memory and Struggles

The Roots of the Periphery: A History of the Gonds of Deccan India by Bhangya Bhukya, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2017; pp 209, ₹ 750 .

Ecological Memory

Along with our birds and natural landscapes, our ecological consciousness is slowly disappearing.

Turning the Tide in Forest Rights?

Evaluating the arguments and the rationale behind an order of the Gauhati High Court, this article points out that much of it goes against the spirit of the Forest Rights Act, which sees a role for forest-dwelling communities in wildlife conservation.

Draft Wildlife Action Plan

This analysis of the draft wildlife action plan says that it takes note of the injustices historically carried out upon the local communities and addresses such injustice to be able to create local support for conservation. It also examines the extent to which the draft has explored complementarities between national laws and international obligations.

Conserving Forests in Uttarakhand

Preserving the fragile ecosystem of the mountains and its rich biodiversity requires people's initiative, involvement and commitment. Women in a village in the Kumaon Hills faced with the gradual destruction of the forests around have come together to protect and nurture them.

Water: Charting a Course for the Future - II

Water has suddenly become a favoured subject for seminars and conferences all over the world. A common trend in most of the discussions is to proceed from projections of demand to supply-side solutions in the form of 'water resource development' projects; estimate the massive investment funds needed; take note of the severe limitations on the availability of financial resources with governments; point to private sector investment as the answer; and stress the need for policy change to facilitate this. In India, consciousness of the importance of the subject led to the appointment of the first National Commission on water, which submitted its report in September 1999. This paper attempts to provide a broad and compendious account of the state of affairs in India as far as water resources are concerned and to chart a course for the future. [The paper has been published in two parts, this being the second part. The first part appeared last week.]

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