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

ForestSubscribe to Forest

Governing Sacred Groves

Sacred groves are widely recognised for their religious, cultural, and ecological value. They are an intrinsic part of traditional and indigenous practices of forest governance. However, the contemporary sacred forest system is not an autonomous world. Its sociopolitical landscape is not confined only to the village either. Based on extensive fieldwork in Jharkhand, this paper argues that sacred groves have evolved to be dynamic spaces of multilevel institutional interactions and contestations. Their conservation is contingent on the intersectional dynamics of indigenous, state, and institutional processes. Classical approaches of sacrality of the nature and forms of forest worship need to be combined with the concerns of the local environment, democracy, gender, caste, conservation, and culture.

Need for a Comprehensive Monitoring Framework of Indian Forests

Forests are one of the crucial ecosystems in the world covering about 31% of the global terrestrial area (FAO 2020). More than 1.6 billion people worldwide are dependent on various forest resources and about 350 million people rely directly on them for their livelihoods, also contributing greatly to strengthen the overall gross domestic product (GDP) of nations (World Bank 2002; Li et al 2019). This has led to a decrease in forests globally due to the conversion to other land use and unsustainable extraction of timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) to meet the demands of the growing population (FAO 2020). Owing to the numerous benefits that forests provide, a comprehensive framework focusing on a multidimensional aspect is necessary for sustainable management and effective utilisation.

Uttarakhand : 'Lath' Panchayats:Fading Away

The institution of lath panchayats has successfully worked with the incorporation of long-held traditions of the people of Uttarakhand. However, such a system of collective village responsibility is now in danger of fading away as decision-making powers are centralised in the hands of a few bureaucrats, who are by and large unsympathetic to the immediate needs of the villagers, and their symbiotic relations with the forests.
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