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ENVIRONMENT : FORESTS

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OP-ED
Euphemising forest diversion?

Plantations or reforestation cannot replace natural forests, which provides an essential ecosystem. Unless policy makers realise this, our natural forests will continue to be used for various purposes shrinking the forest cover further, says Meenal Tatpati.

OP-ED

FOREST RIGHTS
Is “settling” forest rights in “campaign mode” a good idea?
The central government is pushing state governments to give forest rights to tribals by the end of this year. Kanchi Kohli cautions that the intent behind settling these rights claims under the Forest Rights Act in such haste is not what it appears to be.
Environment Adivasis Human Rights

FOREST PATROL
Saving forests: Women sentinels of Gunduribadi
The women of Gunduribadi, a small tribal village in Odisha, go out daily for thengapalli or forest patrolling around their village. They are also members of their Forest Protection Committee which decides how to manage the forest and its resources. Sonali Pattnaik spent a day with these sentinels of Gunduribadi to find out how this movement has restored the forest and empowered the villagers.
Adivasis ORISSA Women

FOREST POLICIES & BIODIVERSITY
Saving the Malabar Hornbill in the hills of Tamil Nadu
Farming practices encouraged by existing forest policies have drastically reduced the sources of food for the Malabar Grey Hornbill, once abundant in the Palni Hills of Tamil Nadu. Madhu Ramnath explains what endangers the species and how they can be saved.
Wild Life Environment People TAMILNADU

TRIBAL DEVELOPMENT
Reversing fate through love for land, forests and water
Abhijit Mohanty brings us the story of certain tribal villages in Koraput district of southern Odisha that have successfully overcome the challenges posed by denudation and inadequate irrigation and have etched out a path towards food security and well-being.
Agriculture Adivasis ORISSA

THE DONGRIA KONDH HABITAT
Securing tribal rights means understanding them first
The recent letter from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, urging states to recognise the habitat rights of vulnerable tribal groups under the FRA, is a welcome move. Meenal Tatpati, Rashi Misra and Subrat Kumar Nayak analyse the Dongria Kondh experience to underline what is necessary to do so effectively.
Livelihood Adivasis Human Rights

GROWTH VERSUS IDENTITY
Why the Dongria Kondh rejected development in the Niyamgiri Hills
The 2013 rejection of the bauxite mining plan in Odisha’s Niyamgiri Hills by the local tribal gram sabhas is hailed as the first successful environmental referendum in the country. Meenal Tatpati and Rashi Misra visit the region to find out what led the people to oppose the proposed ‘development’.
Livelihood Mining Adivasis Human Rights

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT
When women unite
A meticulous initiative by an NGO in remote tribal districts of Odisha has brought women from the local communities together, enabling them to wrest their rights and entitlements under laws such as the FRA and MGNREGA. Abhijit Mohanty writes on the project.
Land Laws Women

HLC REPORT ON ENVIRONMENT
Missing the woods and the trees
Ever since the report of the Subramanian Committee, set up to review and amend key environmental legislation, was leaked, several questions have been raised regarding its real implications for the environment. Darryl D’Monte explains some of the most critical concerns.
Wild Life Environment Opinions Environmental Law and Regulation

ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION
A season of change
It has not been easy to keep track of the frequent announcements of modifications in environmental law and regulation, both major and minor, since the new government assumed power at the Centre. Kanchi Kohli presents a round-up of these proposed and implemented amendments.
Energy Environment Government Environmental Law and Regulation

WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT
An uncertain future for our fauna
As India’s Wildlife Protection Act completes 42 years, conservationists are worried by the recent moves of the government. which appear to undermine the law in a bid to project an industry-friendly regime. T R Shankar Raman analyses the apparent direction in which the Act, and environmental laws in general, seem to be headed.
Environment opinions Wild Life Environment Government Environmental Law and Regulation

CAG AUDIT IN WEST BENGAL
Clearance revoked, but you can still have the forest land!
A CAG audit report finds that despite the revocation of clearance for forest land diverted to a public sector power company, the land continues to be used by them. Himanshu Upadhyaya details this and other findings, which show the gloomy picture of forest governance in West Bengal.
Wild Life Environment Government

FOREST DIVERSION CLEARANCE
'E' is for efficiency, but what about empathy?
The MoEF’s recent move introducing e-filing of applications for approval of forest land diversion may facilitate procedural agility and efficiency, but precludes the interpretation of environmental and human complexities critical to a fair process. Kanchi Kohli elaborates.
Livelihood Environment Government Environmental Law and Regulation
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From Aug 2013, published with support from Oorvani Foundation, a champion of public-funded media for the new India.

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