Aliens in their own lands: When Chhattisgarh’s tribals were turned into encroachers

The Hindu || Jacob Koshy || April 6, 2019

In Chhattisgarh, the Forest Rights Act potentially allows 7.4 million tribal and other traditional forest dwellers to claim land rights. However, half these claims have been rejected and the land siphoned off, often arbitrarily. Jacob Koshy reports on the difficulties in implementing the Act and the plight of the Adivasis

Three years ago, Sunder Singh Kumeti, a Gond tribal, lost access to a parcel of land in the forest that he and his family had foraged for two generations. Before that, Kumeti recalls his work routine as being more or less the same everyday from boyhood. He would walk, along with his fellow villagers, several kilometres into the forest abutting his village looking for flowers from the mahua tree, or wood from the stout sal tree. His village, Patkalbeda, located in Antagarh panchayat of Kanker district in Chhattisgarh,is mostly forest area, though not classified as a reserve forest or a protected area. Read more

Minerals Are Shared Inheritance: How Can We Ensure That Our Children Inherit Their Share?

The Logical India || Contributors Written by : Rahul Basu (Guest Author) || Edited by : Bharat Nayak || April 2nd, 2019

If mining destroys the environment, the minerals are sold and the mineral stock depleted, what is there for future generations? The National Mineral Policy 2019 lays a systematic foundation for the implementation of the Intergenerational Equity Principle. While rooted in the Constitution, some steps need to be taken quickly to reduce uncertainty to the mining industry.

How do we implement intergenerational equity? The Supreme Court has faced this question first in the Bellary iron ore scam, next in the Goa iron ore scam and later in the Odisha iron ore scam. In its judgment in the Odisha mining case (Common Cause vs Union of India & Others, WP(c) 114 of 2014), the Supreme Court of India discussed the Intergenerational Equity Principle in the context of a demand for a future generations fund and a cap on extraction and ordered a review of the National Mineral Policy 2008. Goa Foundation, the petitioner in the Goa mining cases, has advocated a holistic approach to the implementation of the intergenerational equity principle in mining. Read more

Interview | ‘Adivasi Culture and the Forest Are Linked. PESA Looks After Both’

The Wire || Saahil Kejriwal and Rachita Vora || March 28, 2019

In conversation with Adivasi lawyer and social activist Lalsu Nogoti about the importance of engaging with law and politics to bring about social change.

Lalsu Nogoti is an independent elected member of the Zila Parishad in the district of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. He is also the first lawyer from the Madia Gond Adivasi community in that district. A firm voice against large-scale diversion of forest land for numerous mining projects, Nogoti has also been part of several peoples’ movements against the state’s development policies. The focus of his work is on the effective implementation of laws that protect Adivasi rights. Read more

Climate change imperils Sundarbans tiger habitats

Mongabay || Sahana Ghosh || 26 March 2019

  • Royal Bengal tigers in the Bangladesh Sundarbans could be wiped off by 2070 due to a combination of climate change and sea level rise.
  • By 2050, researchers forecast a Ceriops-dominated mangrove stretch along the India-Bangladesh border would potentially be the last refuge of the big cats in the Sundarbans.
  • Transboundary conservation measures by the Bangladesh and Indian governments are needed urgently otherwise the fate of the tiger will be the same in the entire Sundarbans, said researchers.

In 50 years from now, by 2070, the entire population of Bengal tigers in the Sundarbans mangroves in Bangladesh is likely to be lost to climate change and sea level rise, a modeling study by Bangladesh and Australian researchers has predicted. Read more

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