What and who gives humans the right to its ecosystem? Ancient and today’s tribal communities believe that their right to utilize resources in the ecosystem on which they depend is encompassed with a huge responsibility to protect and conserve it. In all situations right is a community (such as family, office, institution, association, organization, state or any other group), and therefore there is no such thing as private or individual right. This makes responsibility also beyond the self. The author Nirmal Selvamony provides interesting insights with examples, into rights and responsibilities towards our ecosystem.
Jyoti Sahi brings a different perspective to sustainability and the need for artists to express social and environmental aspects through their art. He talks about the ethical responsibility of artists and how they can use art to extend their sphere of influence.
This image shows worship of the Peepul Tree using garlands, thread that is tied round the tree, and snake stones at a wayside shrine. The image is meant to show the way in which a folk culture in India celebrates nature, showing how art as ritual sustains the sacred in the natural environment. This sketch by the author is based on the photograph that he took at the Nallur Amaroy Thopu (sacred grove) near Devanahalli in Karnataka.
Despite large-scale water supply infrastructure built over the years in India, areas prone to drought have only increased. Communities having had to deal with changing climate and ill-planned infrastructure, innovate and look at simple systems to manage water requirements. Gopakumar Menon throws light on such best practices, and asserts the need of the Government to learn from these.
Alex Jensen in his thought-provoking article on waste management, focuses our attention on plastic wastes in India and the associated environmental problems. He highlights linkages between climate change, environmental health, plastics production, waste & health of the economy, to drive home the point of interdependencies and the need to move towards zero waste options. Above: Leh landfill. Photo Credit: Juan Del Rio
Louis B Figaredo uses the case of the Paniyas to drive home the importance of traditional knowledge. This community has for several decades depended on the forests and farmlands for sustenance and because of which respect their respect for the environment is immense. Above: Paniya tribe cultivating paddy in leased land.