Forest Rights and Climate Change

Forest Rights and Climate Change

Akhilesh Chipli is a voice in the wilderness crying out for the forest dwellers, who for generations lived in harmony with nature and now have to contend with land mafias and ruthless middlemen trying to steal their land. Chipli explains the intentions of the Forest Rights Act (2006) and how it has gone wrong, giving forest land to people who would destroy it instead of protect it, with dire results. 

Ecorights and Responsibility

Ecorights and Responsibility

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.

Art and Sustainable Development

Art and Sustainable Development

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.

Alternative Education – Creating a Microcosm for a Sustainable Society

B. Ramdas

A sustainable society does not fall from the sky nor does it just happen one fine morning. It has to be created through a long and arduous process. There are innumerable nuances and principles that are involved.

Where and how does one get these across to people? Where are the forums? I believe that the best place to begin this process of creation of such a society is in the classroom – with children. Here lies our future!

Just Change – People Before Profit

Many of us have struggled for and with the poor for over four decades now. We have fought human rights abuses, land alienation, untouchability, feudalism and violence against women.

We have mostly won major victories and changed the lives of the poor with whom we had worked.  But forty years down the line, most of us are faced with the stark fact that fighting poverty and fighting for the economic rights of our people is now virtually impossible, and moved beyond our control.

From easily identified local exploitative individuals, the forces causing poverty have moved to new, distant, complex structures way beyond the reach of communities. The blame is now conveniently laid on catch phrases such as market forces, globalisation, liberalization. But the question still remains as to how one deals with these faceless forces? Writes Stan Thekaekara

Village water

Virtual Water – The Blue Gold

The developed nations of USA and Europe have discreetly offloaded their supply chain manufacturing processes to developing countries like India. The finished products include Textiles, Leather and consumables like Bread and Burgers. Nakeeran, in a forceful essay, documents the depletion of water resources that is driving the exporting countries to starvation and collapse. Surface river bodies are polluted and ground water reserves are fast diminishing to near famine conditions. He makes a plea to put an end to virtual water trade by steering to local economic activity, reducing time, distance and becoming self-sufficient within a Geographical zone.