Wednesday, June 27, 2007

note from kalpavriksh below on the adivasi forest conflict in brt hills in karnataka.

forests are vital to india's ecological security. on those forests are also dependent many thousand people. a balance is needed between them for both of them to benefit. a balance that the government and policy makers need to be aware and facilitate by working with community leaders, expert ngo's on this area and distinguished forest officers.

but when the government is manically focused on fake development, how can above good things happen?

In May 2007, Kalpavriksh conducted a field investigation into incidences of forest fires and resulting tension between the Forest Department and Soliga adivasis in the Biligiri Rangaswamy Sanctuary, Karnataka. The investigation revealed that most crucial issue facing the Sanctuary and the adivasis was the ban on collection of non-timber forest produce (NTFP), which has traditionally been a significant source of livelihood for several thousand Soligas. The ban has caused widespread suffering, and also backfired on conservation itself. Urgent steps are needed to resolve the situation, and to move towards healthier collaboration between the Forest Department and the Soligas, aided by NGOs that have been working in the Sanctuary for many years. The investigation report gives details of the findings, and a set of recommendations for the state government, the Soliga Sangha, and NGOs.

The full report at kalpavriksh website gives the entire story.

(br hills in karnataka. a vital area for biodiversity and also a place in which depend several thousands of soliga adivasi tribals. a balance of true development is needed to facilitate sustainable growth of people and ecosystem. but with coffee planting and illegal mining amongst other issues, this place is facing troubled times)