Tribals | Centre for Science and Environment

Tribals


Mining bill gets it right

Sustainable mining is an oxymoron. Environmentalists will tell you this. Mining—coal to limestone—takes away forests, devastates mountains and leaves the land pockmarked. It also destroys livelihoods of people and displaces them. Worse, modern, mechanised mining takes away livelihood based on land but does not replace it with local employment—all estimates show that direct employment in the mining sector has fallen sharply. It provides wealth, but not for local development.

Land is more than just that

My article last fortnight about people’s fight against POSCO has brought me interesting responses. They call for clarifications and further discussion. The question is about the value of current livelihoods of the people of coastal Odisha. Is earning from betel nut farming being exaggerated to reinforce the romantic and misinformed view that people are fighting projects because they are better off today? The equally valid question, then, is: why are the people so apparently poor if they are earning Rs 10-17 lakh per hectare (ha) each year as I had said?

The big idea for change: bamboo as grass

“Stroke of the pen” reform is critical as in many cases policy is dastardly and change is laggardly. The essential element is to find that big-ticket item that can have impact on a scale and at a pace that is needed. I believe Union environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh’s letter addressed to all chief ministers clarifying that bamboo is indeed a grass and not timber, is such an item.

Sharing the wealth of minerals: Policies and practices across the world

Note by the Centre for Science and Environment, based on extensive research published in its book, Rich Lands, Poor People: is ‘sustainable mining possible?
August 2010

How government is subverting forest right act

By: Richard Mahapatra, Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava, Sumana Narayanan, Aparna Pallavi

Two tribal villages in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra—Mendha Lekha and Marda— savoured victory when they won community rights over their forest resources in August last year. The rights conferred under the Forest Rights Act of 2006 include the right to collect and sell minor forest produce (MFP). These include tendu leaves used in beedis, and bamboo that have high commercial value and were under the forest department’s control. Winning the right to manage these resources meant economic liberation to the two villages.

Is bamboo a tree or a grass?

The definition is contested as the answer has immense economic implications. If bamboo is a tree or timber, it belongs to the forest department and can be auctioned to the paper and pulp industry, often at throwaway rates. If it is a grass, then it would be classified as a minor forest produce and people would have the right to cut bamboo for sale or for value addition by making furniture or baskets.

Chhattisgarh: Industrial Jungle

CSE released its cover story on the rapid industrialisation in Chhattisgarh on November 15, 2010 at Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The event was organised by Ekta Parishad. The cover was based on a detailed analysis of the proposed industries in the state, their land and water requirement and whether that state will be able to meet this requirement.

Niyamgiri: Vedanta's battleground for bauxite

And, perhaps, its Waterloo. With the Union ministry of environment and forests refusing to allow the company to mine bauxite in Orissa's Niyamgiri hill, the UK-based mining giant's troubles have multiplied. The quest to resolve all disagreements regarding the company's Lanjigarh alumina refinery project and its mining rights had brought none less than the Orissa chief minister scurrying to Delhi -- to convince the prime minister to push forward the controversial industrial project. The prime minister did not oblige.

Niyamgiri.jpg
Front Page Teaser: 

Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) rejects Vedanta’s mining project in Orissa. CSE brings to you its assessment and analysis along with key documents, reports, EIAs, court ruling and decisions taken by various authorities from 1997 till date on Vedanta, Niyamgiri and Lanjigarh.
 

Vedanta and lessons in conservation

The Forest Rights Act of 2006—also known as the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act—came after considerable and bitter opposition from conservation groups.

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