ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

M D MadhusudanSubscribe to M D Madhusudan

Socio-economic Drivers of Forest Cover Change in Assam: A Historical Perspective

This article analyses the historical context of forest cover change in the upper Brahmaputra Valley of Assam during the precolonial, colonial and the postcolonial periods, locating these changes within the political economy and demographic milieu of each regime. In the current context of rising populations linked to immigration from neighbouring regions, dwindling share of agriculture in the state's gross domestic product, and recent incentives to small tea growers in risk-prone agricultural landscapes, serious challenges remain to securing forests in this region. Empowering local communities and institutions, understanding tea plantation dynamics and managing the causes and consequences of recent demographic change are crucial to the conservation of forests there.

Seeing the Elephant in the Room: Human-Elephant Conflict and the ETF Report

The report of the Elephant Task Force acknowledges the gravity of human-elephant conflicts, and makes a set of potentially far-reaching and forward-looking suggestions to alleviate them. The spirit of most of them is admirable and positive, but the devil, as always, is in the implementation. Managing conflict is as much about protecting farmers and farmlands from elephants as it is about reducing our footprint on the elephant's domain. The first of five articles that discuss the Elephant Task Force report.

Of Rights and Wrongs

While the Wildlife Act was always meant to recognise and settle the rights of forest dwellers, in practice, it has been used largely as a blunt instrument to bludgeon them with. It is entirely possible that the tribal bill could tomorrow become a similar blunt instrument with which to bludgeon wildlife.
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