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

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Maximum Sustainable Yield

Some scientific concepts are accepted and sustained by policymakers not because they can accurately explain or predict the state of natural resources, but because they can be used to legitimise certain forms of resource control. Taking the concept of maximum sustainable yield as an example, how it was originally developed in the context of scientific forestry, but entered marine fisheries management and became a part of the “accepted wisdom,” has been analysed. The consequences this has had, for marine fisheries globally and also in India, and the critiques it has spurred have been explained. The msy’s persistence is unpacked to suggest that debates on resource management need to be attentive to context, in order to understand how science may get enmeshed in efforts to enclose and appropriate resources.

Indian Agriculture

Sustainability of agriculture depends on soil management systems that ensure food security, healthy soils and ecosystem services, and prevent resource degradation. Globally, conservation agriculture has provided a common thread for the application of five sustainability principles—efficient use of water, reduced use of agrochemicals , improved soil health, adapt to climate change, and doubling farmer income—in order to tie the mix of interventions with local needs and priorities of the farmers. For food and ecological sustainability of Indian agriculture, the state’s interventions must be on the basis of the conservation agriculture approach.

Bovine Politics and Climate Justice

Caught between deepening ecological, climate, and economic crises, marginal and small farmers in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been systematically pushed out of dairy and other livestock livelihoods. The growing political environment in India, openly supportive of cow-related hate crimes in the name of upholding anti-slaughter laws, is further destroying farmer livelihoods. Smallholder farmers are organising in creative ways, radically opposed to the dominant policy recommendation, in order to counter this situation and build climate and economic resilience that is socially just.

Agroecological Farming in Water-deficient Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is confronted with a water crisis that is adversely affecting agriculture, industry, services, and households. The principal crop in Tamil Nadu is rice, which is water intensive. Millets, in general, are less water intensive and more capable of withstanding drought conditions. An agroecological system of farming millets ought to take into account not only water use, but also the whole gamut of political and ecological issues that are connected to farming such as public procurement, land reform, minimum support price, subsidised credit, agricultural extension services, and so on. The publicly procured millet output may be distributed through the public distribution system, government schools, and through the network of Amma canteens in the state.

State, Community and the Agrarian Transition in Arunachal Pradesh

Following the rapid and uneven integration with the capitalist economy, the local economies and institutional mechanisms of the indigenous communities of Arunachal Pradesh have been transformed in multiple and complex ways. With the commercialisation of agriculture and the gradual emergence of private property rights, the community-based institutions for natural resource management and conflict resolutions are undergoing a multilevel transformation. This is mediated through the interactions among community, market and state institutions. With the expansion of the non-agricultural economy, a powerful class of local elites has attempted to extract rent through a variety of means, often using their membership of local communities and access to state institutions to safeguard their interests, against the backdrop of the ethnic competition between different ethnic groups.

Urbanisation and New Agroecologies

Rural–urban interfaces worldwide are increasingly witnessing massive transformations in the structure, functions, and services of complex ecosystems of these zones. An attempt has been made to understand the transitions triggered by urbanisation in the peri-urban agricultural systems of Bengaluru. Using a combination of land-use change analysis and group interactions, the temporal and spatial patterns in the impacts of urban expansion on agroecology in Bengaluru’s peripheries have been traced. The varying nature of agroecological and sociocultural impacts corresponding to differences in the pattern of urban expansion along different directions from the city have also been unravelled. Further, agroecological repercussions of existing and proposed urban planning strategies for Bengaluru have been discussed.

Global Status of Agroecology

Over the last decade, agroecology has rapidly moved from the margins and taken centre stage in global discussions on environment and development. Institutions like the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization increasingly argue that agroecology can significantly help alleviate hunger and poverty as well as contribute to meeting other sustainable development goals. In this context, the history and practices of agroecology are outlined, and some of the ecological, social, economic, and political challenges for transformation to agroecology and food sovereignty have been identified.

Introduction

Why a Review of Environment and Development? The Review of Environment and Development has been ­imagined to address social, political and economic ­issues ­related to environment and ecosystems, at all scales from local to global. In particular, it is intended to capture the dialectical...

Governance of Waste

Well-versed in the production of waste, corporate capital has not generally focused on capitalising on waste. The discards of consumption, previously approached broadly as mere waste, have recently found rebirth in an increasingly corporate waste market in India. Ranging from contracts for waste collection and incineration-plant installation to sales of recyclables, formal businesses are entering the business of revaluing waste, often to the detriment of India’s already existing informal waste sector that has long conducted its own waste-based businesses. This new, increasingly corporate, business of waste is intimately connected to a new waste governance regime in India. Concerns regarding two symbolically significant waste streams, municipal solid waste and electronic waste, illuminate waste beyond its “management,” and demonstrate its embeddedness in matters of consumerism, informal-sector livelihoods, and urban ecology.

Why Do Institutions Shy Away from Action?

Coastal zone management authorities—which were created for the implementation of Coastal Regulation Zone notifications to regulate the use of space for the entire coastline of India at the state level—are relinquishing their powers. Across coastal states, a particular diffidence is seen in taking cognisance of CRZ violations and addressing them. First, when does an institution refuse to use the powers assigned to it? Is it when the powers to enforce are not balanced by protection to them? Or is it when there is a lack of political will? Second, are the instances of inaction borne out of a fear of backlash or a sheer lack of leadership amongst the members to take bold decisions? The paper concludes with identifying a few of the factors that can make the institutions act.

The Industrial Project and Organised Labour

This paper looks at the responses of organised labour to the “development” project exemplified by the steel plant, the big dam and the power plant. More precisely, it analyses the presence (or not) of an ecological critique in trade union/labour responses to industrial projects. The paper explores theoretical connections between class-based politics and ecological questions. It delineates some of the specific processes and conditions which can facilitate the entry of ecological issues into the imaginations of a trade union, using the experiences of the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha in central India in the process. It argues that “class consciousness” is hardly a deterrent for an engagement with ecology, if one adequately understands the definitions of “class,” labour and production. In India’s specific context, the coming together of the concerns and imaginations of the industrial worker and the Adivasi peasant/farmer can facilitate this conversation between “red” and “green” imaginations.

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