Skip to main content

Wildlife and Sustainable living

‘Assessment Report on the Sustainable Use of Wild Species’ is the result of a long research by about 300 social and natural scientists from across the world. The study points out that billions of people worldwide rely on about 50,000 wild species for food, energy, medicine and income. 33,000 species are plants and fungi; 7,500 are fish and aquatic creatures; and 9,000 are amphibians, insects, reptiles, birds and mammals. About 10,000 species are used directly for human food. All these facts underscore the importance of wild life and the necessity for its sustainable use.

The tribal people of India have always had their own traditional ways for preserving the forests and wild life. They have always been aware of the simple truth that forests are not fragile entities to be conserved through patronage from above. Forests are life itself. Caring for them is not a strategical and legal affair. You can’t preserve the forests merely by making certain laws as we can understand easily by looking at what has happened (and is happening now) in India. Caring for forests is an intuitive and holistic process as always understood by the tribal people who lived in harmony with forests.

The present government of India is selling the country’s forests to the corporate sector in the name of development. The Modi government cocks a snook at the world’s efforts to implement practices of sustainable living and sustainable use of resources including wild life. The Forest Conservation Rules of 2022 are totally against the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UNO. According to this new set of regulations, the union government may permit the clearance of a forest without first informing its residents. This is diametrically opposed to the earlier provision that the local people and grama sabhas would be consulted first before any forestland is taken over for development purposes.

Now, with the new regulation put in place by the Modi government, the Centre, without consulting the state governments and the people affected, can hand over forestlands to the corporate sector. The earlier regulation – The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act, 2006 – was a historic and progressive law which conferred land and livelihood rights to Adivasi, Dalit and other families living in forest areas. The new regulation makes it all too easy for the corporate sector to invade India’s forests armed with a simple signature from the Union government.

We know who are going to benefit from this new regulation when we remember that large forest areas of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have been taken over for mining by the Vedanta group which is notorious for environmentally hazardous activities.

What the latest regulation does is to dispossess hundreds of thousands of forest dwellers from their lands or make them squatters on their own lands. As Arundhati Roy wrote many years ago in a different context, “Of the tens of millions of internally displaced people, refugees of India’s ‘progress’, the great majority are tribal people. When the government begins to talk of tribal welfare, it's time to worry.”

Now, by elevating a tribal woman as the President of India – a first of the kind – the Modi government is talking of tribal welfare and we need to worry really. One hope is that Ms Droupadi Murmu is a woman who refused to sign the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act proposed by the BJP government when she was the governor of Jharkhand. True, she stood by the tribal people more out of political expediency than principles. Nevertheless, she showed the courage to stand against her own party’s policies. Let us hope she won’t be as docile and pliable a President as her predecessor was. Let us hope that at least the tribal people of India will get their due with her actions and initiatives. Let us hope that sustainable use of the wildlife will get a boost under her leadership.

As responsible citizens, each one of us should gather the courage to protest certain regulations of the government if they go against the interests of the country and its potential for sustainable living.

PS. This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter.



  1. Hari OM
    I have come to accept that to be a politician at all - even the best of them if any such still remain in this world - means there will be an agenda and even if that agenda be 'noble', the machinery of government (all governments) seems to ensure all principles dissolve... YAM xx

    1. Just watched a Malayalam movie 'Janaganamana' which raises some of these questions - government agenda being a prominent one. Hope to write a post on that tomorrow.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Adventures of Toto as a comic strip

  'The Adventures of Toto' is an amusing story by Ruskin Bond. It is prescribed as a lesson in CBSE's English course for class 9. Maggie asked her students to do a project on some of the lessons and Femi George's work is what I would like to present here. Femi converted the story into a beautiful comic strip. Her work will speak for itself and let me present it below.  Femi George Student of Carmel Public School, Vazhakulam, Kerala Similar post: The Little Girl

The Ugly Duckling

Source: Acting Company A. A. Milne’s one-act play, The Ugly Duckling , acquired a classical status because of the hearty humour used to present a profound theme. The King and the Queen are worried because their daughter Camilla is too ugly to get a suitor. In spite of all the devious strategies employed by the King and his Chancellor, the princess remained unmarried. Camilla was blessed with a unique beauty by her two godmothers but no one could see any beauty in her physical appearance. She has an exquisitely beautiful character. What use is character? The King asks. The play is an answer to that question. Character plays the most crucial role in our moral science books and traditional rhetoric, religious scriptures and homilies. When it comes to practical life, we look for other things such as wealth, social rank, physical looks, and so on. As the King says in this play, “If a girl is beautiful, it is easy to assume that she has, tucked away inside her, an equally beauti

Face of the Faceless

“When you choose to fight for truth and justice, you will have to face serious threats.” Sister Rani Maria, the protagonist of the movie, is counselled by her mother in a letter. Face of the Faceless is a movie that shows how serious those threats are. This movie is a biopic. It shows us the life of a Catholic nun who dedicated her life to serve some Adivasis of Madhya Pradesh [MP] and ended up as a martyr. If it were not a real story, this movie would have been an absolute flop. Since it is the real story of not only a nun but also the impoverished and terribly exploited Adivasis in a particular village of MP, it keeps you engrossed. It is a sad movie, right from the beginning to the end. It is a story of the good versus evil, the powerless versus the powerful, the heroic versus the villainous, the divine versus the diabolic. Having said that, I must hasten to add one conspicuous fact: the movie does not ever present Christianity or its religious practices as the only right way

All the light we cannot see

Book Review Title: All the light we cannot see Author: Anthony Doerr Publisher: Fourth Estate, London, 2014 Pages: 531 What we call light is just a tiny fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum. Most part of the electromagnetic spectrum remains beyond ordinary human perception. Such is human life too: so many of its shades remain beyond our ordinary perception and understanding. Anthony Doerr’s novel, All the light we cannot see , unravels for us some of the mysterious shades of human life. Marie-Laure LeBlanc leaves Paris with her father Daniel who is entrusted with the task of carrying a rare diamond, Sea of Flames , to safe custody when the second world war breaks out. The National Museum of Natural History, Paris, has made three counterfeit diamonds of the Sea of Flames. Four men are assigned the task of carrying each of these diamonds to four different destinations. None of them knows whether they are carrying the original diamond or the counterfeit. Marie-Laure a

The Little Girl

The Little Girl is a short story by Katherine Mansfield given in the class 9 English course of NCERT. Maggie gave an assignment to her students based on the story and one of her students, Athena Baby Sabu, presented a brilliant job. She converted the story into a delightful comic strip. Mansfield tells the story of Kezia who is the eponymous little girl. Kezia is scared of her father who wields a lot of control on the entire family. She is punished severely for an unwitting mistake which makes her even more scared of her father. Her grandmother is fond of her and is her emotional succour. The grandmother is away from home one day with Kezia's mother who is hospitalised. Kezia gets her usual nightmare and is terrified. There is no one at home to console her except her father from whom she does not expect any consolation. But the father rises to the occasion and lets the little girl sleep beside him that night. She rests her head on her father's chest and can feel his heart