Tag Archives: People

Battles for the commons

We need water, electricity, roads, buildings, materials to make the things we like and the industries that make them.  ‘Development’, however, has claimed an enormous human and environmental cost.  Not just because dams and roads and buildings are not possible … Continue reading

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Wild animals and us

Humans have interacted with wild animals for a very long time  – people have hunted them for food and sport, hated them for spoiling crops, loved them for their beauty, derived inspiration from them…  But there is a section of … Continue reading

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The Metal Master

A few weeks ago, we were driving down to Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu – some colleagues of mine had to do field work there, and I ‘volunteered’.  Who wouldn’t want to … Continue reading

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Conflict

The woman was standing in the middle of her green peas field.  I don’t know how to describe the expression on her face.  Was it sadness, or anger…? Or helplessness? Or was it resignation that goes beyond emotion? I asked … Continue reading

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Whose disaster is it?

History, past and current, is full of stories of lives of individual people, and entire cities and civilizations being shattered within days due to terrorism and war.  But we are now seeing more and more of another kind of destruction … Continue reading

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The conservation-commerce conundrum

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has recently withdrawn the greater sage-grouse from the candidate species list for protection under US’ Endangered Species Act.  The rationale behind the delisting seems to be that over the last two years populations of … Continue reading

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Stories from the hills

Last month, I did the trip I’ve come to look forward to every year – to Kibber, a village perched 4200m above sea level in the Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh.  The day-long journey to the Spiti valley from Manali … Continue reading

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What’s the problem?

Buffaloes are bad for birds. Shifting cultivation is bad for forests. Everyone agrees these are ‘problems’ that need to be solved.  Cultivators and pastoralists are told to leave the forests, grasslands and wetlands alone.  Everyone waits eagerly for the ‘solutions’ … Continue reading

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Children of the Forest

The oxymoronic ‘one-day field work’ I’ve ended up doing in the Nilgiris for my PhD gives me a legitimate excuse to escape from the monotony of the lab in Bangalore, twice a month.  I never get tired of being in … Continue reading

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