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Lost in transit

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2004
Nimati Domohini village in the west of Buxa Tiger Reserve, West Bengal, is on a highway where a side road breaks off and leads to the reserve's Nimati range office seven kilometres away. But the village is miles away from realising the dreams dreamt by its 331-member eco-development committee (EDC) set up in 2001. Each committee member was allocated Rs 10,000.

Conserve or pickle?

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2004
Both the Forestry Research Education and Extension Project (FREEP) and its later, larger avatar, the India Eco-development project (IEDP) had a single objective: conserve biodiversity. What also made it a different form of rural development, quite unlike anything government had hitherto done, was the equal emphasis on improving the lives of people in tandem with the forest.

After dosage

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2004
IEDP's larger monitoring mechanism, too, seems to have been primarily meant for the government or Bank consumption. The Bank sent its supervisory missions and its supervisors wrote 'aid memoirs' on whether project sites conformed to project conditions. Their memoirs were not made public, and shared only with the government.

Hold tight

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2004
There exists a document called Linking Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihoods. It is the Indian government's initial salvo for a new eco-development project, expected to begin late 2005. It will cost approximately US $48 million (Rs 220 crore), with beneficiaries putting in US $2 million (Rs 9.20 crore).

Development is not a road

Issue Date: Dec 15, 2003
Reportedly, bjp senior leader Arun Jaitley has contemptuously labelled Digvijay Singh's Madhya Pradesh government as " ngo -style". Why? Because it spends more on social development -- education and health -- and not on roads or electricity.

"Massive assault"

Issue Date: Apr 30, 2003
On the Vietnam war: No war in the 20th century has seen as massive an assault on the environment. Some 70 million litres of Agent Orange, a herbicide and defoliant, and other toxic chemicals were rampantly used by us armed forces. It completely destroyed about 10 per cent of forests in South Vietnam, including a third of coastal mangroves -- the lifeline for fish stocks and crucial to sustaining coastal ecology.

'Farmers will have no choice'

Issue Date: Jan 31, 2003
A new seed policy is on the anvil in Brazil. Why is it controversial?

'Give communities a say in tourism'

Issue Date: Nov 30, 2002
You are working on the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR)... Not really. I am working on the Corbett Binsar Nainital Ecotourism Initiative. We are trying to develop a framework in conservation and ecotourism. We are working in the area rimmed by ctr, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary and Nainital. What is the project about?

Tribals become anthropologists

Author(s): Nitin Sethi
Issue Date: Sep 30, 2002
A woman in her mid-twenties, probably of European descent, is trying to explain something to a group of Bhil tribals in village Tejgadh, Chhota Udaipur block, about 90 kilometres east of Vadodara city, Gujarat.

Displacing a livelihood

Author(s): L C Jain
Issue Date: Aug 31, 2002
As we begin, we must remind ourselves that of the 25 million persons displaced on account of development projects, less than 50 per cent have been rehabilitated. The rest have been 'pauperised' by the development process, and 40 per cent of all such persons are tribals.
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