Category Archives: Ecology and environment

“Sometimes, it is assumed that during early ages the forest and the landscape were untouched and unmanipulated, and so the forests remained pristine. […] However, the truth is even more complicated than it appears. The Adivasis of Manbhum settled villages in the forests after clearing a forest patch adjacent to nearby water resource. Sometimes, they created some artificial water resource also within their village landscape. Thus, they did change and manipulate their surrounding landscape. However, because of low population pressure and less per capita consumption, they did not generally cause large-scale ecological damage.” – Nirmal Mahato (University of Gour Banga) in “Adivasi (Indigenous people) Perception of Landscape: The Case of Manbhum”, Journal of Adivasi and Indigenous Studies (JAIS), Vol. II, No.1, February 2015, pp. 52-53
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315799935
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=5844

“While the traditional ways of harvesting among tribal people have been sustainable by default, market demand has made them veer away from the tradition and adopt unsustainable practices. The APPCL [Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company] intervened here and encouraged farmers to go back to traditional ways and convinced them that it was possible to market their products better and earn enough without compromising their traditional methods.” – Arathi Menon in “Aadhimalai, winner of UN Equator Prize from Nilgiris, offers a lesson in indigenous economics” (Mongabay Series: Eco Hope, 20 December 2021)
https://india.mongabay.com/2021/12/aadhimalai-winners-of-un-equator-prize-from-nilgiris-offer-a-lesson-in-indigenous-economics
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=46483

“There was at that time [i.e. the Buddhist reign of Asoka ruling in the third century B.C.] enough forested land for there to be no fear of the disappearance of forests. Shifting cultivation, therefore, may not have been viewed as a disaster, for it also permitted the growth of a secondary forest.” – Romila Thapar in “Perceiving the Forest: Early India Studies” (Studies in History. 2001;17(1):1-16)
https://doi.org/10.1177/025764300101700101
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=5851

“The understanding of the adivasis about ecology, its protection and importance in their daily life is amazing. What is learnt by us either by way of academic curriculum or choice, is innate in them. […] They only take what is necessary for their sustenance.” – Nandan Saxena (co-director of National Award-winning documentary “I Cannot Give You My Forest”) quoted by S. Ravi (The Hindu, April 24, 2015)
https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/on-national-award-winning-documentary-i-cannot-give-you-my-forest/article7137681.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=17768

“As we are looking for ways of sustainable development, these [tribal] groups can teach us lessons in sustainable development.” – M. Venkaiah Naidu (Vice President of India) in the First Foundation Day Lecture of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) titled “Constitution and Tribes” (Press Information Bureau, 19 February 2019)
https://ncst.nic.in/sites/default/files/2019/Media/2.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=36256

“We can do things differently to reinvent growth without pollution. But only if we have the courage to think differently.” – Sunita Narain in “India’s twin environmental challenges” (Down To Earth, 15 December 2013)
https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/indias-twin-environmental-challenges-42835
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=13490

“This is all of our country. This is our mother. You’ve heard the earth referred to [as] ‘Mother Earth.’ It’s difficult to not feel obligated to protect this land and I feel that every Indigenous person in this country understands that.” – Debra Haaland, a 35th-generation New Mexican from the Pueblo of Laguna, who became the first Native American ever to be confirmed as a Cabinet secretary quoted by Cara Korte (CBC News, 15 March 15 2021)
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/deb-haaland-native-american-confirmation-interior-secretary/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=4540

“Nature is a reward in itself. It is there, to be understood, to be lived and loved. And in its way it gives us everything – the bounty and goodness of the earth, the sea, the sky. Food, water, the air we breathe. All the things we take for granted. […] Nature gives. And takes away. And gives again.” – Ruskin Bond in The Book of Nature
https://penguin.co.in/book/the-book-of-nature/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=5036

“We are on borrowed time, because we are not looking after our soil properly’. You can call it neo-liberalisation, corporatisation, fertilising or short-sighted irrigation policy, but, ultimately what is happening is that the soil is losing all its nourishment. Any civilisation that doesn’t understand this basic truth is going to face the grave danger of just not being able to survive any more. The day after this conversation, we were at a meeting in Jalgaon and there experts were talking about greater productivity through more chemicals into the soil and how we needed to increase the number of crops we grow. What they do not understand is that only four companies dominate 75 per cent of the global trade in grains and only 17 plant species (out of 3,00,000) are providing the human race 90 per cent of its food.” – Playwright Ramu Ramanathan interviewed by Dipanita Nath in “I know people who have chosen to be silent, some out of fear and others just out of being deadened” (Indian Express, 28 October 2020)
https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/i-know-people-who-have-chosen-to-be-silent-some-out-of-fear-and-others-just-out-of-being-deadened-6902500/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=5576

“Movements of farmers and farm labourers […] are headed for serious trouble if they do not factor in the problems of climate change (which have already devastated agriculture in India); if they do not locate themselves in, and link their battles to, an agroecological approach.” – P. Sainath in “We Didn’t Bleed Him Enough”: When Normal is the Problem (counterpunch.org , 12 August 2020, first published in Frontline magazine)
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/08/12/we-didnt-bleed-him-enough-when-normal-is-the-problem/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20419

“Indians are truly rooted in an ethos of living in harmony with their land. There was a time when the Indian subcontinent was carpeted in green… watered by glacial rivers, blessed by rolling hills and productive grasslands, lush rainforests and wave-kissed mangroves. All creatures, great and small, found niches here and thrived. Varied cultures were spawned and people in awe of nature lived by its rules. This happy situation has changed. The wondrous green has long-disappeared – plundered and looted first by invaders and colonists and then by those who took freedom as license to outdo the colonisers in the plunder of natural India. Today what little remains is being systematically eroded by a population caught in the crossroads of a development paradigm borrowed from the industrial North that systematically devastated colonies for centuries.” – Lakshmy Raman and Bittu Sahgal in “Daft National Policy 2018” (Sanctuary Nature Foundation)
https://sanctuarynaturefoundation.org/article/daft-national-policy-2018
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=17557

“We are currently facing a crisis that threatens not only the survival of our civilisation and humans as a species, but that of life on our planet as a whole. […] ‘Buen vivir’ provides a unique opportunity to devise new ways of living collectively” – Mateo Martínez Abarca in “The Climate Crisis: South African and Global Democratic Eco-Socialist Alternatives (2018)
https://www.academia.edu/38962736/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=28966

“[The] Yanadi, one of the prominent tribal congregates present along the extended areas between the rivers Krishna and Godavari. The traditionally preferred life style was to live in harmony with god, humanity and nature however, their strong attachment to natural environment was lost due to displacement.” – Case study titled “Diversification of Livelihoods in Transforming Socio Economic and Gender Relations: A case study of Yanadi Tribes in AP” by Sophia J D (Principal Scientist, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation MSSRF, Chennai)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=27249

Jackfruit and indigenous knowledge: The Kaani tribal community of Kanyakumari forests – Tamil Nadu

RELEVANCE OF INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES RELATED TO JACKFRUIT, WITH REFERENCE TO THE KAANI INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF KANYAKUMARI FORESTS Photos and text by the late Davidson Sargunam (Environmental Educator, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari District) Abstract: The Kaani tribal community resides in 48 … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Community facilities, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Resources, Revival of traditions, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Success story, Trees, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Jackfruit and indigenous knowledge: The Kaani tribal community of Kanyakumari forests – Tamil Nadu

Vacationing in a responsible and compassionate manner: Wayanad – Kerala

For the tribes The Priyadarshini Tea Estate was begun as a cooperative society in 1985 to provide a means of livelihood for the Adivasis who were released from bonded labour. I was told the proceeds of our stay at the … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Games and leisure time, Government of India, Homes and utensils, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Rural poverty, Tourism, Wayanad | Tagged | Comments Off on Vacationing in a responsible and compassionate manner: Wayanad – Kerala

Tiger conservation and tourism – its impact on the people in and around the tiger reserves

The Supreme Court order [2012] to ban tourism in core tiger reserves, and decisions to shoot poachers at sight find favour with some conservationists, the middle class and media. But what will their impact be on the people who live … Continue reading

Posted in Bees and honey, Biodiversity, Colonial policies, Commentary, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Globalization, Government of India, History, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Nature and wildlife, Nilgiri, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Tiger, Tourism | Comments Off on Tiger conservation and tourism – its impact on the people in and around the tiger reserves

Giving Irula healing practices a place in modern medicine: A new source of livelihood for “one among the six oldest Adivasi tribes” – Puducherry & Tamil Nadu

The term Irula means being capable of finding one’s path in dark forests, according to an Irula myth | Read the full report in the Times of India here >> Born in nature’s lap, Irulas share a symbiotic relationship with Mother Earth. They … Continue reading

Posted in Community facilities, Customs, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Misconceptions, Names and communities, Networking, Organizations, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Social conventions, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Success story, Tribal identity, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Giving Irula healing practices a place in modern medicine: A new source of livelihood for “one among the six oldest Adivasi tribes” – Puducherry & Tamil Nadu

“Irulas are very knowledgeable about medicinal plants” : Interview with Zai Whitaker, Director of the Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society – Tamil Nadu

The ITWWS is a women’s community-based development organization established in 1986. It was founded with the aim of protecting natural resources, empowering Irula women and using the Irula tribal knowledge of forest resources for economic prosperity. The organization started with … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Biodiversity, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rural poverty, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Success story, Trees, Websites by tribal communities, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on “Irulas are very knowledgeable about medicinal plants” : Interview with Zai Whitaker, Director of the Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society – Tamil Nadu