“My (mobile) browser fails to display embedded media content” | Tips >>
The Kattunayakans are a honey gathering community in the Gudalur valley. Over generations they have mastered the skills required to take honey out of hives. – Priyashri Mani (upload information 3 July 2012 on Youtube) | Credits: Adivasi Munnetra Sangam | Learn more >>
“Don’t fund our eviction”: honey-collecting tribe pleads with US government
January 20, 2020
Two tribal communities famed for their honey-gathering skills have written to the US authorities urging them to scrap support for a conservation project that could lead to the tribe’s eviction from their ancestral forests.
The villagers, members of India’s Jenu Kuruba (“honey collectors”) tribe, object to the US Fish and Wildlife Service funding a project in Karnataka state, home to the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve, which was created on their tribal lands.
The project is a partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society-India. Its first objective is to “facilitate government-sponsored, voluntary relocation of forest-interior families to new sites outside the forest.” But the Jenu Kuruba are determined to stay in their forests, and view U.S. government money being used in this way as “Aiding and abetting the government and WCS’s plans to evict us from our forests.”
Other Jenu Kuruba people were previously evicted from Nagarhole, where WCS-India has worked for decades. They told Survival that they were pressured to “voluntarily relocate” after their lives in the forest were rendered impossible, and they were left with no choice. One described it as “a kind of torture.”
Gurumala, a Jenu Kuruba man who was evicted from a nearby tiger reserve 30 years ago, told Survival: “Our children were once independent and free; the whole community was their teacher. After the government came, we lost so much, they moved us out of the forest and restricted our lives. Now our children who grow up here have no freedom. I’m sad that our children have to live like this. I feel very sad that I have to tell our children and grandchildren about our way of life as if it were just a story from the past.”
The WCS is the parent organization of the Bronx Zoo. One of its founders, Madison Grant, was a notorious eugenicist and author of “The Passing of the Great Race”, a book Hitler referred to as his “bible.”
Survival’s research into Indian government-sponsored “voluntary relocations” of tribal people from tiger reserves has found them to be forced evictions, and so illegal under Indian and international law.
The letter comes just weeks after members of the US government’s House Committee on Natural Resources started to investigate WCS’s role in conservation grants tied to human rights abuses. In December the committee wrote to WCS President and CEO, Christián Samper requesting information “related to WCS’s awareness of the occurrence of human rights abuses, funding for eco-guards or law-enforcement that committed human rights abuses, and policies addressing the rights of indigenous and local peoples.”
A member of the US Congress has also submitted a law that would prohibit the government from funding international conservation groups that fund or support human rights violations.
Survival International Director Stephen Corry said today: “Tribal people have long been considered disposable and just “in the way” by big conservation NGOs who want to kick them off their land. But now at least some of them are able to lobby the government funders behind the schemes, which usually do a worse job of conservation than the original inhabitants themselves. Governments shouldn’t fund illegal land grabs and conservation NGOs must learn to treat people with respect. Times are changing.”
Read this press release online: https://www.survivalinternational.org/news/12320
For more information and images, contact our press office:
+44 (0)207 687 8709 | +44 (0)7841 029 289
MADURAI: The lifestyle of Paliyar community, a tribal people found in mountains in southern districts, is far more progressive than modern society in the plains, say the participants of a three-day programme organized to get closer to the community in Kodaikanal hills. […]
“If Paliyars uproot one plant to gather roots, they plant in five places. When they go for gathering honey, they will extract only a part of honey from the hive. Similarly, they will not cut any living tree as they worship them as god.
They still lead a living a life far away from the consumeristic and greedy society found in plains. Only recently, they have started using basic gadgets such as mobile phone and television. […]
Source: Paliyar tribes more progressive than modern society Times of India, July 22, 2019
, Date accessed: 27 January 2020
[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]
EQUATIONS envisions a just and equitable world, where all people have the freedom and the right to determine their lives and future. | Learn more on the Equations website | Equations blog >>
We envision forms of tourism which are non-exploitative, where decision making is democratised, and access to and benefits of tourism are equitably distributed. EQUATIONS believes in the capacity of individuals and communities to actualise their potential for the well-being of society. We work toward justice, equity, people centred and movement centred activism, democratisation and dialogue.
Everyday we hear that tourism brings economic development, it creates jobs and revenues. But who really benefits from it? The local community, the village elite, or the owner?
There’s been an exponential increase in tourism in India over the last several decades, fueled by the growing economy and disposable incomes. The tourism industry in India has expanded wildly in an unregulated fashion with no regard for environmental, social and cultural impacts.
Find up-to-date information provided by, for and about Indian authors, researchers, officials, and educators | More search options >>
Search tips: in the search field seen below, combine the name of any particular state, language or region with that of any tribal (Adivasi) community; add keywords of special interest (health, nutrition endangered language, illegal mining, sacred grove); learn about the rights of Scheduled Tribes such as the Forest Rights Act (FRA); and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, women’s rights, and children’s right to education; specify any other issue or news item you want to learn more about (biodiversity, climate change, ecology, economic development, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, global warming, effective measures to prevent rural poverty, bonded labour, and human trafficking).
For a list of websites included in a single search, click here. To search Indian periodicals, magazines, web portals and other sources safely, click here. To find an Indian PhD thesis on a particular tribal community, region and related issues, click here >>
President of India
- Droupadi Murmu: Official website
- National development and the development of tribal communities are linked
- Rashtrapati Bhavan, home to the President of the world’s largest democracy, epitomizes India’s strength, its democratic traditions and secular character
- Up-to-date coverage in the Indian press
- Adivasi (Adibasi)
- Background guide for education (free eBook)
- Books on tribal culture and related resources | Publishers
- Colonial policies | Denotified Tribe vs. “criminal tribe“
- Ecology and environment
- Economy and development
- Education and literacy
- Fact checking | Factchecker.in | Safe search examples with keywords:
“factchecker.in rural india“| “factchecker.in adivasi tribe“
- Forest dwellers in early India – myths and ecology in historical perspective
- Health and nutrition
- Indian magazines and web portals – news coverage and analysis
- Indigenous knowledge: biodiversity, ecology, health, nutrition, nature, wildlife
- Interactive maps
- Misconceptions | “Casteism” and its effect on tribal communities
- Names of tribal communities
- News update in Indian periodicals: Tribal Affairs
- Success stories
- Tribal groups | Tribal identity
Government of India, national & international organizations
- Endangered languages: Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India
- Environment minister’s call for a change in the colonial outlook: “Forests, tribal forest dwellers and life forms living in forests complement one another and are not rivals”
- Gandhian social movement
- Govt. of India, NGOs, Indian universities and international organisations
- India’s Constitutional obligation to respect their cultural traditions
- National Commission for Scheduled Tribes | Related posts
- Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)
- Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Survival International
- Tagore and rural culture
- Women | Safe search | President Droupadi Murmu on women’s empowerment
- Child rights & Right to education handbook
- Constitution and Supreme Court
- Denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic (“hidden”) tribes: Classifications in different states
- Forest Rights Act (FRA) | Legal rights | What is the Forest Rights Act about?
- Scheduled Tribes (ST) | Who are Scheduled Tribes?
- “Tribal rights in land and forest should be respected”: Jawaharlal Nehru on five principles for the policy to be pursued vis-a-vis the tribals
- Who is a forest dweller under this law, and who gets rights?