UN chief: Climate change ‘running faster than we are’

Aljazeera | May 12, 2019

Countries failing to live up to commitments under the 2016 Paris agreement to keep global temperature rise at bay.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the political will to fight climate change has faded at the same time as it is getting worse for those feeling its effects.

Guterres made the comments after arriving in New Zealand on Sunday where addressed the media alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Auckland. Guterres plans to spend three days there as part of a trip to the South Pacific to highlight climate change’s global threat. Read more

Tribal communities suffer when evicted in the name of conservation

Down To Earth | Abhijit Mohanty | 08 May 2019

The tribal communities are paying a brutal price for governments’ agenda to boost safari, create protected areas and attract tourism

Several research studies have revealed that stewardship by forest-dwelling communities considerably slows the rate of forest degradation. Since mitigating and adapting to climate change requires sustainable forests management, the tribal people who have been living in and around the forest for millennia could play a key role. Read more

Tribals’ Rights: Ministries’ Stand-off

India Legal | Debi Goenka | May 5, 2019

A letter by the environment ministry to state governments undermining the powers of gram sabhas has elicited a stiff reaction from the tribal affairs ministry

In a strongly worded letter, the ministry of tribal affairs (MoTA) has asked the environment ministry to “modify” a letter which it issued to all state governments in February 2019. The letter apparently undermines the powers of gram sabhas, provided under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, with regard to forest clearance proposals. It said that compliance with the Act was not required for getting Stage-1 or “in principle” forest clearances. It said such compliance could be carried out in the time period provided between Stage 1 and the final approval for meeting the conditions required to secure the final clearance stage. Read more

Illegal mining forces Raniganj residents to eat now and die tomorrow

Down To Earth | Sukanya Saha | April 26, 2019

Villages in Asansol-Raniganj coal belt, which go to polls on April 29, 2019, stand on precarious land that might collapse any day, but the government doesn’t care

Raniganj, a part of the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal that goes to polls on April 29, 2019, is tightly caught in the clutches of illegal mining and has nobody to rescue them. Pollution, subsidence and poor resource management are pushing the area towards a dystopian future and yet no authority is bothered to help. Read more

The rediscovery of wild food plants

Down To Earth | Harisha R P, Siddappa Setty R, Ravikanth G, Veena Srinivasan | April 26, 2019

While India is slowly rediscovering such plants, the forests must be co-managed by tribal communities in order to preserve them for posterity

The use of plants in the human diet is of great antiquity. Wild food plants (WFPs), which are neither cultivated nor domesticated, constitute a special category. They grow wild in forests as well as in farmlands and are harvested by local people as sources of food. Read more

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