Rights of adivasis over forest lands diminishes; their consent no longer mandatory for all development projects taken up on forest land - Roundup of the week’s news (February 11-17, 2013)

Adivasis' rights over forest lands diminishes. Government dilutes its stand on requiring consent from tribals before handing over their forest lands for projects.

Adivasis' rights over forest lands diminishes

Government dilutes its stand on requiring consent from tribals before handing over their forestlands for projects. The changed policy states that consent would be required only in exceptional cases, making  it easier for hundreds of projects to come up, which earlier required formal consent from tribals, who have rights over forestlands under the Forest Rights Act. The environment ministry also exempts certain projects where linear diversion of forest land in several villages are involved, from obtaining the consent of the gram sabhas  concerned.

China’s latest dam building exercise

Beijing’s plan to construct three more dams on Brahmaputra river in Tibet, in addition to the one being built, triggers tension in water stressed Asia. China, unlike its neighbours, rejects the concept of a water-sharing arrangement or joint, rules-based management of common resources. Also the economy of the North-East is dependent on the Brahmaputra and the construction of new dams is likely to be affected by this.

Local organisation threatens agitation against filling up of wetlands

Voicing strong opposition to the Government of Manipur's fresh plan to reclaim Laphupat and Soigupat (lakes) by filling-up the water bodies, local organizations threaten to launch intense agitation . This filling-up of the water bodies would wipe out a number of indigenous fish varieties and consumable water plants, and also deny the people their economic right to a sustainable livelihood from them.

Sunderban mangroves struggle for survival

Insects attack on the mangroves of the Sunderbans, wiping out Kalo Bain, a dominant and salt-tolerant species, which acts as a natural bio-shield, against threats like rising salinity and sea levels. Global scientists have already warned that these forests are shrinking every day under the onslaught of global warming, shrinking coastlines and rapid urbanization .

Precision farming: Concept that helps save on water

'Precision farming', a farming management concept that helps save on water usage and improves quality and quantity of crops using satellite positioning system like the GPS, brings accolades to a young farmer in Arattuthara, Kerala. The main advantage is that crops can be raised irrespective of external factors such as climate, thus increasing  productivity and quality of produce.

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