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livediverse-India-fieldtrip-report-210110

VIEWS: 80 PAGES: 18

									                                          Sustainable Livelihoods and Biodiversity in Developing Countries




 Su
                                                                                                              ST
                            REPORT FROM 1 STAKEHOLDER
                                                TH
                            FIELDTRIPS: INDIA, 7 – 15TH
                            DECEMBER 2009




                       Pictures: A. Allan, M. Claasen, A. Guignier, Shruti [..................], Y. Yasuda.




Seventh Framework
Programme (FP7/2007-             For more information visit our website: http://www.livediverse.eu
2013) under grant
agreement No. 211392
                                                                     Table of contents
1.      Introduction ............................................................................................................................................... 3
2.      Map of Case Study/ Field Trip sites ....................................................................................................... 4
3.      Key engagements during the field trip.................................................................................................... 5
3.1         Academic engagements: ....................................................................................................................... 5
     3.1.1    International Workshop on Ecosystem Management: Experience sharing by the case
     study countries of the LiveDiverse project, University of Pune, 8 December ..................................... 5
     3.1.2  International Workshop, Vilas Rao Lore Sabhagrah Engineering College, Waranagar, 11
     December........................................................................................................................................................ 7
     3.1.3  [Local college meeting in basin area – Vijahsinha Yadhav Arts and Science College?], 13
     December........................................................................................................................................................ 8
3.2         Stakeholder engagements: .................................................................................................................... 8
     3.2.1          Visit to Mr. M. K. Rao, Chief Conservator of Forests, 10 December .................................. 8
     3.2.2          Visit to Khundlapur Village on boundary of Chandoli National Park – 12 December ...10
     3.2.3          Visit to bauxite mine, Chandoli, 13 December .......................................................................12
     3.2.4          Visit to Udgiri Sacred Grove and temples, 13 December .....................................................14
     3.2.5          Visit to Shahuwadi Village Jyotiba temple ceremony ............................................................14
3.3         Other basin experiences: ....................................................................................................................15
     3.3.1          Visit to confluence of Warana and Krishna rivers, Haripur, 10 December .......................15
     3.3.2          Jaggery factory, near Kolhapur, 11 December........................................................................16
     3.3.3          Chandoli National Park, 12 December ....................................................................................17
1.      Conclusions of the field trip ..................................................................................................................18
   1. Introduction


The India field trip had several objectives: to raise awareness on the Livediverse project; to identify
and understand the key issues related to biodiversity and livelihoods from different perspectives
(national, provincial, local; governmental/ non-governmental); and to identify existing initiatives and
projects within the case study areas that complement the aims and objectives of LiveDiverse project.
The field trip was organized by the Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management
(SOPPECOM), LiveDiverse case-study partner and leader of WP 7. The participants of the field trip
included SOPPECOM staff, Dr. K. J. Joy, Dr. Suhas Paranjape, Dr. Suchita Jain, Mr. Raju Adagale,
Mr. Ravi Pomane, Mr. Vinit Raskar, Ms. Shruti. Mr. Hoang Xuan Phuong attended from NIAPP in
Vietnam, with Prof. Geoffrey Gooch and Yumiko Yasuda from Linköping University, Sweden (with
Prof Gooch’s son Jesper), and Dr Karen Nortje and Dr. Marius Claasen attending from CSIR in
South Africa. The University of Dundee was represented by Ms Armelle Guignier and Mr Andrew
Allan. Dr. Alexander Lopez had been due to arrive from Costa Rica, but unfortunately inclement
weather in the USA prevented him from boarding his connecting flight and he was forced to turn
around and go home.
The trip was based in two urban centres: Pune and Kolhapur, with the majority of the trip being
spent in and around the latter. The first day of the fieldtrip was devoted to the exploration of Pune.
The team visited the Aga Khan Palace and Gandhi National Memorial where Gandhi was interned
for two years by the British in 1942; Shaniwar Wada, ruins of a former palace and the Raja Dinkar
Kelkar Museum which gathers the most important personal collection of Indian daily life objects.
The first major academic engagement was organized at the University of Pune on the second day of
the fieldtrip. The first part aimed to present the national legal and policy framework in the three
non-Indian case-study areas of the LiveDiverse project and the second part of the workshop
intended to share policies and experiences on ecosystem management in India (protected areas,
displacement, water, climate change, and environmental education). The audience of the workshop
included not only academics and students but also NGO representatives.
The LiveDiverse team left Pune to reach Kolhapur and the case study area. On the way to
Kolhapur, the team could see the eastern boundaries of the Chandoli National park which is
covered by wind farms.
Kolhapur sits slightly outside of the case study area around the Chandoli National Park, but is the
local political centre and provided the best location for access to key local places of interest to the
project. It is around 6 hours drive south of Pune.
The Kolhapur part of the field trip began on the 10th of December with a visit to the Conservator of
Forests, Mr. M. K. Rao. He is ultimately in charge of all state national parks (including Chandoli
National Park) and sanctuary areas. He granted us permission to go a certain way into the National
Park during the latter stages of the field trip. Following the meeting with Mr. Rao, the group went
by bus to the confluence of the Warana river with the Krishna River at Haripur. On the way to
Haripur the group was able to see the prevalence of sugar cane as an agricultural crop, and saw for
the first time the living conditions of the itinerant cane cutters, seeing a number of the workers’ cane
husk tent communities on the roadside.
On the 11th of December, the group attended the International Workshop on “Issues related to
Biodiversity, Socio-cultural Traditions and Livelihoods in Warna River Basin and other Case Study Basins of
LiveDiverse Project” at the Vilas Rao Lore Sabhagrah Engineering College at Waranagar. This
workshop allowed LiveDiverse case study partners to present details of their own national case study
areas to a group of students, academics and relevant local stakeholders, followed by interesting
presentations from local experts on biodiversity, socio-cultural traditions and livelihoods in the
Warna region more specifically.
The following day, the group drove up to the Chandoli National Park itself. The morning was spent
driving up from Kolhapur to the park boundaries; visit to plateau; visit to Khundlapur village on
national park boundary (Dhangari)
13th national park – local college; bauxite mine; Udgiri sacred grove; local lesser deity temples;
Sonawade village for Jyotiba weekly temple celebration
14th visit to Jyotibacha Dongar temple? Visit to hill fort across from Jyotibacha Dongar? visit to
drive back to Pune




   2. Map of Case Study/ Field Trip sites
[SOPPECOM – please insert route details and location of field trip sites].
      3. Key engagements during the field trip1


SOPPECOM organised a very intensive round of visits for the LiveDiverse team in order to expose
them to as much of the Warana basin as possible in the short space of time available. The following
descriptions of the various visits attempts to describe what the team saw and to outline the issues
raised that were most relevant to the LiveDiverse project.


      3.1 Academic engagements:


      3.1.1   International Workshop on Ecosystem Management: Experience sharing by the case
              study countries of the LiveDiverse project, University of Pune, 8 December


The LiveDiverse team attended the International Workshop on “Ecosystem Management: Experience
sharing by the case study countries of the LiveDiverse project” at the Department of Environmental Science of
the University of Pune. The workshop was organised jointly by SOPPECOM and the Department
of Environmental Science of the University of Pune.
The workshop was introduced by Dr. Praveen Saptarshi of the Department of environmental
Sciences. K.J.Joy from SOPPECOM presented the background of the workshop and the agenda.
Dr.A.D. Adsool, Vice Chancellor of the University of Pune gave the inaugural address. The
inaugural session ended a brief overview of the LiveDiverse project by Prof.Gooch.
The workshop was divided into two technical sessions. The morning session was devoted to an
overview of the policies and experiences on ecosystem management in the other case study
countries. The session started with a presentation of the LiveDiverse project by its coordinator,
Prof.Gooch. Dr. Marius Classeen from CSIR provided major insights on the South African Policy
related to Biodiversity and Livelihoods, focusing especially on the law on biodiversity and the water
law. Then Dr. Hoang Xuan Phuong on behalf of NIAPP, presented the scientific context of
biodiversity in Vietnam and its legal and policy framework.The afternoon session was completely
devoted to India and gave an overview of the policies and experiences on ecosystem management in
the country. The presentations were made by NGOs, local experts and professor of the university.
Local experts:

         Kalpavriksh - Nature, Equity, and Communities: The politics of conservation in India
The first presentation was provided by Kalpavriksh, but presented by […] as no one from this NGO
could attend the workshop.This presentation started with an overview of the biodiversity loss in
India and the responses implemented to cope with this degradation. The presentation focused first
on the conservation within protected areas, highlighting the fact that many local communities are
either living inside or are dependent on them for their livelihoods. According to Kalpavriksh, the
Indian conservation policy is based on three assumptions [that in essence denigrate local
communities (human uses are detrimental to conservation of protected areas, local communities

1   Discussions and meetings notes are added in Annex I
necessarily damage natural ecosystems, traditional knowledge and practices of local communities are
irrelevant to conservation). Therefore, conservation laws, programs and Supreme Court orders result
not only in negative impacts on the livelihoods of local communities but also in higher
environmental degradation.
Kalpavriksh then underlined the benefits and potential for both biodiversity and people of the
Community conserved Areas. Mainly located outside the protected areas systems, CCAs are proving
to be effective in terms of integrating conservation and livelihoods concerns.
Finally, the presentation ended by highlighting the potential of new legislation developments, with
the presenter wondering if it was the correct path towards democratizing conservation. Examples of
participatory approaches in protected areas in India were also mentioned.

      Mr.K.J. Joy, SOPPECOM - Critique of the Water Policy and Water Sector Reforms
Mr K.J.Joy started his presentation by outlining the water governance context in India and its
challenges (the need for a comprehensive national water act, and for a review of the allocation of
competencies in water among the national level and the States). Joy highlighted the new policy
development in the water sector in Maharashtra and their directions with a special focus on private
participation, rights and entitlements.
As a conclusion, the major components of an alternative agenda were put forward: the need to treat
water as an ecosystem, a common pool resource; water as a livelihood resource; improving the
democratic institutional framework.

      Mr Shripad Dharmadhikary, Manthan Adhyayan Kendra- Policy and experiences related to
       displacement and rehabilitation in India
Around 66 millions people have been displaced in India since Independence, but there is no official
figure or record. Mr Shripad Dharmadhikary showed that until 2003, India did not have any policy
for resettlement and rehabilitation. Thus approaches implemented were very different from one
State to another (Maharashtra has a law) and the main national instrument was the Land Acquisition
Land dating back to 1894. No legally binding right to resettlement has been acknowledged - only a
right to compensation is in place but faces the lack of land rights title of many people. Displacement
is not a criterion in decision making concerning projects. No participation of potentially affected
communities in the decision making process is required. But strong resistance movements emerged
against many projects. Despite a new policy in 2003, a resettlement bill proposed in 2007 and
amendments to the Land Acquisition Law, progress is very slow.

      Dr. Praveen Saptarshi- Climate change: Indian agenda
Dr. Praveen Saptarshi presented the challenges face by India with respect to climate change. [any
more on Dr. Saptarshi’s conclusions?]

      Ms. Sanskriti Menon, Centre for Environment Education (CEE) - Environmental Education
       in India, some examples and challenges
Ms. Sanskriti Menon made a very comprehensive presentation about environmental education in
India. She defined environmental education and its objectives and put it in the broader context of
the national policy on education. Environmental education is included in the formal education
system but the latter faces challenges (e.g.: lack of recognition of traditional knowledge, preparation
of teachers, material locally-specified…). She presented the work of CEE in Andhra Pradesh and
other locations, underlining the link between education and real life. Schools also interact with local
NGOs performing practical demonstrations about environmental issues. She also mentioned
education towards the general public. The presentation ended with reference to the website
www.greenteacher.org which is exclusively devoted to environmental education in India.


    3.1.2   International Workshop, Vilas Rao Lore Sabhagrah Engineering College, Waranagar, 11
            December


The LiveDiverse team attended the International Workshop on “Issues related to Biodiversity, Socio-
cultural Traditions and Livelihoods in Warna River Basin and other Case Study Basins of LiveDiverse Project” at
the Vilas Rao Lore Sabhagrah Engineering College at Waranagar. The workshop was opened by Dr.
S.S. Patil, the Principal of the College, with introductory messages being made by Mr. Joy of
SOPPECOM and Dr. P.D. Raut, the Head of Environmental Sciences at Shivaji University in
Kolhapur prior to the inaugural address from Mr. Vinay Kore.
                                                               In    the    initial  technical  session,
                                                               presentations were made by the
                                                               coordinator and by case study area
                                                               partners from South Africa and Vietnam,
                                                               with another being made on the Costa
                                                               Rican team’s behalf by Geoffrey Gooch.

                                                               The second session addressed issues
                                                               related to biodiversity, socio-cultural
                                                               traditions and livelihoods in the Warana
                                                               Basin.

                                                          Local experts made presentations, and the
                                                          following sets out the topics and main
                                                          points raised:
       Dr. Jay Samant – Environmental Issues in the Warana Basin. Dr Samant
       Dr. M. V. Cholekar-Bachulkar – Plant diversity in Warana Basin / Western Ghats
       Dr. S.Y. Jadhav – Medicinal Plants of Warana Basin
       Dr. Bharat Patankar – Socio-economic issues of the Warana Basin
       Dr. V.B. Jugale - Impact of Sugar cane in Warana Basin
       Dr. Rajendra Kumbhar – Cultural diversity in Warana Basin
       Dr. Balasaheb Ajagekar – Dange Tribes in Warana Region

[insert something describing conclusions, lessons learned, details from presentations]
     3.1.3     [Local college meeting in basin area – Vijahsinha Yadhav Arts and Science College?], 13
               December


The LiveDiverse team visited the Vijahsinha College
on the morning of the 13th and was greeted by a
dance and music display from students who had
come in especially on their day off. They were
welcomed by the College Principal, Mr.
[.................................], and apples, biscuits and tea were
provided. The Principal expressed his interest in, and
his willingness to help with, the Project’s objectives
before the Team took questions from the assembled
students.



     3.2 Stakeholder engagements:


     3.2.1     Visit to Mr. M. K. Rao, Chief Conservator of Forests, 10 December


On the morning of the 10th of December, the LiveDiverse team visited Mr. M. K. Rao, Chief
Conservator of Forests in [Maharashtra]. He is responsible for overseeing the State’s 4 national
parks, one of which is the Chandoli, along with State forest sanctuaries. The Chandoli National Park
is located in the Western Ghats which are one the biodiversity hotspot of India, along with the
Western Himalayans. Mr. Rao informed us that there is comparatively less biodiversity in the north
of the Western Ghats than in the south. As biomass removal is in certain circumstances permitted in
the latter but not the former, the national park regime is more restrictive than that applicable to
sanctuaries. There [has been a proposal to nominate the Western Ghats as a UNESCO World
Heritage Site] – not clear if this has happened or not.
Mr. Rao informed us about the seismic risks in the area. The epicentre of local earthquakes is
moving towards Chandoli. The Government wants people to leave for their own safety, so villages
have been shifted with responsibility for the resettlement of villagers being taken over by the
Department of Forestry. He told us that there were 4 villages still within the national park, with 2 on
its fringes. The process of removal has begun, but financial restrictions mean that they do not expect
to complete the resettlement process for another 2 years.
The department is using the line transect system (with statistical extrapolation) for quantifying
particular species in the national park as this is the most accurate way of doing so. The fauna in the
park includes tigers, wild dogs, leopard, sloth bear, gaur, sambar, and deer (barking and mouse), with
flora including insectivorous species. Mr. Rao told the team that there were 28 large mammal, 155
bird, 58 reptile and 50 butterfly species in the Chandoli park alone, although a full survey had not yet
been completed. Camera traps are used for the larger predators. Poaching and hunting had
previously been a problem, but this has now decreased significantly.
The park is threatened by invasive species that force out indigenous ones. Strobilanthes, while Indian
in origin, is extremely aggressive and has taken over habitat at the expense of other plants that are
more palatable to herbivorous animals. Similar problems have been experience with banil, which
takes over the ground under the forest canopy. The Department wishes to increase the availability of
edible plants in order to augment fauna numbers (in particular, sambar – these animals, weighing up
to 250kg, are eaten by tigers). They have tried two grass species (including timura) but problems have
been encountered with the conundrum of achieving a level of establishment that allows the species
to be eaten and simultaneously spread. Tigers favour forests of certain densities (0.4-0.7). It is
recognised that 40 tigers are needed to create a viable breeding colony. The aim of the department is
to tempt the tigers that live just beyond the fringes of the national park, by presenting them with
their favourite foods. A cyclical relationship exists between tigers and wild dogs.
The Department of Forestry has very limited staff resources in the Chandoli national park: 9 guards,
2 foresters and 1 further employee. In Mr. Rao’s view, the application of the law is becoming
stronger. The Wildlife Act has been amended 4 times since its promulgation in 1972, becoming
progressively stricter over time. Hunting, for example, is banned completely on pain of a 3 year
custodial sentence, although the location of the activity affects the seriousness of the penalty (i.e.
hunting a scheduled animal in a national park attracts a higher sentence than hunting the same
animal outside). The Act allows no development in certain areas, and this has in fact created its own
problems insofar as the Act has become too strict for practical application, thereby causing conflicts
between economic activities and ecosystem protection.
                                       An additional difficulty has been caused by the presence in
                                       the park of the Camptotheca tree, the bark of which contains
                                       camptothecin, which is used in the treatment of cancer. This
                                       particular tree is endemic to the Chandoli area: once the bark
                                       has been removed, the tree dies. It is thought that [60,000 /
                                       600,000?] of these trees have been removed from the area
                                       already. Coppicing can increase the longer term production of
                                       camptothecin, so the department hopes to encourage this
                                       rather than wholesale removal of the tree. [Question of
                                       synthetic substitute – available or not? Conflicting notes on
                                       this]. However, enforcement with respect to preventing
                                       removal of the trees is problematic – to fight in court is
                                       expensive because defenders may be big companies with
                                       more resources than those available to the Department.

Tourism is very rare in the park, with an estimated 2-3000 people paying the 20 rupee entry fee every
year A few international tourists do visit, but tend to do so for very specific reasons. The
Department tries to minimise the number of people who visit the park, and they use brochures to
educate people, and assign guides to groups in order to ensure that best practice is adhered to.
Those who come from a long distance away tend to be more considerate than those who come from
the general locality. In turn, those who visit from the immediate vicinity tend to have been brought
up with greater understanding of the forests than those from beyond 10km away. Annually, there are
three festivals that allow people to hunt en masse – the department is trying to educate people
against this.
Finally, Tiger Reserves have been proposed, and foundations can be established under a 2006
amendment to the Wildlife Act that can receive donations. A Tiger Reserve has been established in
the Chandoli area [within the park or outside it?], and the longer term aim is to sett up a foundation
under the Charitable Societies legislation to increase income flow, but this may be complicated if
there is no evidence that tigers inhabit the park. Mr. Rao’s view was that tigers avoided those areas
inhabited and grazed by the dhangar people.
[In a strictly personal capacity, Mr. Rao told us that he did not believe that strict application of the
Wildlife Act was justified because it was simply not practical. He believes that a certain level of
development should be permitted and wants to exclude certain conflicting areas from the Act’s
remit, as the protected area under the Act does not actually correspond with the forest itself.]
NOTE that Mr. Rao has asked us not to quote him on this, so should consider changing
this or removing it.
.
    3.2.2   Visit to Khundlapur Village on boundary of Chandoli National Park – 12 December


Khundlapur is a village of 350 people or so (150 households), inhabited by the Dage Dhangar group,
an agricultural community who have lived here for the past 5 or 6 generations. Their interface with
the national park has been a direct one as the village sits in such close proximity to it and because
their livelihoods are made through pastoral grazing of animals in areas now covered by the park. We
arrived late in the afternoon, and a gathering of villagers congregated on woven mats to talk to us in
the village centre. The meeting was conducted by Joy and Suhas from SOPPECOM, who explained
to the villagers why we were here: the purpose behind the project, and what information we were
looking for. During the meeting a padlock on the metal door of the adjoining building rattled loudly,
a reminder of the seismic activity in the area, especially after the more violent tremor we had
experienced in the forest earlier in the afternoon. Khundlapur was formally only one among 14
similar villages, but as the other 13 lay inside the bounds of the national park, these have been
relocated in order to remove all human presence from within the park. The villagers spoke of the
impact this had had on their society as they were now alone.
The villagers told us that following the establishment of the national part, they became very much
more restricted as to where their cattle could graze. Domestic animal movement was also affected by
concerns regarding predatory attacks from wild animals in the forest – incidents involving the many
tigers in Chandoli were mentioned in this context especially. We had no independent verification as
to the frequency of tiger attacks, although the Head of the National Park had informed us that the
very existence of tigers within the region was uncertain. The villagers keep buffalo and cattle
[Armelle and Geoff: 10-15 cattle / buffalo in the household], but no longer keep sheep or the goats
that their group is most associated with.
After our general introduction, we split up into groups of 2 or 3, each group visiting an individual
household for further interviews, with SOPPECOM staff translating. [The following represents the
discussions of Andrew and Joy mainly – need to add separate sections to represent findings of other
groups]. The electricity for the village had not yet come on, so meetings were conducted in varying
degrees of darkness. The house visited by Andrew and Joy in fact had no light inside beyond that
from the domestic hearth and the meeting was conducted in virtual blackness – we were unable to
see the faces of those we were talking to. We sat in a long room, broadly split lengthways by a single
horizontal stave into living quarters for humans and buffalo. We sat near the fire with four or five
men and two women, while the children watched.
The householders (mainly the men, although we had a few contributions from the women, who
were also busy with attending to the children). We were told that the vast majority of the village’s
households were landowners – less than 10% were landless. This particular household owned 10-12
acres of land, although the reality was that this was insufficient to provide for all the family needs
because of repeated destruction from animals from within the park. They do not grow cash crops,
relying on a single rice and finger millet crop for self-subsistence. [Armelle / Geoff: The rice grown
is a high-yield variety, for which they receive subsidies from the [state or union] government, and
farmers use both chemical fertilizer and manure]. We asked about alternative sources of income, but
it was not clear what these were because the Maharashtra State government’s Right to Work
programme does not appear to extend to this village because of the reality of the lack of productive
work available. Production of cash crops, such as groundnut and pulses [Joy – is this correct?] is
rendered impossible because these are also crops enjoyed by wild animals, and villagers lack the
financial resources to pay to properly enclose their crops to keep out wild boar for example, who are
extremely destructive.
As regards the source of water for the village, there appear to be a number. The principal source of
drinking water is a spring next to the village. Women collect water for their families three times
every day from this source. Secondly, a borehole has been drilled on the outskirts of the village.
Unfortunately the water from this borehole is of poor quality, despite being 240 ft deep. An engineer
advised on the ideal location for the borehole following a decision from the local panchayat,, but
when the government-appointed contractors arrived to drill, they chose an alternative location more
convenient for their machinery. Consequently, the borehole water is not used. Finally, households
receive water through a central reticulated system [ultimate source: the borehole?]. The government
provides / sells a purification treatment powder to the householders, which we presume to be
iodine. This makes the water clean, but undrinkable, so it is not used for direct human consumption.
The system is paid for by householder (400 rupees per year), with pumping costs of 7000 rupees
annually. The fees are collected by the village committee. [Armelle / Geoff: electricity is available
for 13 hours a day. A common pump and rotation system for irrigation scheduling is in place, and
unused portions can be passed to those who need it].
The villagers told us that what they really wanted was fencing – it was not clear if they wanted the
park to be fenced off, or simply for their crops to be better protected by mesh fencing, but
ultimately they want to increase their potential to grow cash crops for income generation. They told
us that there were no local rules as to the use of natural resources – they are not allowed to take
wood from the national park, with enforcement being done by the local political representative of
the panchayat. [Armelle / Geoff: prohibition on collecting green wood from the park, and certain
other types of wood are not used because of religious restrictions [which trees have their own
gods?]. We were not able to ascertain what penalty / compliance system was in place, although
Armelle and Geoff were told that disagreements were resolved by village meetings. While these
village meetings were presided over only by men, (being “respected” persons] the local panchayat
consisted of 3 men and 3 women. [dividing line between disagreements in this context and
complaints in the deity context is not clear – how do we draw it?].
Aside from the water collection duties for women, the division of labour among households is clear.
With respect to agriculture, both men and women are responsible for harvesting, with men
preparing the paddy for planting and women actually transplanting seedlings from the nursery to the
paddy. Additionally, women are responsible for all aspects of household management. Armelle and
Geoff were told that the villagers had combined resources and bought an apartment in Mumbai for
their offspring who are casual workers there.



    3.2.3    Visit to bauxite mine, Chandoli, 13 December


Near the village of Sonavde, almost inside the [Chandoli national park], a large open-cast mine is
extracting bauxite from the hills. The LiveDiverse group visited the mine on the morning of the 13th,
taking the long, dusty road up from near Chandoli dam that is used by the trucks that carry the
bauxite away for processing. We were accompanied by a local activist / journalist / politician / civil
servant?, [................................].
The mine is operated by [................................], which has been extracting ore for the past [15] years
on the basis of a 5 year lease. The group was told that the history of the ownership of the land on
which the mining was taking place was quite complicated, and the description that follows had
numerous inconsistencies. It appears that the land was originally owned by a single family, and that
one of its members began selling off parcels of the land to the mining company / originally a sacred
grove (see below for further details on sacred groves) that was controlled by a religious group. [I’m
not clear about how this worked – I recall being told two stories about the original ownership, but
we didn’t manage to reconcile them]. Currently, the mining activities are carried out under a five year
lease, and it is thought that one of the conditions of the leases has been that the land should be
rehabilitated at the end of the lease term. The operation of the mine necessarily involves the removal
of all topsoil as the bauxite lies [5 metres] under the ground. Once the ore has been extracted, there
is nothing left except bare rock. We saw abandoned sections of the mine where resources had been
exhausted, presumably under previous leases, where it was clear that no rehabilitation had taken
place.
However, we were joined by
representatives of the mine who
took us to sections where
reforestation efforts were under way.
It was clear though even to those
who were not forestry experts that
these efforts were desperately
inadequate. It appeared that the
plants had been put into the ground
in plastic-lined holes that had had
some soil added, but the
surrounding ground was simply
rubble. It was also evident that not
all the species that had been
introduced were locally indigenous.
In many cases the plastic had not been removed and the nutritional value of the ground was clearly
inadequate for trees. The longer term sustainability of these reforestation efforts must therefore be
seriously in question. We have not seen a copy of the lease granting the company the right to mine,
but we hope this may be made available by Department of Forestry, the grantor, in browned-out
format so that commercial confidentiality is protected. Despite the opposition of the local people
and the State administration, the ministry of forests (and the environment!) agreed to extend the
lease of the mining to this area (which is getting closer and closer to the boundaries of the NP




From one of these land rehabilitation sections, it is possible to see in the distance a series of small
white cairns. [is there in fact a de jure buffer zone around the park; can SOPPECOM clarify exactly
what the white cairns are demarcating – is it a protected forest area or is it the limits as specified in
the relevant lease?] These mark the boundary of the protected area into which the mine cannot stray.
It appears that the protected area does not actually correspond with the Chandoli park exactly, as
there is a buffer zone between the national park and the mine, but we were not able to ascertain a)
how the buffer zone worked or how it was delineated; b) what would happen if the mining activities
did extend into the buffer zone; or c) how far away the national park actually was from this
boundary. What was clear however was that the mining activities were being conducted right up to
the cairns themselves. The dust emanating from the mine covered all the vegetation on the access
road – it is assumed that this will also be the case in areas of forest adjoining parts of the mine where
extraction is ongoing.
The mine is worked by [insert name of relevant caste / tribe] people, who told us they were paid
around [£1.50?] per day for breaking up the larger stones. We observed men, women and children,
originating from other southern States, breaking stones with sledgehammers in the open sun. On the
way down from the mine, we stopped at the house of a relative of one of the SOPPECOM staff,
where we were shown examples of the Rab agricultural practices in the form of coppiced trees.


   3.2.4   Visit to Udgiri Sacred Grove and temples, 13 December


Further down the hill from the mine, the access road winds through the Udgiri sacred grove, one of
the largest sacred groves in Maharashtra. There is no access to the mine without going through the
grove. These groves centre around a sacred placewhich may be a large tree or spring. These sacred
places will have associated temples, and are governed by particular rules regarding the use of their
natural resources. For instance, no wood can be taken from them, even if it is dead, although this
rule may not prevent exploitation in some cases. Sacred groves are managed by the Temple Property
Committee, although the Udgiri one is now run by the government. Visiting deities are taken
through the grove [insert Marius photo of travelling deity] and it is worshipped by locals. The fact
that the mining access road must go through the grove suggests that the possible encroachment of
the forest is possible, but the relationship between formal governance systems and the religious
norms that govern the sacred groves is not clear as yet.
We also visited two temples at the site. These were dedicated to different deities – one, more
established in the Hindu pantheon [insert name (and more appropriate / accurate wording?)], the
other being devoted to three local deities. In the first temple, a woman sat on the floor surrounded
by a small group. They were listening to her answer their questions because they believed she was
possessed by a spirit that could respond to their complaints regarding their lot or problems they
were facing. Across the path in the other temple the situation was rather different. The temple felt
more primitive in some ways, with the three deities seated in niches on the wall facing the doors and
people kneeling on the floor. It was suggested that income generation could compromise the
protection of the grove.



   3.2.5   Visit to Shahuwadi Village Jyotiba temple ceremony


[insert details from the briefing note prepared by SOPPECOM]. We met with senior villagers in a
house shared by two brothers and their families, who explained the background to the Jyotiba
celebrations in the village. It seems that around the turn of the 20th century the village suffered a
number of calamities. In an effort to gain some respite, the villagers instituted a regular weekly
ceremony to honour their local deity. The village began to recover from the earlier traumas and the
villagers decided that it would be wise to continue with the ceremonies, which are unusual because
such celebrations are normally held much less regularly. Each of the tasks performed in the elaborate
ritual must be made by people from certain castes.
[SOPPECOM – can you insert details as to what exactly happened / meaning during the
ceremony?]. The team very much enjoyed the visit to the Jyotiba ritual as it was a unique window on
to the spiritual lives of local people that would otherwise not been available to them. From the
LiveDiverse perspective, it gave the team some insight into the importance of spiritual health to the
local people. The villagers were extremely welcoming and the team appreciated their openness very
much.


    3.3 Other basin experiences:


    3.3.1   Visit to confluence of Warana and Krishna rivers, Haripur, 10 December


After the morning visit to the Department of Forestry in Kolhapur, the team visited the downstream
extremes of the Warana River, where it flows into the Krishna River near the border between
Maharashtra and Karnataka. On the way, the bus passed a number of tent settlements occupied by
the itinerant cane-cutting caste. The cane cutters come from [insert state name] and live in very
primitive conditions near to the fields in which the cane grows. The work of cutting the cane is
extremely hard, necessitating a great deal of bending into the rows of sharp sugar cane leaves and the
potential danger from snakes living in the cane. We were told that sugar cane is in some ways an
unusual crop – it takes almost thirteen months to reach the maturity needed for cutting, and in this
particular area can be planted at any time of the year. There is an almost linear relationship between
water availability and yield – if there is a 10% drop in water, the cane will lose 10% of its potential
yield. This means that if water is not available for a period the plant will not die, it will simply not be
as productive. This is very different from other agricultural crops, as most will simply die if they
don’t get water. For the farmer this means the difference between getting 90% of his expected
income and nothing at all. With no shortage of potential buyers in the area, and with the world sugar
price at a historically high level, it is not surprising that so many farmers choose to grow sugar cane.
The extensive cultivation of sugar cane creates problems, though, with respect to the effective
mono-culturalisation of the lower Warana basin, and further work needs to be done in the context
of the LiveDiverse project to identify the corresponding impacts on biodiversity, and the
downstream consequences of irrigating such a thirsty crop.
                                                   From a legal point of view the water allocation
                                                   regime and sectoral institutional concentrations may
                                                   potentially exacerbate downstream impacts by
                                                   failing to account for the combined impact of a
                                                   large number of unlicensed irrigation abstractions
                                                   upstream, and by the inability to combine water use
                                                   information at the river basin level.

                                                   Further down the road, the team reached Haripur
                                                   near dusk, so many people were travelling home.
                                                   The team took the ferry across the river from the
                                                   boarding point below the village temple, along with
                                                   women returning laden with firewood and cattle
                                                   fodder (we were told that women routinely carried
                                                   up to 40kg of wood on their head). [issues re. water
                                                   quality at this point in the river?]
   3.3.2   Jaggery factory, near Kolhapur, 11 December


On the way back from the workshop we stopped at one of the many jaggery factories that can be
seen in the area. The agriculture in the lower part of the Warana basin is dominated by sugar cane
production. Much of this cane goes straight to the large sugar processing plants that are nearby, but
local jaggery production still goes on in small factories [insert photos of factory]. The sugar
processing plants are heavily involved with other aspects of community welfare beyond simply
paying salaries – they may have their own healthcare and education systems. Jaggery factories do not
have these additional characteristics, but in some ways they have very much less impact than the
sugar plants.
                                     The Dickensian factory consisted of a small single story
                                     building, with a canopy outside under which the cane was
                                     crushed. Around the building was an area that, had it been in the
                                     west would have been a car park. Instead, it was entirely
                                     carpeted by a spongy thick layer of spent sugar cane husks – this
                                     is bagasse, which is subsequently used for fuel to boil the sap.
                                     We watched as the cane was crushed, and a large bamboo basket
                                     was filled with the husks.

                                     When this was filled, a boy hoisted the basket on to his head,
                                     with help, before tramping across the husk carpet and dumping
                                     his basket-load in the far corner. Next to the crushing gear was a
                                     drain that took the cane sap, a pump then pushing this up to a
                                     bamboo pipe that stretched across the ceiling of the building,
                                     which was accessed up a few steps next to the canopy.

Inside, an enormous flat cauldron of boiling sap, around 3 metres across and with multiple handles
around its edge, sent billows of steam into the room. A man walked around the cauldron skimming
off scum with a mesh ladle, adding it to the grey mass in a bucket. On the far side of the cauldron
was a further vat, fed by the other end of the bamboo pipe above it and serving to filter the raw sap.
Further into the room was a low square pit perhaps 20cm deep and 2 metres square, connected to
the cauldron by two rails. When the sap had been boiled for two and half hours, the cauldron was
wheeled along the rails using bamboo sticks put through the handles, and the contents disgorged
into the pit for cooling. Once cooled to a paste, the yellowy jaggery was put into buckets for setting,
and a neat stack of finished moulded jaggery “tubs” sat at the far end of the room. The sap is boiled
using cane husks (bagasse), so the system is somewhat closed from a resource use perspective (aside
from the squat chimney out the back that belched out dark smoke). The taste of the final product
was richer than that of sugar, and is used as a flavouring and sweet. In earlier times, each village
would have its own jaggery plant, but there are now far fewer of them, presumably a result of the
increased popularity of processed sugar.
    3.3.3   Chandoli National Park, 12 December


The journey up to the national park took us through the Warana Basin, where we passed under
unused canal infrastructure built for the dam before stopping at a couple of viewpoints overlooking
the lake. We were shown examples of locally invasive faunal species (lantana most specifically), and
the valuable camptotheca tree, along with butea monosperma and curiosities like the [................] plant,
which when rubbed on a person’s teeth makes them fall out.
We ate lunch at an old temple site, having passed some elaborately ornamented tribal women en
route. The temple had been extremely remote until the construction of the road into the park, and
was focused on a spring feeding a tank next to the building. The temple was built around a cavity
underneath an enormous boulder. Nearby, we saw the lookout for a troop of hanuman langurs
[which species?], before returning to the bus to visit the nearby plateau. The walk up to the plateau
took around an hour, through a forest criss-crossed with the paths made by animals. We passed a
suite of caves near the top which we were told were inhabited by either sloth bears, porcupines or
leopards – none of which we were keen to disturb. The plateau itself was covered almost entirely by
grass, with only a few small stands of trees. At the edges, deep fissures in the rock were visible, and
the influence of water and seismic activity result in the slow calving of huge chunks of rock from the
plateau. From the part of the plateau where the team stood it was not possible to see anything other
than forest around them, but the experience from the bauxite mine the following day demonstrated
the proximity of potentially invasive economic activity. When we returned to the bus at the foot of
the plateau, there was an earthquake of 5.3 on the Richter scale, which was a salutary experience for
the team, especially in the light of what Mr. Rao at the Department of Forestry had told us about
epicentre movement.
    1. Conclusions of the field trip


The India field trip was extremely useful for the LiveDiverse project. The team left with a much
greater awareness of the biodiversity in the area, the way in which spiritual elements interact with
everyday life, and an impression of the economic and physical conditions of those living near the
national park. The trip also highlighted the difficulties faced by the authorities in protecting
vulnerable ecosystems: corruption in the Department of Forestry, and lack of human resources
mean that enforcement powers are weak and licensing restrictions subject to dilution. Legislation
that may not be ideally fit for purpose also potentially binds the hands of the authorities, reducing
the credibility of legislation and undermining its impact. The status of the various parts of the case
study area has a potentially significant effect on the level of protection afforded to biodiversity, but
institutional silos may have consequences with respect to the ability of government to objectively
balance biodiversity protection and livelihood security.
The trip also provided an excellent platform for the team to meet many local stakeholders and to
gauge the physical scale of the basin. The issues raised by the villagers next to the national park are
crucial for the project in identifying the particular areas of vulnerability applicable to their situation.
The spiritual dimension of the forest areas and water sources was constantly being reiterated
through visits to local temples, chance meetings with religious groups and travelling deities, and
through the participation and observation of the jyotiba ceremony. The team appreciated the
invaluable experience of being able to draw on the combined learning of relevant local experts who
were on hand at all times to respond to questions. It also helped the team better identify the
similarities and differences between the Indian and other case study areas.
Important contacts were made with institutions and people in the basin who may be in a position to
assist with future project work and dissemination, and whose views and intellectual inputs will have
a strong impact on the project’s conclusions.

								
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