World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Tribes face harassment and eviction for “tiger conservation"

SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
May 13, 2014

India: Tribes face harassment and eviction for “tiger conservation”

Survival International has received disturbing reports that several tribal villages are facing imminent eviction from Tiger Reserves in Odisha in eastern India, despite the villagers’ desperate appeal to stay on the land and to involve them in protecting the forest.

Testimony obtained by Survival shows that tribes in Similipal Tiger Reserve, who have been living with the forest’s wildlife for generations, are determined to stay on their land, but have been facing years of harassment and pressure from forest guards to force them out of the reserve.

A Munda man from Jamunagarh, one of the villages slated for eviction, told Survival, ‘We are very much dependent on the forest…We don’t have any conflict with the wildlife. We don’t hunt or cut down trees. If we leave we will face a lot of hardship… Please don’t displace us!’

In potential breach of the law, wildlife authorities in Odisha are determined to clear ‘core areas’ inside Tiger Reserves of all human habitation. Three out of six villages have already been removed from Similipal and eviction plans are currently underway in the neighboring Satkosia Tiger Reserve.

During the most recent eviction from Similipal in December 2013, 32 families of the Khadia tribe were moved to a resettlement village outside of Similipal and only received a fraction of the compensation they were promised. Sheltering under plastic sheets on a tiny patch of land, the tribe is now entirely dependent on government handouts for their survival.

Local media reports heralded the December eviction as a ‘major success’ which will make further relocations ‘easy’. But Munda from Jamunagarh were horrified by conditions at the resettlement site, saying, ’We have been there. Seeing their condition made my heart cry. Please don’t displace us.’

According to Indian law, the villagers’ consent needs to be obtained and their claims to their forest land processed before such resettlements can go ahead. But their rights are ignored and communities are worn down with harassment and promises of money, food, livestock and land – most of which never materialises.

As the original conservationists, tribal peoples inhabit the world’s most biologically diverse regions – and it is often because they have protected their fragile environments that the wildlife has managed to survive. But India’s authorities seem intent on creating human-free zones inside tiger reserves around the nation.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today,‘Tribal peoples are usually the best conservationists. In spite of this, in many places around the world they are being illegally evicted from their lands in the name of ‘conservation’. Nowhere is this more blatant than in reserves where people who have lived alongside wildlife for generations are kicked out to make way for busloads of tourists and the roads and infrastructure they demand. It’s not about conservation, it’s about others profiting from tribal lands.’

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Palestine: Border Police Extremely Close When They Shot The US Activist

New testimony at final hearing in Tristan Anderson's trial indicates Border Police were extremely close when they shot the US activist in the head More>>

Palestine: Ni’lin Demonstrators Met With Violence

International Solidarity Movement On the 20th of March, during Ni’lin’s weekly Friday demonstration, Israeli occupation forces attacked protestors with about 20 rounds of tear gas canisters shot with the ‘venom’ tear gas launcher mounted on a military jeep ... More>>

ALSO:

UN Envoy Says Yemen On 'Rapid Downward Spiral'

Yemen stands on the brink of civil war amid deepening political tensions and an uptick in sectarian violence, United Nations Special Adviser Jamal Benomar warned today as he explained that only through dialogue could the country achieve a peaceful political transition. More>>


Continued International Support As Vanuatu Recovers

Damage seen on Saturday 14 March 2015 in Port Vila, capital of Vanuatu, after Cyclone Pam moved through the Archipelago. Photo: UNICEF Pacific More>>

UNICEF Rushes Emergency Supplies For Cyclone-Affected Tuvalu

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is dispatching emergency life-saving supplies to communities in Tuvalu as part of its efforts to assist communities in the Pacific region that were affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam, with nutrition and hygiene kits arriving today. More>>

Vanuatu: Regenvanu Expects 50% Of People Struck By Pam To Be Homeless

Vanuatu Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu says more than 50 percent of those hit by super Cyclone Pam at the weekend are now homeless. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news