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

 

Westminster: NZ PM Condemns London Attack

“London is a place many thousands of New Zealanders have visited and called home, and where many more have friends and family based, so this attack feels very close to home,” Mr English says. More>>

ALSO:

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>

Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news