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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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   2003| January-March  | Volume 1 | Issue 1  
    Online since July 20, 2009

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Globalisation: Effects on Biodiversity, Environment and Society
David Ehrenfeld
January-March 2003, 1(1):99-111
The march of globalisation seems inexorable, with effects felt throughout the world. These effects include, but are not limited to, reduced genetic diversity in agriculture (loss of crop varieties and livestock breeds), loss of wild species, spread of exotic species, pollution of air, water and soil, accelerated climatic change, exhaustion of resources, and social and spiritual disruption. The market cannot be relied on to control the environmental and other costs of globalisation. Although its present dominance creates an impression of permanence, a conjunction of formidable limiting factors is even now acting to curb the process of globalisation-possibly to end it altogether. Technological fixes cannot overcome these limiting factors. The architects of globalisation have ignored the social, biological and physical constraints on their created system. Critics of globalisation have noted that global free trade promotes the social and economic conditions most likely to undermine its own existence. The same can be said of the biological and physical limiting factors-especially, in the short term, the dwindling supplies of cheap energy. The necessary opposition that has formed to counter the worst features of globalisation must keep its dangerous side-effects in the public eye, and develop alternative, workable socio-economic systems that have a strong regional element and are not dependent on centralised, complex technologies.
  106,725 5,837 -
Parks, Politics and History: Conservation Dilemmas in Africa
Mahesh Rangarajan
January-March 2003, 1(1):77-98
  8,932 1,195 -
Cattle and Conservation at Bharatpur: A Case Study in Science and Advocacy
Michael Lewis
January-March 2003, 1(1):1-21
For generations of ecologists and park managers throughout the world the de­structive nature of livestock grazing on natural systems was so apparent that it never even needed to be discussed. Based on this insight, a ban on livestock grazing was put into practice in US national parks, and written into law in India. At Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur, this received wisdom did not have the desired effect of improving the health of the ecosystem. When cattle were banned in 1982, the park's habitat began a slow decline. Through a discussion of debates about grazing in national parks in India in the 1960s, and focusing specifically upon Keoladeo Ghana National Park, this case study challenges the attempt to search for universal conservation truths to be imposed throughout the world. This article does not deny that ecology is a valuable tool for making con­servation decisions, but rather claims that the attempt to apply ecological insights as universal conservation truths is highly problematic, fraught with risks, easily politicised and frequently ineffective.
  8,884 920 -
Insights from a Cultural Landscape: Lessons from Landscape History for the Management of Rajiv Gandhi (Nagarahole) National Park
Sanghamitra Mahanty
January-March 2003, 1(1):23-47
National Parks like the Rajiv Gandhi (Nagarahole) National Park can be seen as cultural landscapes that embody and reflect the historical, social and economic relationships between people and place. This article highlights that complex social relationships and processes of change underlie contemporary park management issues, such as conflict over the future of forest dwelling communities, resource dependent populations on the forest fringe and crop raiding by wildlife from the park. The article suggests that a cultural landscape framework, based on recog­nition of historical, social and economic relationships in the landscape, can provide a deeper understanding of these issues and needs to inform discussion on future management directions. Specifically, a historical approach highlights the changing situation of tribal communities in the context of changing management paradigms, and the need for management approaches to go beyond highly localised actions to work with wider government policies and processes that influence land use and markets outside the park.
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Changes in Four Rainforest Plots of the Western Ghats, India, 1939-93
Marsha Pomeroy, Richard Primack, SN Rai
January-March 2003, 1(1):113-135
A major question of concern to forest ecologists in India is how well the forests have withstood the impact of human activities, and if they will be able to recover their stand characteristics, including number and size of trees, biomass and species composition, once they are protected from further disturbance. To examine the process of forest disturbance and possible recovery, four research plots in the evergreen forests of the Western Ghats of Karnataka State were analysed for stand characteristics and species composition starting in 1939 when they were remote and had minimal human impact. In these plots, all trees were identified and measured for diameter at breast height. The original trees continued to be censused at approximately five-year intervals. New recruits were first censused in 1984, and their size in the past was estimated from average growth rates. The plots were not treated differently from the surrounding forest, so they serve as a sample of the status of the surrounding forest. These forests then experienced increasing levels of human activity in the form of clearing for roads and power lines, fires, grazing by cattle, collection of forest products and low-level selective logging in the 1970s and 1980s, during which time forest censuses continued. At all four forests, there was a steady decline over time in the number of trees, with sharper declines associated with periods of logging and clearing. At the point of greatest decline following logging, only about 70 per cent of the original numbers of trees were present; however, the number of new trees increased after logging stopped in 1988, compensating to some degree for the loss of the original trees. Above­ground biomass also declined over time, with only about 70 per cent of the original biomass present after selective logging and other disturbances, but recovering to 73 per cent to 85 per cent by 1993. Mortality and estimated recruitment rates in these forests was low prior to 1970, but then increased as the pace of human activity increased. Species composition has remained relatively stable over the census period, with most of the original species still present. Additional species became established on the plots, many of which were common pioneer species, resulting in an overall increase in the total number of species at each plot. There have been substantial effects of human activity on these forests, with the intensity of this impact increasing in the 1970s and 1980s. With the cessation of logging, these forests are beginning the process of succession to their original stand characteristics. However, the presence of roads, power lines and substantial nearby human populations will probably prevent a full recovery.
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Conservation as if Biological Diversity Matters: Preservation versus Sustainable Use in India
MD Madhusudan, TR Shankar Raman
January-March 2003, 1(1):49-59
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The Mirage of Permanent Boundaries: Politics of Forest Reservation in the Western Himalayas, 1875-97
Ashwini Chhatre
January-March 2003, 1(1):137-159
Forests of the Western Himalayas, particularly the hill districts of colonial Punjab in India, became sites of intense negotiations over issues of demarcation of state property and definition of user rights in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, even as the debates over the Indian Forest Act came to a close. In implementing newfound powers, the Forest Department was frustrated, first, by the character­isation of the region as anomalous by the Revenue Department, and second, by overt resistance from local communities. In the web of interests and ideologies, emerging interactions between state and social actors were crystallised, and defined the contours of state-society relationships. In the process of negotiating the demarcation of forests, inter-departmental rivalries between the Revenue and Forest Departments intersected with the tension between central direction and local autonomy. Legal categories enshrined in the law were reinterpreted in imaginative dimensions to correspond with local practices and new ways of imagining forests emerged that defied, and sometimes contradicted, the spirit of the law. The result could be seen as a compromise between positions of extensive and intensive territorialisation within the state, which graded forests hierarchically in new categories, nested within the law and created a supra-tenure that went beyond legal categories. Such an optic helps in better understanding and explaning the variation in the project of territorialisation in colonial India.
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Protected Areas and the Conservation of Biodiversity in India
Alan Rodgers
January-March 2003, 1(1):69-72
  2,271 547 -
Debating Conservation as if Reality Matters
K Ullas Karanth
January-March 2003, 1(1):65-68
  2,137 506 -
The Politics of Specificity and Generalisation in Conservation Matters
Nancy Lee Peluso
January-March 2003, 1(1):61-64
  1,808 497 -
Book review 1
David Hardiman
January-March 2003, 1(1):165-167
  1,856 321 -
The Hunting of the Snark: Seeking Transcendence in the Indian Conservation Debate
MD Madhusudan, TR Shankar Raman
January-March 2003, 1(1):73-76
  1,762 333 -
Why Do We Need a New Journal on Conservation?
Kamaljit S Bawa, Vasant Saberwal
January-March 2003, 1(1):0-0
  1,623 348 -
Book review 5
Ghazala Shahabuddin
January-March 2003, 1(1):173-176
  1,500 321 -
Book review 2
Dunu Roy
January-March 2003, 1(1):168-169
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Book review 3
Richard Primack
January-March 2003, 1(1):169-171
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Book review 4
KN Ganeshaiah
January-March 2003, 1(1):171-172
  1,312 284 -