Posted by: Bob Payne | April 23, 2011

Forest fights, Indian style

The widening rift in the conservationist movement has allowed the bigger and more powerful forest encroachers to hide behind the public controversy over tribal lands and sharing of forest resources. While activists for and against ‘tribals in forests’ argue and bicker, the rich squat pretty on encroached forest lands, says Keya Acharya. India has barely 2% of its land mass under pristine, dense forests, though officially the figure is an unrealistic 19%, with a government mandate to cover 33% of its lands with forests, equally unrealistic, given the country’s immense population and resultant pressures.

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