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Framing the claim for recognition in the protected areas of India

Student name: Ms Pooja Chandran
Guide: Dr Manish Kumar Shrivastava
Year of completion: 2020


Protected areas are the flashpoints for territorial and resource management conflicts around the globe. In most cases, PAs invariably coincide with human settlements where people profoundly depend upon the available biological resources as the means of life support and cultural identity, which renders equity and justice to be significant concerns in the debate over conservation. This study looks at biodiversity conflicts as a system of multidimensional conception of justice that may promote a climate of recognition injustice. Within India, the prototype for PAs is provided by the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 that seeks to ensure conservation through the creation of ‘inviolate’ parks that minimize all anthropogenic interferences. In stark contradiction, the Forest Rights Act, 2006 frames conservation as a crucial vehicle for recognition of individual and community adivasi rights. Developing a set of thresholds to determine what the claim of recognition must represent, this study delves into the rights framework within both the legislations and studies how the discourse on society– nature relations is framed, bearing in mind the prospects for spatial difference, selfdetermination and subsistence autonomy that the adivasis have. The manner in which the assault on biodiversity results into an assault upon justice is inquired into, and the definition we afford to conservation and the social cost at which we aim to achieve it is sought to be reframed.