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Dalit movements and the Political economy of biodiversity conservation

by mudassar — last modified 2013-02-17 20:21

Biodiversity conservation is an evolutionary phenomenon. Regional, local and cultural specificities are integral part of the evolution of biodiversity conservations. The institutional understanding of biodiversity conservation evolved through the principles of livelihood dependency, common property right and environmental support. Development backwardness and poverty advocate an anthropocentric approach to biodiversity. Anthropocentric approach to biodiversity is also attached with economic value of natural resources. Managing such an anthropocentric resource utilisation model generally requires centralised ownership and controlled access. Human needs have got the ‘centre of existence’; however, it does not ensure an inclusive access to all. The process which defines the centre and periphery is subjected to the existing social and economic structure. This paper attempts to put caste as a deciding factor in defining centre and periphery in anthropocentric development models. The paper further explores the question of the Dalit position towards biodiversity conservation in India.

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