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Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
Monday, 06 November 2017 18:03

RELEVANCE OF ECOSYSTEM APPROACH TO THE COMMONS

A NUMBER of studies point to the fact that different communities have distinct niches on which they depend. These are dynamic niches and while the physical spaces overlap, the niche does not. This dynamism in the niche formation and its relation to livelihood support systems is not understood resulting in short sighted policies taking at best the de jure status of the land into account. The de facto status is very complex to understand and requires long term and multi disciplinary/multi-dimensional studies to begin to at least comprehend what is taking place. A beginning has been made by recognising the relevance of the gram sabha to capture these complexities, but this ignores migratory communities particularly those having seasonal/short term dependence on the resource. The net effect is a complex spiral web of vertical and horizontal set of relationships.

This brings home the fact that individuals/communities that are part of this complex spiral web may at best understand and grasp their own concerns but not the entirety, the ‘conflict of interest’ that so arises as a barrier to comprehensive understanding requires an ‘unbiased’ external force to help facilitate an action based learning process. Such an ‘unbiased’ agency does not exist. However the sum total of human experiences and current developments provides the material on which to make a start to understanding the difference in ‘systemic change’ from system change. This is an appeal to those who have learnt enough to understand that the current system has no answers and a sincere effort is first needed to first free ourselves from the system spectacles that it gives so that we can begin to fathom what is it, that is needed for real change.

In short these processes play itself out in the context of developing a live agenda for CCNR group as well. I am also attaching the concept note on Gender which further deepens the understanding. I quote from that document as well. Physical, verbal and psychological violence on women is the order of the day where they are involved directly in asserting their rights under FRA. Customary social practices and taboos, bind them. This restricts the process of women’s assertion in a process that seeks to restore the best of customary practices in the protection and management of sustainable forests. Hence gender equality in the process will ensure equity and sustainability of resources and of women’s rights and roles therein. Such an approach for engendering the forest rights regimes needs to refer to the injustices to women, in the discrimination and oppression they experience in denial of recognition of entitlements within family and community structures, both in the ownership and/or control over land and resources as well as in the voice and agency to make decisions for such resource conservation, use, protection and management. And that such protection of their rights must be based on an examination of the oppression within the rules and structures of governance from the family onwards.

This document was circulated widely among women’s groups in India and posted on facebook as well with the comment that in response to my note pointing out the role of my experiences in SPWD in developing this note I got a mail saying that I was blacklisted.

Viren Lobo 

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