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Seminar: "New conservation paradigm in India - case study of people resistance in Kaziranga National Park, India" by Pranab Doley and Eleonora Fanari

Date: 2019-05-06

Seminar: "New conservation paradigm in India - case study of people resistance in Kaziranga National Park, India"

Speakers: Pranab Doley and Eleonora Fanari

Date: Monday, May 6th 2019
Time: 12h
Venue: Z/022 - Z/023

“More Security, more Conservation” is the mantra that the Indian forest governance is using to ensure the protection of the wild flora and fauna. With the international agreement on expanding green spaces worldwide, the Indian government is steadily playing its role as one of the country with the highest density of forest (21% of its land mass) and wildlife in the world. India targets 33% of its land mass to be under forest cover and of doubling the number of its tigers (a keystone species) by 2030. If on the surface this seems to be a story of conservation, it is rather the new old story on ‘accumulation by dispossession’, which in the name of conservation is upholding laws and legislations such as the colonial Indian Forest Act, to give more immunity and authoritarian power to the central forest governance. A conservation story against the interest of the local communities which deny thousands of indigenous and forest dwellers to their right to forest, food and natural resource. The seminar will unveil the effect of the non-inclusive policies of biodiversity conservation in India, throughout the analyses of the biodiversity cases related to the issue and mapped on the EjAtlas; it will go deep into a case study of Kaziranga National Park a Rhinoceros and Tiger Reserve in the state of Assam, which represents one of the prime examples of ‘fortress conservation’ and ‘green militarization’ in India. With the special presence of Pranab Doley a local activist from Kaziranga, we will discuss on the transformations the space have undergone from being a game reserve for the British royals, to a rhinoceros and a tiger protected space for the largely tourist audience, while leaving the local community as enemies. 


Pranab Doley is an activist with the mass organization Jeepal krisak Sramik Sangha, Assam a movement  working on the issues of Peasant, Labour and Forest Rights. He has been politically engaged in the assertion of people’s right to forest and security in Kaziranga National Park vicinity and as a result of his engagement with the masses there are multiple trumped up cases against him and has been wrongfully jailed multiple times. His work also comprises of active political economic work with the community which is spearheading the struggle for a resilient and healthy society around Kaziranga and a symbiotic relation with the flora and fauna. He is a graduate from the prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences and he has been one of the most vocal advocates on the issue of violation of human rights in Kaziranga National Park which took him to the prestigious festival of Internazionale in Ferrara, Italy, where he spoke on the matter. 

Eleonora Fanari is a researcher currently working with the EnvJustice group at ICTA-UAB. Her current research explores the implications of conservation policies upon local people and the violation of forest rights in the name of environmental protection; a topic she has been engaged with throughout her extensive field research in India. She received her undergraduate degrees in Social Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, and a Master in International Relations at Cadiz University. Prior to her engagement at ICTA-UAB, Eleonora lived and worked as a research and project management in India for many years on issues related to social exclusion, minorities and land rights in collaboration with several no-profit organizations such as The National Confederation of Dalit Organizations (NACDOR), Rights and Resources Initiatives (RRI), and the environmental Indian group Kalpavriksh, whom with she is still collaborating. She previously got her Bachelor’s degree in Hindi Language and Literature from “L’Orientale”, University of Naples, Italy. 




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