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Ecology for Economy: By Richard Mahapatra
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Ecology for Economy: By Richard Mahapatra

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    Ecology for Economy: By Richard Mahapatra Ecology for Economy: By Richard Mahapatra Presentation Transcript

    • Towards Green Villages: Biomass imperatives
    • Conspiracy of poverty
      • India’s poverty line: Rs. 12/day in rural. Rs.18/day in urban India
      • More than 300 million people below this line (70% in rural)
      • Poverty > getting chronic, concentrated
      • Natural resource rich areas the poorest (60%)
    • Deep distress
      • Economy grows at around 9%, agriculture at 2.3 %
        • Food grain available: 152 kg /person (rural). 23 kg less than in 90s
        • 30% households eat less than 1,700 kilo calories per day/person
        • Rural poor spend 70 percent of income on food. Starvation
      • 57% of land facing degradation (increase of 53 percent since 1994)
        • Impact esp. on common lands & rain fed areas. About 68 percent of the net sown area drought prone .
      • 60% of cultivable areas are rainfed (no irrigation). Produce 42% of food
        • 2.5tons/ha productivity
      • 80 % of India’s landholding is less than one hectare
        • The average annual land fragmentation is 2.7/land holding
        • 33% landless (22% in 1991-92)
        • Every second farmer today indebted. Suicides
      • Decreasing agricultural yields increase demands on biomass
        • impact fodder and fuel availability.
      • Poor agriculture = less cow dung (fertiliser) and agriculture residues (fuel and fodder). More stress on fuel wood. More stress on forests. Vicious circle
      • How to eke out sustainable livelihoods
      • from shrinking resources
    • The land-energy matrix in a Himalayan village
    • ECOLOGICAL POVERTY Create NATURAL WEALTH   Create ECONOMIC WEALTH
    • India: a biomass economy
      • Ecology contributes 80 percent of income of poor
      • Around 29 percent of ‘national wealth’ sustains 60 percent of population
      • The ‘informal’ sector employs 92 percent of India. Private and public together only 8 percent
      • Over 60% people depend on agriculture, fisheries and forests
      • Agriculture: directly employs 234 million people
    • Forest-based livelihoods
      • Forests directly employ 100 million people (250 mill. indirectly )
      • Support 30% of fodder needs
      • Contribute to 40% of India’s energy needs (more than 80% in rural areas). 14 million headloaders. Environmental villain?
      • Minor produce , major impact
        • Tendu leaf collection (90 days employment to 7.5 million people + employs more than 3 million people in bidi processing
        • Lac (resin) production employs 3 million people
        • About a million people dependent on sericulture
        • Bamboo: Ten million employed
        • Tassar silk cultivation: 126,000 households involved
        • Reeds (for making mats): More than 300,000 people involved
        • Gum collection employs 300,000 persons/day
    •  
    • Demands on biomass will only grow
      • Population is increasing by 2 per cent every year
        • 1 Ha sustains now four people, 1.5 people/Ha in 1980s
      • Firewood production must increase from 100 million ton to 300 million tonnes
      • Green fodder production from about 230 million tonnes to 780 million tonnes.
      • India’s per capita forests decreasing: 0.08 Ha now, 0.20 in 1951
      • Number of people dependent on forests is growing: from 184 million in 1996 to 226 in 2006.
      • Timber demand (both housing and industrial): from 23 million cubic metres to 29 million cubic metres in 2006.
      • Per capita consumption of paper rose from 3 kgs in 1995 to about 5 kgs in 2003 (in China it was 29.1 kg per person). In Asia, per capita paper consumption is five times higher than in India.
      • But overall biomass production in India seems to be declining rapidly
      • Around 240.62 million Ha of India’s 306.25 million Ha reported land are used for biomass production. Out of this only on a very small fraction of agricultural lands productivity has improved due to irrigation. On the rest, productivity has gone down. And it is declining.
    • under threat: Governance
      • 0.6 million villages, .23 million elected local governments, 3.8 million elected representatives
      • 2.3 villages per Panchayat (in Assam, as high as 29 villages/Panchayat)
      • But a centralised approach: gradually the Federal government is in charge of resources
      • Those who take decisions are not the ones who have to live with the consequences of those decisions
      • Panchayats have all power over natural resources
      • Panchayats are regarded as implementing agencies
      • Only one state has devolved power
      • In tribal areas, it is in more distress
      • India has to make a fundamental shift to meet this challenge.
      • A shift in state’s role from an often-corrupt regulator of the micro-environment to the provider of an enabling and more market-friendly environment
    • Under threat: Shrinking commons, capital
      • CPR, providential fund, is gone
      • From 55% in 1900 to 15% now, and declining
      • Evictions & Displacement: mining, dams, nature parks
      • 2 million displaced but 255 rehabilitated
      • More than 1 million cases of tribal land alienation
      • Tribal people are at bottom of all human development index
      • Around US$100 billion investments in tribal areas, needing around 25% of total lands
      • 125 reported struggles against land acquisition
    • Backlash: Red spread
      • 19% forests under the Maoists control
      • Already control 151 districts (out of 600)
      • Spreading at 2 districts/month
      • Spread almost by invitation. Talk about natural resources and rights
      • Govt. dares not enter
      • Development indicators poor in these areas
    • Growth vs. poverty
      • Highest rate of economic growth in history
      • Lowest rate of agriculture growth in history
      • Employment per growth unit lowest ever, less than 1%
      • Rural unemployment at 9.1 percent, double in 2 decades
      • Poverty reduction slower during post-reform
      • Need 108 jobs a minute for the next five years
      • Can create 10 jobs from current growth
      • Ecology has huge potential: 110 jobs/minute
      • Need to redefine poverty
      • GNP is effective gross nature produce
    • NREGA: a panacea?
      • First legal entitlement for job
      • India has history of 30 years of public works programme
      • Focus on ecological regeneration (assets)
      • Puts local government in charge
      • Scope for village-level planning
    • Wasteful
      • 60 years of targeted anti-poverty programmes
      • More than 2000 rural development programmes
      • Rs. 314 billion for poverty alleviation/year
      • Rs. 260 billion for food subsidy/year
      • Rs. 71 billion for irrigation/year
      • Rs. 6 billion for afforestation/year
      • Rs. 2,270 Billion to sustain the bureaucracy/annual
      • It takes Rs. 3.65 to transfer Rs. 1 programme money to poor
      • 58% subsidised food doesn’t reach poor
      • 1/3rd employment creation against target
    • Alternatives: Asserting rights
      • What do you do when pushed to the wall?
      • Villages are asserting their rights using constitutional provisions
      • Many have declared themselves village republics
      • Have taken over natural resource management
      • Have built strong institutions
      • Have defined poverty as less access to resources
      • Have been able to self-sustain
    • Community-led sustainable development
      • Sal leaf collection in Orissa: Generates 2.5 million jobs, has potential of 5 million
      • Gum collection in Gujarat: 0.3 million people employed
      • Pearl harvesting in Andamans: 1 small farm employs 500 people
      • All the villages have defined their poverty as lack of access to natural resources. Thus their primary effort has been to gain access to local resources
      • In all the cases strong community organisations have been built to fight outside interferences.
      • NREGA potential
    • Improving the Gross Nature Product Ecological Regeneration and its Impact on a Biomass-Based Village Economy Ecological Regeneration and Succession Stage and their associated Economic Impacts