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Forest Management Issues in East Godavari: A Case Study of Pedda Mallapuran

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Praganda, Ravi R.
Conference: Common Property in Ecosystems Under Stress, the Fourth Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Philippines
Conf. Date: June 16-19, 1993
Date: 1993
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5576
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): forest management
Abstract: "In the ancient times planting a tree symbolized a man's possession over land but did not confer him moral authority to cut the tree. Today the same man cuts down the tree without any moral scruples. Does this indicate that there existed traditional systems with ensured proper management and protection of tribal relationships with nature and his out look on forest? What are the reasons and implication of an attitudinal shift of the hillman, the transition from reverence of Adivitalli (Mother Forest) to a matter of fact treatment towards it? How have the plainsmen and state contributed in bringing about a slide in the traditional norms of the forest? Is it an inevitable process and does it signify an alarming trend which requires immediate concern in this ecological pandemonium? In the context of this seminar, these are urgent questions that we need to look within ourselves. It is these same questions that we are constantly being confronted with during all these years of our work with the tribal people of East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. I present here a case study of a tribal village of Pedda Mallapuram (which has been the headquarters of our work in these past six years) to explain the traditional systems and the transition that followed. This paper is presented in three parts. The first part gives a description of the traditional system and how its distinct traits ensured the protection of the eco-system. The second part explains the break up of the traditional systems under pressure from the colonial state, commercialisation and inflow of non-tribal/plainsman with different patterns of behaviour. The third part poses issues relation to the protection of eco-systems under the changing conditions."

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