Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Friends of Forests

For centuries, the Van Gujjars, the nomadic cattle herders of Uttarakhand, have lived in harmony with nature, maintaining a wonderful balance, taking from the earth only what they needed for survival, but now their way of life is threatened by new laws
February 6, 2022
Van Gujjars
Harmonious living: During the winters the Van Gujjar community lives in small clusters in forest clearings and has a very low carbon footprint

To achieve the target of restricting the rise in global warming to not more than 1.5o C by 2030, the emission of greenhouse gases all over the planet needs to come down by 7.5% annually for a decade, starting in 2020, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In November 2021, member nations gathered in Glasgow for the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to reiterate their commitment to curb climate change. While the bold statements by the world leaders generated enough headlines, there wasn’t much available in terms of a concrete action plan for achieving the target.

Another conspicuous omission from the discussions at COP26 was the restoration of Earth’s biodiversity which is crucial for the survival of life on the planet. That’s not surprising, because they had left out of the discussion perhaps the most important group who could help in this endeavour — the indigenous people and forest dwellers of the world.

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Kalyan Chatterjee

The writer has been a media professional for 38 years. He was the former HoD of the Amity School of Communication, Amity University.