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Community and Conservation

Tribals in India are known for nature - worship. Tribals have protected many forests and call them Sacred Groves. These parts of the forest have been left untouched by the local people. Certain societies revere a particular tree which they have preserved for ages.

  • The Mundas and the Santhal of Chhota Nagpur region worship mahua and kadamba

Mahua tree

Kadamba tree

  • During weddings the tribals of Orissa and Bihar worship the tamarind and mango trees
  • The peepal and banyan trees are considered sacred by many Hindus

Indian tradition has its own way of preserving nature. Springs, mountain peaks, plants and animals are part of the Indian tradition.

  • Macaques and langurs found around many temples are fed by the pilgrims and these animals are not hunted as they are considered holy
  • In Rajasthan, herds of blackbuck, nilgai and peacocks are an integral part of the community and nobody harms them.

Chipko movement

Chipko movement


The famous Chipko movement was started in the Himalayan region to stop deforestation. People belonging to the local community took to afforestation in a big way. Indigenous species were cultivated and protected.

  • Farmers and citizen's groups like the Beej Bachao Andolan in Tehri and Navdanya have diversified crop production
  • Local communities are involved in the management and restoration of degraded forests

Involving local communities in protecting the environment and stopping degradation of forests have reaped many benefits. It is necessary to understand and accept that economic or developmental activities have to be centered on the welfare of common people. It is also necessary that these development activities have to be economically viable to the local people and at the same time preserve our environment.

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