Dahanu’s special environmental status has made little difference to the poverty-stricken Warli tribals, shunted out of the forests and lands they cultivated for generations. The 2006 Tribal Bill, on the other hand, goes a long way in granting them their rightful share of the forests
The declaration of Dahanu as an ecologically fragile zone in 1991 has had repercussions on the orchard economy too. Farmers, already troubled by declining yields and globalisation, cannot convert their orchards to non-agricultural use. They feel they are trapped into farming by an environmentalism that is out of context
The quasi-judicial Dahanu Authority has become a model for environmental governance, taking on giant corporations and standing for social and ecological justice. But until its mandate is endorsed by the citizens and elected representatives of Dahanu, meaningful development cannot take place, says Michelle Chawla
There is no doubt that there is a sharp polarisation between Dahanu’s environmental lobby, which pushed through the region’s ecologically fragile status, and local communities, including industrialists, farmers and adivasis. Is this the result of an environmental movement that failed to ensure community debate and engagement?
A fierce environmental struggle won Dahanu the status of a protected, environmentally-sensitive region in 1991. But in one fell swoop it destroyed Dahanu’s dreams of rushing into the neoliberal economy. This is the first in a series of articles, researched as part of the Infochange Media Fellowships 2008, that looks at how the environmental restrictions have impacted farmers, fisherfolk, adivasis, traders and others in Dahanu