Cultural Heritage Has a Lot to Teach Us About Climate Change

While cultural heritage sites are under threat from rising sea levels and melting permafrost, indigenous knowledge such as that of Assam’s Majuli communities can provide the key to unlocking adaptive climate change strategies. (Republished from The Conversation and The Wire) Museums, archaeological sites and historical buildings are rarely included in conversations about climate change, which tend to focus on the wider impact and global threats to our contemporary world. Yet these threats impact everything, from local cultural practices to iconic sites of outstanding universal value. In light of this, it’s worth exploring the relationship between our heritage and the changing […]

ILR AND THE HIDDEN PRICE

The world in name of globalization and development is fast destroying the very environment it inhabits. With uncontrolled emissions, melting glaciers, frequent floods and hurricanes- climate change and societal damage are a very real threat. And yet the governments world over, despite signing landmark treaties, are either backtracking or giving catastrophic environmental clearances, such as Brazil allowing for mining in the world’s largest carbon Sink- the Amazon, thereby stimulating irreversible damage to local culture and endangered species. However, joining the league are other countries like the USA and now our very own India (with the ILR scheme). India’s ILR project […]

Environment and Society

We live in a world full of paradox- social ironies and economic enigmas. As discussed in my article Geopolitics of Environmental Issues, the regions where man first settled down, like the Fertile Crescent or the Indus Valley for instance, and initiated agriculture are today also the regions with greatest number of hungry people and range of other humanitarian crisis. Environment throughout history has been fundamental in shaping the society and the cultural practices. And yet today it has become the most vindictive antihero of the society. The challenge then lies in figuring out the balance between the anthropogenic and ecological practices. […]

Placing Indigeneity in Environment & Development Paradigm

Indigenous people have often been treated as burden on the ecosystem, impediment to development and worst of all as tourist spectacle. However, it only takes an all-inclusive attitude to understand the integral role played by the Indigenous people in conserving the environment and providing alternate route towards sustainable development. Given the pace of the current development, it is vital to recognize these native people as natural partners. For this, one needs to understand the way they respond to ecological and development challenges and how their cultures and knowledge systems contribute to the sustainable development agenda. The UN System Task Team […]

The Anthropogenic Climate Change

Climate is the centrifugal force which de facto is the lifeline of all things that exist- cultural practices, societies, commerce or political charters. It has for ages dictated the way mankind has functioned and the 21st century is no different. Climate has been altering the world map, catalyzing large scale migration and prompting immediate global climate action. With the Paris Treaty coming into force on November 4th, Marrakech defining the future action plan and Fiji being all set to host COP23 in Bonn- the bar has been set high. However the real question is how far-fetched is the idea of […]