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Appiko Movement Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it.

Whate ver we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All t hings connect. Chief Seattle. Long before Al Gore began sharing the inconvenient truth about the environment, villagers in India understood it and were performing their own form of environme ntal activism. About 276 years ago, a group of villagers in India were protectin g their forests from felling. The story begins with Amrita Devi, a woman with th ree daughters who belonged to the Bishnoi sect of Hinduism and lived within a fo rest in the desert state of Rajasthan. The Bishnois believe in living as one wit h nature and understand the importance of the forests around them. When the Maha rajah (king) of Jodhpur needed lumber to burn lime for the construction of his n ew castle, he sent his men to the forest. Amrita Devi and her daughters gave up their lives to the cause of protecting the trees in that forest. They literally lay their lives in between the axes of the men and the trees. The news of the mo ther and daughters sacrifice reached other Bishnoi. Bishnoi from over 83 villages gathered to continue the fight begun by Amrita Devi. The protests continued unt il 363 Bishnoi were dead. On the news of this ultimate sacrifice, the Maharajah ordered the tree felling to halt and passed a decree to protect the forests and animals around the Bishnoi villages. Fast-forward to April 1973 where the successful protest of the Bishnoi people in spired the name and work of another conservation effort in India, the Chipko (em brace) Movement. In the 1970s the villagers of Tehri and Chamoli, now in the sta te of Uttarakhand protested against the felling of their forests for the purpose of commerce and industry. The forests in the foothills of the Himalayas were cr itical to the villagers for food, fodder, fuel and soil stabilization. The villa gers embraced the trees and put themselves between the trees and the axe-men jus t as the Bishnoi had done years before. The modern villagers didn t have to sacrif ice their lives, as did their Bishnoi counterparts, to achieve success. The movement experienced a major victory in 1980 when the then Prime Minister, I ndira Gandhi, responded to the peaceful protests and approved a 15-year ban on f elling trees in the forests of Uttar Pradesh. The Chipko movement spread through out India in the 80s. In Uttara Kannada in the southern state of Karnataka, Chip ko movement, locally known as Appiko Chaluvali, was successful in saving trees f rom felling. In 1983 in the Kalase-Kudergod forest, 150 women and 30 men stopped the axmen by hugging trees. Similar successes were achieved in the forests of B engaon, Husre, and Nidgod. All these grass-root efforts to stop felling led to a policy change within the Indian government that was more focused on the require ments of people and ecological impact. Where and how the Appiko Movement started ? After a visit to the beach, it s hard to believe that we live in a material world. Pam Shaw Uttar Kannada is a heavily forested district in the state of Karnataka in the we stern part of the country. The district is unique in that it traverses five impo rtant terrestrial ecozones. From the west to the east there is the narrow coasta l plain, the evergreen and moist deciduous forests of the Western Ghats, the dry deciduous forests and further east the scrublands, making it one of the importa nt centres of biodiversity in the Western Ghats. People have traditionally been involved in agro forestry and have maintained unique multi-tiered spice orchards dominated by betel nut (Areca catechu). The Western Ghats rise up behind the coastal belt of northern Karnataka in Sout h India. The sunlight has a purity and density in this upland area that you can almost touch. It etches shadows on the dry dark earth. Here the meaning of biodiv ersity is immediately visible over 80 species of trees are easily identifiable, t

plywood and power which were intended for the development of the peo ple. and the dams have submerged huge-forest and agricultural areas. Salkani. In 1950. The mills have unf airly high subsidies and have been allowed to go on in spite of not having adequ ate effluent treatment facilities. They have even managed to get portions of the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary denotified for the purpose of bamboo extraction and continue to press for more denotifications of the protected areas. Nedgod. This kind of indiscriminate destruction of the forests which had been relati vely intact over centuries & loss of local economy to the hands of private contr . With the felling and commercialization of this natural forest. Moved by the destruction of essential ecological processes. Why the Movement arises? I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respe cting her seniority. This ongoing development policy of exp loiting the resources mainly forest and mineral resources in the Western Ghats fo r the benefit of the elite have deprived the poor of their self-supporting syste ms. have resulted in a fourth p: poverty. There major industries a pulp and paper mi ll. The local p opulation. In a nutshell. fertiliser. Large tracts of forests wer e submerged in the reservoir. Uttara Kannada district forest covered more than 81 percent of its geog raphical area. The townships that were created for the government employees and for the dam also resulted in further destruction There is a propo sal for a similar project over the river Sharawati but it has met with stiff opp osition from the local communities. hyd ro projects and even a nuclear power plant. especially the poorest groups. The West Coast paper mill has been r esponsible for the disappearance of a large chunk of forests. The steady come down of forest cover in the district is due to many reasons. These areas included Mathghatta. Appiko Andolan gave birth to a new awareness all over southern India. The conver sion of the natural mixed forests into teak and eucalyptus plantations dried up the water sources. the three maj or p s paper. etc. fuel and construction. fodder. the n initiated the process of development . The forest had shrunk to nearly 25 percent of the district s area by 1980. fruit. B alegadde. particularly with large-scale commercial forestry op erations. The government. The rapid spread of t he movement was based on evidence provided by villagers that the forest departme nt was over-exploiting the forests.raditionally used for medicine. At the same time the forest department was involved in clearing of natural ever green forest and plantation of monoculture of Teak and Eucalyptus . The Supa dam was built over the river Kali in 1976. directly affecting forest dwellers. The major causes have been many developmental projects like the paper industry. declaring this forest district a backward area. the Appiko moveme nt rose: a popular people s response against deforestation and the ruin of ancient livelihoods. The destruction of mixed species denied people access to biomass for fodde r. the youth of Salkani village in Sirsi launched a Chipko movement which was locally known as Appiko Chaluvali . Vanalli and Andagi. The clear felling of natural forests has led to severe soil erosion and drying up of perennial water resources. This destruction of tropical natural forests and the raising of monoculture pl antations of Teak and Eucalyptus caused irreversible changes in the forest ecosy stem. Elwyn Brooks White. These industries have overexploited the fores t resource. The forest department too has played a major role in forest decimation. The protest within the forest continued for thirty eight days and finally the felling orders were with drawn. The success of this agitation spread to other places and the movement has now been launched in eight areas covering the entire Sirsi forest division in U ttara Kannada and Shimoga districts. Husei. They embraced the tr ees to be felled by contractors of the forest department. were displaced by the dams. Kelgin Jaddi. which are among the largest in the state. a plywood factory and a chain of hydroelectric dams constructed to harness t he rivers sprouted in these areas.

Thus a renewab le resources becomes a nonrenewable one. Once laterization sets in. Objective of the Movement We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. To save. we may begin to use it with love and respe ct. All these objectives are implemented through locally established Parisara Sa mrakshna Kendras (environmental conservation centres). The area is so sensitive that to remove the forest cover will lead to a laterization process. converting the land into rocky mountains. Belesu ( grow ) and Balasu ( rational use ) is movement s popular slogan. 2) Second. When we see la nd as a community to which we belong. it is making a modest attempt to restore the greenery to denuded areas. it is striving to propagate th e idea of rational utilization in order to reduce the pressure on forest resourc es. to grow and to use rationally popularly known in Kannada as Ubsu ( sa ve ). Before we reach such an extreme point the Appiko Movement aims to save the remaining forests in the Western Ghats thr ough organizing decentralized groups at the grassroots level to take direct acti on. . 3) Third. The movement s objectives can be classified into three maj or areas:. Aldo Leopold The Appiko Movement is trying to save the Western Ghats by spreading its roots a ll over southern India.actors had provoked the local communities to protest against this.The first ar a of priority for the Appiko Movement is the remaining tropical forests of Weste rn Ghats. it will take centuries for trees to grow on that land.1) First the Appiko Movement is struggling to save the remaining trop ical forests in the Western Ghats. Thus the Appi ko movement come on the ground.