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Social anthropology and natural resources
Debashis Debnath (Indian Institute of Forest Management)
Abhik Ghosh (Panjab University)
Producing the Earth
Roscoe 3.4
Wednesday 7 August, 16:30-17:30, Thursday 8 August, 9:00-10:00 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

The panel will discuss the importance of social anthropology in forest and natural resources management and development towards sustainable development..

Long abstract:

Social Anthropology deals with human culture, livelihood, diversities, system and aesthetic matters. In the colonial countries in the third world the indigenous peoples have the symbiotic relationship with forests and natural resources as they are the primary stakeholder as their culture, ways of life, religion, habitat are centered round the forest. Both Anthropology and forestry were introduced in south-asian countries during colonial rule for their own requirement of administration, revenue and timber-harvesting. After attainment of independence the same colonial legacy was followed till 1992, form the Rio conference, when the sustainable development was principally focused, then at the policy level in the forests and natural resources viz. water, land, soil, non-wood forest products including medicinal plants the change was brought, that was subsequently followed in the application of forest management. Thus , the centralized, custodial, controlled timber harvesting forestry was transformed into participatory, decentralized, equitable and sustainable forest management. This has given importance of values in research and investigations in human attitudes, community organization, and knowledge on bio-diversity management, cultural practices on conservation, gender sensitivity, application of community institution, livelihood system and so on. This has been found significance in decision-making process, participatory rural appraisal, protection mechanism, benefit-sharing, monitoring and evaluation etc which are major focuses in the postmodernism social anthropological research and studies.

This panel aims to discuss in holistic manner to make inter-linkage between the importance of social anthropology and management and development of the natural resources in which the socio-economic problems and issues of indigenous peoples will be focused.