Essay On Chipko Andolan

Women knew that the real value of forests was not the timber from a dead tree, but the springs and streams, food for their cattle, and fuel for their hearths.

The women declared that they would hug the trees, and the loggers would have to kill them before killing the trees.

The war against the Earth began with this idea of separateness.

Its contemporary seeds were sown when the living Earth was transformed into dead matter to facilitate the industrial revolution. “Raw materials” and “dead matter” replaced a vibrant Earth.

We practice and promote a biodiversity-intensive form of farming that produces more food and nutrition per acre.

The conservation of biodiversity is therefore also the answer to the food and nutrition crisis.

One of the dramatic Chipko actions took place in the Himalayan village of Adwani in 1977, when a village woman named Bachni Devi led resistance against her own husband, who had obtained a contract to cut trees.

When officials arrived at the forest, the women held up lighted lanterns although it was broad daylight. The women replied, “We have come to teach you forestry.” He retorted, “You foolish women, how can you prevent tree felling by those who know the value of the forest? They produce profit and resin and timber.” The women sang back in chorus: , the failure to understand biodiversity and its many functions is at the root of the impoverishment of nature and culture.

The world joined the anti-apartheid movement to end the violent separation of people on the basis of color. Today, we need to overcome the wider and deeper apartheid—an eco-apartheid based on the illusion of separateness of humans from nature in our minds and lives.Terra Nullius (the empty land, ready for occupation regardless of the presence of Indigenous peoples) replaced Terra Madre (Mother Earth).This philosophy goes back to Francis Bacon, called the father of modern science, who said that science and the inventions that result do not “merely exert a gentle guidance over nature’s course; they have the power to conquer and subdue her, to shake her to her foundations.” Robert Boyle, the famous 17th-century chemist and a governor of the Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel Among the New England Indians, was clear that he wanted to rid native people of their ideas about nature.My involvement in the contemporary ecology movement began with Chipko, a nonviolent response to the large-scale deforestation that was taking place in the Himalayan region.In the 1970s, peasant women from my region in the Garhwal Himalaya had come out in defense of the forests.The lessons I learned about diversity in the Himalayan forests I transferred to the protection of biodiversity on our farms.I started saving seeds from farmers’ fields and then realized we needed a farm for demonstration and training.That is why it is significant that Ecuador has recognized the “rights of nature” in its constitution.In April 2011, the United Nations General Assembly­—inspired by the constitution of Ecuador and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth initiated by Bolivia—organized a conference on harmony with nature as part of Earth Day celebrations. secretary general’s report “Harmony with Nature,” issued in conjunction with the conference, elaborates on the importance of reconnecting with nature: “Ultimately, environmentally destructive behavior is the result of a failure to recognize that human beings are an inseparable part of nature and that we cannot damage it without severely damaging ourselves.” Separatism is indeed at the root of disharmony with nature and violence against nature and people.As philosopher and historian Carolyn Merchant points out, this shift of perspective—from nature as a living, nurturing mother to inert, dead, and manipulable matter—was well suited to the activities that would lead to capitalism.The domination images created by Bacon and other leaders of the scientific revolution replaced those of the nurturing Earth, removing a cultural constraint on the exploitation of nature.

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