A demand for jal, jungle aur jameen : an argument for climate justice of indigenous women in india through recognition of land rights

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Anju Anna John
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The environmental movement of modern-day India could be traced back to protests led by the indigenous Adivasi women. These protests were to secure the health, food security and livelihoods of their families, on lands that they had traditionally occupied. Ironically, the strongest hurdle they face in saving their lands from deforestation and other development projects is the Forest Department in India. This paper seeks to make an argument for the Adivasi woman’s climate justice as the realisation of rights over their traditional lands. This paper examines the unique situation of the indigenous peoples in central Indian society. It then considers the effects of climate crisis in this region on the Adivasi women, and how dispossession of land caused by extractivism has affected their lives and livelihoods. It proceeds to deliberate whether gaining rights over their traditional lands would be the solution, and how have legislations and cultural practices affected their land rights. Following this, India’s obligations under international law is analysed. Finally, this research studies the implementation of the Forest Rights Act of 2006 that recognised indigenous peoples’ rights over forest lands. Based on the findings of this paper, it can be concluded that despite the impediments faced in the implementation of the 2006 Act, the proper enforcement of the legislation is the best available solution towards ensuring climate justice of the indigenous women in India.
Second semester University: University of Deusto, Bilbao
India, indigenous peoples, peoples rights, women, climatic changes, social movements, climate justice, land tenure, environment