HISTORY OF ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT: INDIA
MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment July 2021 & Jan 2022
Q1. Adaptation is the key to understand human interactions with Nature. Discuss.
Ans. Human adaptation to environmental change is both a new imperative in the face of climate change and the oldest problem in our species history (Smithers and Smit 1997; NRC 1999; Janssen and Ostrom 2006; IPCC 2014).
Human societies have always been subject to risks and vulnerabilities posed by changes in their material circumstances as a result of social, economic, ecological, and other environmental factors (Moran 2008).
The diverse processes by which societies have dealt with social and environmental change throughout their history on the land and sea are well established in the scientific literature (Fagan 2008: Leichenko and Eisenhauer 2017).
Humans have evolved a wide range of strategies in response to localised environmental changes, which have contributed strongly to specific social and ecological developments, including both biocultural diversification and homogenization (Smithers and Smits 1997; Moran 2008). MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
The evolving set of locally driven, “bottom-up responses to environmental change is often collectively termed autonomous adaptation (Carter et al. 1994), while its obverse, planned adaptation, is typically used to reference ‘top-down’ (from without or State-driven) efforts to adjust a society, community or social-ecological system to existing or anticipated environmental change, as in climate adaptation (Fankhauser et al. 1999; Howard and Pecl unpublished results).
The term autochthonous may be preferable to autonomous adaptation, but has not yet been adopted into common use (Howard 2009).
While autochthonous means indigenous or native, thus of local origin, autonomous means independent, without outside control, and/or self-governing.
The latter thus neglects the interdependence between people and ecosystems on both spatial and temporal scales, and the lack of control that many otherwise autochthonous peoples have over drivers of change. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
This neglect of the autochthonous dimension of local adaptation and control is reflected in the IPCC’s current definition of autonomous adaptation, which is equated with spontaneous adaptation and defined as,
“Adaptation in response to experienced climate and its effects, without planning explicitly or consciously focused on addressing climate change” (IPCC 2014, p. 838).
Such a definition denies all forms of conscious local or autochthonous movements, such as revitalization movements—”deliberate, organized, conscious effort by members of a society to construct a more satisfying culture” (Wallace 1956, p. 265)—which may be both autonomous and planned.
The current emphasis on top-down or planned adaptation denies both the capacity for organised.
The current emphasis on top-down or planned adaptation denies both the capacity for organised responses that transform societies from within, as well as the inevitability and importance of local responses to change,
whether bottom-up or top-down driven, where it is local responses that predominantly shape ecosystems and cultures and strongly influence socio-ecological systems at higher scales (Christoplos et al. 2009; Howard 2009).
After briefly conceptualizing adaptation as an ongoing set of processes, and critiquing the dominant risk and vulnerability approaches to adaptation,
we advance an alternative adaptation processes-to pathways approach through the detailed analysis of responses to biodiversity change caused by an invasive plant, Lantana camara L. (‘Lantana’), in southern India. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
The paper draws on the conceptual framework developed for the Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation project, Human Adaptation to Biodiversity Change, as described in Howard and Pecl (unpublished results).
In so doing, we aimed to reconceptualize human adaptation in relation to surrounding ecosystem processes, live systems (sensu Dorward 2014), and human wellbeing.
In our case study, we considered not only changing biodiversity itself, but also the relevant social, cultural, political and economic constraints and contextual factors that inform human responses to these environmental changes.
Human adaptation to environmental change is best understood over long temporal scales. The pace of environmental and social change is often slow and multigenerational, although it may become rapid when societal or planetary boundaries, or system thresholds (so-called tipping points), are exceeded (cf. Rockström et al. 2009;
Raworth 2012, 2017; Howard 2013; Steffen et al. 2015). Similarly, localised plant and animal communities may take time to adjust to changes in climatic conditions.
Over time, these shifts are manifested in changes in the structure, health, and diversity of ecological communities (Walther et al. 2002; Campbell et al. 2009).
The critical nexus for human adaptation, then, is not so much change in global temperature or precipitation regimes, but rather the consequent and relevant local changes in biodiversity that support the web of life. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
As discussed in Howard (unpubl. results), species’ invasions can occur in a very short time frame, and can also provoke rapid human responses—thus providing a ‘real-time prospective for analysing human adaptation to biodiversity change.
Humans’ individual and collective capacities and actions to maintain well being within a live system depends on a particular diversity of agents, resources, and environmental processes.
A live system is defined as ‘a combination of the functions provided by assets (or resources and activities undertaken in and by open, structured, and actively self-regulating systems’ (Dorward 2014).
This concept expands and elaborates on the notion of sustainable livelihoods (Chambers and Conway 1992; Scoones 2015) within a social-ecological systems (SES) framework (Knutsson and Ostwald 2006).
In doing so, the livelisystems concept allows for more robust incorporation of environmental change, resilience, and adaptation processes within socio-ecological systems (SES) analysis.
SES, including livelisystems, are inherently dynamic (Gunderson and Holling 2002; Berkes et al. 2003; MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
Dorward 2014), thus human success requires strategies for resilience (Gunderson 2000; Folke 2006).
This includes coping with temporary shocks, surprises, or other sources of stress and uncertainty, as well as more fundamental, long-term adaptations to systemic changes (Hollings 1973; Berkes et al. 2003).
Coping does not always lead to adaptation and, in some cases, it may hinder adaptive pathways (Thornton and Manasfi 2010).
In addition, adaptation processes are multiple, dynamic, and contingent, often making them hard to negotiate and implement, irrespective of whether they originate as planned or unplanned responses to climate change or other impacts.
Recognition of the dynamic and contingent nature of human adaptation to environmental change within SES has led many to advocate an adaptive management approach that is systemic, yet flexible, and capable of learning in response to feedbacks (Holling 1978; Berkes et al. 2000; MEA 2005).
The future is not predictable. Uncertainty and risk abound, and change is inevitable, so adaptation cannot simply be planned ‘top down,’ but must continuously develop from the bottom and the mesh organizational levels of human societies as well.
In other words, individuals and households must adapt, as must communities and states, to sustain themselves in a changing environment characterized by multilevel interactions and impacts of both environmental change and adaptation on SES (Howard unpubl. results).
‘Managing’ adaptation in a globalised world thus necessarily involves connecting these levels and their constituent actors, pathways, and institutional nodes.
In the environmental change literature to date, there have been three dominant approaches to the pursuit of adaptive management: one focused on social vulnerability (Smit and Wandel 2006), MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
a second on risk management (Sarewitz et al. 2003) (both of which are based in disaster studies), and a third on adaptation pathways (Leach et al. 2010).
The vulnerability approach involves assessing the status of key assets and capacities in a community or SES that are considered vital to its ability to cope or adapt, such as access to food, health services or credit, and strengthening those dimensions (Smit and Wandel 2006).
One critique of this approach is that, while external vulnerability analyses might suggest adaptation pathways, these may overlook how people are actually adapting on the ground (Berrang-Ford et al. 2011).
Another criticism is that this approach often reduces vulnerability to the status of technical or material asset deficiency,’ rather than considering vulnerability as a possible systemic condition or process caused by an oppressive or extractive political economy (Cameron 2012).MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
As Ribot (2014, p. 667) observes, this framing such systemic political-economic disparities can present major barriers to adaptation and may constitute pathways of continued vulnerability (PahlWostl 2009; Pelling 2011; Marino and Ribot 2012; O’Brien 2012).
The risk management approach to climate adaptation seeks to reduce exposure to environmental change by applying formal assessment methods and tools that can identify probable threats to human wellbeing.
Adaptive response to these threats, which may include events such as floods, droughts and heatwaves, is achieved through optimization of risk-reduction benefits versus costs (World Bank 2010), within the bounds of probabilistic uncertainty (Borgomeo et al. 2014) and acceptable risk at the societal level (Oels 2013).MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
As is the case with some vulnerability approaches, risk analyses may go beyond ex-ante methods to include participatory and social instruments to determine perceptions of and preferred responses to risk in local populations (Van Aalst et al. 2008).
Sarewitz et al. (2003, p. 810) conclude that both risk and vulnerability approaches are necessary for effective planning, since ‘a myopic focus on risk to the exclusion of vulnerability can easily enhance rather than reduce the prospects for negative outcomes.’
However, some scholars take issue with the tendency of both vulnerability and risk analyses to swiftly hone in on an inappropriately narrow set of alternatives configured for the purposes of making uncertainty ‘manageable within cost-benefit and risk equations.
Instead, policy processes should be more equitable and open to a wider diversity of participants, ideas, and values in decision-making (cf. Stirling 2006: Leach et al. 2010; O’Brien and Wolf 2010; Van Ruijven et al. 2014).
Only by widening adaptation planning beyond existing managerial and sociotechnical paradigms, as well as beyond climate change itself (Forsyth and Evans 2013), can more transformative pathways to change and sustainability be realised.
Such critiques have led to a third major orientation to adaptation termed the pathways approach. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
It begins by recognising that existing governance structures are often ill-equipped (due to lock-in, vested interests, capacity, etc.) to imagine or deal with the need for alternative, transformative trajectories.
thereby constraining adaptation actions to existing pathways of response to environmental stressors.
Existing pathways are likely to be insufficient or inefficient in the face of unprecedented impacts wrought by environmental change, or may reinforce unsustainable and inequitable development processes.
Sustainable solutions must often address multiple issues on multiple levels (or pathways) at the same time, as argued,
for example, in the case of climate-smart agriculture (CSA), which supports innovations that simultaneously adapt for climate change, reduce GHG emissions and insure food security (Taylor 2017). MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
Adaptive pathways to sustainability are invariably negotiated within dynamic, complex systems of social, environmental, and technological processes,
which likely require multiple diverse innovations in human cultural, social, and material realms in order to effect transitions to sustainability (Smith et al. 2005; Geels and Schot 2007; Leach et al. 2010).
Adaptation pathways are thus contingent on ‘alternative possible trajectories for knowledge, intervention and change, which prioritise different goals, values and functions in decision-making (Leach et al. 2010, p. 5).
“Pathways thinking,’ its proponents argue, allows adaptation to be reconceptualized so that actions on climate change can be linked with transformative social change at multiple levels (Wise et al. 2014: 327). MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
However, the pathways approach has yet to be consistently applied or assessed in diverse case studies; nor has it been linked to broader human adaptation processes,
as we propose here by wedding it to an existing scheme first proposed by Thornton and Manasfi (2010).
Q2. Write a note on the ecological diversity of India and examine its significance.
Ans. Biodiversity is the sum of all the different species of animals, plants, fungi and microbial organisms living on Earth and the variety of habitats in which they live. Scientists estimate that more than 10 million different species inhabit Earth.
Biodiversity underlies everything from food production to medical research. Humans use at least 40,000 species of plants and animals on a daily basis.
Many people around the world still depend on wild species for some or all of their food, shelter and clothing. All our domesticated plants and animals came from wild living ancestral species.MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
In addition, almost 40 percent of the pharmaceuticals used in the United States either are based on or are synthesized from natural compounds found in plants, animals or microorganisms.
The array of living organisms found in a particular environment combined with the physical and environmental factors that affect them is an ecosystem.
Healthy ecosystems are vital to life; they regulate many of the chemical and climatic systems that make available clean air, clean water and plentiful oxygen.
Forests, for example, regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis and control rainfall and soil erosion.
Ecosystems, in turn, depend on the continued health and vitality of the individual organisms that compose them. Removing just one species from an ecosystem can prevent the ecosystem from operating optimally. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
Perhaps the greatest value of biodiversity is yet unknown. Scientists have discovered and named only 1.75 million species — fewer than 20 percent of those estimated to exist Of those identified, only a fraction has been examined for potential medicinal, agricultural or industrial value.
Much of Earth’s great biodiversity rapidly is disappearing, even before we know what is missing. Most biologists agree that life on Earth now is faced with the most severe extinction episode since the event that drove the dinosaurs to extinction 65 million years ago.
Species of plants, animals, fungi and microscopic organisms such as bacteria are being lost at alarming rates.
Because of this, scientists around the world are focusing their research on cataloging and studying global biodiversity in an effort to better understand it and slow the rate of loss.
As a result, the majority of current biodiversity research concentrates on preserving biodiversity and assessing environmental quality and change.
Biodiversity plays an important role in the way ecosystems function and in the services they provide. The following is a list of some of the benefits, or services, of biodiversity:
• Provisioning services such as food, clean water, timber, fiber and genetic resources
• Regulating services such as climate, floods, disease, water quality and pollination
• Cultural services such as recreational, aesthetic and spiritual benefits
• Supporting services such as soil formation and nutrient cycling
Q3. Discuss the major trends of Environmental History writing traditions in India.
Ans. Like every other subset of history, environmental history is different things to different people. The author’s preferred definition is: the history of the relationship between human societies and the rest of nature on which they depended.
This includes three chief areas of inquiry, which of course overlap and have no firm boundaries. First is the study of material environmental history, the human involvement with forests and frogs, with coal and cholera. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
This entails study of the evolution of both human impact on the rest of nature and nature’s influence upon human affairs, each of which is always in flux and always affecting the other.
This form of environmental history puts human history in a fuller context, that of earth and life on earth, and recognizes that human events are part of a larger story in which humans are not the only actors. In practice, most of the historical work in this vein concerns the last 200 years, when industrialization among other forces greatly enhanced the human power to alter environments.
Second is political and policy-related environmental history. This concerns the history of selfconscious human efforts to regulate the relationship between society and nature, and between social groups in matters concerning nature.
Thus efforts at soil conservation or pollution control qualify, as perhaps do social struggles over land and resource use. Political struggle over resources is as old as human societies and close to ubiquitous.MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
The author would not use the term environmental history to refer to contests between one group of herders and another over pastures; but he would use the term to refer to struggles over whether a certain patch of land should be used as pasture or farmland.
The difference lies in the fact that the outcome of the struggle carries major implications for the land itself, as well as for the people involved. (Mind you, others see this differently than the author).
In practice, policy-related environmental history extends back only to the late nineteenth century, with a few exceptions for early examples of soil conservation, air pollution restrictions, or monarchical efforts to protect charismatic species for their own hunting pleasure.
This is because only in the late nineteenth century did states and societies mount systematic efforts to regulate their interaction with the environment generally.
Because these efforts were spasmodic and often modest in their effects, most of this sort of environmental history deals with the decades since 1965, when both states and explicitly environmental organizations grew more active in their efforts.
The third main form of environmental history is a subset of cultural and intellectual history.
It concerns what humans have thought, believed, written, and more rarely, painted, sculpted, sung, or danced dealing with the relationship between society and nature.
Evidence of a sort exists from tens of thousands of years ago in Australian aboriginal rock shelter paintings, or in the cave art of southwestern Europe.
But the great majority of this sort of work is drawn from published texts, as with intellectual history, and treats the environmental thought contained either in major religious traditions or, more commonly, in the works of influential (and sometimes not-influential) writers from Mohandas K. Gandhi to Arne Naess.MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
This sort of environmental history tends to focus on individual thinkers, but it extends to the study of popular environmentalism as a cultural movement. More than most varieties of history, environmental history is an interdisciplinary project.
Many scholars in the field trained as geographers or historical ecologists. In addition to the customary published and archival texts of the standard historian,
environmental historians routinely use the findings culled from bio-archives (such as pollen deposits which can tell us about former vegetation patterns) and geo-archives (such as soil profiles that can tell us about past land use practices).
The subject matter of environmental history is often just the same as the subject matter in historical geography or historical ecology, although the sort of sources emphasized normally differ.
An illustration is the field of climate history, which is pursued by scholars from at least half a dozen disciplines, including text-based historians.
Unlike natural science, most environmental history has to date been done by individual scholars, rather than by teams.MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
Q5. Write a note on the diffusion of agriculture in South India.
Ans.The process of technological change is understood in terms of the Schumpeterian trilogy of Invention, Innovation and Diffusion (Rogers; 1962, Stoneman and Diederen, 1994).
Diffusion research, in the past century had analysed the manner in which innovations are adopted or rejected temporally and spatially by participants in a social system.
A major goal of diffusion research in agriculture has been to identify factors, which contribute to the variations in adoption behaviour of farmers.
Once these factors are known they can be manipulated to expedite the diffusion rate among the potential adopters.
The spread of new agricultural technologies have received attention of researchers because they can raise the income of smallholders (Ruttan 1977; Barham et al. 1995), generate broad and equitable benefits to society (Lipton and Longhurst 1989;
De Franco and Godoy 1993), and lower pressure on renewable natural resources (Almeida and Campari 1994). The importance of diffusion of technology in agriculture has been realized by economists since 1950s. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
After Griliche’s (1957) landmark study of diffusion of hybrid corn, researchers of adoption have focused on the role of economic variables (principally prices) in the diffusion of new technologies.
Since then a large body of work surfaced inquiring the nature and causes of differential diffusion rates of various agricultural technologies.
This paper analyses the reasons behind slow diffusion of an important innovation in South Indian sericulture namely ‘Bivoltine hybrid technology’: in the theoretical frame work of ‘economics of technology diffusion and in the light of an empirical study conducted in Mandya district of Karnataka state.
Indian sericulture industry- importance, issues
India is world’s second largest silk producer. It is also the largest consumer and importer of silk and silk goods (UN Comtrade data 2007).
Sericulture is important to Indian economy as a cottage industry spread over 53814 villages employing nearly 56 lakhs people (Central silk Board data base, 2007).
As a labour intensive activity practiced throughout the year it is identified as a means for rural employment generation and as a remedy for seasonal unemployment (Jayaram et al. 1998). MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
The other merits of sericulture as an agro-industry are: its short gestation period to establish, potential for regular retums to the farmers, reelers and weavers, environment friendly production and processing technologies, potential for farm diversification, cash flow from rich to the poor,
sustainability as a rural based activity involving family labour and women and high value addition to the end products with potential export markets (Benchamin and Giridhar, 2005).
The Indian sericulture industry is currently faced with the problems of stagnation in production, low productivity, poor quality of produce, high cost of production and competition from cheap raw-silk imports.
The sericulture industry is built upon two living organisms: an insect namely silkworm and its food plant namely mulberry’.
Thus the quality and quantity of raw-silk output are primarily dependent on the genetic potential of mulberry and the silkworm breeds. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
Almost 95% of silk produced in India is from traditional low yielding indigenous multivoltine silkworm varieties or cross breeds which are relatively poor yielders (CSB database 2007).
The cocoons produced by them are unsuitable for reeling in sophisticated reeling machines and the raw-silk produced from which is characterised by lower filament length and, lesser tensile strength leading to breakages making it unfit for high speed power loom weaving (Kumaresan et al., 2002).
Thus the power toorn industry is heavily dependent on imported Chinese raw-silk which is of superior quality (Vasumathi, 2000 and Thomas et al, 2005a).
The indigenous raw silk is largely consumed by the handloom sector and partly by the power loom sector as weft (Vasumathi, 2000).
The import price of raw silk has been lower than the domestic raw silk, as the cost of production of Indian silk is high (Kumaresan, 2002).
Moreover as shown by Naik and Babu (1993), the price of imported Chinese raw-silk is dependent on the prevailing prices of Indian raw-silk, though the causative nature of indigenous raw-silk price has not been clearly elucidated.
This has affected the indigenous raw-silk prices and in turn the domestic cocoon prices (Tikku, 1999). MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
This could probably be one of the reasons for large scale uprooting of mulberry plantations which resulted in considerable labour displacement in the farm sector (Central silk Board data base, 2007).
There is a growing demand supply gap of raw silk in the domestic industry. Naik and Babu (1993) estimated that the total high quality silk production in India could meet at the most 60% of the estimated demand.
A solution to the qualitative and quantitative problems of Indian silk industry is popularization of high yielding silkworm hybrids that can also yield better quality silk.
The bivoltine silkworm races prevalent in the temperate countries are characterized by high productivity (800-1250 kg cocoons / hectare of mulberry) and high quality silk as compared to multivoltine races of tropical countries (160-440 kg cocoon / ha. of mulberry) (Jayaswal etal, 2001).
The comparative performance of Bivoltine hybrid vis-a-vis Cross breed furnished in table 1 clearly establishes the superiority of Bivoltine hybrid. The superiority of Bivoltine hybrids is not confined to the quality of silk they produce.
The hybrid yields significantly higher quantities of cocoons and thus supposed to be more remunerative to farmers. The comparative data furnished in table 2 is illustrative of this.
Q8. Critically evaluate the Colonial environmental agenda.
Ans. Colonialism is a practice of domination, a 400-year-period of European exploration, conquest, settlement, and exploitation of vast tracts of land.
Environmental colonialism refers to the various ways in which colonial practices have impacted the natural environments of Indigenous peoples.
Historian Alfred Crosby has argued that colonists were successful, in part, because they were able to alter native ecosystems. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
Colonists exposed native societies to foreign markets as well as exotic invasive species, restricting Indigenous peoples’ abilities to defend themselves against both economic and biological invaders.
Recovery from the damage done to native ecosystems proved difficult for native populations.
Colonial powers exacerbated the problem by creating a global infrastructure that encouraged wealthier countries to extract natural resources from poorer peripheral countries, while simultaneously destabilizing what were often sustainable native cultures (Stoll).
Environmental studies scholars sometimes use the terms “environmental colonialism,” “ecocolonialism,” and “ecological imperialism” interchangeably.
However, “imperialism,” as Edward Said reminds us, is the practice, theory, and attitudes of a dominating metropolitan center ruling a distant territory (9),
whereas colonization refers to its affects. Eco-imperialism is a term coined by Paul Driessen to refer specifically to the forceful imposition of Western environmentalist views on developing countries. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
Environmental colonialism is one lens that may be applied to world systems theory analysis of colonization (Stoll). Scholars of environmental colonialism make environmental impact a principal concern.
Impacts of Environmental Colonialism: Environmental colonialism has both obvious and unexpected impacts on Indigenous peoples and native lands in both the short and long term.
The arrival of Europeans in the Americas in 1492, for example, marks the onset of disease epidemics resulting in the loss of the majority Indigenous people living in the Americas over the subsequent century 1500-1600.
A recent study out of University College London (UCL) estimates that around 1 per cent of total land mass in the Americas was abandoned during the spread of waves of pandemic disease, or approximately 56 million hectares of land from 55 million post-epidemic human deaths among indigenous communities in the century following Columbus’s arrival (Koch, et al.).
Largescale depopulation resulted in massive tracts of agricultural land being left untended, UCL researchers find, allowing the land to become overgrown with trees and other new vegetation (Milman).
The regrowth caused by secondary succession soaked up enough atmospheric carbon dioxide to cool the planet, with the average temperature dropping by 0.15C in the late 1500s and early 1600s, the study found. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
Successful European colonies are often located in temperate zones akin to European microclimates, which Crosby terms “Neo-Europes.”
These environmental similarities allowed European colonists to raise crops and livestock to the detriment of native habitat diversity (Stoll).
Today, many of these “Neo-Europes” – the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay – are the largest exporters of grains and animal products which were completely foreign to their landscape prior to colonization.
However, in Late Victorian Holocausts (2000), Mike Davis explores how colonialism and the introduction of capitalism during the El Niño-Southern Oscillation caused devastating famines of the late 19th century in India, China, Brazil, Ethiopia, Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and New Caledonia.
Davis documents how colonialism and capitalism in British India and elsewhere increased rural poverty and hunger while economic policies exacerbated famine.
Although environmental damage caused by colonialism is not always intentional, its effects cannot be undercut. In Slow Violence (2011),
Robert Nixon explains how Western environmentalists have at times inadvertently harmed native ecosystems through preservation efforts intended to repair original harm done by colonialism. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
Robert H. Nelson offers several examples wherein the establishment of national park systems in African nations has displaced native populations.
Writer Teju Cole refers to this kind of Western interference as the White-Savior Industrial Complex, and explains that “caring about Africa” must first begin with the reevaluation of American foreign policy, which often plays a direct role in local elections.
The case of Nigeria, one of the top five oil suppliers to the U.S., shows the extent to which both international governmental economic institutions and transnational corporations continue to engage in environmental colonialism.
In her reflection on the Standing Rock Sioux’s powerful resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), Jaskiran Dhillon reminds us of the stark reality of the current ecological crisis. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
Yet, in the midst of rising temperatures, ocean acidification, the psychological effects of “eco-anxiety,” and cross-disciplinary debates about the Anthropocene, Dhillon finds hope.
Indigenous peoples and their longstanding resistance to environmental devastation are clear signposts of who should guide us into the future” (Dhillon).
Standing Rock, she argues, illustrates that a fight for environmental justice must be framed, first and foremost, as a struggle for Indigenous sovereignty.
Embedded within this struggle is a conversation about the link between colonial violence and gender.
Dhillon asserts that while “violence against women is often sidelined within environmental discussions, Indigenous resistance to extractive projects … reveals that these forms work in tandem with one another.”
Zaysha Grinnell, a young Indigenous woman from the Fort Berthold reservation and youth leader in the political resistance at Standing Rock, illustrates the link in sharing her own experience: MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
As Grinnell’s story makes clear, a struggle for environmental justice requires an end to structural colonial violence more broadly, and colonial gender violence against Indigenous women and girls must remain at the center of advocacy and political strategy in this movement.
The Sioux’s resistance garnered international attention because it resonated with indigenous people fighting for environmental justice across the globe.
As Dhillon points out, Standing Rock is only one of multiple frontlines of resistance that aim to conceive of decolonization” as foundational to environmental justice.
For example, Lepcha Indigenous youth in North Sikkim, India, went on a hunger strike to protest the Indian Power Ministry’s plan to develop seven hydroelectric dams as a means to increase energy production in the Himalayan states.
These Indigenous youth critically questioned a state-directed development agenda that did not serve the interests of the community, citing the failure of the Indian government to foster employment opportunities in a country overwhelmed by endemic poverty and deprivation.
Lepcha youth gained enough international attention that four out of the seven hydroelectric projects were canceled. MHI 08 Free Solved Assignment
Resistance efforts like the one at Standing Rock and North Sikkim offer a glimpse into worldwide struggles to protect local ecologies and demonstrate how environmental justice is founded in Indigenous political strategies advancing decolonization (Dhillon).
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