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land ownership

Why the Forest Rights Act is yet to achieve major milestones

G. Seetharaman reports: Activists say one of the biggest hurdles for FRA is that even states like Maharashtra, among the better performers, and Odisha are introducing policies which will help the forest department retain control of forest resources through joint forest management committees or similar bodies, which will dilute the powers of the gram sabha.

Voices from the global convergence of land and water struggles

From GRAIN.org: Powerful actors, driven by narrow economic interests rather than long term sustainability are concentrating the political power to determine how resources are to be used, by whom, and for what purposes… The Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles is a response to these injustices by frontline communities from all over the world.

Creating “urban-rural bioregions” in India: a self-sustaining regional planning alternative

Didier Prost writes: Development impacts on the climate, the way fertile land is used and  on ecosystems are catastrophic for the environment. A “return to (the notion of) land as a common good” requires us to raise “awareness or consciousness of place” in order to rebuild relationships of co-evolution between human settlements and the environment.

Bookshelf: Business Interests and the Environmental Crisis

Book excerpt: Both corporations and governments alike, who seek to consolidate their land ownership, often push for clearly defined tenurial rights rather than have to deal with messy overlapping custodianships. Many scholars have highlighted the limits of tenurial security in achieving conservation and that a tenure creates willing stakeholders in large scale land use change.

With cultivable land shrinking steadily, food surplus India stares at food deficient future

Maninder Dabas writes: With 35% of agricultural households having less than 1 acre of land, the shrinking of agricultural land holdings in India is a worrying trend. Since 1995-96, the average size land holding has decreased from 1.41 hectares to 1.15 hectares which accounts for the decrease of 30,000 hectares of cultivable land each year.

Failure of reforms: 5% of India’s farmers own a third of the land

Sumit Chaturvedi reports: The 2011-’12 agricultural census and caste census, summarises the failure of India’s land reforms: No more than 4.9% of farmers control 32% of India’s farmland. A “large” farmer in India has 45 times more land than the “marginal” farmer. 101.4 million – or 56.4% – of rural households own no agricultural land.