Legal Pluralism in Natural Resource Management

It is said to be one of the most controversial mining projects in the world. Although India’s Supreme Court cleared Vedanta’s proposal for bauxite mining in Odisha in 2007, the project has not proceeded due to fierce protests from the Dongria Kondh tribals who live there.

The tribals don’t want any mining activities in their sacred hills, and with good reason. They have lived here for eons and depend on the forested land for their survival.

For example, speaking in the same track was a professor from Malaysia who highlighted the fact that state laws were often used to exploit natural resources without any concern for indigenous tribes. Phillipines and Indonesia were cited as examples of countries with better track record as far as legal pluralism of natural resources was concerned.
“In many parts of the world, in the case of usage of natural resources such as forest, water, fisheries and minerals, the rights are dynamic, flexible and subject to frequent negotiations. There is uncertainty due to depletion as well as due to social, economic and political changes,” explained the organizers.

The inaugural session was followed by sessions on Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Issues, which were respectively chaired by Dr. Sulistyowatri Irianto, Law University of Indonesia, Indonesia and Dr. D. Parthasarthy, IIT Bombay, India.

Later sessions on Applications were chaired by Dr. Maarten Bavinck, University of Amsterdem, Netherlands and Dr. Svein Jentoft, University of Tromso, Norway.

“I want to congratulate you for organizing the legal pluralism workshop and conference in Amrita,” Dr. Maarten Bavinck, University of Amsterdem, Netherlands told the organizers.

“It was a very successful event, meticulously organized, gracefully facilitated, and academically rewarding. Your staff was enthusiastic and helpful and the campus a pleasure to explore,” he added.

April 30, 2012
School of Business, Coimbatore

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