LANDOWNER-CONSERVATORS’ COLLECTIVE (LCC)
(c) Yogesh Pathak
This idea was originally presented by Yogesh Pathak in his paper: “A Report on Socio-Economic Status in Villages of the Panshet Dam Catchment Region”, Journal of Ecological Society, Pune, v.28, 2015
What is the idea?
Several of our ecologically sensitive regions and smaller pockets have a patchwork of public and private lands, including agriculture land, forest land, water resources and irrigation, etc. Landowners, especially private urban landowners have differing plans for their land. They may be individual landowners, or part of the real estate industry, or other businesses/corporations. Similarly public works may also impact the ecological profile of the region due to roads, dams, railways, and other construction. At the same time, conservation workers and environmentalists have an interest in preserving the local ecosystems and biodiversity of the region. Often, these interests may conflict with each other and with the local communities. The LCC would be a platform to discuss such conflicts in an early stage, in a holistic way, and in a friendly environment outside formal processes. It would be primarily composed of land owners who own or are considering buying land in the area. In addition the LCC would have representatives of local conservation interest groups and local communities. It is suggested that there need not be a formal structure to this group, but a loose association of like-minded people or people open to learn about conservation.
How will it be formed and what would they do?
A few of them would have to play the role of a catalyst and bring everyone together. They would need to meet at least once in 2 months. In collaboration with MESZI (see idea #1) and local NGOs, they would develop conservation and restoration plans for patches of lands owned by them.
How does this help the region and it’s community?
The plans developed for individual lands should fit well with the Landscape Ecology Plan for the region. The LCC should also facilitate collaboration on larger-scale initiatives like private sanctuaries, expanding community conserved areas, sharing of grass and forest output with local agriculturalists/pastoralists in a planned manner, etc.