You may live far away from the forests of Central India but you’re quite likely consuming its products – the gum, honey, resins, flowers, seeds that are raw materials for food, oils, medicines and cosmetics, among other things.
The bad news is that battered by climate change, the yields of these forest products are falling. Worse, we don’t know by how much. Satellite-based studies tell us about the state of forests in general, but to know how individual tree species are faring, scientists need to do field research and very few in India are doing it.
The repository of knowledge about the impact of climate change on the forest, therefore, are the women who collect forest produce. Mridula Chari travelled to six villages in eastern Maharashtra, where she spoke at length to women, mostly from Adivasi communities. They spoke eloquently about the changes they are seeing in the forest and how this is making their lives even more precarious. Read the story here.
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