Journal of Forest Economics > Vol 17 > Issue 4

Colonialism and conservation: Commercialisation of forests and decline of tribals in Madras Presidency, 1882–1947

Velayutham Saravanan, , Saravanan.JMI@gmail.com
 
Suggested Citation
Velayutham Saravanan (2011), "Colonialism and conservation: Commercialisation of forests and decline of tribals in Madras Presidency, 1882–1947", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 17: No. 4, pp 337-362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfe.2010.12.001

Published: 0/12/2011
© 0 2011 Velayutham Saravanan
 
Subjects
 
Keywords
JEL Codes:Q230
ColonialismConservationCommercialisationTribalsMadras PresidencyForest act
 

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In this article:
Introduction
Trends of forest areas in Madras Presidency
Sketches of forest policies (1882–1947)
Forest acts and restrictions on the tribals
Commercialisation of forests
Decline of tribal livelihood pattern
Conclusions

Abstract

This article attempts to analyse the colonial forest policy and its impact on the environment and tribals in Madras Presidency during the post-Forest Act period (1882–1947). During this period, the colonial regime has actively encouraged commercialisation of forest resources while several restrictions were clamped up on the tribals and other forest users. Here it is argued that the initiatives of the state towards conservation were primarily intended to curtail the access enjoyed by tribals and other forest users to facilitate commercial exploitation. Plunder of forest wealth continued unhindered in a systematic manner leading to denudation of vast stretches of green cover and a drastic decline in the living conditions of the tribals in Madras Presidency.

DOI:10.1016/j.jfe.2010.12.001