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Indigenous Land Rights Violated in Andaman and Nicobar Islands UPSC NOTE

 Location and Description:

  • The southern expanse of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, off Little Nicobar's shores, encompasses seven tiny islands.

  • Classified as "uninhabited" in government records but integral to indigenous communities.

  • Known as Piruii and Pingaeyak to the Payuh, indigenous southern Nicobarese peoples.


Traditional Management and Spiritual Beliefs:

  • Menchal and Meroë are spiritually revered and protected by the indigenous Nicobarese.

  • Managed by community elders and individual caretakers, these islands uphold traditional beliefs and ensure sustainability.

Imposition of Wildlife Sanctuaries:

  • In May 2022, the A&N administration announced plans to establish wildlife sanctuaries on Menchal, Meroë, and Little Nicobar islands.

  • The administration disregarded indigenous land ownership and did not consult the Nicobarese community.

Controversy Over Sanctuary Selection:

  • The selection of Menchal and Meroë for conservation reserves is questioned due to their actual biodiversity.

  • Critics suggest a connection between the sanctuary announcement and the denotification of the Galathea Bay Wildlife Sanctuary for a mega project.

Environmental and Social Concerns:

  • The mega project threatens extensive environmental damage and uprooting of indigenous communities.

  • The unilateral decision disregards the islands' significance to the indigenous population and their ancestral rights.


Global Indigenous Rights Violations:

  • Worldwide, governments violate indigenous peoples' rights under various pretexts, including development and conservation.

  • Indigenous territories hold 80% of global biodiversity, emphasizing the importance of respecting their stewardship.

Call for Support and Empowerment:

  • Supporting indigenous stewardship is crucial for preserving ancestral territories and biodiversity.

  • Advocates for justice argue for empowering indigenous communities rather than exploiting their lands and resources.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Indigenous Land Rights Violated in Andaman and Nicobar Islands UPSC NOTE
Indigenous Land Rights Violated in Andaman and Nicobar Islands UPSC NOTE
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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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