The god of the mountain and Godavarman: Net Present Value, indigenous territorial rights and sacredness in a bauxite mining conflict in India
This article provides an environmental and institutional history of the highly politicized and contested process of setting a Net Present Value (NPV) for forests in India, in a context of increasing conflicts over land for development, conservation and indigenous rights. Decision-making documents in the Supreme Court and in one specific case of a bauxite mining conflict involving Vedanta in the Niyamgiri hills are studied to come to conclusions about how economic valuation of forests has moved through the political process. We argue that establishing NPV for forests is neither conducive to conservation nor to environmental justice for the following three reasons. The technical and political process of setting prices deepens and reproduces structural inequalities with negative distributive effects. NPV encourages economistic decision-making procedures that exclude participation. Finally NPV does not recognize or take into account cultural difference or plural values. We thus conclude that economic valuation of forest products and services has not managed to “save” forests in India and is not an effective or viable strategy for expressing the value of forests or for environmental conservation and environmental justice activism.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Singh, Simron Jit & Krausmann, Fridolin & Gingrich, Simone & Haberl, Helmut & Erb, Karl-Heinz & Lanz, Peter & Martinez-Alier, Joan & Temper, Leah, 2012. "India's biophysical economy, 1961–2008. Sustainability in a national and global context," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 60-69.
- Manoj K. Panda, 2008. "Economic development in Orissa: Growth without inclusion?," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2008-025, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
- Clive L. Spash, 2011. "Terrible Economics, Ecosystems and Banking," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(2), pages 141-145, May.
- S. Mahendra Dev, 2008. "India," Chapters,in: Handbook on the South Asian Economies, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Arturo Escobar, 2006. "Difference and Conflict in the Struggle Over Natural Resources: A political ecology framework," Development, Palgrave Macmillan;Society for International Deveopment, vol. 49(3), pages 6-13, September.
- Anthony C. Fisher & John V. Krutilla, 1975. "Resource Conservation, Environmental Preservation, and the Rate of Discount," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 89(3), pages 358-370.
- Spash, Clive L. & Vatn, Arild, 2006. "Transferring environmental value estimates: Issues and alternatives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 379-388, December.
- Kallis, Giorgos & Gómez-Baggethun, Erik & Zografos, Christos, 2013. "To value or not to value? That is not the question," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 97-105.
- Manoj Panda, 2008. "Economic Development in Orissa : Growth Without Inclusion?," Development Economics Working Papers 22153, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:96:y:2013:i:c:p:79-87. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.