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AN ESSAY ON TRIBAL HUNTING RIGHTS VS WILDLIFE PROTECTION LAWS

In an article co-written in Down To Earth, Abhishek Chakravarty, Assistant Professor in Law, SaiU, talks about the tribal hunting rights in India in the context of the Wildlife Protection laws. Mr. Chakravarty and his co-author talk about how the forest rights in India reflect correlative duties of the tribal communities to preserve wildlife.

Commenting on the stringent Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, the writers say that this was a major step towards wildlife conservation. The Act classified animals into different schedules based on the need for protection, and hunting of these species was outlawed and penalties were prescribed in case of violations. This legislation played a major role in protecting India’s rich wildlife. But on the other hand, it rendered traditional hunting rights practiced by many tribal communities illegal, quotes the article.

Giving readers instances of how some tribes have given up their customary hunting rights for the conservation of wildlife and environment, the article talks about the Angami tribe of Nagaland, the Nyishi tribe in Arunachal Pradesh among others.

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