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India: Development preys on Mumbai's urban forest
Mumbai, India, is struggling to prevent its growing population of 17 million from infringing on the world's largest urban forest. This threatens the biodiversity of the forest as well as the security of the inhabitants, as people have been killed by strayed leopards because of the blurred distinction between the city and the countryside.
The larger context of forests ownership and conservation in India is controversial. Forty million of India's poorest people live in forests, and some of them are pressured by gangs to engage in poaching activities. The government has passed a law to grant forest ownership to long-time forest dwellers, but conservationists fear new illegal settlers might try to take advantage of this measure. Conservation and pro-poor policies are sometimes seen as antithetical.
To read more about Mumbai's urban forest, and Indian forest conservation in general, see the Financial Express.
Posted By Anne-Sophie Samjee at 1:54pm on March 29, 2007
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