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Economic exploitation of forest resources in south India during the pre-Forest Act colonial era, 1793-1882

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This paper analyses the impact of colonialism on the economic exploitation of the forest resources of south India and its consequences for the environment and hill inhabitants of the region during the pre-Forest Act colonial era, 1793-1882. It argues that the focus of the colonial forest policy was predominantly on the extraction of forest resources for commercial purposes and resulted in a negative impact on both the environment and tribal populace. Further, it argues that the colonial government policies were aimed at commercialising rather than conserving forest resources. In addition, colonial forest policy has led to the disintegration of the traditional tribal system as well as of their forest-oriented economy.
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Keywords: commercialisation; environmental history; pre-Forest Act; south India; tribals

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies (CJNS), Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi -100 025, India.

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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