Articulations by indigenous and nature dependent communities in India and other parts of the world challenge the fundamental tenets of Western thinking — that humans alone are possessed of rights and all the rest of the living world exists for human use. Many communities have lived with reciprocity, interdependence and harmony with the rest of nature for centuries.
Rights of Nature calls for a radical shift in our way of thinking and relating with nature. It calls for understanding what this discourse would mean in the Indian context for protection and conservation of our ecosystems.
Harini Nagendra is Director of the Research Centre at the University and leads the University’s Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability. Over the past 25 years, Harini has been at the leading edge of research — examining conservation in forests and cities of South Asia from the perspective of both landscape ecology and social justice.
Kunal has worked on issues of conservation and sustainability in the past. His primary learnings have revolved around interdisciplinary research on traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous people, mitigating negative human-wildlife interaction, practical sustainability action, small-scale restoration and impacts of tourism formerly with Keystone Foundation, Jungle Lodges and Resorts, GIZ, and Wildlife Trust of India.
What role does nature have to play in making cities more sustainable? How can we contribute to making the cities we live in more equitable? These are the questions that drive her current research interests. She enjoys exploring different aspects of urban sustainability along with students from the University and other institutions as they bring with them interesting questions and lenses through which to explore cityscapes. She is especially interested in making research accessible to a wider audience.
Shrishtee is a researcher, writer, and activist working at the intersections of environmental justice, social justice, more-than-human governance, worldviews, and systemic transformations. She is a member of Kalpavriksh, an environmental action group in India. She helps in coordinating the Vikalp Sangam (Alternatives Confluence) process where her work revolves around research, documentation, and networking around alternatives.