The Chipko movement or Chipko Andolan , was a forest conservation movement in India. It began in s in Uttarakhand, then a part of Uttar Pradesh at the foothills of Himalayas and went on to become a rallying point for many future environmental movements all over the world. It created a precedent for starting nonviolent protest in India,  and its success meant that the world immediately took notice of this non-violent movement, which was to inspire in time many similar eco-groups by helping to slow down the rapid deforestation , expose vested interests, increase social awareness and the need to save trees, increase ecological awareness, and demonstrate the viability of people power. Above all, it stirred up the existing civil society in India, which began to address the issues of tribal and marginalized people. Today, beyond the eco-socialism hue, it is being seen increasingly as an ecofeminism movement.
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Chipko movement , also called Chipko andolan , nonviolent social and ecological movement by rural villagers, particularly women, in India in the s, aimed at protecting trees and forests slated for government-backed logging. The movement originated in the Himalayan region of Uttar Pradesh later Uttarakhand in and quickly spread throughout the Indian Himalayas. With the conclusion of the Sino-Indian border conflict in , the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh experienced a growth in development, especially in the rural Himalayan regions.
Although the rural villagers depended heavily on the forests for subsistence—both directly, for food and fuel, and indirectly, for services such as water purification and soil stabilization—government policy prevented the villagers from managing the lands and denied them access to the lumber.
Many of the commercial logging endeavours were mismanaged, and the clearcut forests led to lower agricultural yields, erosion , depleted water resources, and increased flooding throughout much of the surrounding areas. When industrial logging was linked to the severe monsoon floods that killed more than people in the region in , DGSM became a force of opposition against the large-scale industry.
The first Chipko protest occurred near the village of Mandal in the upper Alaknanda valley in April The villagers, having been denied access to a small number of trees with which to build agricultural tools, were outraged when the government allotted a much larger plot to a sporting goods manufacturer. When their appeals were denied, Chandi Prasad Bhatt led villagers into the forest and embraced the trees to prevent logging. One of the next major protests occurred in near the village of Reni, where more than 2, trees were scheduled to be felled.
Following a large student-led demonstration, the government summoned the men of the surrounding villages to a nearby city for compensation, ostensibly to allow the loggers to proceed without confrontation.
However, they were met with the women of the village, led by Gaura Devi, who refused to move out of the forest and eventually forced the loggers to withdraw. The action in Reni prompted the state government to establish a committee to investigate deforestation in the Alaknanda valley and ultimately led to a year ban on commercial logging in the area. For example, Bahuguna famously fasted for two weeks in to protest forest policy. In , in the Advani forest in the Tehri Garhwal district, Chipko activist Dhoom Singh Negi fasted to protest the auctioning of the forest, while local women tied sacred threads around the trees and read from the Bhagavadgita.
In other areas, chir pines Pinus roxburghii that had been tapped for resin were bandaged to protest their exploitation.
It is estimated that between and , more than villages were involved with the Chipko movement, resulting in 12 major protests and many minor confrontations in Uttarakhand. Similar bans were enacted in Himachal Pradesh and the former Uttaranchal. Between and , Bahuguna marched 5, km 3, miles across the Himalayas to bring the movement to prominence. Throughout the s many protests were focused on the Tehri dam on the Bhagirathi River and various mining operations, resulting in the closure of at least one limestone quarry.
Similarly, a massive reforestation effort led to the planting of more than one million trees in the region. In Chipko protests resumed in response to the lifting of the logging ban in Himachal Pradesh but were unsuccessful in its reenactment.
Chipko movement. Article Media. Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Introduction Background The movement Lasting impacts. Written By: Melissa Petruzzello. See Article History. Human action has triggered a vast cascade of environmental problems that now threaten the continued ability of both natural and human systems to flourish.
Solving the critical environmental problems of global warming, water scarcity, pollution, and biodiversity loss are perhaps the greatest challenges of the 21st century.
Will we rise to meet them? Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. His writing on this movement garnered international acclaim. Uttar Pradesh , the most populous and fourth largest state of India. It lies in the north-central part of the country. Uttar Pradesh is bordered by the state of Uttarakhand and the country of Nepal to the north, the state of Bihar to the east, the….
Uttarakhand , state of India, located in the northwestern part of the country. It is bordered to the northwest by the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, to the northeast by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, to the southeast by Nepal, and to the south and southwest by the….
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Forgot your login information? In: Encyclopedia of Environment and Society. Edited by: Paul Robbins. Subject: Environmental Sciences general. Simon, G. Chipko andolan movement. Robbins Ed.
As they worked for village development they identified growing environmental problems. In local poet Ganshyar Raturi wrote a poem that became famous:. Embrace the trees and Save them from being felled The property of our hills Save them from being looted. This forest is the source of our livelihood. If you destroy it, the mountain will come tumbling down onto our village.