February 13, 2009

Call for Papers


Decentralization, Power & Tenure Rights of Forest-Dependent People

Dahod, Gujarat, India; 27-28 October 2009

Wageningen University (the Netherlands) and the Sadguru Foundation (India) will jointly host a symposium ‘Decentralization, Power and Tenure Rights of Forest-Dependent People’ at Dahod, Gujarat, India on 27-28 October 2009. An optional one-day field visit will be arranged on 29 October 2009.

Objective - The main aim of the symposium is to share local, national and international experiences of decentralization reforms and forest tenure rights in relation to the political position of forestdependent indigenous peoples and pastoralists.

Symposium - Key identified thematic issues for discussions are:

Decentralization Reforms
Decentralized forest management reforms recognize new types of institutions. In practice, what kinds of institutions are chosen and why? Are the local institutions supportive towards marginalized groups? Do marginalized groups have a say in choosing the ‘right’ local institution?

Politics of Power
Different forms of power are devolved to different types of institutions through decentralized forestry. Which kinds of powers are transferred to local authorities? Who are the new authorities? Does devolving power to local authority means empowerment of indigenous peoples and women?

Forest Tenure Rights
Statutory laws are increasingly recognizing forest tenure rights of the indigenous peoples. To what extent do international instruments and institutions influence national and local forest governance? Is the state ‘recognition’ of forest tenure rights conducive to the reduction of rural

Abstract - The paper should address one or more of the above identified three thematic issues based on empirical and/or theoretical research.

Abstracts should include title, author(s), institutional affiliation, full contact address, telephone number and a summary (max 250 words) of the paper with four keywords. Please email the abstract as an attachment to Purabi Bose (purabi.bose@wur.nl) before 10 April 2009. Please state “symposium abstract/your last name” in the email subject line. We will notify acceptance of the abstract via email by 30 April 2009.

Participants - We encourage participants from multidisciplinary background including international and national researchers, academics, postgraduate students, policymakers, legal experts, NGO members, government officers.

Language - English is the symposium language.

Programme - Two-day interactive symposium will have keynote lectures, selected paper presentations, panel discussion, and an openforum focussed debate. The confirmed programme will be available by September 2009.

Venue - Sadguru Foundation, Chosala, Dahod district, Gujarat, India.

Being hosted in a semiarid, tribal district bordering Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh states, the symposium presents an opportunity to explore what future holds for some of India's poorest forest-dependent tribal communities.

Dahod is directly connected to Mumbai (540km/9hrs) and Delhi (840km/12hrs) by Indian railways. The nearest airports are in Ahmedabad and Vadodara city of Gujarat. By road: bus service is available from Ahmedabad (200km) and Vadodara (150km).
Check venue details at www.nmsadguru.org/FacilitiesAvailable.html and general information about Dahod at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahod

Important Dates - Abstract submission -- 10 April 2009
Acceptance of abstract -- 30 April 2009
Registration fees and paper submission -- 15 September 2009
Final programme & Keynote speakers -- 30 September 2009
Symposium -- 27-28 October 2009
Fieldtrip (optional) -- 29 October 2009

Registration - A nominal participation fee of Rs.2000 is to be paid by 15 September 2009. To encourage participation of PhD students and women from developing countries, the fee is further relaxed to Rs.1000. The fee includes presymposium proceedings, twinsharing accommodation for one night at the venue, and meals. The fees exclude all other expenses like travel, extra days of lodging/boarding, and field trip. All registrations will be confirmed on the receipt of fees.

Mode of Payment - Indian Participants: Kindly send demand draft in favour of “N. M. Sadguru Water and Development Foundation” together with a covering letter (including full name, institutional affiliation, position, address, telephone, email) to Harnath Jagawat, Director, Sadguru Foundation, Post Box 71, Dahod 389171, Gujarat, India.

International Participants: Through bank transfers, kind contact symposium secretariat.

For any further information, to register your participation, or to cosponsor the symposium, please contact the Symposium Secretariat preferably by email at:

Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Purabi Bose
Email: purabi.bose@wur.nl

Sadguru Foundation, India
Harnath Jagawat
Email: nmsadguru@yahoo.com