"Ecology and Equity" presents a provocative interpretation of the environment debate in a large, diverse and vitally important Third World country. Its focus is not so much on the extent of environmental degradation in India, but on its manifold human consequences. The book uses an original theoretical framework for making sense of what is, from an ecological point of view, undoubtedly the most complex society in the world.
The authors divide this society into three categories--omnivores, ecosystem people and ecological refugees--and the processes of environmental degradation and social conflict are analyzed in terms of inequities in access to natural resources of the competing classes. The book then turns from analysis to prescription, arguing for an environment-friendly agenda for development. The principles of this agenda are developed for several key sectors, such as forestry, information and population.
"Ecology and Equity" provides the first analytically sophisticated and empirically grounded interpretation of environmental degradation and social conflict in India, innovatively combining political economy with ecology and emphasizing a forward looking agenda for environmental reform in the Third World.