‘Technology, Policy and Community: Small Experiments in Sustainability’
14-15, March 2014
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
BITS Pilani Hyderabad Campus
This conference is an attempt at bringing together policymakers, researchers and practitioners not only to reframe questions but also to think of novel solutions for sustainability in the areas of agriculture, human habitats and customary law in contrast to the modern legal framework.
Knowledge accumulated by communities over generations in the areas of agriculture, water harvesting methods and uses of water which seem to base on notions of sustainability has been attracting the attention of experts in the academics. However, the communities seem to be faced with the challenges posed by state policies which are based on notions of scalability and administrative, bureaucratic control where in the focus is on one policy for all areas as against the knowledge of small communities which is unique to specific areas.
Given the third world context such as India’s, there is an increased need to address the attempts of communities in negotiating challenges put forth by policies on environmental issues. Concerns of International agencies and advanced countries which tend to drive research agendas of the developing countries do not necessarily reflect either the problems or the processes faced by such communities. This has resulted in increased and visible tensions between community’s knowledge and resources and the dominant knowledge systems promoted by the state.
This seminar is an attempt at bringing together policymakers, researchers and practitioners not only to reframe questions but also to think of novel solutions for sustainability in the areas of agriculture, human habitats and customary law in contrast to the modern legal framework.
Agriculture and Environment: A panel is proposed on farm practices and issues with water utilization. Papers are sought on experiments in sustainable agriculture, innovative water management and agricultural marketing practices. Presentations on practices need not be necessarily academic, but research reflections are encouraged.
Seed banks and Indigenous varieties
Sustainable practices in Irrigation and Watershed management
Changing weather patterns
Agriculture and artisans
Water contamination and Agriculture
Habitats and Environment Policy: A panel is proposed on increasingly contested urban spaces, innovative solutions and community responses to such pressures. The panel will comprise activist narratives and theoretical research. The panel hopes to bring together engineers, architects, social activists and policy makers to share concerns.
Architecture and energy conservation
Rain water storage
Vanishing urban commons
Migrants, Urban Poor – Economics and living conditions
Urban water bodies
Urban carbon footprints
Apartments in colonies – contested urban spaces
Law and Environment Policy: A panel is proposed on the Law and Environment policy with special focus on the commercialization of natural resources and denial of access to these resources to the communities which have been accessing these resources according to some customary norms. The tension between the dominant knowledge system and the associated practices on the one hand and the community’s knowledge and the increasing erosion of the idea of commons has led to several movements based on caste, class and gender. Ideally, it would consist of lawyers, activists and researchers.
Politics of Environmental clearance
Carbon credits and implications for India
De-regularization of Natural resources
Natural Resource Degradation due to emissions – mines
People’s movement and Democratic creation of law
International best practices
Papers are being invited from academicians, researchers and practitioners (Engineers, Government and Non-government organizations) for presentation in the above themes. The list of topics is only indicative. Groups of participants are welcome to create a panel on any of the listed themes.
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