Raikas demand grazing rights in forest land

Raika pastoralists in Rajasthan, India, have protested against restrictions to their grazing rights.
Traditionally, the Raikas would graze their sheep, goats and camels in the forest during the monsoon season, when crops are growing in the fields. After the harvest, they would lead their animals to graze on the stubble, fertilizing the soil on the crop fields.
But the designation of large areas of forest as nature reserves means that the Raika have nowhere to go.
The Raika cite international law as supporting their case: the Convention on Biological Diversity requires India to “respect, preserve and maintain knowledge innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity”.
Hundreds of Raika staged a demonstration in Sadri, Rajasthan, in July to draw attention to their case. The protest attracted national press coverage. See www.hindu.com for more.