Fight over coastal resources in Tamil Nadu. Eligibility for a climate fund. Unexpected turn in Kashi-Gyanvapi case. And more.

Our two recent stories talk about conflicts at two extremes. One that involves fishers who are fighting to save their livelihood. And the other, where poor country delegates try to avoid getting shortchanged by rich countries while negotiating a global climate deal.

A fishing ban and a flawed attempt to conserve
Armed with a drone camera and a voice recorder, our researcher Jeff Joseph travelled to coastal villages in Tamil Nadu to investigate a ban. The 2020 ban on purse seine fishing, a kind of net fishing, has pitted communities against each other. One that favours modern ways of purse seine fishing, the other which relies on trawling or other traditional ways. 

Jeff spent almost a year understanding and investigating the conflict, peeling through layers of local politics and state powerplay, larger policy implications, business losses and raging emotions of thousands involved. Read this beautifully crafted long story he wrote for Himal. You can also watch a video on it, or take a quick glance at a thread he wrote. 

Who is eligible for a loss and damage fund?
Our Climate Research Lead Mrinali followed a seven hour session of the third meeting of country representatives on a climate fund. The fund will help poorer countries deal with losses due to climate change. The meeting at Dominican Republic’s capital city Santo Domingo was peppered with heated discussions and disagreements on eligibility.

If rich countries have their way with the loss and damage fund, Mrinali found, developing countries like India and Pakistan might be stripped of any benefits from the global fund. While developing nations said that all of them should be eligible for the fund, rich nations argued that only the most vulnerable must be eligible. This happened barely a week before the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Delhi, where the leaders agreed to try to increase climate action funds. Read more in The Wire.

New in our database

We currently have 730 ongoing conflicts documented in the LCW database. Last month, our team of researchers added 16 new conflicts. We list a few:

  • Researchers Emilo Yanthan and Sarup Sinha documented eviction drives across Assam, in Nagaon, Guwahati, Silchar and Tinsukia. In some cases, people were forcibly evicted from their homes, while in others they were given little to no notice.
  • Assam also recorded two border disputes with its neighbouring states. A few villages witnessed violence on the Meghalaya border as miscreants set a couple of houses on fire, wrote East Street Journal Asia. Near Arunachal Pradesh, two people were killed when they went out to plant saplings, wrote researcher Emilo Yanthan.
  • In Tripura’s Panisagar, authorities conducted evictions, demolishing several structures and affecting at least 16 families. Yanthan documented the displaced families’ claim that they were not compensated or rehabilitated.
  • Researcher Soumya Pandey documented two conflicts in Madhya Pradesh caused due to solar parks. In one case, villagers protested against the construction of a solar park, saying that it would displace them and pollute their water supply. In another, villagers demanded compensation for their land, which was acquired for a solar park.

​​Kashi-Gyanvapi dispute takes an unexpected turn
By Priyansha Chouhan

The Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex dispute case just took an unexpected turn! A single judge bench was about to announce the final verdict on the ownership and worship rights, but the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court Pritinker Diwaker withdrew the matter to himself — meaning: he’ll hear the entire case again. In the order, Justice Diwaker claimed that it was done in the interest of “judicial propriety, judicial discipline and transparency.” Notably, this case has been before the three courts at different levels, with the Supreme Court declaring the high court to be the competent authority to decide it. The single judge bench had heard the matter at length for 20 months, on 75 dates.

This case involves several contentious issues including ownership rights over the disputed complex, right to worship and scientific survey of the land. In July this year, the Varanasi district court had asked the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a survey of the premises.

The Allahabad High Court sits on another similar dispute — a public interest litigation on recognising the Shahi Idgah Mosque site as Krishna Janmabhoomi (birthplace of Hindu god Krishna) in Mathura.

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**Editors, **
Mrinali, Climate Change Research Lead
Nayla Khwaja, Communication Officer
Furquan Ameen, Associate Editor