Paper Presented at the NIAS Conference in Amsterdam

Dr bikku

Dr Bikku, Assistant Professor, Department of Liberal Arts has presented a paper titled “Mobile Pastoralism and Conservation in the 21st Century: A Case Study from India” at the NIAS Conference on Belonging & Mobility, held at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS), Amsterdam, Netherlands on October 18-20, 2023 (online).

Congratulations to Dr Bikku for this remarkable achievement. SRM AP immense pride in the success of its faculty and scholars and applauds their unwavering commitment to scientific excellence and societal impact!


The study focuses on the struggle of nomadic pastoralists to continue their traditional occupation of raising livestock at different landscapes in the face of the shifting political ecology in India. Pastoralism is a traditional subsistence livelihood pattern that involves raising domestic animals in different pastures. For pastoralists to use continually shifting resources in a variety of ecological landscapes, mobility is an effective strategy. However, the current conservation approach has colonial roots and reinforces biodiversity conservation by establishing and enforcing protected areas in several countries around the globe. Scientific conservationists and states have often seen pastoralism responsible for environmental degradation and wildlife decline through over-grazing and resource competition, respectively. As a result, the customary rights of the various pastoralist groups have been denied inside and outside the protected areas.

The paper investigates the current global conflicts between pastoralism and conservation. It also emphasises the changing dimensions of mobile pastoralism and conservation policies in India. By challenging the conservationists’ and the state’s preconceived notions about pastoralism, the Raika mobile pastoralists of Rajasthan, India, provide sustainable pastoralism and nature conservation through evidence of the coexistence of pastoralism and multispecies.

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