Period: 1 December 2004 - 3 July 2005. Country: Bangladesh
(1)  Deforestation Discourse and Land Tenure Conflict in the Madhupur Forest Area, Bangladesh
TOJO Bunpei  (Division of Asian Area Studies)
Key Words: Deforestation, National Park, Environmentalism, Indigenous, Traditional Land Rights

In the Madhupur Forest Area, located in the north of Bangladesh, which is the same size as the 23 wards of Metropolitan Tokyo, there are now approximately 50 villages, inhabited by 12 thousand Garo people. Among them, about 20 villages are within the National park boundary for the forest conservation area, and attempts have been made to expel them from their village. However, the Garo people claim their traditional land rights and reject the nation's notification.
Galo males pass down their skills in performance with a traditional musical instrument.
There are many Garo villages especially in the Madhupur area, where forest remains.
(2)  The aim of this thesis is to identify problems of forest management and conservation in the context of Bangladesh (South Asia) through the case of the Madhupur Forest Area.

(3) This research was conducted from Dec. 2004 to June 2005 in the Madhupur Forest Area, Bangladesh, and examined the migration process and livelihood changes of the Garo ethnic group in the Madhupur Forest Area.
          Nowadays, the significance of local-level processes and conflicts between localities and larger interests have become a staple of research on the environment. Indigenous knowledge, at the same time, has emerged as the foundation for a range of programs concerned with the environment (Agrawal and Sivaramakrishnan 2001). However, indigenous society and people are still poorly understood. One of the reasons is the stereotype of indigenous people and society that they are "traditional," "unchanging," and "living in the same spot since time immemorial." This stereotype leads to a misunderstanding of the "reality" of indigenous society, culture, and knowledge.
          Thus, this research aims to identify, first, the mobility of the Garo people in the Madhupur Forest Area by focusing on their migration history. Conventionally, the history of the Garo people in Madhupur was seen as follows: "The history of the Garo in Madhupur goes back at least 1000 years, judging from their dialect" (Berling 1995) and "In the 8th century, the Garo and Koch had already migrated to the Madhupur" (Sachese 1917). In this research, I will identify the dynamics and fluidity of Garo society by listening to narratives of migration through interviews with villagers in Madhupur.
          In addition, I will identify the flexibility of the Garo people's livelihood and shifting cultivation, which dominated both their social and cultural lifestyle. It changed in accordance with the ecological and historical background, though it was conventionally considered to be "fixed" as traditional indigenous knowledge.

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