The role of protests as platforms for action on sustainability in the Kullu Valley, India
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The Himalayan region of India has a surprisingly fragile ecosystem due in part to its geomorphic characteristics. In recent years the Himalayan ecosystem has been disturbed in various ways by both human and natural processes. Large developments threaten ecosystems in the area modifying local land use and subsistence patterns. This has important implications for the sustainable livelihoods of the local communities. People in these areas are very concerned about the lack of inclusion in development decision-making processes and the negative effects of development on their livelihood. Protest actions are spreading throughout Himachal Pradesh, not only to stop developments but also to re-shape how developments are taking place. The village of Jagatsukh was selected for in-depth study. That is where people started to organize around the Allain Duhangan Hydro Project and also where the protest actions in relation to the Hydro Project actually started. The overall purpose of this research was to understand the role of protests as a vehicle for public participation in relation to decisions about resources and the environment and to consider whether such movements are learning platforms for action on sustainability.