Chipko Andolan Movement

The chipko andolan movement originated in the Indian Himalayan region of Uttarkhand, in the state of current-day Uttaranchal. The Hindi term Chipko means to “hug” or “cling to” and refers to peasants demonstrating against government-led logging practices by circling and embracing trees. Though the movement officially began in the villages of Mandal and Gopeshwar, it quickly spread to other mountain regions of the Indian Himalaya. The story of the Chipko Andolan Movement has inspired similar movements around the world.

Prior to the Chipko Movement, residents in the area were already skeptical of government logging practices, drawing a connection between heavy deforestation and severe erosion. Villagers around Gopeshwar were therefore accustomed to protesting the illegal commercial contracting policies of the Forest Department, advocating instead for increased employment ...

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