The Forest or the Tree? Colonial Forestry and Environmental Debates in the Goan Periodical Press

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The dynamism of Goa's press in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has recently been highlighted by several scholars. In the pages of its many newspapers, we can find traces of a myriad of debates that intersected local and imperial issues. Among these, we can find several arguments about the modernisation of the colony and the management of its natural resources. These concerns were pervasive in Goa and tied in with recent studies about the Environmental History of British colonialism in India. In this chapter, I seek to survey the local dimension of environmental debates by looking at the response of the Goan press to colonial initiatives of forest management and conservation, which became particularly relevant after the creation of a Forest Administration in 1851. One such example is the debate about the results of the Forestry Commission of 1871, which took place in the pages of newspapers like O Ultramar, A India Portuguesa and A Gazeta de Goa. In analysing these controversies, I argue that the Goan press played a key role in shaping the debates about forest policy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, transcending the boundaries of the local/imperial dichotomy by engaging with transnational ideas and practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Built Environment through the Prism of the Colonial Periodical Press
EditorsAlice Santiago Faria, Anne Shelley, Sandra Ataíde Lobo
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781003333180
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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