The Political Ecology of COVID-19 and Compounded Uncertainties in Marginal Environments
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In this paper, we use a political ecology lens to look at how COVID-19 adds to a set of existing uncertainties and challenges faced by vulnerable people in the marginal environments of coastal India. Over the last few decades, local people have been systematically dispossessed from resource commons in the name of industrial, urban and infrastructure development or conservation efforts, leading to livelihood loss. We build on our current research in the TAPESTRY (https://tapestry-project.org/) project in coastal Kutch and Mumbai to demonstrate how the pandemic has laid bare structural inequalities and unequal access to public goods and natural resources. The impacts of COVID-19 have intersected with ongoing food, water and climate crises in these marginal environments, threatening already fragile livelihoods, and compounding uncertainties and vulnerabilities.