December 5, 2007—A woman sifts rice grains outside her home on October 25, 2007, in the forest village of Kurebahal inside Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary in India's northeastern Orissa state.
The Indian government created the sanctuary in the late 1980s, and the local tribal people—whose ancestors have lived there for generations—say they were not consulted before the state declared the region a wildlife preserve.
In 2006 India passed a new law that recognizes for the first time the rights of forest-dwelling tribes to occupy and cultivate their traditional lands, even if they are inside any of the country's 602 protected areas.
But a year later the so-called Recognition of Forest Rights Act has yet to be enforced due to an ongoing standoff with conservationists, who say the move could devastate India's wildlife—including the endangered Bengal tiger. (Read the full story.)