Appiko Movement: Background, Objectives, and Short Notes

By K Balaji|Updated : January 20th, 2023

The Appiko Movement was a significant forest-based environmental movement back in 1983 in India. The movement took place in Karnataka's Uttara Kannada and Shimoga districts and was inspired by the Chipko Movement. This ecological Apiko Movement aimed to spread awareness about the danger of commercial and industrial interests in the forests of the villagers of the Western Ghats.

The story of the Appiko Movement is that the forest department had been encouraging monoculture farms of teak after clear-felling the current mixed semi-evergreen woods for several decades. This article explains the Appiko Andolan for the upcoming UPSC Exam.

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Appiko Movement

One of the environmental initiatives centred on Indian forests is the Appiko Movement. The movement occurred in the Uttara Kanada district of Karnataka's Western Ghats. The forest department's decades-long promotion of teak monoculture plantations after the clear-cutting of previous mixed semi-evergreen forests can be linked to the movement's beginnings. Southern India's new consciousness was birthed through the Appiko Andolan. Inspired by the Chipko movement in Himalayan Uttarakhand, the villagers of the district of Karnataka province in southern India began a similar drive to protect their woods.
In September 1983, Salkani adults, adolescents, and children embraced the trees in the Kalase forest. Hugging is referred to as "appiko" in Kannada. The Appiko Movement's catchphrase was "save, grow, and use rationally," which is spelt Ubsu ("save"), Belesu ("grow"), and Balasu ("use rationally") in Kannada ("rational use").

Appiko Movement: Background

The reasons that led to Appiko Movement include the following:

  • In 1950, the Uttara Kannada district's forest cover accounted for more than 81 per cent of its total area. The government started the development process after designating this woodland district as being underdeveloped.
  • The region is home to three significant industries: a pulp and paper mill, a plywood industry, and a network of hydroelectric dams constructed to harness the local rivers. Dams have drowned large tracts of agricultural and forest land, and these businesses have degraded the forest resource.
  • The forest no longer covered roughly 25% of the district's entire area by 1980. The local populace was uprooted by the dams, especially the poorer sections.
  • Water sources were decreased due to the conversion of natural mixed forests into teak and eucalyptus plantations, hurting forest people. 

In a nutshell, the three key Ps — paper, plywood, and power — meant to promote human growth produced a fourth P, which stands for poverty.

Appiko Movement: Objectives and Methodologies

The objectives of the Appiko Movement include:

  • Protection of the existing, young, and green trees of the forest.
  • Promoting afforestation on denuded land.
  • The utilization of forest resources with utmost consideration to conserving natural resources.

The Appiko Movement used diverse strategies/methodologies to raise understanding. These include

  • Slide shows.
  • Folk dances.
  • Foot marches in the internal forests.
  • Street plays.

The Appiko Andolan succeeded. The state administration prohibited felling leafy trees in a few forest sites; only dead, breaking, and arid trees were felled to satisfy local necessities.

  • The Movement extended to the four hill communities of Karnataka Province and potentially applied to the Eastern Ghats in Tamil Nadu and Goa.
  • Appiko Movement sought to promote planting more trees or Afforestation on bared lands.
  • Around 1.2 million saplings were grown in the Sirsi area between 1984-1985 with the help of the forest department.
  • The Appiko Movement's background has conveyed an extensive use of chemical fertilizers in the forest conservatory, making it a capital-intensive, money-making agenda.

Appiko Movement: Outcomes

As a result of the Appiko Movement of Karnataka, the locals could save their primary life sources. Trees like bamboo are critical for making handcrafted items locals can sell to earn a living.

  • This Movement also helped rescue trees with medicinal properties that locals could use for their good.
  • Moreover, the Appiko Movement successfully created awareness among the villagers about the danger of falling trees.
  • Like other forest-based environmental movements, this Movement also achieved successful results.
  • The Appiko Movement, led by Panduranga Hegde, was about spreading awareness against cutting down and commercializing forests and ruining ancient livelihoods.
  • The villagers embraced the trees and used several other techniques, such as folk dances, slide shows, and street plays, to raise awareness about conserving natural forests.

Sustainable Measures of the Appiko Movement

The following are the sustainable measures which resulted due to the Appiko Andolan.

  • The Movement found a unique way to reduce the load on the forest by constructing Gobar (Biogas plants).
  • Appiko Andolan activists focus on providing cash to poor sections of society who do not have money to purchase Gobar plants.

  • Few individuals try to recreate the forest area through inaccurate cropping methods.

  • The Appiko movement attempted to fix an individual's wrong conventions.

  • The Movement's goal is to establish a proportional connection between nature and people.

  • To make an effort towards sustainability, conserve and preserve the resource for future generations.

Appiko Movement Short Notes

Listed are some crucial facts about Appiko Movement. It was a movement against deforestation in Karnataka.

  • The Appiko Movement led by Paduranga Hedge has great significance.
  • The Appiko movement started in September 1983.
  • The meaning of the word Appiko is a hug in the native language of Kannada.
  • It symbolizes the protection of the tree.
  • The Appiko Movement was a similar environmental movement to the Chipko Movement.

In this Movement, the women and youth from Saklani and other villages came together and walked five miles to a nearby forest to hug trees.

  • The people from the village also forced the contractors and fellers of the state department forest to cease cutting down trees.
  • They protected green trees by demanding a ban on felling them.
  • The main objective of the Appiko Movement was to conserve the Kalase forests in Karnataka.
  • The villagers continued this Movement for 38 days until the state government finally agreed to complete their demands to withdraw the order to fell trees.

Difference Between Appiko and Chipko Movement

The primary purpose of the Chipko Movement was to rescue the Himalayan range trees from the tomahawks of builders. Appiko Andolan's central goal was to conserve woods against trading, commerce, genetic wildlife falling, and the devastation of established livelihood.

Chipko Movement

Appiko Movement

Chipko Movement was called Hug The Tree Movement.

Appiko in Kannada means hugging.

It was initiated in In 1973 (Chamoli district of Uttarakhand).

It was started in September 1983 (Karnataka).

Sunderlal Bahuguna started the movement.

Panduranga Hegde began the movement.

 Appiko Movement UPSC

Appiko movement Topic is covered under the Environment and Ecology section of th UPSC Syllabus, and holds importance for both UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam. One can study in detail about the topic from this article and can also refer to the Environment and Ecology Notes to understand the topic better.

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FAQs on Appiko Movement

  • The Appiko Movement, led by Panduranga Hegde, was about spreading awareness against cutting down and commercializing forests and ruining ancient livelihoods. The villagers embraced the trees and used several other techniques, such as folk dances, slide shows, and street plays, to raise awareness about conserving natural forests.

  • The meaning of the word Appiko from the Appiko Movement is a hug in the native language of Kannada. It symbolizes the protection of the tree.

  • The Movement gave birth to a new understanding of the southern part of India. In 1950, the Uttara Kannada district forest shielded more than 81 percent of its geographical location.

  • During the Appiko Movement, the women and youth from Saklani and other villages came together and walked five miles to a nearby forest to hug trees.

  • The Appiko movement was started by activist Panduranga Hegde. The Movement became south India's first large-scale environmental campaign which aimed to express one's affection for a tree by hugging it in 1983.

  • The objectives of the Appiko Movement include -

    • Protection of the existing, young, and green trees of the forest.
    • Promoting afforestation on denuded land.
    • The utilization of forest resources with utmost consideration to conserving natural resources.
  • No, Appiko and Chipko Movements are not the same. The principal objective of the Chipko Movement was to protect the Himalayan range trees from the tomahawks of builders. Appiko Andolan got initiated to conserve forests against the commercialization and falling of hereditary nature and the destruction of traditional livelihood.

  • The leader of Appiko Movement was environmental activist Panduranga Hegde. When contractors attempted to cut down trees, Panduraga Hegde encouraged people to embrace the trees, or appiko (as it is known in the native Kannada language).

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