But there is more to it. The rope is being made from grass taken from the village forest. So the image represents a very specific connection between the woman’s life and her forest ecosystem. If the forest ecosystem is degraded, it is likely to have a very specific impact on this woman. If the forest ecosystem is protected without recognising the rights of these rope-makers (all women, and all poor) to access the grass, there will also be a very specific impact on their livelihood.
And there is another complexity. She is losing her market in the larger villages to mass-produced nylon rope from overseas.
So the image represents a balance: between conservation, protection and use; between rights of local people to their livelihood and their own ideas about conservation; and between village level continuity and socio-economic changes being brought by globalisation.