Biodiversity

  • Mangroves form an integral part of the landscape of Mumbai and are essential in maintaining the stability of the coastline. They prevent erosion, protect the coasts from disasters, decrease the effect of pollution of water on the coastlines, besides providing breeding and feeding grounds for a range...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 days 4 hours agoread more
  • Can forest conservation policies that ignore the livelihood needs of local, indigenous populations succeed in protecting biodiversity and wildlife? Experiences from the Sundarbans show that such policies not only result in the suffering of the local population, it also leads to the exploitation of ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 days 5 hours agoread more
  • The reclusive family decides to stay indoors due to the overcast sky on a Sunday morning. The parents are seen walking down the road twice, but they dart back after noticing the visitors. The golden jackals are not known for gregariousness, at least not towards humans. The nature trail to meet these...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 week 6 days agoread more
  • Located 10 km from the Yavatmal city in Maharashtra, the Nilona reservoir has been the primary drinking water source for its residents since 1972. As in many other parts of the country, the 1990s saw the city growing and the population increasing. The Yavatmal residents, who had not experienced wate...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 weeks 2 days agoread more
  • Southern India reels under drought-like conditions All the southern states, except Telangana, are facing drought-like conditions. Tamil Nadu is the worst hit with 80 percent deficit in water storage in the state’s reservoirs, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. The collective water ...
    swatiposted 2 weeks 5 days agoread more
  • Along the east coast of India, five massive wetlands--starting from Point Calimere (Kodiakarai) and Pulicat in Tamil Nadu, the Krishna-Godavari basin in Andhra, Chilika in Odisha and Sundarbans in West Bengal--provide the necessary moisture for monsoon winds to precipitate. While it may be diff...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 2 weeks 5 days agoread more
  • There was a time when the farmers of Yavatmal district depended completely on rainfed agriculture. That was before the introduction of Doha, a water harvesting structure by NGO Dilasa Sansthan in 2014. Farming changed drastically after that, something which Sitaram Kove, a 40-year-old farmer of Raji...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 month 2 days agoread more
  • Farming can’t be sustainable without the seeds which are best suited to the location, water availability, soil type and weather. According to records, there were 1.10 lakh varieties of rice in India till 1965. After that, the Green Revolution happened, which pushed for hybrid varieties. Today, acc...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • NGT blames Centre for wasting public money in the name of Ganga clean-up The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has once again reprimanded the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and other agencies for wasting public money in the name of Ganga rejuvenation as, according to the NGT, not a single drop ...
    swatiposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • Disaster struck two nautical miles off Ennore’s Kamarajar port just before dawn on January 28 when two cargo ships--LPG tanker BW Maple bearing the flag of the UK’s Isle of Man and MT Dawn Kanchipuram loaded to the brim with petroleum oil and lubricants--collided due to poor inter-vessel communi...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 1 month 2 weeks agoread more
  • People of Sikkim stand against Teesta hydel project The proposed 520 MW Teesta Stage IV hydropower project in Sikkim is being opposed by the indigenous Lepchas, a local community in the state that worships mountains and rivers. The project that has been proposed by the National Hydro Power Corporat...
    swatiposted 1 month 3 weeks agoread more
  • It may come as a surprise to many that Delhi, a bustling metropolis and home to a population of over 18.6 million, has one of the largest stretches of forests in the country bang in the middle of the city. Yes, lying fully within the city’s limits is the incredible Delhi ridge that comprises vast ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 4 days agoread more
  • From its rather benign origins connoting a type of land classification, the term poromboke has transformed into something grotesque over the years. This term had been in use since the Cholas denoting stretches of land reserved for shared communal use which cannot be bought or sold. Tamils, who pride...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 2 months 6 days agoread more
  •   Literary works from the Sangam period dating back to the fourth century BC indicate the presence of a five-fold classification system of geography and related ecosystems. The five types include kurinji (mountainous region), mullai (forests), marudam (croplands), neithal (seashore) and palai ...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • At a time when the government’s attention is steered towards the concerns of the northern rivers like the Ganga and the Yamuna, it is seldom that the polluted rivers of the south India come up for discussion. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had in its 2015 report noted that around 37,00...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • Maharashtra approves cost overrun in irrigation projects, set to complete Gosikhurd project The Maharashtra government has given its approval for the cost overrun of more than Rs 20,000 crore in 133 irrigation projects in the state. These projects, approved during the Congress-NCP regime were worth...
    swatiposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • A majority of states fail to stop overexploitation of groundwater The central government has informed the parliamentary committee that most of the states have not complied with the 2013 order of preparing a master plan for artificial recharge of groundwater. Only six states--Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat...
    swatiposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • In order to celebrate 20 years of ATREE and to call attention to current challenges in biodiversity conservation, environment and development, ATREE has organized a two day international conference in January, 2017. The main themes of the conference  are Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; Wat...
    swatiposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Jaman Ram, a resident of Bhikia Sain, a tehsil in Uttarakhand, remembers fishing with his father in the Ramganga. “We could catch 80-100 kilograms of fish a day. That is no longer possible,” he says. Shafiq of Haldwani shares an unsettling memory of the Ramganga. As a young man on a holiday, he ...
    chicuposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Lingaraj Jena is a worried man. At 86, he is one of the older fishermen in Berhampura village, an island on the Chilika lake in Odisha. Though he no longer goes for fishing due to old age, he is worried about the opening of new sea mouths; he knows it is not good news for the fishing communities he ...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more

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Sewri wetland is known for many winged visitors including flamingos that come for blue green algae annually. It is under threat, thanks to rapid urbanisation.

Mangroves form an integral part of the landscape of Mumbai and are essential in maintaining the stability of the coastline. They prevent erosion, protect the coasts from disasters, decrease the effect of pollution of water on the coastlines, besides providing breeding and feeding grounds for a range of birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals as well as humans [1].

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A study from the Sundarbans shows that conserving biodiversity by excluding indigenous populations has threatened not only the survival of the forest but also the sustainability of the region.

Can forest conservation policies that ignore the livelihood needs of local, indigenous populations succeed in protecting biodiversity and wildlife?

Experiences from the Sundarbans show that such policies not only result in the suffering of the local population, it also leads to the exploitation of natural resources and biodiversity in the region.

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Once ravaged by the mining industry, Asola Bhatti, the only wildlife sanctuary in Delhi is a refreshing sight now with dense flora and a thriving wildlife.

The reclusive family decides to stay indoors due to the overcast sky on a Sunday morning. The parents are seen walking down the road twice, but they dart back after noticing the visitors. The golden jackals are not known for gregariousness, at least not towards humans. The nature trail to meet these canines would remain as cloudy as the sky.

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The residents of Yavatmal come together to solve their drinking water problem. With crowdfunding to aid their effort, the result is inspiring.

Located 10 km from the Yavatmal city in Maharashtra, the Nilona reservoir has been the primary drinking water source for its residents since 1972. As in many other parts of the country, the 1990s saw the city growing and the population increasing. The Yavatmal residents, who had not experienced water shortage till then, started facing acute drinking water shortage. Rubbing salt in their wounds were the authorities who cut the household water supply to half--from 64 million litres to 32 million litres weekly--in 2014.

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News this week

Southern India reels under drought-like conditions

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Keeping Pulicat lagoon healthy is paramount to the health of the Chennai’s ecosystem. What is happening instead is its slow degradation.

Along the east coast of India, five massive wetlands--starting from Point Calimere (Kodiakarai) and Pulicat in Tamil Nadu, the Krishna-Godavari basin in Andhra, Chilika in Odisha and Sundarbans in West Bengal--provide the necessary moisture for monsoon winds to precipitate. While it may be difficult to comprehend the intricacies of how monsoons work, one thing is clear--these wetlands need to remain wet for rain clouds to emerge and develop. And Pulicat is an integral part of this system.

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How the Doha model of groundwater recharge saved the livelihoods of farmers in Maharashtra.

There was a time when the farmers of Yavatmal district depended completely on rainfed agriculture. That was before the introduction of Doha, a water harvesting structure by NGO Dilasa Sansthan in 2014. Farming changed drastically after that, something which Sitaram Kove, a 40-year-old farmer of Rajini village in the district, will vouch for. Once a distressed farmer like many in Vidarbha and Marathwada, he is now content with the productivity of his six-acre-farm that has doubled since the introduction of Doha.

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Debal Deb has conserved 1,200 climate resilient rice varieties. He speaks on the need to conserve traditional seeds and why we don’t need genetically modified ones.

Farming can’t be sustainable without the seeds which are best suited to the location, water availability, soil type and weather. According to records, there were 1.10 lakh varieties of rice in India till 1965. After that, the Green Revolution happened, which pushed for hybrid varieties. Today, according to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, we have less than 7,000 traditional rice varieties.

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Policy matters this week

NGT blames Centre for wasting public money in the name of Ganga clean-up

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Lack of preparedness by government authorities in dealing with the massive oil spill on the Chennai coast has transformed it into one of the worst crises on the coast.

Disaster struck two nautical miles off Ennore’s Kamarajar port just before dawn on January 28 when two cargo ships--LPG tanker BW Maple bearing the flag of the UK’s Isle of Man and MT Dawn Kanchipuram loaded to the brim with petroleum oil and lubricants--collided due to poor inter-vessel communication. The LPG tanker, on its way out of the port, suffered a major dent. The incoming Dawn Kanchipuram was left with two holes that tore through it.

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