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This study from Bihar shows that official flood prediction systems are often inadequate to understand the true impact of the floods on the population. Local gendered knowledge can help fill this gap.

“There is a special type of black ant that is visible just before (and during) the onset of heavy rains. They start coming out of the ground in large numbers with their eggs in their mouths and only travel in a straight line, like a railway track,” informs Chandrika Mahato, a keen observer of nature, when asked how he predicts rains and floods.

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Better governance and equitable as well as sustainable use of water resources are essential to solving the deepening water crisis in Darjeeling.

"Darjeeling today has a thriving water business, with a fleet of 105 trucks plying three or four trips a day from April to June, carrying 5500 to 6500 litres of water on each run"

Source: Lama and Rai (2016)  'Chokho Pani: An Interface Between Regional And Environment In Darjeeling'. Himalaya, The Journal Of The Association For Nepal And Himalayan Studies, 36(2), 90-98

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Multilayered governance and involvement of forest dwellers in the decision making processes can go a long way in managing our forests better.

The recent news on the forced eviction of more than 1,000,000 tribal and other forest-dwelling households from 16 states by a Supreme Court order has again brought the long-debated issue of the role of the state and the community in forest governance to the forefront.

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As climate change and urbanisation threaten water security in the HKH region, there is an urgent need for good water governance.

The Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) cover 3500 kms across eight countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.

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Three environment-friendly ways of disposing of human waste have proven effective in various districts of Chhattisgarh.

According to the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) website, access to toilets has improved in India and 28 out of 36 states and Union Territories are now open defecation free (ODF). While that’s good news, managing faecal sludge in ODF states in an eco-friendly way continues to be a big challenge. 

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Expanding tourism has led to increasing generation of garbage and plastic wastes in natural reserves in Uttarakhand. Wild animals feast on this garbage increasing their risk of plastic consumption.

Plastic or non-biodegradable waste can prove to be highly fatal for terrestrial or land-based ecosystems as well as marine ones. While the impacts of non-biodegradable waste or plastic waste on the marine ecosystems have been extensively researched, its impact on terrestrial ecosystems is still poorly known.

Garbage dumps are getting ubiquitous in India

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Though the statistics and numbers from the Swachh Bharat Mission indicate success, there are still gaps within the programme that need to be examined.

One of the most laudable initiatives of the current government’s regime is the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) that was launched on Oct 2, 2014, with a larger vision of a clean India. The critical aspect of the mission was that—unlike many of the movements that preceded it—this had a measurable outcome (making India open defecation free) and a firm timeline (by 2019).

"Prior to this, urban sanitation was a space largely neglected by policy makers."

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A study finds that only over a third of human-dominated catchments in India are resilient to climate warming.

The impact of global warming on the hydrological cycle should be of paramount concern to all because global warming affects rainfall patterns in various ways like triggering more extreme rainfall events. Unpredictable changes in runoff make it difficult to plan infrastructure to manage water resources such as dams.

How do human disturbances affect hydrological resilience of catchments in a warming climate?

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A study finds that plastic forms the largest component of marine litter that is polluting the beaches in the country.

The garbage crisis is not only invading Indian cities, but coasts as well, and the problem is assuming grave proportions. The incident in early June this year that saw nearly 120 tonnes of trash washed ashore on Juhu beach in Mumbai exposed the high levels of pollution that the Indian coasts are subjected to.

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A study finds drinking water in peri-urban areas around Bengaluru has high levels of bacteriological and chemical contaminants making it unfit for consumption.

India is running out of water fast. As if this is not bad news enough, it has been found that even the available water is highly polluted with organic and hazardous pollutants. Infact, a recent Water Aid report finds that India is among the top countries with the worst access to clean water close to homes.

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