Biodiversity

Featured Articles
November 27, 2019 Policy matters this week
An irrigation well at Randullabad, Maharashtra (Source: India Water Portal on Flickr)
November 13, 2019 News this week
A cyclonic storm that hit India in 2016. (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
November 6, 2019 The number of people vulnerable to floods triggered by climate change by 2050 is triple that of previous estimates, according to a new study.
Aerial view of Chennai during floods 2015 (Image: Veethika, Wikimedia Commons, CC-SA 4.0 International)
October 25, 2019 Groundwater use has doubled in Pune. Comprehensive mapping of groundwater resources and better management and governance is the need of the hour.
Groundwater, an exploited resource (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Mosquito fish – invaders in disguise!
Gambusia or Mosquito fish, inspite of being recognised as highly invasive species, continue to be introduced in freshwater bodies for mosquito control in India. This needs to stop! Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 3 weeks 4 days ago

Threats to freshwater bodies in India are many and include pollution, flow modification, overexploitation and habitat degradation. Besides these, introduction of invasive alien species is a growing problem in India threatening freshwater biodiversity leading to a decline in native species and compromising the health of freshwater bodies.

What is an invasive species

Gambusia spell doom for freshwater diversity (Image Source: Gambusia affinis, NOZO via Wikimedia Commons)
Online course: A primer on biodiversity and ecology of the freshwater ecosystems of the western ghats
This course organised by the Pune Knowledge Cluster aims to introduce various biological components of the freshwater ecosystems of the Western Ghats from a food chain-based approach. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 4 weeks 1 day ago PKC coursePKC course 1

Course dates: 15t

Dams and distress in the Himalayas!
Hydropower projects and compensatory afforestation plantations are spelling doom for the fragile Himalayan forest ecosystems. Urgent action is the need of the hour! Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Proliferation of hydropower development in the Himalayas is leading to extensive land use changes in the river valleys and threatening the diverse and fragile Himalayan ecosystems leading to deforestation, fragmentation, soil erosion and loss of forest biodiversity. These are a cause for serious concern for local communities, whose lives and livelihoods depend on these forests.

100 MW Tidong-I project, Kinnaur HP (Image Source: Manu Moudgil)
Submit report on the need for clearance of National Waterway-1: NGT to MoEF
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 3 months 3 weeks ago

NGT seeks report on the need for clearance of inland waterway projects in Ganga

Motor-driven ferries at Varanasi (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Women hold the key to dietary diversity
A study finds that women's control over income and better decisionmaking power can go a long way in improving dietary diversity and tackling malnutrition in rural India. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 5 months 4 weeks ago

Evidence world over shows that small scale agricultural production does very little to deal with malnutrition and food insecurity among rural poor.

Empowering women to improve nutritional outcomes (Image Source: India Water Portal)
A rainbow recovery post-COVID
The movement towards radical ecological democracy needs to combine the practical and policy-level grassroots work with broader mobilization. Amita Bhaduri posted 6 months 1 week ago

There is a disquieting hush across the world as the linkage between the planet’s health and human well-being became pronounced during the times of the pandemic. The deepening socio-economic and ecological crises caused by patterns of production and consumption are being increasingly recognised.

The women of Deccan Development Society sanghams move towards more localized natural resource management (Image: Deccan Development Society, Facebook Page)
Forests, the fast disappearing treasure troves of forest dwellers
Rapidly disappearing forests are not only a threat to the biodiversity, but spell death knell for the livelihoods of forest dwellers who depend on them for food and survival. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 6 months 1 week ago

Forests are disappearing at a fast rate in India.

Dried mahua flowers (Image Source: Pankaj Oudhia via Wikimedia Commons)
Poor implementation of forest rights act hurts tribals
Need to recognise the rights of forest-dwelling and tribal communities over their traditional lands. Amita Bhaduri posted 6 months 1 week ago

In pre-colonial times, India’s forestlands were mostly under the use of the local communities. Forest policies led to centralisation in colonial times with forestland being subject to commercial over-exploitation for revenue generation purposes. This, in turn, led to land alienation of forest dwellers and an overall increase in deforestation.

Indigenous groups that lived and helped maintain the forests for centuries have been undermined (Image: Baiga women, Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 3.0)
Is the draft EIA notification 2020 anti-environment?
The draft notification is alleged to dilute the process and standards for environmental clearances for industries. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 2 weeks ago

Economic development and creation of jobs have been India’s most critical challenges, and continue to be an overriding priority for the government. India’s rise in the World Bank’s global ranking on the ease of doing business is complemented with a successive downturn in its position on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) from 2014 to 2019.

Villager looking at mining devastated areas in Goa (Image: Frederik Noronha; Wikimedia Commons; CC A-S A 4.0 International)
Next phase of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban to focus on water treatment
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 7 months 3 weeks ago

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban: Next phase to focus on water treatment and toilet waste disposal

Next phase of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban to focus on water treatment (Image source: India Water Portal)