Anthropomorphism

Orangutans

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 28, 2007

Blog

Both orangutans and chimpanzees share about 96 % of their DNA with humans.

 In a recent study, orangutans have been named as the world’s most intelligent animal.

Once widespread throughout the forests of Asia, they are now confined to just two islands, Sumatra and Borneo.

The study has opened up the question-would it be possible to compare different species of primates for intelligence?

(From a report in Sunday Times London)

Any other

Butterfly Park in Delhi

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 27, 2007

Blog

Encouraged by the number of butterflies visiting the JNU campus, the Jawaharlal Nehru University is all set to develop a Butterfly Park within its premises to attract more species.

More than 50 species of butterflies can be seen fluttering around the University in the Spring season. Rare species like Red Pierrot, Common Jay and Peacock Pansy are often spotted.

Source: The Indian Express, 11 April, 2007

Wildlife , Forest Laws

CEC term is coming to an end

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 27, 2007

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The Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) has made many significant interventions where forests lands are concerned.  It has gone against the wishes of the Ministry of Environment and Forests(MoEF) many times, and rejected proposals that would endanger India’s already dwindling forest cover. 
The term of CEC is unlikely to be renewed, sources say.


The proposed environment tribunal bill  being set up is expected to be peopled with " yes men", to ensure that Environment Impact Studies go through speedily.  To ensure that the concerns of environment and of people are addressed, activists may turn to public Interest Litigation more than ever. 

source" The Hindu", 23 March, 2007

Interlinking of Rivers

Yamuna River

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 25, 2007

Blog

CSE invites you to a two-day media briefing workshop to understand the condition of India’s rivers, examine existing river cleaning programmes, learn from them, and discuss strategies that could bring our rivers back to life. The Yamuna river will be taken as a representative case. The workshop will bring together river pollution experts, civil society representatives and government officials to debate and demystify key issues.

Date: June 14-15, 2007
Venue: India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

Eligibility criteria:
- The workshop is only open to journalists and media professionals
- Seats are limited. We have the resources to support the travel and accommodation of a few candidates on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, please apply immediately

To apply, e-mail/fax your resume to:
Shachi Chaturvedi <
shachi@cseindia.org>
Fax:  011-29955879

Last date for applying: June 1, 2007

For more information >>
http://www.cseindia.org/programme/media/yamuna_workshop.htm

Film Reviews- Wildlife, Nature and Environment

Green Films

Posted by Susan on May 25, 2007

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"Four or five years ago you couldn’t give environmental and conservation programmes away, but in the past 18 months, the increase in concern about global warming has changed that, and international broadcasters are increasingly asking what we’ve got coming down the line," says Ian Jones, president of distributor National Geographic Television International (NGTI).

 

Looking ahead, National Geographic US will make its Earth Report - a signature year-end programme that premiered at the end of 2006 - an annual event. Essentially, it is an audit on sustainability and quality of life indicators across the planet, specifically looking at the impact of human activity on the Earth in the previous year. For 2007 there will be an extended web component and the National Geographic magazine will initiate a major push, as will all of the National Geographic channels. In addition, National Geographic is working on a major society-wide global warming project, and it is also preppinga sequal to the series Strange Days on Planet Earth, with many episodes set to have a definite green tinge.

 

However, based on projects in development now, the lion’s share of programming in 2008 will focus on what people are doing, and what we can all do to reverse the effects of global warming. Broadcasters are shying away from doomsday warnings, and are instead using terms like ’empowering,’ ’inspiring,’ ’aspirational,’ and ’proactive’ to describe the programming they’re after.

 

New programming throughout the coming year will also likely look at the economic repercussions of going green, from the impact of energy and fuel conservation on our own wallets to big decisions that politicians face, like enforcing clean industry and promoting train transport above air travel.

 

Source: http://www.wildfilmnews.org

 

 

Tiger Task Force Report

Review by National Board for Wildlife

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 23, 2007

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 Project Tiger has been reviewed by the Tiger Task Force constituted by the
National Board for Wildlife, Chaired by the Hon¹ble Prime Minister. 

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has already come
    into force w.e.f. 4th September, 2006. 
  • Apart from above, all the Tiger Reserves have been evaluated by a panel of independent experts based on a set of criteria (45) developed by the World commission on Protected Areas, as adapted for Indian conditions.  The evaluation has been peer-reviewed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).  Both the assessment as well as peer-review have been placed in both the Houses of Parliament.
  • The process of All India estimation of tigers, copredators and prey animals using the refined methodology, as approved by the Tiger Task Force, is ongoing in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India.  The said process on completion, would indicate the status of tiger population, its copredators, prey animals and habitat in the country.
  • Assessment of tiger habitat status in the country at Taluka amplification in the Geographical Information System (GIS) domain in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India. Comparative appraisal of forest cover status in and around tiger reserves (upto a radial distance of 10 kms.), in collaboration with the Forest Survey of India for evolving reserve specific restorative strategies involving local people in the peripheral / buffer areas.
  • Bilateral agreements have been signed with Nepal and Republic of
    China for controlling trans-boundary illegal trade in wildlife.

Source: Information  given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forests,  in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2007

Environment Awareness

I=PAT

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 23, 2007

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The organized environmental movement has been almost totally ineffective at protecting the environment since the mid 1980s. 

 

The big groups have been successful at protecting some resources in certain regions—staving off the drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and gaining more wilderness designation in the Green Mountain National Forest are two notable successes in the U.S.A—but in terms of protecting the major ecosystems and the general environment, they have largely failed.

 

There are many other environmental crises including loss of species diversity, loss of natural resources like wetlands and forests, and the collapse of ocean fisheries. 

A large coalition of environmental groups in 1970 endorsed a resolution stating that, “population growth is directly involved in the pollution and degradation of our environment—air, water and land—and intensifies physical, psychological, social, political and economic problems to the extent that the well-being of individuals, the stability of society and our very survival are threatened.”

The connection between population growth and the environment is perhaps best expressed through what is known as the foundation formula or the environmental impact equation,

I=PAT.

What this says is that any environmental impact is the result of three factors; the size of the population, the affluence or wealth of that population and the technology or type of consumption that the population spends its wealth on.

What has happened is that environmental organizations have disregarded the population part of the equation and focused almost entirely on the technology part of the equation, be it driving more fuel-efficient cars or encouraging “smart growth.”

 Source: The Environmental Magazine

http://www.emagazine.com/view/?3734

 

 

Wildlife Poaching

Lion Claws

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 21, 2007

Blog

Lion claws are cult symbols in and around Saurashtra.  There is a belief system built around them.  Fishermen wear them before venturing out to sea, apparently to make them "lion -hearted". 

The forest department destroys all the claws collected from the carcasses of dead lions so there is no official route of getting these talismans.  Forest officials do not believe locals in Saurashtra would be hunting lions for their claws and claim that mos of the claws are fake.


The Kathi Darbar Community wear them as status symbols.  Sold at prices rising up to Rs 25,000 per claw, they are flaunted in pendants worn on bare chests. 


Conservator of Forests, Junagadh has powers to apprehend those wearing lion claws. But there is no information of anyone having been booked so far, over the years.

source: Times of India, 13 April, 2007

Environment Awareness

Jal Satyagraha Launnched in Delhi

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 21, 2007

Blog
Yamuna is in danger and no single organization or person can handle 
this. Everybody in Delhi has to come together to tackle its problems.
Instead of laying a concrete jungle, we should build a natural jungle of
10,000 hectares on the flood plain of the river. The people should help
in reviving recharge structures and distributaries of the river. The
Ridge should be declared as a recharge zone and the baolis and talaabs
that existed there should be restored. The ghats on the Yamuna should
also be restored.


The Jal Satyagraha 2007 was also launched at the event. It aims to raise
awareness among school and college children. It will create awareness in
both rural and urban India on the optimal use of water and need to
recharge to groundwater. The Satyagraha will work with media to raise
public awareness on water-related issues. It will advocate water as a
basic human right and hold camps in different states. The campaign will
also discourage people from using bottled water and drinking soft
drinks. Lastly, it will work to stop the privatization of rivers and
other water sources.
Source:owsa@oneworld.net

Anthropomorphism

Raven world’s second smartest creature

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 20, 2007

Blog

Birdbrain is no longer a sign of stupidity; indeed it could be a sign of surprising intelligence. 


Scientists Bernd Heinrich and Thomas Bugnyar reveal a series of experiments that back the idea that ravens are the brainboxes of the natural world. "These birds use logic to solve problems and some of their abilities even surpass those of the great apes."


The experiment they outline involved ravens that were allowed to sit on perches from which pieces of meat dangled from string. To get a treat, a raven had to perform a complex series of actions: pull up some of the string, place a loop on the perch and hold it with a claw, then pull up another section of string and hold that loop on the perch. By repeating the process half a dozen times, a raven could reach the end of the string and get the meat.


Source:  Guardian Newspapers Limited April, 2007




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