Asiatic Lion

Will it go Extinct?

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 11, 2007

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Will the Asiatic lion go extinct in the wild during our lifetime? Read what experts and concerned individuals have to say on the ground realities by clicking HERE.

Tribal Bill-How it will affect our forests

Reactions from Assam

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 09, 2007

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Reactions from ASSAM

.....The tribal bodies are doubtful about the efficacy of the new Act in protecting fully the interests of the tribal people as successive governments in Dispur have failed in the past to protect the tribal belt and blocks, leading to the alienation of the tribal people from their ancestral land. Secondly, they fear that non-traditional forest dwellers, such as immigrant settlers, might take advantage of the ambiguity in the nomenclature "other forest dwellers" in the new Act to claim occupancy rights. Thirdly, they say that the new Act has not taken into account tribal customary laws, which are essential to protect both forest and tribal rights. ........

........Environment protection groups, on the other hand, fear that if the rights enshrined in the new Act are granted without responsibility, they will prove to be detrimental to the existence of the forest cover and result in increasing human pressure on the remaining forest land. They point out that encroachment of forest land in many areas of the State received political patronage, and express the apprehension that some politicians may now take advantage of the provisions of the new Act to encourage more organised encroachment. "The tribal organisations should come forward to shoulder the responsibility to ensure that the rights provided in the new Act are not misused to degrade forest land," said Dr. Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, secretary-general of Aranyak, a leading organisation in the field of biodiversity conservation in northeastern India. ..................

Source: http://tinyurl.com/3br2ol

Interlinking of Rivers

Comments on interlinking rivers

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 09, 2007

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Ezine

Comments on ezine

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 09, 2007

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nature/wildlife films

Discovering nature without the Discovery Channel

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 07, 2007

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"My parents have always been opposed to buying a TV and they were trying to explain to us the reasons why they were not falling in line with the TV-buying public.


We couldn’t understand all their arguments until they finally put it to us this way: TV is for those who will never get to experience the real thing. Do you want to actually visit, some day, all those beautiful places they show on TV, or would you rather be happy with just seeing them on the screen? The choice simply put was: Buy a TV, or travel around instead. We chose travel. And I am proud to say that till today we have never allowed the idiot box space in our house. We have travelled instead to almost all parts of India. I learnt snake catching in Pune, handled crocodiles in Mamallapuram, studied spiders and earthworms in Chennai and even travelled to Thailand and Malaysia in my quest to learn more about reptiles. All of which I managed to do because I never sat in front of a TV."

Read the full article by Rahul Alvares, a  young snake rescuer from Goa, who has recently won the ’Young Naturalist Award’ given from Sanctuary Magazine by clicking here.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/yum5ty

 

Engineers and Environment

Saving electricity at IITB

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 06, 2007

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IIT Mumbai, Powai, is saving electricity on a daily basis and it’s being done with a few thousand square feet of mirrors, discovers Piali Banerjee

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is doing it with mirrors
nowadays. There’s an initiative to save electricity on a daily basis in IIT,
Powai, and it’s simply being done with a few thousand square feet of
mirrors.
There are 12 faculty offices in the mechanical department of IIT where
using tube lights during the day is passé. Diffused sunlight is used
instead. (Like most offices, these too are designed in a way where
artificial light is needed all day.)
"Saving electricity is more important than producing it. That’s why we
decided to use the sunlight with the help of mirrors," says Chetan Solanki,
who hit upon the idea and set up mirrors in his own office, only to find
many of his colleagues asking for deflected sunlight in their rooms, too.
So, today he’s a busy man, organising mirrors for everyone.
"I’ve just received a fresh consignment of mirrors, so I’m ready to do up
10 more offices," he says.
So, how do the mirrors actually work? "A long panel of mirrors is fixed
above the windows of the office, facing the floor. This deflects the
sunlight from outside, onto the ceiling of the room. The ceiling being
white, and not-so-smooth, this light is dispersed to the rest of the room,"
explains Chetan.
"One more mirror is placed near the ceiling, which can actually redirect
the reflected sunlight bang on to the desk. Since this is diffused light, it
brings no heat with it."
For a 10 by 15 sq ft office, you need about 15 sq feet of mirrors, at a
cost of Rs 30 per sq ft. Since every office is fitted with two tube lights,
for a working day of eight hours, this ’mirrorwork’ saves 700 Watthours of
electricity, which works out to Rs 3 saving per day. It takes about six
months to recover the cost of the mirrors… After that, it’s a free lunch
forever.
Source: Mumbai Mirror dated 6March 2007


 

Bio-Diversity

Scientists Launch Amphibian Ark to Stave Off Frog Extinctions

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 27, 2007

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In February, 2007 scientists from around the world kicked off the Amphibian Ark project, a global campaign to protect the world’s vanishing amphibian species from a ravenous killer fungus, widespread habitat loss and exposure to pollution and global warming. Project organizers are asking zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums around the world to each take in at least 500 frogs from a threatened local species to protect them from the killer fungus, chytrid.

Source: http://www.emagazine.com/view/?3617

 

Engineers and Environment

Green Tech

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 25, 2007

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Green Tech: Eco Software

Environmental degradtion affects everyone; is being

caused-in varying degrees- by everyone; and demands

some action from everyone.  Some of these actions

could be as simple as switching off the lights when no

one is around, or aligning the text in a document before

printing for optimal usage of paper, or turning off a

computer monitor when the machine is not in use.  Yet,

few care to do these in today’s high-pressure work

environment.  This is where software comes to

help.

GreenPrint: It’s a software application that sits

between a web browser and printer to make web pages

printer friendly before it gets printed.  While printing a

web page, it’s not uncommon to find that a whole page

has been used just to print a single line (often the url of

the page), or patches of ink for an advertisment.  The

application automatically removes the ads and aligns the

text optimally.  And thus saves paper. 


Surveyor:It promises to reduce a computer network’s

energy consumption by putting PVs into low - power

status when users are away or switching them off during

non-work hours.  A PC consumes 588kwH of electricity

every year on average. and managing it could cut upto

200 kwH . 


Such software need not necessarily reside in computers. They could be embedded into other systems too.

 

 

Wildlife Poaching

Sell the Tiger to Save it?

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 22, 2007

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Selling the Tiger to Save it?


"Enforcement of wildlife laws in China is lax, one of the main reasons that smuggling is so rampant and this laxity will extend to the tiger farms rendering any system of monitoring ineffetive.  In the event of the lifting of the ban on trading in tiger parts, laundering of wild animals through legal channels will thus be the more than likely outcome."

Dr. Xu Hongfa, China Director of TRAFFIC  agreed with Indian wildlife experts that farmed tigers will always be more expensive than poached ones, doing little to dampen the profitability of poaching.

What the Chinese government really needs to be focussing on is habitat conservation, Dr.u says.  He blames the dramatic depletion of China’s tigers on an equally dramatic loss of habitat for the animals as a result of deforestation and expansion of large- scale agriculture. Until some of its natural environment is brought back, no amount of breeding will save the wild tiger, he concludes.
 
Source: The Hindu dated 21/02/07

nature/wildlife films

Opinions heard at Wildscreen-India

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 20, 2007

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“In India, as in China, stimulating an interest in nature is a task of the utmost and immediate importance. With both economies growing at rates of around ten percent a year, whole ecosystems risk being destroyed. In India the most recent example is the famed bird reserve of Bharatpur. The increased demand for water in Rajasthan has lead to the diversion of the water supply from Bharatpur, the winter home of 70,000 migatory birds, or rather what was the winter home of 70,000. Since the local river was re-channeled the birds don’t come anymore….

 

In Britain surveys have found that 85% of respondents have stated that they learn most about their environment from television. Patently India is not necessarily a direct parallel, however there is no doubt that television could have a positive role to play in creating awareness among India’s 1.1 billion people. A sizeable proportion of the population do not have access to television, but hundreds of millions do. It is vital then that a strong and vibrant natural history industry evolves to supply this huge market with home grown films to reinforce the sense of wonder and respect for nature that needs to be there, so it can be defended…..

 

………….In my personal view creating air time on Indian channels is vital to generate a successful Indian wildlife film industry not merely as a platform to sell to American channels but also help preserve India’s wildlife treasures…”

 

Jeremy Bristow, award winning environmental film producer

 

Source:  http://www.wildfilmnews.org/

 

 




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