Wildlife , Forest Laws

Constitutional Provisions in India

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 17, 2007

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Article 48A and Part IV A of the Constitution grant environment supremacy over development. The Constitution, on a sensitive provision in Article 48A states:"The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country."

Article 51A (g) creates a fundamental duty in every individual to obey the mandates of environment and ecology.

Wildlife , Forest Laws

Environmental Law

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 16, 2007

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Environmental law in India has developed partly in response to demands by environmental groups and partly as a result of international conventions. The laws to protect bio diversity were a direct outcome of the International Convention on Biodiversity.

After the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, a number of laws were changed or new rules drafted to conform to international agreements. Local environment groups played an important role in bringing in the Coastal Regulation Zone Rules, an outcome of growing awareness of the impact of development along the coasts of marine resources.

Sourece: The Hindu, 23, March, 2007

nature/wildlife films

Wildlife Asia Film Festival

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 15, 2007

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Wildlife Asia Film Festival took place in March 2007 in Singapore.

"Cherub of the Mist" by Bedi Films (India)won the "Best Asian Film " award. "Village of Dust, City of Water" by Moving Images(India) won the award for the Best Environmental Film.

Naresh Bedi and Mike Pandey were given special awards for contribution to film making.

The following films/programs were selected for screening at the festival.

 "The King is Dying" by Special Investigation Team, CNN-IBN

 "Man Elephant Conflict" by NDTV

 "Ganga is Dying" by Special investigation Team, CNN-IBN

 

Bio-Diversity

Slow Loris

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 15, 2007

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Slow Lorises need your help!

The 14th Conference of Parties to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Fauna and Flora) takes place in The Netherlands next month. Up for consideration is Cambodia’s petition to transfer this noctural Asian primate to Appendix I. This would mean the animal is considered threatened with extinction and CITES would prohibit international trade except, for instance, for scientific research.

Two NGOs, Care for the Wild International and PROWILDLIFE, are seeking support for the petition. For details on what you can do to help check here:


http://www.wildasia.net/main.cfm?page=contact&contactID=1704

 

Wildlife Poaching

Kaziranga National Park

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 14, 2007

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Kaziranga National Park is a clear case where hard work of the forest staff went unrewarded and unnoticed while the Park had the distinction of protecting a healthy population of rhinos.

The recent poaching of six rhinos has brought to light some glaring lapses. ’Seven or eight years ago when the Park was spread over 430 sq.km, it had a sanctioned staff strength of 487’. After the addition of six new portions, the Park area is is now over 1,000 sq.km. The team strength-376.

International gangs with links to China and the Middle East( rhino horn sheaths are poular there) operate in Kaziranga. Whie the police have arrested 700 poachers since 1975, only one has been convicted so far.

Source: The Indian Express 19 April 2007

Climate change and Global Warming

Sunderbans Tigers

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 14, 2007

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In the Sunderbans, both man and animal face a threat from rise in sea levels. A 10-year study in and around the Bay of Bengal has already revealed that the sea is rising at 3.14mm a year against a global average of 2mm.

"Oceanographers have estimated that 15% of the landmass will be lost by 2020 and this will have a devastating impact on both tigers and humans".

Source: WWF-India

Climate change and Global Warming

The Water Towers of Asia

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 13, 2007

Blog

The "Water towers of Asia" or the Himalayas feed seven of Asia’s great rivers. A meltdown due to melting glaciers which are receding at an average rate of 10-15 meters per year, could trigger floods initially and droughts in the future.

Source: Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change, Second Working Group Report.

Eco-tour

Eco tourism in India and Pakistan

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 13, 2007

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Key comments in a survey conducted by Planeta.com

 

How do you characterize ecotourism in the country where you live? Provide examples of best or worst practices

 

PAKISTAN - Ecotourism is a new concept in Pakistan. Some people understand its true concept but most of the people in travel trade are not fully aware about the concept

 

INDIA - Ecotourism is becoming one of the major attractions of Kerala. In this small state, ecotourism activities and programs are mainly in the wilderness areas. Ecotourism programs in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary are the examples of best practices, because of the participation of the local community. Worst practices are the business magnets trying to project themselves as leaders of the ecotourism bandwagon of Kerala. The whole tourism management authority of government is being manipulated by this highly influential group

 

What are the noteworthy achievements in ecotourism in the past five years?

PAKISTAN - In Pakistan people from travel trade have started thinking more seriously the negative impacts of general and tourism and there is better growth of understanding about the concept of ecotourism during the last five years.

INDIA - In India, especially in Kerala, more travellers and entrepreneurs have become aware of ecotourism. Indigenous people are making an alternate livelihood from these programs in the Reserves i mentioned earlier, and in turn, they are working with the state forest department to protect the jungles they live in which is indeed a noteworthy achievement.

Source:  http://www.planeta.com/ecotravel/tour/yearplusfive.html

 

Climate change and Global Warming

Flood and drought

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 12, 2007

Blog

.........Three quarters of the 634 million people deemed to be most at risk from rising sea levels connected to global warming live in Asia. Coastal cities in the developed world, such as New York and LosAngeles, may be at risk. But wealthy countries are best placed to adapt to the problem. Certainly the Dutch, who have long experience of keeping the sea at bay, are not panicking. They are simply planning to spend billions more on flood defences.

 Because of its effect on rainfall and glaciers that feed rivers, global warming is also contributing to water shortages. ..

Source: Business Standard , 23 April, 2007

Anthropomorphism

Are chimps more evolved?

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 12, 2007

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A comparison of 14,000 human and chimpanzee genes by researchers at the  University of Michigan, U.S, shows that the forces of natural selection have had the greatest impact on our ape cousins. Humans and chimps followed different evolutionary paths from a common ape ancestor about 5 million years ago. Both underwent changes as the fittest survived to pass their genes on to future generations.

But the U.S study shows that the humans possess a "substantially smaller" number of positively-selected genes than chimps. This may be because the original human population was very small-which would have reduced the effectiveness of natural selection. Instead,"genetic drift" -the random survival of genetic mutations rather than their preservation by the laws of natural selection -was likely to have been more important for humans.

"These observations refute the anthropocentric view that a grand enhancement in Darwinian selection underlies human origins." scientists wrote in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: Daily Mail, London




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