Tiger Task Force Report

National Tiger Conservation Authority

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 18, 2005

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The Cabinet on 16/12/05 approved the constitution of a National Tiger Conservation Authority.

Contrary to rising hopes and expectations that the Prime Minister will head the Tiger Conservation Authority, it is the Environment Minister who will head the authority.

The Authority will get statutory and administrative powers to implement the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force.

Tiger Task Force Report

IWC Chat

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 18, 2005

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The topic for our monthly chat on 18December 2005 was "Tiger Task Force Report".

You can read the chat transcript at the following link

http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/mainsite/ChatTranscript.asp

Those of you who missed the chat, are welcome to write your comments in this blog.

Tiger Task Force Report

Read the report!

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 18, 2005

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The Tiger Task Force has submitted its report. The report brings out some glaring facts. Read the report at this link

http://projecttiger.nic.in/TTF2005/contents.htm

"In the last 30 years, only 80-odd villages have been relocated from all 28 reserves. There are another 1,500 existing inside, of which 250 are within core areas of tiger reserves, which must be relocated. Relocating them will cost Rs 660 crore at the minimum, in terms of the meager relocation package government works with today, and without accounting for land costs. If this is taken into account, then the estimated cost is Rs 11,000 crore. "

What is suggested is a time-bound programme to identify those villages that must be relocated because  they are located inside crucial tiger habitats. It is also suggested that, unlike the past, this relocation must be done speedily and sensitively, "with careful consideration of the needs of people."

The chair person also says that if we do not make peace with the communities who share the tigers’ home, we will lose the war of conservation tiger by tiger.

Identifying the cause for a crisis situation is certainly the first step towards a solution. Let us think solutions now! How can we have the communities become stakeholders in tourism for example? Any suggestions?

Interlinking of Rivers

Polavaram Project-Controversy

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 16, 2005

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The Orissa government has objected to the construction of the Polavaram project on the ground that the 150 ft high dam will submerge several villages and agricultural lands in that State and displace hundreds of tribal families and others. T

The Orissa Chief Minister has addressed letters to the A.P Chief Minister resenting the latter’s decision to go ahead with the execution of the project without consulting Orissa. The letter to the Central Water Commission expresses ire at the clearances given without referring them to his government.

It is understood that construction has started based on a 1980 interstate agreement signed by the three riparian states-Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. In the intervening 25 years the cost of rehabilitation and resettlement would have gone up considerably. A meeting between the two Chief Ministers is likely to settle the issue politically.

Interlinking of Rivers

Polavaram -linking Godavari and Krishna

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 12, 2005

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The report prepared by the NWDA(National Water Development Agency) on the 174km Polvarm link,  is available at the following link ( Please cut and paste in your browser)

http://nwda.gov.in/index3.asp?sublink2id=12

Chapter 14 of the report talks about the environmental and ecological impact of the project. The Polavaram reservoir submerges an area of 63,691 ha comprising of 60,063 ha in Andhra Pradesh, 2,398 ha in Chattisgarh and 1,230 ha in Orissa. Out of the total submergence area, the area under cultivation is about 30,650 ha and the forest area 3,705 ha. It is obvious that the project involves the displacement of a huge agricultural population most of them from Andhra.

To quote the report

"The main purpose of the Polavaram project is to provide water for irrigation to the ayacut upstream of the Godavari barrage, to supply drinking water to the Visakhapatnam steel plant and also to provide water to the chronic drought prone Cheepurupalle tract in which the manganese belt is situated ...........

"Submergence of forest area may have environmental and ecological impact: Proper Environmental Management Plan (EMP) will be evolved to reduce the impact on the environment due to the project. Also, to minimise the loss of forest additional afforestation programme will be taken up. Necessary provision has been made in the estimate for compensatory afforestation".

"The prospects of submergence leading to loss of homes and means of sustenance will have a traumatic effect on the affected population. The problems relating to resettlement and rehabilitation (R & R) are quite complex. It is essential that the contents of R & R package should be very attractive".

"A total of 16207 families are likely to be affected due to creation of Polavaram reservoir. These families would need to be resettled in different villages in the nearby areas. To avoid dispute and problems, the selection of suitable agricultural land in the command area and its division into required sizes and its distribution by draw of lot with the control of a High Level Committee comprising senior officers of concerned departments should be performed. In the case of Polavaram-Vijayawada link project, 30650 ha of culturable area is coming under the submergence of the proposed reservoir at Polavaram. Therefore, at least an equivalent area of land has to be acquired, suitably in the command area of the project for encouraging to carry out the normal agricultural activities by the affected families".

E-Governance for Conservation

Every Village a Knowledge Centre, etc

Posted by Amin Adatia on December 12, 2005

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Susan

I am not sure I would be in favour of reducing the number of people "dependent" on the Farm. One thing about a Farm is that it provides for the ability to grow "personal use" crops and hence the required nutrition and a very high degree of self-esteem. I would not want to be in the situation of my grandfather who had to see his family disperse because the Farm could not support the family.

You can get the GDP and the Per Capita figures to be whatever you want. I am not sure if there is a value in the GDP for "3 meals a day for the family" as opposed to homeless existence in the "City".

Multi-Media enabled cyber-cafe in a village sounds like a good idea for providing the environment for knowledge transfer. Instead of just looking for cyber-cafe entrepreneurs, perhaps we should also look at small trades people who would support the "machineary of the Farm and village".

Regards

Wildlife

A new carnivore?

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 11, 2005

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After the discovery of hundreds of new species of frogs in the rainforests of SriLanka in 2002, it is the turn of the rainforests of Borneo to come up with surprises.

WWF researchers may have discovered a new, mysterious carnivore species in Borneo. The animal, a mammal slightly larger than a domestic cat with dark red fur and a long, bushy tail, was photographed twice by a camera trap at night.

Read more on this at the following link ( please cut and paste in your browser)

 http://panda.org/news_facts/newsroom/index.cfm?uNewsID=52960

Eco-tour

Incredible Women of Incredible India

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 11, 2005

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India's first women cab service providers cum tourist guides "Project Priyadrashini" launched in Delhi will be a boon for women travellers ensuring that they feel safe and comfortable in the Capital. The project will extend to other cities soon. The drivers are trained guides as well and the the tourist gets a complete value for money package.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan also provides a tour through the park with drivers cum guides - in eco friendly cycle rikshaws. 

E-Governance for Conservation

Every village a knowledge centre

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 10, 2005

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Amin: They say the world has a digital divide. In the digital world, there is a further divide-the users and the techies. Take the case of cyber cafes which are the places from where most Indians access the e-mail. The cafe owner takes care of PC upkeep, viruses etc ( He is a techie in his own right!) so the user is free to reap the benfits only- of emails-at a small price for the connect time. It is this user I had in mind when I was talking of empowerment.

I cannot agree more with you about the impact of the moving picture in spreading any kind of awareness. I am a film maker myself. I make films when I feel a strong need to communicate - like some would write articles or books. So, the knowledge centre at the village must be a multimedia machine, capable of showing films, apart from storing data, communicating etc.

Coming back to our original topic of creating entrepreneurs at the village centre through e-governance. Allow me to quote Mr. Narayanmurthy, Chairman Infosys

“ About 650 million people live in the villages, and agriculture accounts for 26% of India’s GDP, which is about $162 billion. Divide $162 billion by 650 million, you get about $250 each. That is one-third the per capita income of India, which is about $700. You could try increasing the productivity of India’s farm sector so it shoots up to about $ 1 trillion, but that’s a really tough task. Conversely, we could reduce the number of people dependent on agriculture, let’s say make it 450 million, and simultaneously raise farm output to around $350 billion. This too would significantly raise per capita income, and it is far more manageable.”

But is it really manageable if we let “natural forces” to take charge? Faced by failed agriculture incomes, people are migrating to nearby cities in uncontrolled and mismanaged numbers. Creating knowledge centres in the villages will tempt the new job seekers to stay back and become cyber entrepreneurs.

Film Reviews- Wildlife, Nature and Environment

Requesting all members to write reviews

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 10, 2005

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Every year thousands of well researched, poignant and informative documentaries are made on environment and nature related issues. Sadly these films are hardly seen by the public at large, since TV channels / theatres do not air them. As part of our efforts to give better visibility to these films we have been publishing synopsis of these films at

http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/mainsite/videos.asp

But the impact of films is best described by the viewers, for whom they are meant. Festival screenings and reviews tend to be more on the film-making aspects and less on content. But many of us, who continue to make environment/wildlife films despite all odds, do so because we believe that a picture speaks a thousand words. With dwindling wildlife species and diminishing forests threatening the basics of life like water and pure air, it is high time we spoke in thousands of words at a time rather than a few words at a time.

Some of you might have seen at least a few of the films listed on our site. This is an appeal to all to write reviews for the films they have seen and upload them at

http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/blog/

under the topic" Film Reviews" As a member of IndianWildlifeClub.com you can upload your views at our weblog unedited by us. However, unrelated reviews/content will be deleted by us. 




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