Press on Environment and Wildlife
Court renews production warrant against Sansar Chand (March Week 1 (2006)) The Tribune writes that the Delhi court has re-issued the production warrant against dreaded poacher and smuggler Sansar Chand, presently lodged in a Rajasthan jail, for initiating trial in six cases pending against him in the Capital.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjiv Jain has ordered that the accused, charged under the stringent MCOCA, be produced before him on March 10 in the cases registered by the Delhi police and later transferred to the CBI.
The poacher was earlier produced before a Special court for the first time in the capital on February 16.
The accused is presently lodged in jail in Manak Chowk in Rajasthan where he, along with his son, wife and two others are facing trial in a poaching case.
CBI told the court that they wanted to first begin trial in the case filed by the Kamla Market police and later entrusted to it, in which 41 leopard skins were seized and other wildlife articles recovered. There are five other cases against him in the capital.
The CBI had in December 23 filed a chargesheet against Sansar Chand, also known as Veerapan of North India, and his four associates under MCOCA, an Act which has been used for the first time in wildlife cases, for alleged poaching of tigers from Sariska wildlife sanctury.
The agency says it has succeeded in “unravelling Chand’s organised crime syndicate” and “established the entire chain of events from inception stage of wildlife products to its final circulation in the market” and also got information about his various accomplices.
There are around 57 cases under the Wildlife Act registered against him and his family members in Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
India and U.S for a clean climate (March Week 1 (2006)) The Pioneer reported on the Asia Pacific partnership for clean energy, an issue in the limelight during the visit of President Bush of the U.S.
Answering India's concerns over energy security alongside global apprehension over rising carbon dioxide emission from burning fossil fuel, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George Bush have welcomed Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.
The Partnership was inked last year to look at clean energy production. The centrepiece of the partnership is developing clean coal technology and giving a thrust of technology transfer for renewable sources of energy. China, Japan, Australia, South Korea are the other partners in the new climate and energy deal.
The Partnership will enable the two countries to work with other nations to meet increasing energy needs of the region. It will collaborate, largely in the private sector, transfer of cleaner, cost effective technologies and practices, a joint statement issued after talks between the two leaders said.
The statement also welcomed India's interest in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Programme, an international marine research endeavour that will contribute to long-term energy solutions such as gas hydrates.
Led by Japan and the US, the programme aims to study, inter-alia, the unknown deep biosphere by studying core samples and monitoring boreholes, an important first step toward harnessing gas hydrates as a source of energy.
The National Gas Hydrate Programme has identified specific areas in Indian deep-sea waters for conducting further geo-scientific surveys. Commercial exploitation of gas hydrates is expected to start sometime in the period of 2015-2020.
The two countries also agreed to step up cooperation in fighting against wildlife trafficking and work together on conservation of wildlife through cooperation on park management and eco-tourism.
The joint statement noted that India had joined the global Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT) through which the two countries will collaborate in the fight against illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife parts.
The two countries also decided to use the opportunity to strengthen long-standing work together on the conservation of wildlife through cooperation on park management and eco-tourism. The coalition focuses on political and public attention on growing threats to wildlife from poaching and illegal trade.

Seven major US-based environmental and business groups with global interests and programmes have joined the coalition.
India to join Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (March Week 1 (2006))
The Hindu reported that India has decided to join the US Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT) for cooperation in wildlife conservation.
Announced by the United States on September 23, 2005, the coalition focuses on political and public attention on growing threats to wildlife from poaching and illegal trade.
Discussions between the officials of the two countries here on Thursday focussed on exchanges of National Parks and Customs officials, educating public about this illegal trade, wildlife and national park management, sharing of best practices and eco-tourism. A clearer and scientific understanding of the reasons of human-animal conflict, habitat degradation and animal behaviour is also required to be manage as well as drafting of local people to promote eco-tourism, a joint statement issued here said.
Seven major US-based environmental and business groups with global interests and programmes have joined the coalition. These are Conservation International, Save the Tiger Fund, Smithsonian Institution, Traffic International, WildAid, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the American Forest and Paper Association. The membership of the Coalition is open to Governments, non-government organisations and corporations committed to combating wildlife trafficking.
India and the United States have been collaborating in the area of wildlife conservation. The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWLS) and the Wildlife Institute of India have had collaborative projects since 1989. The USFLS has also supported projects with Bombay Natural History Society and other organisations for implementation in various States to train specialists of international repute in wildlife management and conservation. The two countries have been exploring new areas of possible cooperation, the joint statement said.
Wildlife trafficking is a global problem with trading in animals, animal parts and exotic species fuelling a $10 billion trade. The problem is compounded because of a global nexus with criminals operating in drugs and weapons and needs to be tackled by a multilateral efforts.
In order to address the problem, both the supply and the demand side issues need to be addresses simultaneously. Whereas the United States, China, and Europe are the major markets, a lot of wild animals and illegal wildlife parts/products are sourced from Asian countries.
The statement said the CAWT is focussing its initial efforts on Asia, a major source of illegal wildlife and wildlife parts to the world, including North America, Europe as well as the US.
The coalition aims to support the initiatives of the countries in the region, including the Regional Action Plan on Trade in Wild Flora and Fauna, an ASEAN initiative.
Top Officials Summoned to explain Yamuna's Pollution (March Week 1 (2006)) Peeved at the authorities’ failure to check pollution of river Yamuna, the Delhi High Court summoned the Delhi Chief Secretary, Commissioner MCD and the CEO of the Delhi Jal Board to appear before the court.
A Division Bench of Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Rekha Sharma asked the three top officials to personally appear in the court on March 1 and explain their stands.
The Bench sought the presence of the three top brass after the Delhi Government and the MCD failed to furnish any affidavit on the measures being taken to prevent discharge of sewage into the river and other water bodies, reports The Tribune.

The direction came in connection with a public interest litigation in which the petitioner alleged that the river had become highly polluted as the authorities were releasing untreated sewage and rain water into the river.
Earlier, the DJB had filed an affidavit and sought to shift the responsibility of keeping the river clean on the MCD. The DJB maintained that the upkeep and conception of sewer lines was the responsibility of the MCD.
The Board also submitted that it was formulating a techno-economic feasibility report for construction of effluent treatment plants in and around the river...
The Yamuna enters Delhi at the Wazirabad Barrage, the point at which water is drawn for Delhi's needs and the water that flows through the city consists mainly of sewage discharged from 17 drains.
The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have stated in their reports that the 22-kilometres of the Yamuna running through Delhi is its most polluted stretch.
Delhi, specifically, has 17 STPs meant for treating domestic sewage, of which two have been funded by Yamuna Action Plan and 10 Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) for industrial waste, reports The Times of India.
Build eco-friendly, save housing tax (March Week 1 (2006)) MUMBAIITES could soon be applying for tax rebates if they turn their houses or buildings eco-friendly.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to promote ‘eco-housing’, the way it was done in Pune. While it won’t be mandatory for new constructions or existing buildings to follow these norms, the BMC expects Mumbai will like the idea.
‘‘Making it mandatory will mean building by-laws will have to be amended,’’ said Manu Kumar Srivastava, additional municipal commissioner. The proposal was passed in the civic Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday.

The scheme’s technical criteria will be put in place by the United States Agency for International Development, the International Institute of Energy Conservation and Science and Technology Park, which helped Pune develop and implement the scheme.
‘‘The next 10 years will see massive development and our infrastructure needs to be upgraded,’’ said Srivastava. ‘‘Every square metre of building in the city today means a cost of Rs 800 cost for the corporation.’’
Many members of the standing committee don’t share his enthusiasm, though. ‘‘For this to work, you need to change the mindset of people,’’ said Samajwadi Party corporator Mohsin Hyder.
Others said Pune’s needs were different and that the scheme was not likely to be a success in Mumbai. ‘‘The points mentioned are different from those used for Pune,’’ said leader of the BJP in the BMC Parag Alavani.
Guidelines
Site planning and environmental architecture
Use of efficient building materials
Energy-efficient lighting
Use of solar water heaters
Water conservation
Segregation of waste
Close vigil being maintained on migratory birds at four sanctuaries (March Week 1 (2006)) The Hindu reported that a close vigil is being maintained on migratory birds that visit the four bird sanctuaries in composite Thanjavur and Perambalur districts as a precautionary measure, in the wake of reports of avian flu in Maharashtra.
The sanctuaries are Point Calimere near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district, Vaduvur and Udhayamarthandapuram in Tiruvarur district and Karavetti in Perambalur district.
"Point Calimere records the largest congregation of flamingos, next only to Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. Since the season has come to an end, most of the birds have left," Mr. Baruah , Wildlife Warden, said.
Susceptible species
Of the migratory birds, avian flu had struck only two species — brown-headed gull and bar-headed goose — in other countries. Only a very few brown-headed gulls were found at Point Calimere while 265 bar-headed geese were found at Karavetti. Movement of bar-headed geese was being closely monitored for any symptoms of the disease, he said.
Ever since bird flu was noticed in India, all precautionary measures had been taken in the four bird sanctuaries. "We have bought protective gear such as face masks, hand gloves and polythene bags, and they are kept ready at the sanctuaries."
Point Calimere records the visit of about 5,000 flamingos every year. Other birds that visit the sanctuary are painted storks, spoonbills, variety of gulls, pintail ducks etc. Karavetti receives a large number of bar-headed goose, pelicans, ibis, spoonbills and a variety of water birds.
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