October 01, 2007
Komodo National Park Indonesia - some lessons for India
Komodo, is famous for its Komodo Dragons, but its underwater environments are virtually unrivaled in biodiversity. Blast fishing was common throughout the region and responsible for decimating the underwater ecosystems. The tourist infrastructure in disrepair,
the locals with few economic opportunities, very little constructive engagement with the government, all these are problems we in India identify with.
Nature Conservancy partnered with the Indonesian government to revamp all aspects of the park. The strategy the Conservancy is
1. No-take zones for fishing -- These are enforced by floating ranger stations, in order to allow the reefs to regenerate and allow for sustainable fish populations.
2. A system of concession fees for tourist operators -- These were established in order to help fund park maintenance and provide local communities with an additional revenue stream
3. Increase ecotourism and opportunities for alternative livelihoods - using aquaculture and fishing outside of the protected areas.
"Just as important, if we want to limit direct access to biological resources for local populations, we need to provide the people with alternative forms of economic development. This is not only fair, but the only strategy that has the potential to permanently
align their interests in the direction of long-term conservation"
says an article in nature.org at the following link
September 28, 2007
"India still offers the best hope for the tigers’ future because it has the most
tigers and a conservation infrastructure. In 1973, the Indian government
initiated Project Tiger, designating protected areas and wildlife corridors.
This led to a dramatic recovery -- their numbers nearly tripled by the 1990s.
But that commitment faltered, and the population collapsed again. "....
"Most important, the communities abutting tiger habitat, some of which are among
the poorest in India, must have a stake in protecting tigers. The residents need
to gain from conservation efforts and eco-tourism: There are very few places in
the world where tourists can see wild tigers. Poachers could be given rewards
for tracking and photographing the animals for monitoring. They might be given
new avenues for livelihood: In the forest reserves of Periyar in India’s
southern state of Kerala, for example, former poachers now work as tourist
From the Los Angeles Times
Stop tigers from going extinct
Unless drastic action is taken now, the lord of the jungle will go extinct this
By Vinod Thomas
September 27, 2007
read the full article at the link
September 26, 2007
"Preserving tiger populations in India’s parks has been derailed by a ballooning human population and the lack of a clear management policy. Tigers are ecological stars for tourists and a rising Indian middle class. Others view the animals as a recreational
asset in the history of Indian sport. As late as the early 20th century, hunters shot tigers from the backs of elephants in elaborate safaris called “shikars.”
"In two years, India has lost thousands of square miles of forest, of which 14 are potential tiger habitat. And a number of parks are islands where the risk of inbreeding may lead to extinction. Management policies—dictated by the revenue that attends frequent
big cat sightings—have shortchanged the animals’ best interests.
Tigers in India’s parks are becoming mere products, as they’re seen by poachers and buyers of skins and other body parts."
Read the full article at
September 26, 2007
Talk on ‘Asian elephant in captivity:Past, Present and Future’
The Wildlife Trust of India takes great pleasure in inviting you to a talk
on the ‘Asian elephant in captivity: Past, Present and Future’ on October
2, 2007, by one of the pioneers of studies on the Asian elephant, Dr. Fred
Dr. Kurt, member of the Asian Elephant Specialist Group of IUCN, has been
a lecturer of Population Ecology and Conservation Biology at the
University and the Pedagogic High School of Zurich, Switzerland, and at
the University of Veterinary Science, Vienna, Austria. He has carried out
field studies on elephants and other large mammals in Ethiopia, India,
Indonesia, Morocco, Myanmar, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Switzerland. Since
retirement, he has been involved in the First European Elephant Management
School at the Hagenbecks Tierpark in Hamburg and the European Elephant
Group. He is the joint author of the book “The Asian Elephant in
Captivity” by the Cambridge University Press, India in 2007.
Dr. Kurt’s talk will consist of a power point presentation and two short
films. Details of the talk are given below:
Date: October 2, 2007
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Venue: Casurina Hall, India Habitat Center, New Delhi
For details please contact Kadambari Mainkar at
September 26, 2007
The River Yamuna has been deteriorating continuously on a gradual basis. With Commonwelth Games Village (CGV) taking shape, Global Village coming up right next to the DND and others, looks like the time has now come and become critical to give
(or force) the authorities into doing something concrete about protecting the river.
Mr Anand Arya, an avid bird watcher, has formulated a concept to
1. Declare the 22kms (plus 5kms up and down as buffer zone of Yamuna in Delhi as a Protected Area and Bird Park
2.Fence the area which is not under any encroachments as yet, remove the encroachments.
3.Give the area to a body like CMEDE of Delhi University who can convert this area also like Yamuna Bio Diversity-Park or create an independent body run by a CEO on no profit-no loss basis.
4. Back it up with River Zone Regulations (to be framed for the Country and not just Yamuna), monitoring by dissemination of information to public for its scrutiny.
With Hon’ble High Court of Delhi having passed an order in end 2005 that all
encroachments - any time - have to be removed upto 300 metre from Yamuna, time is now ripe for us to push for the implementation of the
concept and implementation of the Court Order.
The above concept has been presented in the form of a letter to the Secretary MoEF. The letter is available online at the following link.
Please put your signature to it if you believe that the concept is worth supporting.
September 24, 2007
A sixty year old uneducated woman at the helm of e-governance in an Ajmer Panchayat?
The "Manthan "award for e- content given to Noorani Bai brought to the digital world this unsung heroine of Ajmer. Noorani keeps records of the Panchayat Raj in her village, helps keep tables of data and even taps out reports on projects. Both in English
and Hindi. For a woman who never went to school, Noorani’s education has leapfrogged into the digtal world.
Source: The Indian Express dated 25 Sep 2007.
September 23, 2007
Linking of Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery could be taken up
Linking of Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery could be taken up immediately, The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi told "The Hindu".
Apart from being a water scarce state, Tamil Nadu suffered from acute ground water deficiency.
The National Water Development Agency had already completed a study of the peninsular component of interlinking rivers of India. Since the study had concluded that it was technically possible and economically viable to transfer water from surplus river
basins to deficient ones, it was time that the next step was taken towards interlinking, the CM said.
The Chief Minister wanted the project of interlinking peninsular rivers included and funded as part of the agriculture strategy for the 11th plan.
September 22, 2007
The two- day statewide (Gujarat) census on vultures, carried out in May 2007 through direct sighting system, has come up with some alarming findings. According to forest officials, in some segments like Junagadh, Banaskanda and Kutch districts, the vulture
population has come down to half of the previous census figure of 2002, while some species have disappeared altogether.
September 21, 2007
Plastic or Paper? Neither
A landmark 1990 study by the research firm Franklin Associates—which factored in every step of the manufacturing, distribution and disposal stages of a grocery bag’s usable life- employed two critical measures in reaching their conclusion.
The first was the total energy consumed by a grocery bag. This included both the energy needed to manufacture it, called process energy, and the energy embodied within the physical materials used, called feedstock energy. The second measure used was the
amount of pollutants and waste produced. The Franklin report concluded that two plastic bags consume 13 percent less total energy than one paper bag.
Additionally, the report found that two plastic bags produce a quarter of the solid waste, a fifteenth as much waterborne waste and half the atmospheric waste as one paper bag. Plastic is not biodegradable, it litters our waterways and coastal areas, and
has been shown to choke the life out of unsuspecting wildlife.
A recent survey by the United Nations found that plastic in the world’s oceans is killing more than a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles each and every year. According to the California Coastal Commission, plastic bags are one of
the 12 most commonly found items in coastal cleanups. Paper bags do not cause such after-the-fact problems, and are inherently easier to recycle.
Energy and waste issues aside, the manufacture of paper bags brings down some 14 million trees yearly to meet U.S. demand alone, while at the same time plastic bags use up some 12 million barrels of oil each year.
Consumers must “just say no” to both options and instead bring their own re-usable canvas bags, backpacks, crates or boxes to take away groceries. Another benefit of bringing your own, of course, is setting a good example so that other shoppers might do
September 20, 2007
"In an age when nothing seems to move unless backed by the five-letter word “Money”, it is indeed surprising to find someone who creates a documentary woven around his own music to raise awareness about the state of India’s environment, more so when he urges
people to make copies of his film and share it with others without any commercial aspect involved.
Chinmaya Dunster’s film is not a typical documentary – it is more a compilation of footages from a series of multimedia concerts recorded live at the Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environmental Education and Awareness (BVIEER) in Pune in 2004 that is juxtaposed
with poetry readings, interviews with environmentalists and educators and footage of scenery, wildlife and peoples from all over India, all in an effort to make people think."
Read the full article at
See Dunsters films uploaded on youtube by visiting