Climate change and Global Warming

A considered opinion

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 12, 2006

 
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"The fact is that warming of the global atmosphere is possibly the biggest and most difficult economic and political issue the world has ever needed to confront. I say this because, firstly, emissions of carbon dioxide are directly linked to economic growth. Therefore, growth as we know is on the line. We will have to reinvent what we do and how we do it. There will be costs, but as Stern says, the cost will be a fraction of what we will need to spend in the future.

Secondly, the issue is about sharing that growth between nations and between people. The fact is that global economic wealth is highly skewed. Put in climate terms, this means that global emissions are also highly skewed. The question now is whether the world will share the right to emit (or pollute) or will it freeze inequities. The question is if the rich world, which has accumulated a huge 'natural debt' overdrawing on its share of the global commons, will repay it so that the poorer world can grow, using the same ecological space?

Thirdly, climate change is about international cooperation. The fact is that climate change teaches us more than anything else that the world is one; if the rich world pumped in excessive quantities of carbon dioxide yesterday, the emerging rich world will do so today. It also tells us the only way to build controls will be to ensure there is fairness and equity, so that this biggest cooperative enterprise is possible. Think of climate change as the fallout of the feverish embracing of the market.

............................................

Ultimately, climate change is the true globaliser. It forces our world to come together not just to make short-term profits for some, but long-term economic and ecological benefits for all. Let us continue to discuss how this can be done."

 Source:
Sunita Narain

 in

www.downtoearth.org.in/

Wildlife Poaching

India lives in many centuries!

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 10, 2006

 
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The Delhi Wildlife Department rescued seven owls belonging to the species" Indian Horned Owl", in Old Delhi. 


The seizure has brought to light a racket run in the name of black-magic. 

According to wildlife experts, the owls are not captured for their meat but to perform rituals.  The claws of the bird are thought to attract good fortune while feathers are used to ward off evil spirits.  Tantriks cash upon mythology where owl is considered the vehicle of goddess Lakshmi. 

Source: The Indian Express dated 8th Dec, 2006

Any other

Seething Singur

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 10, 2006

 
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The headlines scream of a seething Singur in Calcutta, where Tatamotors are acquiring land to set up an automotive plant. The settlement to the farmers is handsome, yet farmers ask,"What use is cash?"

The echoes of these feelings are heard in a faraway consumeristic land in a different form.  America. 

Americans have increased the conservation of private lands by more than 50 percent in just five years. Currently about 37 million acres of private land has been set aside as natural areas.  Factors contributing to the increase in private lands conservation include towns wanting to preserve their quality of life, state and local open space bond initiatives, and policymakers concerned about sprawl and unchecked development.


Sources: Business Standard, 10 Dec, 2006 and  lta.org/census

Any other

Grameen Bank founder wins Nobel Peace prize

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 07, 2006

 
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The award of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus is a tremendous accomplishment for the founder of Grameen Bank, Bangladesh and for the field of social entrepreneurship.

The media describes Yunus as an economist, professor, or banker, but really why the Nobel Committee selected him is because Yunus is the quintessential global social entrepreneur. His brilliant microcredit strategy is based on unleashing the potential of every person to change his or her life.

Environmental Education

Environmental Impact

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 04, 2006

 
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Training: Understanding and deciphering EIA: from screening to decision-making
New Delhi, January 8-13, 2006

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This hands-on training programme aims at demystifying Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for NGOs. It also seeks to develop the capacity of state-level regulators to screen and scope the EIA process, evaluate reports and conduct public consultations.

The course will expose participants to:
- Technical and new legal aspects of EIA
- Environmental and social impacts of various types of developmental projects
- Hands-on exercises in screening, scoping, data analysis and developing environment management plans
- Tools and thumb rules to evaluate various environmental and social impact parameters
- Techniques to engage in public consultation

Last date for registration: December 15, 2006

Register online >>
http://www.cseindia.org/misc/eia_form.htm

Wild Elephants

Elephant corridors do not respect political borders!

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 30, 2006

 
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Wild Elephants of Nepal have all but vanished.  It is said that the occasional herd is from the forests of Shiwaliks and the TERAI along the Himalyan foothills in U.P.
With rapid changes in landscape and increased human activities, the elephants stopped their seasonal migration around 1994 through the forests of Uttar pradesh, India to the connecting forests of Kanchanpur, Kailali and Bardia Districts of Nepal.
Recently there have been reports of a reverse migration from the Royal Bardia Park and Chitwan Forest in Nepal, bordering Bahraich ( Eastern U.P).   According to a report in the Indian Express dated 26 November, 2006, a herd of 22 elephants crossed over to make Bahraich their home.

The major single cause for elephant population going down is the loss of corridors and the above report is a welcome development for all those who want to see these giants roaming the forest and not chained to human bondage.

Wildlife Poaching

Brazil shows the way!

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 30, 2006

 
Forum Post

Dener Giovanini (Brazil) has designed a citizen-based network to fight the third largest illegal business in the world, animal trafficking. He incorporates Internet communications into a start-to-finish system that saves animals' lives, brings criminals to justice, and provides new employment opportunities to rural traffickers.

Dener Giovanini has created the National Network Combatting Wild Animal Trafficking (A Rede Nacional de Combate ao Tráfico de Animais Silvestres), or RENCTAS, to curb and ultimately stop animal trafficking in Brazil by addressing the problem at all levels and including all relevant actors. Perhaps the most distinctive aspects of Dener's work are the focus on training programs for those low-income individuals who make a living by producing the animals for the phenomenally lucrative trade, and the degree to which he creates partnerships among people who would not ordinarily be in contact with each other. To that end, RENCTAS effectively links individuals and organizations to solve all aspects of the problem together: animal protection groups and veterinarians are linked to government officials who have seized the animals from the traffickers; individuals and organizations who want to report trafficking are linked to the government's environmental agency and the Public Prosecutor's Department.


Dener's comprehensive approach includes: 1) an urgent response and care system for the animals who are seized by government officials; 2) training programs to provide alternative employment to those involved in animal trafficking; 3) a reporting system for those who want to report instances of trafficking; 4) training of police officers and customs agents in how to deal with animals that are seized; 5) efforts to improve and enforce environmental laws to provide greater protection for animals vulnerable to trafficking; and 6) a campaign to educate the public about the damage animal trafficking will cause to the environment, and to raise awareness among consumers in an effort to eliminate the market for trafficked animals.

 Ashoka Fellow Dener Giovanini has built a 60,000 person movement served by a powerful Internet investigative and tracking capacity that has thrown Brazil's $3 billion hugely destructive and unforgiving trade in wild animals (90 percent die en route) onto the defensive.

http://www.ashoka.org/node/3272

General

Ecological security

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 28, 2006

 
Forum Post

Dr. JA McNeely, Chief Scientist, IUCN (World Conservation Union), will be speaking on "Ecological Security:The Foundation of Sustainable Development" at the India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi, on 16 December 2006 at 5 pm.

All those interested are welcome to attend. 
The IUCN is the world's oldest and largest organization devoted to conservation of nature and natural resources and its scientific and technical expertise is valued by the UN agencies and others the world over.
 
Read about endangered/extinct wildlife at
 

Interlinking of Rivers

WATER WARS started in the South of India

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 25, 2006

 
Forum Post

The Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments are at loggerheads over the 100-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala's Idukki district.

Tamil Nadu wants the water level in the dam raised to route more water to five of its southern districts, a demand upheld by the Supreme Court. But Kerala says, the aging dam cannot withstand the pressure and invited a Navy diving team to check the dam's structural integrity. But the decision has angered Tamil Nadu .

Tamil Nadu plans to increase the height of the dam from the present 136 metre to 142. It also wants to raise the height of an associated dam to 152 metre. However, Kerala says that the dam is too old and can't stand any more pressure.

Wildlife

Counting endangered Bengal Tigers

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 23, 2006

 
Forum Post

Scientists of the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered species (La-Cones), Attapur, Hyderabad, have come up with tiger census system using DNA fingerprinting.

DNA is extracted from the samples of faeces of tigers. It is screened with existing tigers'DNA samples to determine whether the sample belongs to the same tiger.

The scientists of la-Cones are the first in the world to conduct tiger census using DNA finger printing. Africa has experimented with thisfor elephant population.

The Pilot project conducted in Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and BRT sanctuary in Tamil Nadu have given 99% accuracy according to officials. The cost for conducting the tiger census in all reserves in the country would be about Rs 1.5 crore.

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