Bio-Diversity

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 02, 2008

 
Forum Post

"Such is the lack of information about the biodiversity of Arunachal Pradesh that the Arunachal Macaque (Macaca munzala) - a species of monkey already known to the native people of Arunachal (especially to the Monpas of Tawang and the tribes of the West Kameng District) as Munzala or the “monkey of the deep forest”, remained unknown to scientists and biologists till it was “discovered” in 2004. The so called “discovery” was waiting to happen and it was after more than a hundred years that a new species of macaque was discovered (the last recent discovery being the Indonesian Pagai Island Macaque in 1903)."

 

Indian Wild Life Club 

Arunachal Macaque in Tawang (Photo:Govind Singh)

 

Source: http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/ezine/index.asp?m=5&y=2008

Bio-Diversity

Man and the Biosphere

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 15, 2008

 
Forum Post

Man and the Biosphere

According to a recent declaration adopted by UNESCO’s ‘Third World Congress of Biosphere Reserves’, it underscores potential for action of biosphere reserves to address new challenges such as the loss of traditional knowledge and cultural diversity, demography, loss of arable land and climate change.

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It also urges the development of cooperation between the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme and UNESCO’s other intergovernmental scientific programmes.

Meanwhile, in the meeting, the members also adopted the Madrid Action Plan, mapping out the MAB programme’s strategy for 2008-2013.

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The Action Plan called for concrete activities, which include facilitating integration of urban areas of the reserves, organising training related to the different ecosystems, establishing pilot reserves in order to evaluate their economic contribution at local level, involving the private sector and promoting the biosphere reserve brand for products.

Source:  http://www.igovernment.in/site/biosphere-reserves-can-mitigate-climate-change-un/

 

Bio-Diversity

Gene tweaked but is this brinjal safe to eat?

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 01, 2008

 
Forum Post

Gene tweaked but is this brinjal safe to eat?

Bio-Diversity

Rainforest -A Christmas Song

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 27, 2007

 
Forum Post
Watch a poignant short clip on "Silent Night", the most popular Christmas Song of all times, at the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQFWEc7I_jk

Bio-Diversity

Bio diversity and oceans

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 06, 2007

 
Forum Post


“Seventy percent of the world is ocean and eighty percent of global biodiversity is in it. We need to take care of the ocean. No matter where we are, we depend on it.”
–Wallace J. Nichols

 
Wallace J. Nichols does much of his turtle research in Baja California, Mexico.

For at least 150 million years, sea turtles have roamed the Earth’s oceans. This makes them at least 858 times older than the first Homo sapiens. Survivors of the mass extinction that wiped dinosaurs out, enduring lengthy travels along the sea and fighting heavy predation that results in survival statistics of about one in a thousand, they have managed to stay around. That is, until now. Out of the seven species of marine turtles in the world, six feature as endangered or critically endangered in the Red List of Threatened Species, a list compiled by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) and updated every year with the best available scientific information. Humans bear direct responsibility.

Source: http://www.emagazine.com/view/?3987

 

Bio-Diversity

National Parks

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 18, 2007

 
Forum Post

National Parks

National Parks around the world need to get more media space than they get today. These Parks hold the key to the future of mankind- with rare species of animals, birds, plants and aquatic life waiting to be explored.

India has 85 National Parks and 450 wildlife sanctuaries.

Bio-Diversity

North East of India

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 30, 2007

 
Forum Post

Three out of 34 biodiversity hotspots identified globally -Himalayas, Indo-Burma and Western Ghats cover parts of India.  The Northeast of India is traversed by the first two.  Northeast also houses 21% of Important bird Areas identified nationally.

In recent years biologists have discovered new species of mammals and smaller life forms in this region which is waiting to be fully explored yet.

The region has also been identified as India’s future "powerhouse" and 168 large hydroelectric projects totalling 63,328 MW are planned.  The Envronment Impact Assessments done hurriedly and casually ignores the rich wildlife of the area.

Areas known to be having 300 bird species have been dismissed with five species;  A river with 135 recorded species finds mention with just 55 species.

The EIA report for the Teesta III project in Sikkim does not have a single mention of the Khanjhenjunga National Park or the biosphere Reserve after a year-long study, even though the project is within a kilometer of the former and is within the latter!

Source:  http://www.indianexpress.com/story/230261.html

Bio-Diversity

An Un"bear"able future

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 20, 2007

 
Forum Post

"So as the trees are felled and land cleared of its carbon-stripping units, the earth simmers and mourns the growing loss of creatures that have survived ice ages but not the fatal pincer of man’s insatiable hunger for land, lumber and lips-smacking mammalian delicacies. As ecologist Richard Corlett noted, many long-studied forests in Southeast Asia have nothing left but deer and boar, and some not at all. And as the elephants, rhinos, orang-utans, gibbons, tapirs and bears vanish, they take with them the future generations of trees that once relied on these beasts to disperse their seeds and carve new clearings in the jungle where saplings might sprout. "

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"Unfortunately, the sun bear’s preferred haunts are also where fine furniture lovers obtain their raw materials, such as Bornean ironwood, a tree so densely built that it sinks and takes nearly a thousand years to reach a harvestable size. With the additional impetus of biofuels that now drives a crazed and counterproductive frenzy to cover the region with ’climate friendly’ oil palms, the sun bear and its homelands, face a future that is bleak at best and at worst incapable of sustaining advanced life. "

Source: http://www.wildasia.net/main.cfm?parentID=2&page=article&articleID=359

Bio-Diversity

Komodo Dragon Indonesia

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 01, 2007

 
Forum Post

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

http://support.nature.org/site/PageServer?pagename=progress_20070902_mbr&autologin=true

Bio-Diversity

Three basic laws of ecology

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 06, 2007

 
Forum Post

No species can survive on this planet without respecting the three basic laws of ecology.

 (1) The law of biodiversity—that the strength of an eco-system is dependent upon the diversity of species within it.

(2) The law of interdependence—that these species must be interdependent to support a strong eco-system and

(3) the law of finite resources—that there is a limit to growth. Growing human numbers utilized vast amounts of resources and steal carrying capacity from other species resulting in the collapse of diversity.

The greatest fear is not something in the future but something happening now. We are in the midst of a mass extinction event and thus in danger of radically altering the entire biosphere.

Captain Paul Watson, Founder and President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, USA in http://www.emagazine.com

 

 

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