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Bare Truth: Why We Need to Save Our Sloth Bears | Roundglass Sustain

This nocturnal bear, with powerful claws, is one of the most feared animals of the Indian jungle and yet its survival is threatened It’s evening time, don’t go towards that hill, the bear will maul you” ( Bhaiya shaam ho gayi, us pahadi par mat jaiyega, bhaluwa pakad leg ), two passers-by returning with heavy loads of fuelwood on their shoulders warned me. I was surprised and curious and wanted to ask more questions, but they were in a hurry. It was the first time I’d heard of the presence of bears in the forests of Mirzapur. It was 2010 and I was pursuing my master's from Banaras Hindu University’s south campus located in the forested landscapes of Mirzapur. Surprisingly, when I discussed the incident with faculty members, no one had a clue, and instead, students were asked not to venture out into forests without a teacher’s permission. However, that didn’t affect me much and I was ever more curious to know more about the bears. My research led me to learn about the sloth bear and
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The Man who Saved a Forest | Sacred Groves

When as a student, Debadityo Sinha saw the forest he loved threatened by the proposed construction of a mega thermal power project, he used an evidence-based advocacy approach to stop the rich private corporation in its tracks! T hink about it. Though 25 per cent of India’s landmass is under forest cover, only five percent is protected for wildlife conservation! I realised this while I was in Banaras Hindu University’s South Campus in 2009, pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Science. Our campus was surrounded by the rich wilderness areas of Mirzapur that fell, as most of India’s lesser-known wildlife areas do, under the category of ‘Reserve Forest’ – owned and managed by the state government. As students, we spent all our free time exploring these forests which seemed to us no less than a..... Read More on Sacred Groves 

क्यों बिगड़ रहा है मौसम का मिज़ाज? (कवर स्टोरी) दैनिक भास्कर

इक्कीसवीं सदी के दूसरे दशक का अंतिम साल यानी 2020 वैश्विक महामारी के लिए जाना जाएगा, लेकिन कम लोगों को ही जानकारी होगी कि यह पृथ्वी के इतिहास में सबसे गरम दशक (2010-2020) की समाप्ति के रूप में भी याद रखा जाएगा। और अब तो नासा की ताजा रिपोर्ट के अनुसार 2020 इतिहास के सबसे गर्म साल के रूप में भी दर्ज हो गया है। यह जलवायु परिवर्तन का सीधा नतीजा है जो ‘चरम मौसमी घटनाओं’ की संख्या में बढ़ोतरी के रूप में भी सामने आ रहा है। सरल भाषा में कहें तो साधारण तूफान अब चक्रवात का रूप धारण कर रहे हैं, सूखा व बाढ़ जैसी घटनाएं अब बार-बार व अधिक विकराल रूप लेती जा रही हैं और शीतलहर व भीषण गर्मी वाले मौसम अब पहले से कहीं ज्यादा और अनियमित होते जा रहे हैं। इस साल कश्मीर में रिकॉर्ड बर्फबारी, पंजाब-दिल्ली में कड़ाकेदार सर्दी और उसके विपरीत मप्र, महाराष्ट्र, गुजरात का ठंड के लिए तरस जाना इसी के उदाहरण माने जा सकते हैं। क्या है चरम मौसम? वर्ल्ड मीटियोरॉलोजिकल ऑर्गनाइजेशन के अनुसार चरम मौसम (एक्स्ट्रीम वेदर) उसे कहते हैं, जिसमें कोई मौसम जैसे ठंड या गर्मी अथवा बारिश अपने अतीत के रिकॉर्ड्स को तोड़ देता है या जिस क्षे

Covid proved that India needs a dedicated Wildlife Protection Authority | The Print

Studies show that 72 per cent of zoonotic diseases like Covid originate in wildlife, which is why it’s crucial to conserve natural habitats. T he conservation of wildlife in its habitat has assumed greater importance because of Covid-19, as studies indicate that   60 per cent of Emerging Infectious Diseases   — such as HIV, Ebola, SARS, Covid-19 — affecting humans are zoonotic. Approximately 72 per cent of these originate in wildlife. Wildlife habitats, which include Protected Areas and other categories of landscapes rich in wilderness, are also important life-supporting systems that play a critical role in ensuring food and water security, climate change resilience, and natural hazard regulation, among several other   ecological, economical and cultural services . Read the article on 'The Print '

The Success Story of Kaziranga’s Tigers – Unpacking the Dichotomy

Kaziranga National Park which is known for the single largest population of One-Horned Rhinoceros is also home to the single largest population of tigers in North-East India.  The  tiger census of 2018  showed the total number of tigers in the entire north eastern region of India as 219, which included 190 tigers in Assam, followed by 29 in Arunachal Pradesh. Even as all other states in its vicinity including West Bengal, Mizoram and Nagaland recorded decreasing numbers to nil in tiger censuses over the years, Assam outshone them each time.The state had just 70 tigers in 2006, and has thus recorded over 250% growth.  This might look like a great conservation success story – which indeed it is – but it might be too early to celebrate the results. The Project Tiger report which recorded an increase in tiger numbers has also warned that the tiger population in the entire North East Hills  remain critically vulnerable and needs immediate conservation attention .  This piece del

Decoding the Economics of Ganga Waterway (National Waterways-1) | SANDRP

The Government of India has undertaken the ambitious project of plying cargo ships from Haldia to Prayagraj on the river Ganga, also known as National Waterways-1 (NW-1). The justification for promoting waterways on such a massive scale as stated in National Waterways Bill, 2015  when introduced  is as follows: …inland water transport is recognised as fuel efficient, cost effective and environment friendly mode of transport, especially for bulk goods, hazardous goods and over dimensional cargos. It also reduces time, cost of transportation of goods and cargos, as well as congestion and accidents on highways. As per the Government of India’s  Press Release   dated 21 July 2016, the cost of transportation of goods by rail was estimated at about Rs. 1.36 per ton kilometre, by waterways at Rs. 1.06 per ton kilometres and by road at Rs. 2.50 per ton kilometre. At first glance, the waterway appears to be far more economical.

Odd-Even Scheme Looks Like a Farce When Every Other Policy Is Encouraging Cars | CNN News 18

In past eight years, number of cars in Delhi has gone up by 73%, while number of buses has fallen by 17%. Worse, Delhi Metro expansion is delayed and fares have been hiked drastically. Air pollution is a matter of public debate today and everyone seems to have his or her own magical solution. Despite several committees and authorities working to address the problem, every year it’s getting worse. Even the courts have been proactive in taking cognizance of the severity of the problem — several directions have been given by the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court. Measures like Odd-Even scheme for vehicles have been criticised for not being effective enough by environmentalist as well as the NGT. The ban on diesel vehicles older than 10 years also met a firm resistance from the government recently, which the Tribunal refused to lift. Measures such as immediate ban on construction activities, restrictions on entry of heavy vehicles in Delhi etc, are