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Special Report

Trouble in Tripura

Issue Date: Apr 30, 1999
Brata Kumar Reang, a farmer from Gachhimpara village of Dashda block in the extremist-dominated Dhalai district of north Tripura has had to barter his son in exchange for just 10 kg of rice. Unable to feed his family, Reang first sold his cattle and when the situation got worse, he sold his four-year-old son to his neighbour, who was a little better off than him.

Confrontation mine

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1999

Bloody waters

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1999
thirty-year-old Rakesh (not his real name), a resident of Dosigaon village in Ratlam district, Madhya Pradesh ( mp ), is reconciled to the fact that he will never get married. "We have been searching for a suitable match for the past eight years, but our efforts have been in vain," says his father.

Greening a state

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1999
"if you look at the figures of the Van Mahotsav (forest festivals), you will find that millions of trees have been planted. But their survival rate has always been under question," says Prem Kumar Dhumal, chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. He talks in similar vein about the crores of rupees that have been sunk in development schemes so far, without producing any results.

Fishing in Troubled Waters

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1999
the Southern Ocean, comprising the southern-most parts of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans that surround Antarctica, is facing its greatest environmental threat ever. Illegal fishing boats are pushing marine life and seabirds to the brink of extinction. Particularly affected by this 'piracy' are the populations of the Patagonian toothfish ( Dissostichus eleginoides ) and several species of the albatross.

Biodiversity or Biotrade?

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1999
representatives from over 138 countries around the world met at Cartagena, Colombia, in mid-February to end years of discussions on an international legal framework to ensure biosafety in the transboundary movements of genetically engineered organisms ( gmo s).

Ivory trade to resume

Issue Date: Mar 15, 1999
beginning March 1998, 20 metric tonnes of raw ivory will change hands between Zimbabwe and Japan. This is the first time in ten years that the trade will be legal, endorsed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species ( cites ), the international body which implemented a ban on ivory trade in 1989.

Green incentives

Issue Date: Mar 15, 1999
looking for a remedy for economic recession, unemployment, climate change and resource depletion? Try ecotax. That's what the new German coalition government is planning to do. Come April 1, the entire manufacturing sector might have to pay ecotax.

Flood for thought

Issue Date: Mar 15, 1999
this is Baluchistan, in Pakistan's west. Infrequent floods, a hot, desert-like climate and an isolated location: Baluchistan's people have adapted themselves well to these disadvantages. They have used flood water irrigation (also called spate irrigation) to make the best of whatever little water nature sends their way.

Not for hire

Issue Date: Feb 28, 1999
if the recent Supreme Court (sc ) judgements are anything to go by, the judiciary in India is increasingly playing the role of the policymaker. Take the case of air pollution in Delhi. First sc ordered closure or relocation of polluting industrial units operating in the capital in July 1996.
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