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Contents page
May 15-31, 1992

Cover Story

About 90 per cent of Arunachal Pradesh's revenue is generated by its forests. Yet these very forests are under heavy pressure, thanks to the lucrative and often illegal timber trade thriving under political patronage

Editor's page

PRIME Minister P V Narasimha Rao's government has taken dramatic
steps in less than a year of its existence towards a liberalised
regime for the industrial sector. If the new policies indeed
lead to increased economic activity, there will be greater
pressures operating on the natural environment. Given India's
people, almost every ecological space within the country is being
used by different occupational groups for their survival. There
are no virgin lands left to exploit. Ecological destruction has,

THIS magazine is not the product of a desire to capture a share of the information market. It is the product of a need that we feel within us, of a desire to fill a critical information gap.

In the years ahead, India will have to seize every possible opportunity to grow and develop and at the same time it will have to make a bold effort to hold on to its soil and roots. This task is not going to be easy.

HUMANITY never needed a global social contract
more than it does today. With the nations of the world
jointly facing a global ecological crisis but sharply
divided in economic terms, there never was a greater
need for humanity to live as one. The forthcoming
United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development (UNCED) could have provided us with
precisely such an opportunity.

No citizen on earth wants his or her environment to
be polluted and destroyed. But different economic

News

This column will bring you an update on various groups and
individuals working in fields
related to environment, development and the sciences. This time
some information on
interesting and useful publications and networks

Interview

Akhtar Hameed Khan is one of Asia's foremost social organisers. The Orangi Pilot Proiect, Karachi's outstanding slum development programme, testifies to his innovative approach in empowering...

Science & Technology

Research in atmospheric sciences is booming because of the impending threat to4he world's climate. Every month there is a new study showing new sources of greenhouse gases - rages that are capable of producing global warming - or disputing earlier claims. Since almost all human activity produces greenhouse gases, new data is indicting industries ranging from nylon and aluminium to air travel. Meanwhile, studies by scientists show exaggerated claims being made in the West to blame developing countries. Science and politics are becoming a heady mix in the bid to allocate national responsibilities for global warming

Analysis

About 90 per cent of Arunachal Pradesh's revenue is generated by
its forests. Yet these very forests are under heavy pressure,
thanks to the lucrative and often illegal timber trade thriving
under political patronage

At UNCED the inclustrialised countries do not want any serloys restructuring of their economies or their lifestyles to save the earth. But the Brazil conference will see a major effort to got developing countries to share the burden of change. Desperate for hard cash, the South will most probably go along and the conference will be hailed a success

Special Report

What will happen now to the Tehri dam? Even as engineers and environmentalists await the Prime Minister's verdict on the project, the proposed dam has been hit by yet another tremor - the drying up of Soviet funds

Feature

Scientists are learning that the Indian monsoon is an integral part of the global ecosystem. The knowledge of these 'global teleconnections' is helping them to predict the monsoon.

The Chikkapaclasolagi barrage, on the River Krishna in Karnataka, is said to be the country's first "people's dam". But having built the barrage, the local farmers now face an even bigger challenge

One man has helped transform a barren valley in Jammu into a veritiligle orchard

Perceptions of famines are as important for historians to study as the
famines themselves,
says a British historian. The British created famines in India. But
the vision of starving
people only reinforced their belief in their superiority and right to
rule

Debate

Get eight economists to discuss an issue and you'll get nine opinions. Down to Earth did precisely that. Eight noted economists were invited, along with a scientist-activist, an industrialist, a bureaucrat and two educationists, to analyse the impact that the IMF-directed structural adjustment programmes had on the environment. The ensuing five-hour discussion generated, not surprisingly, some amount of heat and a fair number of opinions!

Down to Earth brings you a considerably edited version of the original typescript.

Leader

PRIME Minister P V Narasimha Rao's government has taken dramatic
steps in less than a year of its existence towards a liberalised
regime for the industrial sector. If the new policies indeed
lead to increased economic activity, there will be greater
pressures operating on the natural environment. Given India's
people, almost every ecological space within the country is being
used by different occupational groups for their survival. There
are no virgin lands left to exploit. Ecological destruction has,

THIS magazine is not the product of a desire to capture a share of the information market. It is the product of a need that we feel within us, of a desire to fill a critical information gap.

In the years ahead, India will have to seize every possible opportunity to grow and develop and at the same time it will have to make a bold effort to hold on to its soil and roots. This task is not going to be easy.

HUMANITY never needed a global social contract
more than it does today. With the nations of the world
jointly facing a global ecological crisis but sharply
divided in economic terms, there never was a greater
need for humanity to live as one. The forthcoming
United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development (UNCED) could have provided us with
precisely such an opportunity.

No citizen on earth wants his or her environment to
be polluted and destroyed. But different economic

Review

State of the World 1992 Lester Brown et al Publisher: Worldwatch Institute Price: $10.95

Gender and Tribe - Women, Land and Forests in Jharkhand Govind Kelkar and Dev Nathan Publisher: Kali for Women Price: Rs 160

A Vision from the South Mercio Games, Chandra Kirana, Somi Songanbele, Rajiv Vora Publisher: International Books of Utrecht Price: Not stated

A look at this year's award-winning documentaries: an educational film on the Silent Valley, a campaign film on the Tehri dam project and a third on a fishing cooperative

Grassroots

One man has helped transform a barren valley in Jammu into a veritiligle orchard

Letters

Bridging the gap

I think it is a very good idea to bring out a fortnightly newsmagazine dealing with science, technology, environment and development. It should go a long way towards creating public opinion in favour of environmental protection.

P N BHAGWATI, Former Chief Justice, New Delhi

A newsmagazine of this kind will be an important contribution to the development process in India and elsewhere. All the best in this exciting endeavour.

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