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Ecology

Our quality of mercy

Issue Date: Sep 15, 2008
Jambudwip is a tiny dot in the Bay of Bengal. A few years ago, it hit headlines when wildlife activists dragged fishermen, who used the landmass to dry their fish, to the Supreme Court. A case was filed regarding 'encroachment' of this island, partly covered by mangroves. The apex court's central empowered committee (cec), which advises it in all forest matters, got into the act. Its report to the court was clear: fish drying was a non-forest activity, so disallowed under the Forest Conservation Act (1980).

Irregularities galore in mining in Bellary

Author(s): Deepa Kozhisseri
Issue Date: Jun 30, 2008
the recently held elections in Karnataka paved the way for several mine owners to the state assembly. Some of them who belong to Bellary district have even got key ministerial berths such as the revenue ministry and the ministry of tourism and infrastructure development.

Witness to opposition

Issue Date: Feb 29, 2008
Every chair of the community hall of the Shree Shantadurga temple in South Goa's Quepem taluka was taken. In a few minutes, the public hearing for Shakti bauxite mines was to begin. Then there arose a whisper: the temple had objected to the hearing being held in their premises; it was being called off. It was the second time the hearing was convened and this time, too, the villagers told us, the 30-day notice rule had been violated.

Orissa government's surreptious move to acquire more land in Niyamgiri

Author(s): Ashutosh Mishra
Issue Date: Feb 15, 2008
the Vedanta controversy has acquired yet another twist, with the Orissa government trying to acquire more land in Kalahandi district's Lanjigarh block, the place where the company's one million tonne capacity alumina refinery is located.

BIG CAT CONUNDRUM

Issue Date: Jun 30, 2005
There are two things that attract people to India -- Taj Mahal and the tigers. Shouldn't we really care for them? -- Belinda Wright, Wildlife Protection Society of India www.hindusthantimes.com, May 4, 2005

Imagining IEDP

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2004
The Union government hired the Indian Institute of Planning and Administration (IIPA), New Delhi, to chalk out an 'indicative plan', a proposal submitted by the government to the World Bank to launch formal negotiations, which the department of economic affairs took up with the Bank in 1994.

Lost in transit

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2004
Nimati Domohini village in the west of Buxa Tiger Reserve, West Bengal, is on a highway where a side road breaks off and leads to the reserve's Nimati range office seven kilometres away. But the village is miles away from realising the dreams dreamt by its 331-member eco-development committee (EDC) set up in 2001. Each committee member was allocated Rs 10,000.

Conserve or pickle?

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2004
Both the Forestry Research Education and Extension Project (FREEP) and its later, larger avatar, the India Eco-development project (IEDP) had a single objective: conserve biodiversity. What also made it a different form of rural development, quite unlike anything government had hitherto done, was the equal emphasis on improving the lives of people in tandem with the forest.

After dosage

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2004
IEDP's larger monitoring mechanism, too, seems to have been primarily meant for the government or Bank consumption. The Bank sent its supervisory missions and its supervisors wrote 'aid memoirs' on whether project sites conformed to project conditions. Their memoirs were not made public, and shared only with the government.

Hold tight

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2004
There exists a document called Linking Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihoods. It is the Indian government's initial salvo for a new eco-development project, expected to begin late 2005. It will cost approximately US $48 million (Rs 220 crore), with beneficiaries putting in US $2 million (Rs 9.20 crore).
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