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The riceroot vectors

The Green Revolution has greatly contributed to the spread of Japanese encephalitis. Professor T Jacob John, professor of eminence at Christian Medical College, Vellore, in tracing its detection in several parts of India since 1954, shows the link between paddy cultivation and Japanese encephalitis. "The prevalence of these diseases is determined by the population densities of their vectors, which in turn is determined by environmental factors," says John.

Carry on doctor

A participant at the conference narrated the story of two doctors who were walking by a river. They saw a man floating down the river. One of them rushed in, dragged him out, and immediately gave him first aid. As he had finished doing so, along came another man floating. He


Issue Date: Sep 30, 1998
Scientists worldwide now accept that along with industrialisation and urbanisation, there has been a steady destruction of nature. Cities and industries have both affected clean air and clean water.


Issue Date: Sep 30, 1998
What does environmental deterioration lead to? It leads to changes in the planet's life support systems. When these systems become weak, their ability to support life deteriorates. Consequently, the health of individuals living in that ecosphere is bound to be affected. Some species profit by these changes and others lose out in the struggle for survival.


Issue Date: Sep 30, 1998
Our bodies exist in the environment and we carry a soup of chemicals within us and we cannot stay insulated from the changes taking place in the environment. If the environment degrades, so does the state of our health. The key to good health is therefore in many ways a good environment If we pollute the environment our bodies arc polluted in turn. Therefore, it is vital to manage the environment in a manner that it does not become a health problem.

Anna Hazare behind bars

Author(s): Manish Tewari
Issue Date: Sep 30, 1998
YERWADA central jail in Pune has witnessed a sudden upsurge of" visitors. Jail employees are not surprised. They know the reason. Noted social worker Ramon Magsaysay awardee Anna Hazare is lodged here. Hazare was sentenced by a Mumbai metropolitan court on September 10 to three months simple imprisonment in connection with a defamation suit filed by Maharashtra social welfare minister Babanrao Gholap.

Turtles, shrimp and a ban

Author(s): Anil Agarwal
Issue Date: Jun 15, 1998
India, Pakistan, Thailand and Malaysia have won the shrimp-turtle case in the World Trade Organisation (wto) against the us government. The us had imposed a unilateral ban on the import of shrimp caught in a way that killed endangered turtles. The us government had taken the action under its own national Endangered Species Act. A wto dispute panel has judged that such a ban goes against the principles of free trade.

Managing freshwater resources

Issue Date: May 31, 1998
Do industry and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) make strange bedfellows? Not anymore, apparently. In what could be a trend-setting partnership, UNEP and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have come out with a report titled "Industry, Freshwater and Sustainable Development". Dubbed the "wake up call to business and to the other sectors of society", the report documents how many companies manage freshwater resources more sustainably.

A parched waterworld

Issue Date: May 31, 1998
The doomsday predictions of wars being fought over water indicate the world's precarious position with regard to water. Though 70 per cent of the planet is covered by water, only 2.5 per cent of water is freshwater. Of this, nearly 70 per cent is frozen in the ice caps of Antarctica and Greenland. The rest is present as soil moisture and in deep underground aquifers. As a result, only a minuscule 0.007 per cent of water on the planet is readily available for human consumption.

Water in foreign policy

Issue Date: May 31, 1998
The gravity of the problem of freshwater scarcity on a global scale was recognised as far back as 1977, when the un Water Conference took place at Mar del Plata, Argentina. The action plan drawn up at Mar del Plata is considered by many as "an excellent road map", much of which is valid two decades down the road.
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