Slideshow | Eco-awareness programmes in an “Ecologically Fragile Area”: Kanyakumari District (Western Ghats) – Tamil Nadu

Photos: courtesy Davidson Sargunam © 2015 Tribal Foundation (Nagercoil)

Growing up in the lush estates of Kerala, South India, where my parents worked, I got an early and wide exposure to forest ecology. My parents taught me how to live safely amidst animals and reptiles in the dense forests. When I was growing up, trekking up the forests became a favourite activity of mine. I liked to explore everything about these forests: animals, birds, reptiles and forest vegetations. My guides during these treks used to be the tribal people living there. So from early on I developed an intimacy with them. Thus it was only natural for me to take this profession. I had read about the concerns raised by sociologists and folklorists about the disappearance of traditional tribal cultures and the loss of indigenous knowledge and wisdom in several areas especially their strong environmental ethic. […]

Source: Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Ethics : The Kaani Tribe in India | EcoWalktheTalk
Date Visited: Thu Mar 26 2015 00:34:00 GMT+0100 (CET)

“Environmentalists as well as lovers of nature here have urged the Government to take immediate step to protect Travancore tortoise before its extinction from the Western Ghats of the district.” P.S. Suresh Kumar, The Hindu, Nagercoil | Learn more >>

Ecologically sensitive areas
[…] The concept of ecologically sensitive areas is very much an Indian invention, rooted in attempts by civil society to use the EPA to promote sustainable development alongside protection of the natural heritage. The term ‘Ecologically Fragile Area’ was first used in 1991 for Dahanu Taluka in Maharashtra, followed by the declaration of other ESAs like Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani and Matheran. These are all initiatives of civil society organisations or are a consequence of a resolution of the Indian Board for Wildlife in 2002 to protect areas up to 10 kilometres from the boundaries of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.
Initially, there were no guidelines available on what areas may be considered ecologically sensitive, nor on working out an appropriate management regime. These issues were addressed in 2000 by the Pronab Sen Committee. The Sen Committee’s foremost criterion for identification of ESA is endemism. Western Ghats harbours well over two thousand endemic species of flowering plants, fish, frogs, birds and mammals amongst the better known groups of organisms, and thousands more amongst less studied groups. Amongst themselves these span the entire Western Ghats and all conceivable habitats, including highly disturbed ones. […]
Given that the national goal is to maintain 66 per cent of area under forest cover in all hill tracts and that the Western Ghats is a region of special significance, we considered it appropriate to aim at 75 per cent being treated as areas of high or highest significance. […]
(Madhav Gadgil, a former Professor of Ecology at the Indian Institute of Science is Member, National Advisory Council; Ligia Noronha is Director, Resources, Regulation and Global Security, The Energy and Resources Institute. They were members of WGEEP.)

Source: To know, is to protect – The Hindu
Date Visited: Thu Mar 26 2015 00:02:18 GMT+0100 (CET)

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For inquiries on environmental exposure programs, please contact
Davidson Sargunam
Environmental Educationist
M: 09994138550

Tribal Foundation
23, Cave Street, Duthie School Road
Nagercoil – 629 001
Tamil Nadu
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