India may be the only large country with huge scientific capability to lack a serious programme to monitor the state of its ecosystems. Because the major drivers of habitat loss or change are rooted in political, economic and social factors, India needs to develop a monitoring programme that is focused not only on biodiversity, but also on interactions between nature and society, and how such interactions are changing over time. Such a programme that I believe is now being considered by the Ministry of Environment and Forests could be unique in the world, and should allow us to not only monitor change, but also combat biodiversity losses.
We also have to get rid of the mistaken notion that complex natural ecosystems, once destroyed at one place can be easily created elsewhere. Such a notion is evident in government’s compensatory afforestation programmes that implicitly assume first that natural ecosystems such as forests can often be created de novo. Policy makers need to distinguish between a stand of trees and a natural forest with diversity of species, and a myriad of ecological interactions and processes, evolved over millions of years. […]
Partnerships for sustaining life
In a country with more than one billion people and aspirations of an annual economic growth rate of 9 – 10 per cent, how do we conserve biodiversity? Biodiversity is threatened not only by demographic and development pressures, but also by climate change. All these pressures are likely to intensify in the immediate future.
Our approach to conservation has been largely based on the paradigm of creating national parks, tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and other protected areas managed by the State. This approach, borrowed from the West, has several flaws. First and foremost, people, particularly indigenous or tribal groups that number in millions live inside or at the periphery of protected areas, and rely on biodiversity for sustaining their livelihoods. Such people have been largely disenfranchised and have no role in management. In fact, in many cases, centralised management of biodiversity has created conflicts between people and managers of protected areas. These conflicts have endangered rather than enhanced conservation. […]
Overall, India is blessed with unique and an enormous amount of biodiversity that sustains many of our economic endeavours, and provides aesthetic, cultural and spiritual values. This biodiversity is declining, and this decline is threatening our survival. As a country that seeks to be a global power, we have a special responsibility to document, monitor and conserve our most precious asset. Meeting this responsibility will entail a fundamental shift in the ways we describe, assess changes, and conserve biodiversity.
Kamaljit S. Bawa (email@example.com) is president of the Bangalore-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment; Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow in Sustainability Science at Harvard University. His book, Conservation Biology: A Primer for South Asia, with Richard Primack and Meera Oommen as co-authors, will be published by the Universities Press.
This article is reproduced from the Survey of the Environment, 2010 published by The Hindu. The publication is now on stands. Copies can be obtained by Registered Post (not V.P.P.) for Rs.80 (Rupees Eighty) by drawing a cheque in favour of “Kasturi and Sons Ltd.” (Add Rs.10 for non-Chennai cheques) and sending it to the Circulation Department, The Hindu, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Kamaljit S. Bawa in “Our biodiversity, our life, our future” (The Hindu, Sci-Tech / Energy & Environment, 2 August 2010)
Address : https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/article547960.ece
Date Visited: 11 July 2020
[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]
Find up-to-date information provided by, for and about Indian authors, researchers, officials, and educators | More search options >>
Search tips: in the search field seen below, combine the name of any particular state, language or region with that of any tribal (Adivasi) community; add keywords of special interest (health, nutrition endangered language, illegal mining, sacred grove); learn about the rights of Scheduled Tribes such as the Forest Rights Act (FRA); and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, women’s rights, and children’s right to education; specify any other issue or news item you want to learn more about (biodiversity, climate change, ecology, economic development, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, global warming, effective measures to prevent rural poverty, bonded labour, and human trafficking).
For a list of websites included in a single search, click here. To search Indian periodicals, magazines, web portals and other sources safely, click here. To find an Indian PhD thesis on a particular tribal community, region and related issues, click here >>
India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It has achieved all-round socio-economic progress since Independence. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which give the country a distinct geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.
Source: States and Union Territories – About India
Date visited: 4 September 2021
Learn more about India’s 28 States and 8 Union Territories – From Andhra Pradesh to West Bengal | Nutrition >>
To peruse related documents published by government agencies and NGOs, click here >>
- Accordweb.in | Accord | Articles by co-founder Mari Marcel Thekaekara | Shola Trust
- Atree.org | Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology & the Environment (posts)
- Biodiversity | Biodiversity hotspot | Hyderabad biodiversity pledge | Nilgiri Biosphere
- Climate change | Audio | The Climate Question (BBC Podcast)
- Ecology and environment
- Eco tourism| Man animal conflict | Wildlife tourism
- Environmental history and what makes for a civilization – Romila Thapar
- Equations blog (Equitable Tourism Options)
- Forest Rights Act (FRA) | Legal rights over forest land
- Indigenous knowledge systems
- Information provided by Indian government agencies and other organizations (FAQ)
- Nature and wildlife | Crocodile | Elephant | Tiger | Mangrove forest | Trees
- PARI’s tales from tiger territory | People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI)
- Revival of traditions
- Sacred grove
- Success story
- Western Ghats – tribal heritage & ecology
- What is the Forest Rights Act about?
- Who is a forest dweller under this law, and who gets rights?