Ever considered the question: how do we acquire knowledge about the physical environment around us? The easiest way to get to know about environment in general and environmental issues in particular is to open a text book. In our academic curriculum, in our schools and colleges, in any discipline, we will get enough information about the issues and problems of modern day environment. If we are extra curious, we can go to the nearby library to get books on specific aspects of environment like wildlife or birds or trees or flowers and butterflies. Beyond this there are those interesting slide shows by people who have gone there and captured it all in slides or movies of their own. These are frequently offered in colleges and University film clubs and in IIC and IHC in the city. If we
Your involved participation in the conversation on various issues and your pragmatic actions continue to inspire me to write the blog. Thank you for the continued encouragement, since a little over one year now. May this year be as inspiring to you as it is for me. We all have our concerns about climate change. With the temperature of Earth likely to rise by two degrees over the next decade, the extreme weather events are likely to increase. The winters will be more severe, summers more hot and there would be more precipitation leading to increased flooding, droughts and severe cold. One major concern is to ensure that the human species is able to survive all this. We don't here much about population increase now. We believe that all human beings, if given the right training and sup...
The term ‘Biodiversity’, as defined by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, is the variety of all forms of life, from genes to species, present throughout in the narrow to the broad scale of ecosystems. "Biodiversity" was coined as a contraction of "biological diversity" in 1985 by the W.G. Rosen for the first planning meeting of the 'National Forum on Biodiversity' held in Washington DC (September 1986), the proceedings of which (E.O. Wilson and F.M. Peter, 1988) brought the notion of biodiversity to the attention of a wide field of scientists and others. But over the years, the new term arguably has taken on a meaning and import of its own. Why is Biodiversity important? Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, have an important role t
The Taj Mahal: A resource curse in the 'heart' of India? Mention or lack of mention of just one word makes a difference. Thank you for appreciating the film review with ‘Beautiful.’ I had the privilege of being present in an awesome event in Agra. Empirical facts indicated that of the 378 settlements that can be classified as slums, one slum settlement with about 400 households was successful in having 94 twin pit latrine with pour flush in the city. It took the community and the NGO working with them together over three year to achieve this. So the question is, whether it is worth the time, money and efforts that went into this project? The short answer: the context that this community comes from is what is makes the effort totally worth it. The long answer requires a brief
The 14th of November, also known as Bal Divas, is the birthday of Chacha Nehru--our first Prime Minister and to put it in the current context--Rahul Gandhi’s great grand father. Continuity, complexity of relationships and interrelatedness to the web of life is the celebration. A beautifully done film festival called CMS Vatavaran recently reflected it. One film of particular appeal was a Japanese one titled Kishke filming complex environmental issues with a very simple narrative. At the very first level, it is the story of a little boy named Kishke--about 10 years of age--who has just lost his grandfather. Once when had spent a summer with his grandfather on the sea coast village in North Japan, he had made a promise to his grandfather that he will plant a seed in his name, when he
To recap, water available per person has been decreasing since 1950 and it will be 70% of what we have by 2025 if no action is taken today. Although water is usually considered a renewable resource, it is actually a finite one with physical limits on its sustainability not because there is a change in the total water in the world but there are human institutional and financial capital limit to accessing water. Let me explain this. If we need to store water for 12 months, we need a bigger storage tank than if we needed to store it for only say six months. Thus, if the water flowing through the perennial rivers due to melting of glaciers reduces because there are smaller glaciers to melt, then the barrages to store water will have to be taller. All this deepening of tanks or building ...
CMS VATAVARAN is India’s premier biennial competitive and traveling Environment and Wildlife Film Festival. It was initiated in 2002 towards raising awareness about environmental issues. The CMS Environment Forum and CMS VATAVARAN have ushered in a fresh green global consciousness on an extraordinary scale using environment forums and films. The objective is to increase space for environment issues in mass media and evolve a nationwide environment outreach framework. Every year the festival is growing in terms of the quality of films recieved as well as the number of entries. This year a total of 366 entries have been received 366 including 276 entries from 20 different states of India. Also, 90 International entries have also been received from 23 countries. The film fe
Participate in the MoEF and WWF-India’s Essay Writing Competition and you can be a part of the International Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen this year. MoEF and WWF-India has organised an Essay Writing Competition giving all young people a chance to be a part of the International Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen this year. BE A PART OF THE CHANGE, BECOME A YOUNG CLIMATE GUARDIAN Topic of the ESSAY: You are India's future generation - How can you lead / influence the climate change challenge to ensure a sustainable future for the country and the planet? Entries can be submitted in BOTH English and Hindi Eligibility: Competition is open to all youth between the ages 16 to 21 years and residing in India Deadline: October 23, 2009 to submit the essay by registe
An over 12 year old cartoon that featured in the national media to mark 50 years of India's independence: the situation is as grim Panchayati Raj, local self governance, uncompromising non-violence, power to the people, simple living-high thinking - just a few of the the attributes of this sustainable development pioneer: Delhi Greens wishes Mahatma Gandhi - Father of the Nation and Peacemaker of the World - a very Happy Birthday! Not only are Gandhi's principles used as punchlines for all environmental activism in the present day, his teachings were a pre-cursor to laying the very foundation of the concept of sustainable development. “God forbid that India should ever take to industrialization after the manner of the West,” he had said. “The economic imperialism of a single t
Development Alternatives, a non-profit organisation established in 1983 creating large scale sustainable livelihoods is organising a Capacity Building Series (2008- 09) for A Result Oriented Approach to Livelihood Projects India needs to generate at least 10 million new livelihood opportunities a year over the next 15 years to sustain its economy. Poverty is no longer a rural phenomenon and increasingly we find attention being focused on urban poor who are often the migrants. One also notices an increasing shift from agriculture to manufacturing and services sector. It is expected that traditional sources such as agriculture will have limited potential to generate new livelihoods. Promoting livelihood in such a situation remains a challenge. This programme seeks to impart knowled