Wildlife , Forest Laws

The RTI (Right to Information) Act

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 21, 2006

Forum Post

The RTI ( Right to Information) Act of India is a historic legislation. But, it rests with the people of India to make their government and authorities accountable.

To enable all educated people to use this Act in order to bring in accountability in public administration, an all india helpline 9250400100 has been set up by Manjunath Shanmugham Trust and Parivartan.

The helpline will be at the service of all who need help to use the Act. A team of specially trained call centre executives will answer all queries. The service is available in English, Hindi and Tamil now-on all days from 8am to 4pm.


Wildlife living in the seas and rivers

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 18, 2006

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Sustaining Fish Stocks

A new study by the environmental research organization Worldwatch has found that consumers are playing an increasingly large role in dictating the terms of how fish and other seafood are harvested around the world. Seafood eaters have become an unlikely ally to the world’s beleaguered fish populations.

“Today, most of the world’s seafood, from tuna to salmon to bay scallops, is threatened with extinction,” With industrial scale fishing having wiped out roughly 90 percent of tuna, marlin, swordfish and other large predatory fish in just the last 50 years, and United Nations surveys indicate that about two-thirds of the world’s major fish stocks are on the verge of collapse.

“A public that better understands the state of the world’s oceans can be a driving force in helping governments pass legislation to ban destructive fishing, mandate fishing labels that indicate how fish were caught and create marine preserves off-limits to fishing where fish can spawn.”

The new Worldwatch report highlights various non-governmental initiatives to help save vanishing marine life, from color-coded seafood selection guides for restaurant-goers to targeted purchasing by large seafood buyers. It praises such efforts for boosting the sales and reputations of participating companies, protecting jobs in developing countries where fishing is an important industry, and increasing the overall quality and safety of seafood around the world.

Source: www.worldwatch.org/node/4709


Wildlife , Forest Laws

National Tiger Conservation Authority

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 17, 2006

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The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre and the state governments on a PIL challenging the creation of tiger reserves in the already existing national parks and sanctuaries by bringing amendments in the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

A Bench of Chief Justice YK Sabharwal and Justice CK Thakker issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Tiger Conservation Authority and state governments on the allegation that provisions incorporated in this regard diluted and repealed some of the salutary provisions of the Act. The PIL filed jointly by NGOs, Bombay Natural History Society, Wildlife Protection Society of India, Wildlife First and Conservation of Action Trust, has objected to inclusion of new chapters, namely IV B and IV C, for the establishment of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Tiger and other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau.

Advocate Raj Panjwani, appearing for the NGOs, contended that the new additions in the legislation diluted the existing provisions which were specifically incorporated for the protection of wildlife and its habitat.

"Co-existence of humans with large carnivorous wild animals is a myth," said the petition. "Conflict between the two is the reality, a reality which is reflected in the ascending graph of the number of fatalities on either side."

They say the law, which insists authorities ensure "the agricultural, livelihood, development and other interests of the people living in tiger-bearing forests or a tiger reserve", could mark a new low in efforts to save rare wildlife. Wildlife activists say the law was rushed through parliament without proper debate.

community reserves

Community reserves across the world

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 13, 2006

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"Across the world, a new paradigm of conservation is spreading, one in which responsibility for wildlife protection and benefits of forests are shared with communities. Two trends have emerged collaborative managed protected areas (CMPAs), in which governments and communities jointly manage conservation, and community conserved areas (CCAs), in which the predominant role is that of local people.

In South America, over a fifth of the Amazon forests are now under indigenous protected areas, while in Canada, such areas cover seven million hectares. In Australia, huge territories have been given back to aboriginal peoples, and many of these are now managed for conservation. In South Africa, portions of world-famous areas such as Kruger National Park have been handed back to communities from whom lands had once been snatched away by the apartheid government, but a negotiated deal keeps the area under conservation land use. Across many European countries, complex arrangements between governments, local councils, and other local bodies are managing hundreds of protected landscapes. In Zimbabwe and Namibia, community-managed conservancies protect the continent's biggest fauna, with ecotourism benefits going to local people.

In Nepal, one of the subcontinent's biggest protected areas, Annapurna, became a CMPA when its management was entrusted to a NGO and local communities in the 1990s. Over its 7,000-plus sq km, wildlife populations have increased as have livelihood and revenue benefits to local people living inside the area.

Not all initiatives towards participatory conser-vation are successful. However, many government-managed protected areas too are prone to failures see what happened in the infamous Sariska Tiger Reserve. If one looks at the enormous social costs of the conventional model of conservation, including the displacement and dispossession of millions of people, it is surely time we did what the Nepal government started doing with Annapurna, and continued with Kangchenjunga.

A strategy of joint or community-based management, with appropriate inputs to help build capacity and tackle threats, would do much more to conserve wildlife. Even where zoning to maintain inviolate areas for wildlife is necessary, it will work more effectively if done with local people. "

-Ashish Kothari,Kalpavriksh.

Document Reference: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-347725

nature/wildlife films

Screenings by WWF India

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 12, 2006

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        Invite you to a special screening of films on


NOVEMBER  18, 2006


LIVING WITH THE PARK – Ranthambore National Park (English-30 Minutes) 6.30pm 

The film is a look at the popular tiger reserve as an integrated universe comprising its animals and people in the adjoining areas.  The forests connects the two and neither one can flourish with the other.  So is the policy of segregating the park as a preserve for animals alienating the people who lived in harmony with the park for decades, helping the Park?  There are no quick answers.  The film depicts the main attraction of the park the Bengal Tiger, which is in danger of getting decimated here, as it has already happened in Sariska.  Is it time we looked outside the park for the reasons, at the humanity which is living outside, their lives still connected to the Park – the people who are living with the park? Produced and directed by Dr. Susan Sharma-will be present  to introduce the film and take questions.


WILDERNESS NEPAL – (English – 30 Minutes) 7.00pm

 The film looks at the wilderness of the Himalayan region with special reference to Nepal.  Nepal foresters an incredible variety of eco-systems and is a hotspot of bio-diversity.  Exclusive footage of Indian Rhino and the Asian elephant from the Royal Chitwan National Park, which is guarded by the Royal Nepal Army from rhino poachers.  While depicting the natural  beauty of Nepal, the film also projects the “community forests” concept in Nepal which has proved a success in maintaining the wetland area of “twenty thousand lakes” a paradise of bird watchers. Produced and directed by Dr. Susan Sharma-will be present to introduce the film and take questions.


Venue: India International Centre, Main Auditorium

40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi 110003


For further information please contact: Mr Raj Pal Singh,Network Services and Supporter Relations, World Wide Fund for Nature-India, Pirojsha Godrej National Conservation Centre, 172 B, Lodi Estate, New Delhi, 110003 = Tel: 41504815-19/41504808 E-mail:  rbakshi@wwfindia.net





Translocating tigers

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 12, 2006

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Sariska tiger sanctuary, had lost its entire tiger population to excessive poaching in the area. On October 30, a crucial meeting between the Rajasthan government and the Union ministry of environment and forest in the Capital will give the green signal for a final plan of action that has been undertaken by the Committee on Forest and Wildlife Management.

The Dehradun-based Wildlife institute of India has submitted a report furnishing details of how relocation should take place in different phases. To begin with the suggestion is to relocate one male and two-to-three female tigers in the sub-adult category of four-five year old male tigers and slightly younger female tigers.

V B Mathur, Dean of WII, said: "Tigers will be identified through ground-based surveys. To take them to Sariska they will eventually be tranquilised through darts and put into special crates and finally we will have a soft release next to a water body so that they do not struggle."

Tigers will be also radio-collared and monitored after being released into the forest which will be fenced initially, so that they learn to acclimatize gradually and not wander away. "Sariska already has a natural population of prey like deer and nilgais and tigers will not have to be fed separately," adds Mathur.

 Sariska has the capacity of sustaining 15 tigers to begin with and the committee has recommended guidelines based on the International Union for conservation of Nature and Natural resources to relocate them - from picking up the right wild stock to their veterinary care.



Living on a Blue planet

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 04, 2006

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“The oceans define our planet, and their fate may to a large extent determine our fate, now and in the future.”

The study ’Impact of biodiversity loss on ocean system services’ showed that the loss of one species accelerates the unravelling of the overall ecosystem, while conversely every species recovered adds significantly to its productivity, stability and ability to withstand stresses.

Data for 2003 shows that 29% of currently fished species were considered “collapsed” –that their catches had declined by 90% or more. This trend is accelerating as per the study.

(Source: The Hindu dated 4 November, 2006)

Wildlife Poaching

Farm bred Tigers or Wild Tigers?

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 03, 2006

Forum Post

The visit of a Chinese delegation to Delhi to re-look an MOU signed in 1995  with India, is worrying news for wildlife lovers. Rather than curbing use of tiger parts in medicine,  China has been insisting on going ahead with using farm-bred tiger products for its traditional medicine. 


The Principal focus of the MOU is in three areas:

  1. Vigilance across the borders-instituting a mechanism to curb smuggling of tiger parts
  2. Capacity building-eg, standardising release of captive bred tigers in the wild.
  3. Seggregation of farm and wild products

( Source The Indian Express Nov 3, 2006)

nature/wildlife films

podcast of Green Films

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 01, 2006

Forum Post

Green Planet Films support environmental education through film, and their newest enterprise is a podcast called GREENSTREAM: a source for eco film news.

With podcasts representing one of the fastest growing trends in online media, they hope that GREENSTREAM will keep you tuned into the latest happenings in the world of environmental films. These films are a powerful educational tool to use for yourself or share them with others.

They also hope this podcast will help attract more people to support the growing environmental movement by learning about issues covered in these niche documentaries and taking action. Each podcast will include an interview with a special guest, a featured DVD, film festival updates, and the latest eco film news.



Wildlife Poaching

Poaching of Marine Wealth

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 01, 2006

Forum Post

The Indian Coast Guard plays an important role in catching poachers who trade in ocean wealth; turtles, crocodiles, dolpins to name a few.

Recently, the Indian Coast Guards nabbed poachers allegedly of Burmese origin, from Tuft Island, part of Andaman Nicobar islands. Marine wealth of these remote islands are known to attract poachers from neighbouring countries. The operation that was launched on October 23, 2006, sighted the poaching trawler and obtained the surrender of poachers, dealing in sea cucumber, several fish species and crocodiles.

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