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This is the first issue of the Eco News for the year 2013 – 14. The issue covers a variety of topics containing several interesting articles.
P. Sudhakar’s article on Parks Vs Green Space. Focuses on the shrinking green spaces in our cities. Parks have gone, substituted by high rise buildings and infrastructure projects. Parks have more exotic species than local plants. These have hampered the green cover and pave way for torrential floods that devastate cities from time to time.
The parks of my own childhood in Mumbai and Chennai have been shrinking or disappearing. Marina Beach has been divided between two memorials, vendors of food and toys and the fisherman’s boats and nets. All development on the beach had been banned in British India.
M. Amirthalingam has written an article on Ecosystem services provided by the Thoppainkulam sacred grove. Ecosystem services of forests and sacred groves are in continuous demand. As our forests and green covers shrink, the ecosystem services also shrink. It is not possible to quantify the benefits of green cover. We know that sacred groves provide ground cover and improve the water retention capacity of the soil, while the local species planted in the groves serve as a biodiversity reserve.
The Rhododendron of the Nilgiris has many ecological values. It is evident from the fact that the Toda tribes use the branches to make artificial buffalo horns at the entrance of their temples.
The culture of the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in the accumulation of waste : sewage, garbage, hazardous waste, biomedical waste, e-waste, etc. We have an article on the management of the biomedical waste by Dr.Sundaramoorthy, which is a key issue.
Street food accounts for sustenance in an economy of increasing food prices, and utilization of synthetic biomaterials is a solution for the future.
Every year, flash floods occur and devastate the cities and the need of the hour is environmental protection and adoption of preventive measures.