Econews – July to September 2013, Vol.19, No.2

July - September, 2013 Cover jpeg

 Please click the below link to read / download the edition

Eco News – July-Sept 2013,Vol.19.No.2

Water is one of the pre-requisites for life on earth. No living creatures or plant can exist without it. It is also essential for the preservation of the environment. The United Nations has designated the year 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation. Water and Biodiversity is also the theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity in 2013. This provides a platform for the parties to the convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as also the world community in general to be seized of this matter and take pro-active steps to not only create awareness about this vital issue, but also to take positive measures to solve this problem. CPREEC, for its part, is bringing out a quarterly Newsletter entitled “Eco News” that focuses on these vital issues affecting our water security as well as the environmental challenges facing our community.

Chennai city has been facing a severe water crisis since the 1980s and there is an urgent need for an immediate urban renewal programme that will tackle the problems of urbanization and pollution. Dr. T. Sundaramoorthy has written about the importance of the restoration of the ancient temple tanks as also the cleaning up of the Chennai rivers through the Chennai River Restoration Trust (CRRT), M. Lakshmi Sree discusses the Cooum, once a fresh water river and now a stream of sewage, in Chennai, while
M. Amirthalingm writes about Chennai’s shrinking wetlands. P. Sudhakar makes a case for preserving the biodiversity of the parks of Chennai and the importance of protecting these green patches that act as the lungs of Chennai city. Following this, M. Kumaravelu has highlighted the Benagudi Shola sacred grove of the Nilgiris and the cultural and spiritual values that they help to preserve even today. Finally, there is an article on the toxicity of the Musi River in Hyderabad and the spread of Zoonatic diseases through the food habits of birds.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Econews – April to June, 2013, Vol.19, No.1

April-June, 2013 Cover.jpeg

Please click the below link to read / download the edition

Econews April-June 2013, Vol.19, No.1.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Econews-January to March, 2013,Vol.18,No.4

EcoNews-Jan to March 2013, Vol.18, No.4jpg

Click on the link below to read / download this edition

EcoNews-Jan to March 2013, Vol.18, No.4

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Econews- October to December 2012, Vol.18, No.3

Econews-october - december 2012, Vol.18, No.3

Please click on the link below to read / download this edition

Econews-Oct-Dec, 2012, Vol.18, No.3

This is a special issue celebrating 50 years of the creation of the Animals Welfare Board of in India which came into existence in 1962, following the enactment of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960). Animals are a part of our environment, but while the
disappearing tiger, lion and elephant are part of the public discourse, the millions of animals suffering on factory farms, the cruelties of the slaughter houses, the disappearing diversity of domestic animal species, the agonies of cattle packed into lorries and transported over long distances to an agonizing death and many more issues are a part of the public silence over inconvenient issues. Traditionally, Indians grazed cattle, sheep and goats over vast stretches of pasture land designated for that purpose by village elders. Hens and
chicken ran around the backyard while the rooster was the village doubtful title of “broiler chicken”. The cow who gave milk continued to live after her milking years were over, and she died a natural death. Bullocks that ploughed the field or pulled the cart were never sold once their productive years were over. All that has changed. CPR Environmental Education Centre (CPREEC) has always been sensitive to animal issues. We serve only vegetarian food in our programmes. We have been talking about animal welfare to teachers and students and including it in our curricula and text books. Our campus overflows with birds, squirrels, dogs, cats and even occasional monkeys, snakes and palm civets.
The following articles have been put together by the staff members of CPREEC. Since our earlier issues have covered biodiversity and wildlife, we have deliberately omitted our wildlife friends of the forest. “Factory Farming” and “Genetic Engineering and Animal Suffering” touch upon two important and abnormal issues of contemporary cruelty to
animals which take place behind walls of silence and ignorance. “Invasive and Alien Animal Species in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands” discusses the effects of introduced species on the island’s environment. “The Sacred Cow” tells us that the cow is sacred only in name, while “The Declining Deccani Sheep” is about the survival of an individual breed. “Issues of Animal Welfare in India” discusses problems of rabies and slaughter houses.
The Todas are one of the ancient indigenous tribes of India who were buffalo herders and worshippers who never killed their animals or ate buffalo meat. “Sacred Buffaloes of the Todas” laments their disappearance as grasslands are used to cultivate exotic commercial tree species. Finally, “Kindness to Animals in Ancient Tamilnadu” reminds us that Tamil literature, especially the writings of Thiruvalluvar, promoted kindness to animals by example and precept. How such a culture with such an ancient and beautiful tradition could
promote jallikattu (bull tying), a form of bull fighting, today is beyond my comprehension.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Econews – Biodiversity Special, July to September 2012, Vol.18,No.2

Econews-July - Sep 2012 Cover

Please click on the below link to read / download this edition

Eco News – July -Sep 2012, Vol.18,No.2

Biodiversity special

The Conference of Parities (COP) 11 of the Conference of Biological Diversity (CBD) is an opportunity for the world to re-examine the state of the world. It is unfortunate that the rate of known global biodiversity loss according to UNDP (2012) is between 0.015% and 0.1% species per year (approximately 200 to 2000 species per year) which is still alarming and shows no signs of abating. After 10 to 11 meetings, surely countries must ACT before signing any more treaties. And of those who refuse to sign – well, we know they are the exploiters.

It is unfortunate that the term Biodiversity – or Biological Diversity – is still barely understood. The educator cannot be blamed for, as priorities change, so do terminologies. First it was Nature Education, teaching youth to appreciate habitats and wildlife. With increasing pollution, it became Environmental Education. Then, exploitation of natural resources increased exponentially and the term changed to Education for Sustainable Development. The three have totally different meanings in different contexts and the progression from Nature to Development is a clear indication that the world has decided to abandon Nature for Development.

In this context, Biological Diversity becomes extremely important. How can we preserve it? Sustainable Development is a fraudulent term – development means massive change and cannot be sustainable.

Conservation of Biological Diversity in this fast–changing era is possible only if forests and unique habitats are left untouched. This needs political will and honesty, and the world needs to rapidly change direction. Unfortunately, fast-growing populations, the greed to acquire more and the desire to conspicuous consumption make this a non-starter.

So, will the CBD remain a good resolution on paper? Only time will tell.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Econews – April to June, 2012, Vol.18, No.1

Please click on the link below to read / download this edition

Econews-April June 2012 Cover

01. Eco News – April – June, 2012, Vol18,No.1

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment