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BIO-DIVERSITY ACT
Withering public consultations

The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 states that before using any Indian biological material for commercial or R&D purposes, a wider public consultation is needed via the local Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs). Now, the National Biodiversity Authority is considering dispensing with BMC consultation. Kanchi Kohli and Shalini Bhutani question the logic behind this change.

Agriculture Environment

SUSTAINABLE FOOD
Rays of hope for the ‘local’ in Meghalaya
Even as many pockets of the state, including its capital, battle the ravages of development and consumerism, a couple of villages visited by the author stand as examples of resilient local economies and lifestyles. Aditya Vikram Rametra describes what he saw here.
Agriculture Adivasis

ENDANGERED BIRDS
Where are the real tweets in India?
Numerous species of Indian birds are critically endangered. Only strict conservation laws can help them survive. Experts fear that many will be wiped off as the environment deteriorates. Unless we have emergency measures, it will be too late says Ramesh Menon.
Wild Life Environment

HUMAN-ANIMAL CONFLICT
Where leopards await human compassion
The lack of awareness about a traditionally peace-loving species and inadequate safeguards to protect their natural habitats and corridors are posing a serious threat to the continued survival of leopards in and around the city of Guwahati. Ratna Bharali Talukdar reports.
Wild Life Environment ASSAM

LAND, FOOD AND BIODIVERSITY
Why the land acquisition law is a threat to several others
The government’s push to the amended land acquisition law overlooks provisions in other acts that address closely related issues such as food security and conservation of biodiversity, writes Shalini Bhutani.
Food Security Government Land Laws

BIODIVERSITY
The tiny creature that has made the Assam zoo famous!
On 15 November, the Assam State Zoo opened its doors to three pygmy hogs, becoming the only zoo in the world to house this critically endangered species. Ratna Bharali Talukdar reports on an ongoing project that’s trying to save the animal and its habitats in the face of all odds.
Wild Life Environment

REVISITING THE CHOPRA COMMITTEE REPORT
Will selective plans for the Ganga work?
Rejuvenation of the Ganga has purportedly grabbed a big share of the new government’s focus, but would plans ignoring the upper Ganga basin really be effective? Shripad Dharmadhikary discusses the findings of an expert body that could be crucial to the agenda.
Energy Climate Wild Life Environment

GANGA WATERWAY
Reviving the Ganga, at the cost of its ecology!
The Rs 6300-crore plans for development of the Ganga waterway from Allahabad to Haldia should be undertaken only after meticulous examination of its impact on various elements of river ecology. Debadityo Sinha explains why.
Environmental Hazards Water Environment

SAVING THE WESTERN GHATS
Old trick, new attack
The MoEF's decision to have one committee examine the recommendations of another with respect to the protection of the eco-sensitive Western Ghats has resulted in needless contradiction and defeat of the core environmental objective. Shripad Dharmadhikary analyses the reports.
Forests Environment Government

BIODIVERSITY
The Sparrow: Concerns and conservation
Were mobile towers primarily responsible for the dwindling number of house sparrows across India? Deepa Mohan studies the findings of a recent survey to explore the more likely reasons behind this wane of the species.
Environment

ENVIRONMENT/BIODIVERSITY
How Dilawar's box is bringing sparrows back
Eco-pioneer Mohammed Dilawar’s nest boxes, specially designed to bring back sparrows and other birds into urban areas, are a hit among bird-lovers in many Indian metros and of course, the target group – the birds – themselves, writes Savita Hiremath.
Urban Environment

BIOTECHNOLOGY
Genes can't be patented, says US court
A New York judge rules that trying to patent genetic information cannot be permitted - the first serious setback to the genetic technology industry, which will have implications worldwide, writes Sujatha Byravan.
OP-ED Sujatha Byravan Development & Climate Policy

OPINION : AGRIBUSINESS
Schizophrenia of agricultural policy
Any discussion of GM crops must take place within the larger framework of the indispensable need to promote biodiversity and set up agricultural policies linked to this need, writes Sujatha Byravan.
GM Crops OP-ED Sujatha Byravan Development & Climate Policy
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From Aug 2013, published with support from Oorvani Foundation, a champion of public-funded media for the new India.

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