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Wed11222017

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Environment

Analysis

TPP: Is big money set to trump democracy?

By Suman Sahai

increasingly democratic nature of the WTO

Unhappy with the increasingly democratic nature of the WTO, the US is striking back with the Trans Pacific Partnership, which will enable powerful corporations to override the legal frameworks of nation-states, writes Suman Sahai

A highly controversial trade agreement led by the US is being negotiated in such utter secrecy that until recently just a handful of people had any knowledge of what was being decided behind closed doors.
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»Enabling transfer of green technology is the key to stemming climate change By Vineet John Samuel
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»The committee cop-out By Milind Wani
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»Bumper-to-bumper dams By Parineeta Dandekar
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Books & Reports

Putting people before economies

By Ranjan K Panda

Natural embankments Maplecroft studyNew research by Maplecroft discusses the economic cost of climate change and puts the focus on building flood defences and other infrastructural resilience. Surely the focus should be on rethinking big business’s destruction of local ecologies instead?

Even as Odisha and Andhra Pradesh continue to fight the aftermath of cyclonic storm Phailin, new research suggests that cyclones, floods, drought and other climate change-induced disasters will affect one-third of the world’s emerging economies, severely hampering them.

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»Learning from China By Nitya Sambamurti Ghotge
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»World fails to meet 2010 biodiversity target
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»What it will take to build a sustainable culture By Anosh Malekar
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Features

Inspiration from Burning Man

By Rajni Bakshi

decommodifyTake a break from your worries about the Indian economy and spare a moment for those who are worrying about civilisation itself, as at the Burning Man Festival

We are in the midst of a season of lament. As the rupee continues its sharp downward spiral a mood of gloom and doom has settled in. When pessimism strikes in this manner, it is imperative to step back and take a wide and long-range view of things.

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»Barla’s battle of Nagri By Moushumi Basu
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»Climate change is a depressing reality in Assam By Aditya Malaviya
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»Token ombudsman? By Kanchi Kohli
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Backgrounders

'India's culture of conservation'

By Neema Pathak Broome

Local communities and conservation Wildlife sanctuaries

A brief history of conservation in India, from the administration of Emperor Ashoka to official policy and community conservation in contemporary India

The last few centuries have been dominated by human beings, and are referred to by some scholars as ‘anthropocene’, or a period of human domination over the planet. This domination, as we know, has impacted the planet, leading to, among other things, the rapid depletion of wildlife and their habitat.

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»A history of forest regulations By Archana Vaidya
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»Environment : Background & Perspective By Ashish Kothari, Kaustubh Moghe, Neema Pathak
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News

Himachal Pradesh becomes first Indian state to sell carbon credits to the World Bank

Himachal Pradesh is the first Indian state to sell carbon credits under the UN-mandated Clean Development Mechanism to the World Bank from new forests to be developed largely on waste ground

Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in India to sign an agreement with the World Bank to secure carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in 11 watershed divisions under the Mid-Himalayan Watershed Development Project.

Under the agreement, the World Bank will buy carbon credits from new forests being developed on degraded land in Himachal Pradesh under a watershed management programme called the Reforestation Project-Improving Livelihood and Watersheds Project.

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»SC denies plea for enhanced punishment for Bhopal gas tragedy accused
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»World Bank-funded project runs into local resistance in Himachal
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»Four dead, many injured in farmer protest in Noida
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Technology v/s Tradition

The journey from the private to the common

By Jyothi Krishnan

Does private ownership give the landowner the right to do as he pleases with land and water? It is only a new consciousness of the finiteness of natural resources that will lead to the appreciation that they exist in the common domain; that they can never be left to individual or private discretion, says Jyothi Krishnan

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»Ponds are more than receptacles of water By Jyothi Krishnan
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»The hierarchy of water ownership By Jyothi Krishnan
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»Rich farmers retain water rights in Kerala By Jyothi Krishnan
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Fishing in troubled waters

Whose river is the Godavari?

By R Uma Maheshwari

 lakeWhy is there no mention of fisher communities in the relief & rehabilitation statistics of the Polavaram Dam? If tribal communities can seek land for land, and forest for forest, can the displaced fisherfolk of the Godavari seek a river for a river? Part 2 in our series on the fisherfolk being displaced by the Polavaram Dam

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»Ecology of the river By R Uma Maheshwari
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»Tourism adds to Godavari fishermen's woes By R Uma Maheshwari
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»Short-changing inland fishworkers By R Uma Maheshwari
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Loktak: A dying lake

'There's nothing you didn't get from Loktak'

By Thingnam Anjulika Samom

 You would never come back from Loktak Lake empty-handed in times past, people say. Manipur’s freshwater lake provided fish, fuel, fodder, thatching material, medicinal plants and raw material for handicrafts. Today, both fish and vegetation have dwindled, and with it an important source of livelihood and security for thousands of local residents

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»Scions of a changing lake By Thingnam Anjulika Samom
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»From owners to 'occupiers' By Thingnam Anjulika Samom
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»The trade-off between food security and 'development' By Thingnam Anjulika Samom
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Community forests of Orissa

What difference has the Forest Rights Act made?

By Subrat Kumar Sahu

With a strong community forest management network in place, one would think that forest-dependent communities in Orissa would be upbeat about the Forest Rights Act. But even as people’s movements begin to use the Act as a weapon in their struggle, most communities are confused about the scope of the Act and the processes to be used to file community claims to forests

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»India's forests as carbon sinks By Subrat Kumar Sahu
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»Destroyed by 'development' By Subrat Kumar Sahu
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»'The protectors are thieves in disguise' By Subrat Kumar Sahu
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Stories of Change

A rakhi for trees

By Moushumi Basu

Mahadev Mahato

The Taru Bandhan ritual being practised in the tribal heartland of Jharkhand has helped restore and conserve hundreds of acres of forestland in the state.

The tribal heartland of Jharkhand in eastern India has evolved a unique tradition of forest conservation -- tying rakhis to trees. Rakhi is an Indian festival for siblings where the sister ties an auspicious thread of love on her brother’s wrist, amidst great revelry and feasting. The latter, in turn, promises her protection throughout his life.

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»Agartala to become India's first 'green city' By Teresa Rehman
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»Green and gold, the colours of garbage
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»Citizens for trees
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Changemakers

Green warriors of the Garo hills

By Teresa Rehman

 Garo Students Union, and its dynamic leader Prosper S Marak

Meghalaya’s South Garo Hills are under serious threat from illegal coal mining. The Garo Students Union, and its dynamic leader Prosper S Marak, have been battling to preserve the biodiversity of this region. Marak was declared Earth Hero for 2009 and also won the Young Naturalist Award for 2009

In Meghalaya’s inaccessible South Garo Hills, an ‘eco-mutiny’ went virtually unnoticed.

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»Tribal activist takes on steel giant By Moushumi Basu
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»Satish Kumar: Walking the talk By Naveen Vasudevan
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»Cleaning up the Ganga By Rashme Sehgal
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Despatches from Copenhagen

Bangladesh is ready with a climate change strategy

By Darryl D'Monte

Bangladesh fares better than India on many human development indicators. Now, knowing that they are nature’s laboratory for disaster, they’ve beaten us to a climate change action plant

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»Media melee at Copenhagen By Darryl D'Monte
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»Himalayan disasters By Darryl D'Monte
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»Voices from the frontlines of climate change By Darryl D'Monte
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Bhopal Survivors Movement

'The Fire we ignited'

By Suroopa Mukherjee

Bhopal campaign for justice

How did the Bhopal campaign for justice come to be led by uneducated, cloistered women who had scarcely stepped out of their homes? Why are these women willing to stake both family and social priorities to create space for political engagement? This article looks at the gender dimension of the 25-year-old Bhopal survivors movement.

Gender has been a key concept in the Bhopal movement for justice. To begin with, women were the most vulnerable victims of the gas leak in 1984, both in terms of the breakup of the family unit, and problems of reproductive health and the social ostracism that followed.

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»The Bhopal Movement as a school By Eurig Scandrett
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»Environmentalism of the poor By Dharmesh Shah
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»The demand for corporate accountability By Eurig Scandrett
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Coastal nightmares

Poaching fish in Kutch Sea

By Anosh Malekar

Gujarat's 3.5 lakh fisher people are swept up in a gigantic brawl and   scrambling to surviveCaught between declining fish yields, the carving of the oceans into exclusive economic zones since the 1980s, frequent inquiries and detention by the Indian maritime security forces after the 26/11 terror attacks and the risk of capture by Pakistani maritime authorities, Gujarat’s 3.5 lakh marine fisher folk are fast losing their traditional livelihoods


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»Coastal cities need to clean up their act By Rahul Goswami
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»Sea change coming... By Richard Mahapatra
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The Paradox of environmentalism

Trapped into farming

By Michelle Chawla

Agriculture in Dahanu

The declaration of Dahanu as an ecologically fragile zone in 1991 has had repercussions on the orchard economy too. Farmers, already troubled by declining yields and globalisation, cannot convert their orchards to non-agricultural use. They feel they are trapped into farming by an environmentalism that is out of context

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»The tribal's right By Michelle Chawla
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»Making environmental mandates meaningful By Michelle Chawla
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»People vs environmentalists By Michelle Chawla
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Toxic Tours

Toxic Tours - XIX: Toxic Trespass

By Sharyle Patton

The right to bear a family and the right of all women to control all aspects of their health, particularly their own fertility, are being seriously compromised by exposure to toxic chemicals

Unlike our great-grandmothers - who lived out their lives before the chemical revolution began to unfold in the mid-1950s - we have taken in hundreds of toxic substances. Many take up residence in our body fat, where they may remain for decades; others are absorbed into the body and quickly metabolised and excreted.

Biomonitoring provides a snapshot of these body burdens and constitutes ultimate proof of our exposure. The data it provides have profound implications for women everywhere.

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»Toxic Tours - XVIII: One man's gadget is another man's poison By Lisa Batiwalla
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»Toxic Tours - XVII: White asbestos: Silent killer By Gopal Krishna
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»Toxic Tours - XVI: The dirty dozen By Papiya Sarkar
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Statistics

Waste Characterization

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Status of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Selected Metro Cities

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Average Noise Levels in Various Metropolitan Cities

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Statewise Production of Coal and Lignite

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