How the tiger can regain its stripes

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This article was written for/first published in The Hindu, OpEd page, August 13, 2020, titled “How the tiger can regain its stripes”.

Tiger conservation needs a reboot to match the scale of India’s aspirations in other domains.

On International Tiger Day, July 29, authorities proudly declared that India should “celebrate” the increase in tigers from about 2,000 in 1970 to about 3,000 now. This is an annual growth rate lower than 1% after 50 years of incredible, sometimes heroic, efforts. … Read More

Ecologists urge MoEFCC to revoke the EIA draft notification, 2020

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On 11th August, 2020, a group of 20 wildlife biologists/ ecologists submitted their comments and objections against the draft notification for Environmental Impact Assessment 2020, to the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

The letter brings to fore incidents involving recent environmental catastrophes ranging from the Baghjan oil blow-out and locust swarms to the global impact of zoonoses such as COVID-19 and the importance and need for laws that ensure scientific and social evaluation of impacts … Read More

A Flawed Vision — Demystifying India’s Tiger Counts

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This article was originally published in The Telegraph.

For some reason, reports on India’s ‘tiger numbers’ get a lot of people excited. This was the case on July 28, 2020 when a report on the country’s tiger numbers from 2018 was released accompanied by profuse self-laudatory statements. The fact is there is nothing new in this report because the same results were released by the prime minister a year earlier. Perhaps everyone was bedazzled by the beautiful tiger photos and … Read More

Voice your rejection of the Hubballi Ankola Railway Line Project (HARP) in Uttara Kannada

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The Western Ghats are among the most important biodiversity hotspots in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The controversial Hubballi-Ankola Railway Line Project (HARP) will destroy some of the last remaining primary forests of the Western Ghats in Uttara Kannada and result in massive, irreversible ecological destruction. This region has already lost 3300 sq km of pristine forests, and stands to lose more if HARP becomes a reality. No amount of mitigation will compensate for the loss of … Read More

Withdraw the EIA 2020 Draft Notification

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In March 2020, a draft notification for Environment Impact Assessment 2020 was issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). This is an important notification, since all new infrastructure projects – and expansion of existing ones – such as, roads, mining projects, factories, and power plants, are required to conduct a mandatory Environment Impact Assessment and submit a report to the Ministry.

An EIA report assesses how a project will impact the environment and is the basis … Read More

Guidance Document for Non-forestry Activities in Wildlife Habitats

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The Wildlife  (Protection) Act, 1972 and orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court make it mandatory for following certain procedures for taking  up any non-forestry activities in wildlife habitats. Now it is mandatory that all non-forestry activities in wildlife habitats  (within PAs and 10 km from PA boundaries), need approval from State and National Board for Wildlife (Standing Committee). In order to facilitate and guide people on the various steps to be followed for taking up non-forestry activities in wildlife habitats, … Read More