Farming, tourism, poor fishing practices along with misdirected policies are muddying the famous backwaters of Kerala, one of India’s best known holiday destinations. Nowhere is this misuse more visible than in and around the 95-km-long Vembanad Lake.
The beauty of the Bay of Naples under a setting sun, the romance of Sorrento and the scenic splendour of the Amalfi coastline pull thousands of visitors to southern Italy. But the region is also home to an ugly truth.
Deep in the forests of central India live the Gond tribals, an almost forgotten lot, neglected as much by the state as by mainstream media. Many cannot read or write. But thanks to a new technology, and the rapid spread of mobile phones through India, they are now picking up their cell phone and making their voice heard.
In spite of India’s much-publicised national renewable energy policy as part of its international commitments to reduce carbon emissions, its Mid Day Meal (MDM) Scheme, the world’s largest school lunch programme, has no energy conservation or even a fuel policy in its workings.
In a country notorious for the inability to deal with the waste it generates, municipal officials in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh are now resorting to making waste management a competitive sport, in their bid to cajole the entire nation to clean up.
India’s National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) is actively promoting decentralised grassroots livelihoods as the best way to conserve biodiversity as mandated by the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing (ABS).
Indian civil society organisations see in the 11th United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), underway in this south Indian city, a rare opportunity to highlight alleged neglect of biodiversity along the country’s extensive coastal and marine areas.
The United Nations 11th
Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Biodiversity (COP 11 CBD), underway in this southern Indian city, is lost on where to garner the billions of dollars needed to implement the ‘Aichi targets,’ due to be met by 2020.
Narrow, cobblestoned lanes separate the rows of mud houses with cool interiors and mud-smoothened patios, some with goats tethered to the wooden posts. This is Tajpura village, deep in this water-stressed, drought-prone region of northern India.
Almitra Patel, a civil engineer by qualification, says she was first alerted to India’s huge problem of inadequate waste disposal when she noticed that the frogs in the marshlands near her farmhouse, on the city’s outskirts, had stopped croaking.
In a country with a disastrous record for microfinancing, a religious organisation has done well enough to claim this year’s Ashden award for initiatives in providing loans to poor farmers.
Valli, 50, and Sarasu, 60, have been working with Energy Plantation Projects India (EPPI) since inception in 2007, the income they earn forming an integral part of their household budgets. "We easily manage household work and a salary-paying job," they tell IPS.
Standing on a patch of arid, degraded land, 100 km from southern Bangalore city, Ramapal, member of the ‘gram panchayat’ (local village administration), points to a roughly-dug canal feeding a narrow belt of green cultivation.
Agriculture experts blame the crisis faced by India’s small farmers on a highly inefficient supply chain for perishable farm produce, a situation exploited by traders and middlemen.