Scattered across 31 remote hilltop villages on a mountain range that towers 1,500 to 4,000 feet above sea level, in the Malkangiri district of India’s eastern Odisha state, the Upper Bonda people are considered one of this country’s most ancient tribes, having barely altered their lifestyle in over a thousand years.
“Men just do not want to give up their seats, it’s as simple as that,” says 67-year-old candidate in the Indian election Subhhasini Ali, voicing a gloomy view across women’s groups in India.
As India votes in its 16th
general election Apr. 7-May 12, the youth, comprising nearly half the country’s 814 million voters, could prove decisive. And the internet is being used increasingly to target youth in the world’s largest democratic exercise.
When Olive Ridley sea turtles nest on the beach in his village, little Warthy Raju can barely wait for the millions of hatchlings, with their three-inch shells and thumb-sized heads, to scramble out.
It may take development of the deserts to save forests, say experts, who stress that desert ecology needs to be preserved and enhanced.
Shooing off a quartet of hens that come pecking, 24-year-old Kamala Batra sits guard over a sack of coarse rice spread out on the courtyard. After small black insects slowly crawl away in the sun’s heat, she gathers it to cook for the day’s free midday meal - a pan-India government food security scheme for students.
In a country of 1.2 billion people, the threat of drought takes on epic proportions.Over a period of two centuries (between 1801 and 2002), India experienced 42 severe droughts, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation. One of these, in 1979, cut food grain production by 20 percent; another, in 1987, damaged 58.6 million hectares of cultivated land, affecting 285 million people.
Last monsoon season, 65-year-old Sunadhar Ramaparia, a member of the Bhumia tribe in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, mixed indigenous crops like ‘para’ paddy, foxtail millet and oil seeds in his upland plot.
While tens of thousands of Indian farmers succumb to the pressures of debt, hunger and poverty by taking their own lives, members of the Bhumia tribe are simply falling back on a 3,000-year-old agricultural system to ensure a steady supply of healthy food.
When twenty-nine-year-old Kartik Wahi graduated from the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, Illinois in 2010, he wasted no time in returning to India to self-finance a start-up company to market solar-powered irrigation pumps.
Worms and termites are not likely to win hearts and minds, but they, along with lichens and microbes, are vital to food security, say biodiversity specialists who attended this month’s United Nations conference on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in this south Indian city.
Developing countries are investing enormously in preserving biological diversity, and it is unimaginable that the wealthy nations will not fulfill their obligations to provide funding for these efforts, Brazilian environmental negotiator André Aranha Corrêa do Lago told Tierramérica*.
We cannot isolate biological diversity by geographical boundaries, says Brazilian negotiator André Aranha Corrêa do Lago in this interview.
“With more than 60 percent of the world projected to be urban by 2030 why not prepare for it and build cities that include biodiversity preservation into planning?” asks Kobie Brand of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability in Cape Town, South Africa.
With negotiations to mobilise resources for preservation of biodiversity at a major United Nations conference going nowhere, the Group of 77 and China have hinted at possible suspension of the ‘Aichi targets’ under the Nagoya Protocol.