Stories written by Keya Acharya
A journalist with over 20 years of experience in in-depth writing and researching environment and development issues in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Keya has travelled widely, covering assignments in various areas of the world. Her research has included climate change, urban solid waste management, rural alternative energy systems, implementation of laws on industrial hazardous wastes, human rights, ecotourism, wildlife issues, transgenic cotton, corruption and environment, population and gender, e-governance, agribiotech and forests and encroachments, among other topics. Keya is vice chair of the Forum of Environmental Journalists of India, and has organised several media-training workshops, convened international media meetings and undertaken media study tours. Keya has won several research and media fellowships and is the recipient of the Press Institute’s award for Excellence in Human Development Reporting; the Prem Bhatia Award for Environmental Reporting, and the Green Globe Foundation award for Outstanding Media Contribution by a Media Individual. Keya has also conducted development journalism studies as visiting faculty, chaired media and international conference panels, and edited ‘The Green Pen’, an anthology of essays on environmental journalism, the first of its kind in South Asia, featuring the region's most prominent and respected environmental journalists. | Web

Kerala Throttling its Golden Goose

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.

Italian Mafia Up To Dirty Business

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.

A Google for India’s Poor

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.

Free Lunches Come at an Environmental Cost

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.

Making Waste Management a Sport in India

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 to Conserve Biodiversity at Grassroots

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).

India Ignoring Coastal Biodiversity – NGOs

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.

Funds Crunch Skews Aichi Targets on Biodiversity

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.

Beating the Weather With Sustainable Crops

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.

India Drowning in Waste, Experts Warn

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.

Microfinance Gets ‘Divine’ Intervention in India

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.

Biomass Plantations Can Power India

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.

Cash-for-work schemes are greening arid areas. Credit: Keya Acharya/IPS

India’s Job Guarantee Scheme Under Strain

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.

A farmer at a co-operative in Bangalore.  Credit: Keya Acharya/IPS

Indian Farmers Hostage to Middlemen

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.

INDIA: Seeking Aid For Low Carbon Growth

After pushing for financing adaptation at the just-concluded United Nations climate talks at Durban, India is hitting every button for aid in executing its low-carbon growth plans.

NEPAL: Community Forestry Unfazed by Political Turmoil

Nepal’s joint forest management system has taken such deep roots that the country’s prolonged political instability has had little effect on it.

A vegetable vendor in Bangalore using a solar lamp to light her stall. Credit: SELCO/IPS

INDIA: ‘Women Make Good Business Sense’

Harish Hande believes that involving women in design, manufacture and sales pays dividends in any business, but especially in those making products that women ultimately use.

IBSA: ‘Cash Grants Must Back Food Access’

Studies by the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Academic Forum on food security issues in the three countries suggest that providing food access works best when backed by cash transfers.

Stray Dogs in Cochin, Kerala, India Credit: SingChan/Creative Commons Licence

Stray Dog Issue Hounds Animal Welfare in India

Moves to enact a new law on animal welfare in India have upset public health advocates, who fear it will interfere with efforts to control rabies-carrying stray dogs.

INDIA: Some Brain Drains Back

They were the face of India’s "brain drain" - the best and the brightest government-educated scholars who eventually left for foreign shores. Now, they have opted to give back as a gesture of thanks for the top-notch education they received.

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