Monday, May 10, 2010

Expansion of countries like India a threat to the Environment says UN

In a report that is the starkest till date, United Nations has directly alleged developing countries like India, China and Brazil of not preserving the environment in their surge to be an economically developed nation.

The report says that there is a direct link between extinction of plant and animal species and the economic growth. As the human population increases manifolds and people consume more, death threats are being faced by animals and plants.

“It’s a problem if we continue this unsustainable pattern of production and consumption,” said Ahmed Djoghlaf, the UN’s leading figure on biological diversity. “If the 9 billion people predicted to be with us by 2050 were to have the same lifestyle as Americans, we would need five planets.”
“The magnitude of the damage [to ecosystems] is much bigger than previously thought,” said Djoghlaf. “The rate of extinction is currently running at 1,000 times the natural historical background rate of extinction.”

What humans are not realising is also the fact that it is ultimately their own doom story they are writing down by clearly neglecting the fate of other living species. The threat is not just to few animals but to entire populations of marine life forms, terrestrial life forms and even areal species with new technology making humans conquer the skies like never before.

With the crusade to become as developed as USA, India is losing much of its rich biodiversity. Man-made malls are more in number now that nature made animals.

The global population is set to rise from 6.8 billion to 9 billion by 2050. With lack of space, it will again be the animals and plants that will have to leave the earth permanently to provide shelter to this uncontrollable mass of humans.

India can still fight back, by stricter population norms, stricter energy laws and more regulations and conservation measures for the plant and animal kingdom.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rs. 5000 Crores Grant to be given by Central Government for Forest Conservation

There may be lacunas down the line, but right now the central government has planned a definite financial support to be given to the forest departments of the whole country. Union minister of Environment and Forest has announced a grant of Rs. 5000 crores to be given to states this year in order to conserve forests.

The largest share of this grant will be given to Arunachal Pradesh with Rs.721 crore slotted for the state followed by Madhya Pradesh at Rs. 490 crore, Chhatisgarh Rs. 411 crore, and Maharashtra at Rs.310 crore.

There have been a number of factors analyzed before allotting the amount to each state, like the share of the total forest area of the country falling in a particular state, and also the state whose forest area is more than the national average.

The quality of the forest has also been taken into consideration for the compensation rewarded.

It is said that in the financial year 2008-2009 Rs. 8200 crore were spent on forests. It is hoped that this time the grant is successfully used for conservation of the forests rather than filling of the pockets.

Image Credit
Flickr photo by Micky

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Asian Elephants all set to Parade on London Streets

London streets are soon to be invaded by 260 Asian Elephants.
The elephants are live sculptures actually, painted by renowned artists, fashion designers, and students of schools and colleges for the grand parade in order to raise awareness on the depleting number of the species.

The Asian elephants were once more than quarter of a million in number but today the population has decreased to something between 25,000 and 35,000. The reason for the depleting population again point towards humans who have been encroaching their habitats and blocked the migration routes.

Says Mark Shand of the Elephant Family explaining about the initiatives they have taken to preserve the species, "In India alone, an elephant is killed everyday - a person is killed and a person kills an elephant, so you've really got a war on. Elephants have had these migratory routes, basically like islands connecting parks between each other, they've got no where to move and people have encroached on them. So we negotiate with the people to move from the land. We buy the land, build them houses, off the corridors and give them exactly the same amount of arable land back and they're very glad to be doing this."

The parade is being done to raise charity for the preservation of elephants. Artists have come up with various innovative ideas to create the sculptures, like a black cab shaped elephant that even has lights blinking and also a cloud like elephant that moves around in the city to collect signatures.

Care has also been taken to prepare the sculptures and transport them in the most eco-friendly way.

"We're going to raise about one million pounds from selling these elephants but that's nothing against the target in the field," said Ruth Powys, director of the Elephant Family. "The target in the field is 50 million.... the only way we're even going to get close to that is collecting signatures from the public, which we can then go and lobby governments with."

After London the organizers hope to take the parade to cities like New York and Delhi in order to raise awareness across the globe. Here is more information on the Elephant Parade
Image Credit
Flickr photo by mckaysavage