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Branches@ATREE(A Bimonthly Newsletter)
SOUBADRA DEVY SELECTED FOR LOWELL THOMAS AWARD 2006
Dr. Soubadra Devy has been selected for the Lowell Thomas Award for 2006. The award is given out each year by the Explorers Club and Rolex USA to honor extraordinary individuals who have made unique contributions to a particular field of exploration. This year, the focus is forest canopies and their rich biodiversity. There are five awardees for 2006 and Soubadra is one among them. The award is in recognition of her work on the pollination of canopy trees.
The others awardees this year are: Francis Halle, field explorer who invented the Great Balloon for canopy research; Margaret Lowman, known as "Canopymeg" for her worldwide work in the rainforest canopy; Mark Moffett, scientist and journalist/ photographer for National Geographic; and, Brian Rosborough, visionary founder of Earthwatch, who has advocated the importance of entrepreneurial support for field research. The awards will be presented on Wednesday, 18 October 2006 at a special dinner hosted by The Explorers Club and Rolex, at the Cipriani Ballroom in New York City.
INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON FOREST CANOPIES
ATREE hosted an international workshop on Forest Canopies from 11 to 14 June 2006. It was funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Global Opportunities Fund and the United Nations Environment Programme, in collaboration with the Global Canopy Programme, a UK charity, to discuss climate change impacts on forests and to promote the sustainable use of forest canopies. Delegates from Brazil, Ghana, Madagascar, Malaysia, China and India exchanged expertise and discussed the sustainable use of forest canopy biodiversity, by supporting local livelihoods through environmentally sustainable canopy based enterprise. This also included canopy ecotourism, using modern canopy access technology such as a walkway. The delegates also discussed the social and economic values of forest canopy ecosystem services to humanity.
- Vivek R.
CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM PARTNERSHIP FUND (CEPF)
The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) recently began an investment program in the Eastern Himalayas Region, covering Bhutan, northeastern India, and southern, central and eastern Nepal. In India the CEPF program will be coordinated by the Eastern Himalayas office of ATREE at Kalimpong.
- Suman Rai
NCSA WORKSHOP AT SHILLONG
The National Capacity Needs Self-Assessment (NCSA) workshop was held at Shillong, Meghalaya on 26 August. It was organized by ATREE under the aegis of the Ministry of Environment and Forests supported by the United Nation Development Programme/ Global Environment Facility (GEF). The participants included senior forest officers of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Tripura, Director of the State Biotechnology Department, Tripura, faculty members from NEHU, Officers and Scientists from Ministry of Environment and Forests, Regional Office, Shillong, Scientists from Botanical Survey of India, Zoological Survey of India, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat and North-East Space Application Centre, Shillong. Several NGOs working in the field of biodiversity conservation also participated. This consultation was part of a process to assess capacities for fulfilling India's mandate towards implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to which it is a signatory. The objectives: to identify strengths and gaps related to biodiversity conservation in India; and, to prepare a thematic profile to facilitate prioritization of areas for GEF support for capacity building in the country.
- Neha A.
WETLAND PROJECT UPDATES
A workshop on environmental education was organized on 10 of June at the SKM Higher Secondary School, Kumarakom. The objective was to get insights from teachers on the proposed environmental education programme which ATREE is initiating in the area for the conservation of Vembanad Lake. In all, 24 teachers from various schools of Kottayam district attended the workshop.
- Jojo T.D
COASTAL AND MARINE PROGRAMME UPDATES
The Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Thiru A. Raja released the book "Marine Turtles of the Indian Sub-continent" in New Delhi. The editors of the book are Kartik Shanker and B.C. Choudhury (Wildlife Institute of India). Kartik Shanker has also produced a book for children titled 'Turtle Story' in collaboration with Pratham Books. It has been printed in English, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Marathi, Hindi and Oriya and is being distributed to various project partners and community groups along the coast.
- Aarthi Sridhar
ATREE MEMBERS NOMINATED
Dr. SN Rai and Dr. KD Singh (Hon Senior Fellow) have been nominated to the Consultative Group on Forestry Matters for International Negotiations. The group functions under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Environment & Forests), Government of India and will look into the implications of various international conventions/ multilateral agreements like UNFF, WTO, ITTO, ITTA, Asia Pacific Forestry Commission and SFM to evolve a strategy for action conforming to international obligations.
- Kalpana P.
Robert Chandran has joined ATREE as Fellow, Conservation Science. He holds a Doctorate in Tropical Forest Ecology from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He has worked at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Asian Elephant Research and Conservation Centre, Bangalore; and, at the Centre for Tropical Forest Science, U.S.A. He worked as Post-Doctoral Associate in Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois, U.S.A. prior to joining to ATREE.
Aravind N.A., K.P. Rajshekhar and N.A. Madhaystha. 2006. Land snails of Western Ghats: Diversity, Distribution and Endemicity. Sahyadri E News. (http://wgbis.ces.iisc.ernet.in/biodiversity/).
TALKS & PRESENTATIONS
Aarthi Sridhar and members of the UNDP Post-Tsunami Environment Assessments team made presentations on the CRZ Notification and implications of the newly proposed coastal legislation at a workshop in Chennai organized by the Coastal Action Network on 20 May 2006. A similar presentation was made at a workshop organised by the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers and the National Fishworkers' Forum on 6 June in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa. She also made a presentation titled 'Appropriate marine conservation approaches - MPAs versus community conservation' at the above mentioned ICSF meeting on 6 June in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.
GRANTS, PROJECTS AND OTHER
Ankila Hiremath has been invited to be a visiting faculty member at the Department of Environmental Biology, Delhi University, which houses the Center for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems.
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