Issue 18                                                                                                                                                              October 2017
T N Khoshoo Memorial Award and Lecture 2017
The TN Khoshoo Memorial Award and Lecture celebrates the work and life of the renowned environmental scientists, Dr Triloki Nath Khoshoo. This year, the award was presented to Mr Sonam Wangchuk, founder of SECMOL, for his work on Ice Stupas. 
Mr Anshu Gupta, the founder of GOONJ, delivered the keynote address on improving livelihoods and promoting human wellbeing by using cloth and local knowledge as currencies. 

ATREE at Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics Forum– 2017

ATREE participated in the 4th edition of the Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics Forum-2017, organised by Balipara Foundation. The two-day forum brought together participants from various organisation to discuss contemporary concerns of conservation in the Eastern Himalayan landscape. ATREE’s researchers participated in panel discussions, chaired sessions, and presented speed talks and posters to share learning and research findings from the Eastern Himalayas.

Workshop for wetland conservation

ATREE CERC and MG University's School of Environment Sciences co-organized a workshop on Conservation initiatives in Vembanad Wetland Ecosystem for students and their faculty. The workshop focused on action research the need to strengthen CEPA (communication, education and public awareness) for wetland management and conservation. Drawing insights from ATREE's work in Vembanad, Jojo TD, a project coordinator at ATREE CERC, presented a talk during the workshop. 

Workshop to understand Monkey Fever

ATREE organised a workshop for the participants of the inter-disciplinary collaborative study on the Kyasanur Forest Disease or Monkey Fever. The study brings together researchers, public and animal health specialists, and forest managers to understand the social and ecological risks factors for the disease. The study aims to understand where, when and during which activities are the local communities most susceptible to contracting the disease.
Sanitation and drinking water woes

Public and private borewells are the primary source of drinking water for several people in peri-urban areas. These structures are often constructed in close proximity to soak-pits and toilets, through which faecal coliforms leach and pollute the underground drinking water source. ATREE's researchers Priyanka Jamwal and Durba Biswas draw insights from their research in Nelamangla, a peri-urban landscape in the outskirts of Bengaluru and highlight the human health and well-being concerns. 

Conservation concerns beyond trophy hunting

In the debate on trophy hunting in Africa, real conservation concerns such as conflict, land grabbing, habitat loss and degradation have taken a backseat. Meera Anna Oommen, Associate Director of Dakshin Foundation and Kartik Shanker, Director of ATREE bring forth the need to look at the ground realities and listen to the voices of the local Africans.  
In the News

Forests, conservation and community rights

To ensure the safe passage of elephants and to mitigate human-elephant conflicts, Indian scientists have suggested ways and mapped 101 elephant corridors. However, these corridors are highly degraded with high human activity. ATREE's research scholar, Paramesh Mallegowda suggests to involve communities in the decision-making process rather than relocating them. 
All India Forum for Forest Movements (AIFFM), ATREE, Kalpavriksh and Vasundhara organised a public consultation on the issue of violation of rights of the forest-dwelling communities in protected areas. The meeting discussed the poor implementation of Forest Rights Act, 2006. While in some regions, the rights of the forest communities have not yet been recognised, in others, the procedures under FRA are being used to relocate people in violent ways.

Research shows that traditional community rules are more efficient than state laws in ensuring sustainable fishing in several coastal regions of India. However, local institutions have weakened in the coasts of Tamil Nadu in the absence of state regulations covering state fisheries, says ATREE's research scholar, Rahul Muralidharan. 
On the pretext of afforestation, state forest departments are forcing plantations on forest lands claimed by tribal communities. ATREE's Senior researcher, Sharachchandra Lele suggests allocating afforestation funds to village council in order to make CAMPA plantations pro-poor and effective. 

Conserving Vembanad Lake with communities

Malayala Manorama organised a brainstorming session to discuss problems and management intervention needed for conservation of Vembanad lake. ATREE-CERC's coordinator, Jojo TD, presented inputs based on ATREE's experience of working in Vembanad Lake. 

Each year, ATREE-CERC, along with local fishermen organisation, Samyukta Vembanad Kayal Samrakshana Samithi (SVKSS), launch the cleaning drive, called 'Manadalakala' to collect plastic waste from Vembanad Lake. Lake Protection Forums which constitutes fishermen and clam collectors, steer this annual plastic collection drive to revive the lake ecosystem. 

Conservation of Rattans in the Western Ghats

Researchers from ATREE and IISER, Pune have mapped the distribution of 21 rattan species in the Western Ghats. The study finds that non-protected areas are the hotspots for rattan species and their populations are plummeting due to unsustainable harvesting. ATREE's researchers Aravind N.A and Ravikanth G. suggest that forest managers need to encourage farmers to establish large-scale plantations in private lands and develop agroforestry systems to conserve rattans in wild.
Insects and urban waste management
ATREE's senior researcher, Priyadarsanan Dharma Rajan explains that insects can be used to address the problems of waste, food security and carbon emission. Edible insects have high protein value and produce lesser greenhouse gases than rearing of livestock. Larvae of black soldier fly are voracious feeders and useful in composting large organic waste of the city. 

Feral dog census in Pune
ATREE's researcher, Abi T Vanak and Neha Panchamiya from RESQ Charitable Trust have collaborated to conduct India's first-ever scientific population census of stray dogs in Pune to help address problems such as rabies and other vaccinations. The study uses wildlife census technique of capture-recapture to estimate the dog population in the city and the dynamics of the free-ranging dogs.  

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