Vol 2:1
For private circulationonly
January 2004
Ashoka Trust for Research in
Ecology and the Environment
Branches@ATREE(A Bimonthly Newsletter)

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment

Bangalore Office
659 5th A Main, Hebbal
Bangalore 560 024
Tel: 080-353 3942, 353 0069
Fax: 353 0070

Delhi Office
B-80 Shivalik
New Delhi 110 017
Tel/Fax: 011-266 93299
266 93190

Eastern Himalayas Office
Bungalow No.2, Bhujiapani
Bagdogra 734 422
Tel/Fax:0353-255 1110
255 0093

Advisory Board
Dr. Kanchan Chopra
Dr. Anil K. Gupta
Dr. R.A. Mashelkar
Dr. Jagmohan Maini
Dr. Peter Raven

Executive Board
Dr. K.S. Bawa (chair)
Dr. K.N. Ganeshaiah
Dr. S.N. Rai
Dr. R. Shailaja
Dr. R. Uma Shaanker
Mr. Darshan Shankar
Dr. Gladwin Joseph

Executive Staff
Dr. Gladwin Joseph
Ms. Suparna Biswas
Dr. Bibhab Talukdar
Mr. Manoj Dabas


The winner of the 2004 Khoshoo Memorial Award is Dr R. Sukumar, Professor at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. He is one of the world leaders in the efforts to conserve elephants, especially the Asian elephant. Since 1997 he has been the Chair of the Asian Elephant specialist Group of IUCN - The World Conservation Union. He has published three books and over 70 scientific articles. He is the winner of the Presidential Award of the Chicago Zoological Society in 1989 and was honoured with the Order of the Golden Ark, by the Government of Netherlands in 1997 for his outstanding contribution to Elephant conservation. His approach has been in using the elephant as a flagship for conserving landscapes, their biodiversity, and reconciling human interests with conservation. Most recently he was the recipient of the Whitley Gold Award for International Nature Conservation (2003).

This prestigious award is given in honor of Dr. Triloki Nath Khoshoo, a world renowned environment scientist, former Secretary of the Department of Environment, Government of India, and a trustee of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). He was also winner of the Padma Bhushan and the United Nations Sasajawa Environmental Prize. In 2002, students and friends of Dr. T. N. Khoshoo set up the T. N. Khoshoo Memorial Endowment Fund at


ATREE to honor the memory of this great scientist and humanist. The S.M. Sehgal Foundation has donated a corpus of $10,000 towards this Fund. The purpose of the Khoshoo Endowment Fund is to biennially recognize and honor one or more relatively young individuals in the field of conservation and sustainable development by providing cash awards in the range of Rs. 50,000 to 100,000.
The cash award was presented at a function in New Delhi on January 15, 2004 at the Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre. Also featured was a Khoshoo Memorial Lecture by Dr. Peter Raven, Director, Missouri Botanical Garden, USA, one of the world’s leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity. The following delegates also paid tribute to Dr. T. N. Khoshoo during this ceremony: Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi; Dr. Prodipto Ghosh, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India; Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi; Dr. P. Pushpangandan, Director General, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow; and, Dr. Suri Sehgal, President, Sehgal Family Foundation, USA.


Many thanks to the Khooshoo family who gave a donation of Rs 10 lacs to the fund and to the Sehgal family foundation who also donated Rs. 4.5 lacs.


The University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), GKVK Bangalore and the Ashoka Trust for

Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Bangalore at the UAS campus on September 18, 2003 in a ceremony presided by the vice chancellor of UAS Dr. A. M. Krishnappa. This will facilitate collaborative training and post graduate research between the two institutions.


ATREE, New Delhi, organized a two-day national workshop: ‘Conservation – Education Interface: Status, Problems and Opportunities’ on 23 - 24 January 2004 at the India International Center, New Delhi. The workshop brought together a diverse mix of individuals and institutions from the field of conservation and education on a common platform. The workshop had representation from reputed schools of Bangalore and Delhi, external resource persons, teachers, donor agencies, forest department officials and park managers from the states of Karnataka, Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The deliberations at the workshop aimed to address the following issues: a) determine the factors that inhibit a dynamic and sustained interface between conservation and education sectors, b) identify the possible steps that can result in a more proactive collaboration between these two sectors and c) develop outline of a pilot program that can successfully demonstrate the benefits of such collaboration in terms of realizing common objectives. ATREE is committed to take the process forward and develop tangible, on the ground initiatives that incorporate the outcome of the workshop discussions.


ATREE periodically presents its research findings to the forest department to promote discussion on key issues and policies pertaining to the conservation and management of the forests. In this context, the meeting entitled “The Role of Science in Forest Conservation and Management” was held with the Karnataka Forest Department on January 7, 2004 at Aranya Bhavan, Bangalore.


The meeting was conducted in two sessions:
1) Knowledge and databases for conservation planning with presentations by ATREE on the distribution of endangered and endemic species, conservation genetics and protected areas, landscape analysis for habitat connectivity and forest hydrology.
2) Role of science in monitoring and management with presentations by ATREE on the need for long-term monitoring at various scales, fire and invasive species in forest systems, lesser-known taxa and systematics, NTFP ecology and management.

Some of the recommendations that emerged from the deliberations were:

  • The importance of consolidating research work by ATREE for the benefit of the Forest Department and the need for new approaches in collaboration.
  • Institutional arrangements and joint collaborative efforts between the Karnataka Forest Department and ATREE could strengthen the ongoing conservation efforts in the identified micro-hotspots of biodiversity.
  • It was recommended that ATREE make similar presentations for the Tamil Nadu Forest Department and the Kerala Forest Department.
  • It was also requested that ATREE impart training and capacity building for lower level forest functionaries.


ATREE Delhi hosted a half-day workshop on “Approaches to Forest Biodiversity Monitoring”, which was organized at the India International Centre on January 14, 2004. The workshop had the mandate to recommend broad terms of reference for implementation in India of Article 7 of the Convention on Biological Diversity relating to monitoring. The workshop was attended by 22 participants from Delhi and Dehradun-based institutions engaged in assessment of forest biodiversity including: MoEF, DBT, IIRS, FSI, ATREE, Winrock, JNU, WWF, FORD, IDRC, UNDP. The main speakers at the workshop were: Mr. N. K. Joshi, Director General, Forests, MoEF, Govt. of India; P. S. Roy Dean, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun on Biodiversity characterization at landscape level and conservation planning; Dr. J. K. Rawat, Director, Forest Survey of India, Dehradun on ‘Biennial

forest cover monitoring and field level inventory’, Dr. K. D. Singh, Senior Fellow, ATREE, Delhi on ‘Monitoring of conservation and sustainable use at the community level’. The specialists’ talks were followed by panel discussion consisting of the following distinguished speakers:
Dr. KS Bawa, President, ATREE; Dr. Peter Raven, Director, Missouri Botanical Garden, USA; Dr. Jagmohan Maini, Chairman, Board of Trustee, CIFOR, Indonesia; Dr. G. Balachander, Representative, The FORD Foundation, New Delhi; Prof. PS Ramakrishnan, UGC Emeritus Professor, JNU, New Delhi.

The workshop concluded with the consensus to appoint a technical group to look into following issues:

  • Develop guidelines for establishing reliable baseline data on biodiversity following Article 7 of Convention on Biological Diversity, benefiting from the existing data available on the subject and following presentations made at the Jan 14, 2004 Workshop.
  • Recommend a system of monitoring, which is simple and practical and can be implemented with the help of the local community.
  • Recommend capacity building needs of the concerned Government departments, NGOs, other agencies and more particularly the communities for monitoring of forest diversity in and around their villages.
  • Outline a system of data aggregation and extrapolation from micro-level to macro-level so that inferences can be drawn at the forest division, district, state level and country level.


On December 30th, 2003, (ATREE) joined efforts with the Association of People with Disabilities (APD) to give 57 children from economically poor areas of Bangalore a New Year’s gift of an outdoor field trip to rural Kanakapura. The APD regularly runs health education programs with school students and school-age dropouts from around Bangalore.. This year, they looked to ATREE’s hands-on environmental education program as a way to expose these children to the outdoors in a new way. Fifty-seven students, ages 9 to 14, a quarter of whom are school drop-outs, accompanied by 15 volunteers from APD and ATREE traveled to the rural government primary school in the Kanakapura area. There they were joined by 35 local students and together the two groups planted and fenced tree saplings on the school grounds. The local students and teachers were given instructions on caring for the seedlings, and promised to do their best to “green” their campus.


Then local Devarahalli community members led the group on a 4-kilometer mountain hike. The city students were very enthusiastic and returned home with a new appreciation for the natural environment. Thanks to the donated time, money and volunteers of the SIDDHA SAMADHI ashram, and the Association of People with Disabilities for making this possible.


The first butterfly garden, in a series of such learning centers was inaugurated by Mr. Narendra Kumar, chairman of the Delhi Public Society at the Yellahanka Delhi Public School on January 20, 04. This garden will serve as a model for many more in and around Bangalore under the supervision of Dr. Soubhadra and her team at ATREE.


Shivanna, K.R.‘Professor L. B. Kajale Memorial Lecture" on "Transfer of genes across species limits through sexual pathway: Recent advances” at the All India Twenty sixth Botanical Conference held at Hamdard University, New Delhi. 29-31 December 2003.
Purushothaman, S. and Swaminathan L.P. ‘Optimal land use strategies in adjoining areas of tropical dry deciduous forests: A socio economic perspective’ at the Third biannual conference of Indian Society of Ecological Economics, IIM, Calcutta, 18-21 December 2003.
Shanker, K. ‘Community conservation of sea turtles in India’ in a panel on “Can communities conserve threatened species?” at the JBNHS Centenary Seminar, Mumbai, November 2003.
Shanker, K. ‘Successes and Challenges in Marine Turtle Conservation in South and Southeast Asia’. at the Marine Turtle Specialist Group at the SSC Members Meeting, IUCN Asia Regional Conservation Forum, Colombo, Sri Lanka, December 9, 2003.


Hiremath, A.J., Joseph, G.C., & Uma Shaanker, R. (2003), ‘Proceedings of the Conference on Policies, Management, Utilization and Conservation of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in the South Asia Region’ ATREE and FAO.
Purushothaman, S., and Viswanath, S. (2003). ‘Economics of NTFP valuation under different stakeholder scenarios in dry deciduous forest tracts of Peninsular India’, in Hiremath, A, Joseph, G and Shaanker, R.U (eds.), Proceedings of the Conference on Policies Management, Utilization & Conservation of Non-timber forest products in South Asia Region, pp.53-56, ATREE and FAO.
Dutta, S.K., Vasudevan, K., Chaitra, M.S., Shanker, K., & Aggarwal, R.K. (2004), `Jurassic frogs and the evolution of amphibian endemism in the Western Ghats’. Current Science, 86: 211-216.
Shanker, K., Pandav, B. & Choudhury, B.C. (2004), ‘An assessment of the olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting population in Orissa, India’. Biological Conservation, 115: 149 – 160.


ATREE received a grant from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for organizing the Sub-Regional Workshop “Accelerating Implementation of National Forest Programmes: Strategies and New Directions” in New Delhi, India from 3-5 February 2004.

Hewlett Packard (HP) has contributed for the basic infrastructure for setting up ATREE-HP Eco-informatics centre to cater to the requirement of Western Ghats – one of the global biodiversity hotspots.


Dr. Uma Shaanker and his team were one of the group of institutions that won the World Bank Development Marketplace 2003 Global Competition award with their project: "Enhancing Livelihoods by Conserving Biodiversity.” For more information on this award, please visit