Training on developing People’s biodiversity Register (PBR) 

ATREE in collaboration with Sikkim University organised a People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR). Participants were made aware of the importance of biodiversity and the traditional knowledge associated with it.

BMC is the custodian of local biodiversity and is a legal body constituted as per the Indian Biological Diversity Act, 2002. So the need for a BMC constitution, its roles and responsibilities such as the preparation of PBR, conservation of biodiversity and the authority vested in it were also discussed. A short field session was also conducted to demonstrate data collection for the PBR.

The PBR was part of the joint project of ATREE and Sikkim University titled ‘Key ecosystem services and biodiversity components in socio-ecological landscapes of Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya: Deriving management and policy inputs and developing. In the coming months as part of the project ATREE will be supporting at least 2 BMCs in developing their PBR.

Training on environment-friendly farming

A three-day-long training programme on environment-friendly farming was organised by ATREE, in a village near the Singalila National Park in Darjeeling between the 13th & 15th of September. This was part of the  National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS) funded project.
The programme consisted of a series of classroom lectures, hands-on activities and discussion sessions. The 69 participating farmers were trained in soil moisture preservation, management of pests and diseases through locally available materials, making soil microorganisms for enhancing soil nutrient and proper land utilisation.
 An interdisciplinary and holistic approach to invasives

ATREE’S Ramya Ravi spoke at two international conferences last month. The 15th International Conference on Ecology and Management of Plant Alien Invasives, Prague and The 8th World Conference on Ecological Restoration, Cape Town.

She explained the  ‘novel’ dependence on Prosopis juliflora  - an invasive native to the Americas, introduced in the 1960’s - by a majority of the residents of the Banni grasslands. Despite taking over 60% of the original grasslands and amidst appeals for its removal by the Maldharis (traditional pastoralists), the charcoal generated from Prosopsis remains both a primary and secondary source of income for many.

Her talk stressed the need for interdisciplinary research even in the context of ecological problems like invasions. And the importance of taking a holistic view when it comes to restoration— one that takes into account the socioeconomic and cultural dimensions of species invasions along with the ecological.


ATREE's Nitin Rai and Kamal Bawa question the motives behind the continued labelling of forest dwellers as forest destroyers even as evidence mounts that they have actively managed forests. Read More...
ATREE's Sharachchandra Lele and NCF's MD Madhusudan assert that there is little evidence to show that the Forest Rights Act (FRA) is leading to large-scale deforestation. Read More...
ATREE's Veena Srinivasan argues that due to silos between stakeholders, the people with the expertise on particular problems are often not the ones implementing solutions. Read More...
ATREE PhD student, Madhushri Mudke, talks about the Kottigehar Dancing Frog and her journey in conservation so far in the ZSL Edge of Existence Podcast. She is an EDGE fellow and aims to understand the ecological niche requirements and threats to the critically endangered Kottigehar Dancing Frog, Micrixalus kottigeharensis. The EDGE of Existence programme is the only global conservation initiative to focus specifically on threatened species that represent a significant amount of unique evolutionary history.
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