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17th TN Khoshoo Memorial Award 

The 17th T N Khoshoo award presentation and lecture event took place online owing to the pandemic. It was centred around  ‘The Science and Art of Outreach for the Environment’. Licipriya Kangujam was the recipient of the 2020 edition and the keynote speaker was  Grammy Award winning musician and environmentalist Ricky Kej.

Licipriya Kangujam, 9 - year old Climate Activist  Founder, The Child Movement was awarded the TN Khoshoo Memorial Award,  for having ‘achieved monumental impact  while campaigning for climate change at the young age of 9.’

Instituted by Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) the award was presented to Licipriya in recognition of her campaigning for climate action in India for the past 3 years and  to pass new laws to curb India’s high pollution levels and to make climate change literacy mandatory in schools. 

Can forests influence rainfall?

International Centre for Theoretical Sciences held a talk by Jagdish Krishnaswamy called 'Can forests in India influence rainfall?'. He made a comprehensive presentation on South Zone sand mining issues where he not only put question mark on M sand or imported sand as alternatives to sand mining since these either create new problems or transfer the problems elsewhere.

Watch the talk here.

India Rivers Week 2020
'Is Sand Mining Killing our Rivers?'
India Rivers Forum organized a series of Dialogues (digitally) with a focus on the theme: 'Is sand mining killing our rivers?' to celebrate India Rivers Week in 2020. This included four regional dialogues focusing on East (including North East), West, North and South India, and a final dialogue focusing on Sand Mining as a National issue.

Watch the talk here.

Why and How to Eat Local?

 Dr Sharad and Chef Michael Swamy talked about the art and science of eating local, in the 'Food for Thought' series. The series was a partnership between the Biodiversity Collaboraive, Roundglass Thali, Echonetwork, and India Climate Collaborative. The series focused on how simple changes in our regular consumption pattern can have considerable impact on not only our health but also on our planet.

Watch the talk here.
One Health, EcoHealth and Planetary Health:
bridging disciplines for a post-COVID 19 world

Mridula Paul represented a panel titled, "One Health, EcoHealth and Planetary Health: bridging disciplines for a post-COVID 19 world'. The panel was a part of a series by London School of Hygeine and  Tropical Medicine and Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health.

The pandemic has increased public awareness of the interconnectedness of humans, animals and the environment, and further emphasised the importance of understanding the links.  It has been both a wake-up call and a call to action for improving the ability for research to integrate with policy.   

Watch the talk here.


Online training program on
'Basics of Flowering Plant Identification'

ATREE is conducting a certificate online-training programme on improving skills in plant taxonomy, "Basics of Flowering Plant Identification".  The workshop is conducted under the aegis of Department of Biotechnology funded project “Bioresources and Sustainable Livelihoods in Northeast India”.

The innate skill to differentiate forms and colours would play a major role in identifying plants too. The three day hands-on training course, held from 14th to 16th December 2020, through online facilities aims to enable the participants in distinguishing plants and identifying them.

The course will guide the participants to identify plants by observing them in their immediate surroundings. The use of web-based tools to enrich and share knowledge about plant identity will also be discussed.

More details here.

Online training program on
'Basics of Mollusc Taxonomy and Ecology'

ATREE is conducting a certificate online-training programme on improving skills in Molluscan Taxonomy. The workshop is conducted under the aegis of Department of Biotechnology funded project “Bioresources and Sustainable Livelihoods in Northeast India”.
The three day online workshop will aim to impart basic knowledge of integrative taxonomy, ecology, biogeography and conservation of Indian non-marine molluscs (land and freshwater). The participants will learn the diversity of Indian land and freshwater molluscs with special emphasis on NE India. They will also be exposed to basic ecology of this group and learn how water quality and soil parameters governing their choice of microhabitat and distribution.

The workshop will include lectures on biogeography and origin of Indian molluscan fauna. It is imperative to conserve these species in their habitats in order to ensure their effective utilization as bioresources. The last section of the workshop will be dedicated to exchange of knowledge to conserve the bioresource value of the species in the Northeast Indian region and learn tradition value of these species not just as food and medicine but also their cultural significance.

More details here.

Sharad Lele among the top 100,000 across all fields 

Congratulations to Dr. Sharachchandra Lele on being among the top 100,000 across all fields according to the composite citation index for the year 2019. 

PLOS Biology published a paper, 'Updated science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators' assessing scientists for career-long citation impact up until the end of 2019 and for citation impact during the single calendar year 2019.
See reference here. 

Modelling the challenges of managing free-ranging dog populations 

Free-ranging domestic dogs (FRD) are not only vectors of zoonoses of public health concern, but also pose direct threats to humans, livestock, and endangered wildlife. Many developing countries have struggled to control FRD, despite using both lethal and non-lethal methods. India has amongst the highest FRD populations globally and the highest incidences of dog-mediated human rabies, but only deploys Catch–Neuter–Vaccinate–Release (CNVR) for FRD control as a humane alternative to lethal methods, without evidence of it working successfully.

Find the full paper here.

Navigating the city’s waterscape

Durba Biswas authored a paper in 'Development in Practice' titled, "Navigating the city’s waterscape: gendering everyday dynamics of water access from multiple sources".

Large-scale secondary data show that water access is improving in Indian slums; however, women still need to procure water from multiple sources. Based on field research conducted in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, this paper examines the everyday negotiations that urban women from slums undertake at different water sources. The study finds that women depend on street taps, water vendors, water tankers, and in-house connections in varying degrees. The results show variation in negotiations that women engage in at multiple sites and sources. These variations have emerged as a result of the characteristics of the water sources and household-level water storage capacity. 

Find the full paper here.

River fragmentation and flow alteration metrics

Jagadish Krishnaswamy co-authored a paper titled, "River fragmentation and flow alteration metrics: a review of methods and directions for future research".

Rivers continue to be harnessed to meet humanity's growing demands for electricity, water, and flood control. While the socioecological impacts of river infrastructure projects (RIPs) have been well-documented, methodological approaches to quantify river fragmentation and flow alteration vary widely in spatiotemporal scope, required data, and interpretation. Aim. In this review, we first present a framework to visualise the effects of different kinds of RIPs on river fragmentation and flow alteration. We then review available methods to quantify connectivity and flow alteration, along with their data requirements, scale of application, advantages, and disadvantages. Finally, we present decision-making trees to help stakeholders select among these methods based on their objectives, resource availability, and the characteristics of the project(s) being evaluated.

Find the full paper here

Virtual water flows through interstate cereal trade in India

Lakshmikantha N R co-authored a paper titled, 'Trading water: virtual water flows through interstate cereal trade in India'. 

Cereals are an important component of the Indian diet, providing 47% of the daily dietary energy intake. Dwindling groundwater reserves in India especially in major cereal-growing regions are an increasing challenge to national food supply. An improved understanding of interstate cereal trade can help to identify potential risks to national food security.

Find the full paper here

2020 Mussoorie Mountain Festival

Shweta Bassnet is selected as one of the speakers for the “2020 Mussoorie Mountain Festival”. Organized by Woodstock School’s Hanifl Centre for Outdoor Education and Environmental Study, the festival has featured more than 200 eminent speakers, including authors, mountaineers, conservationists, artists, photographers and musicians. 

The festival will be released through Hanifl Centre’s YouTube channel on 7th, 8th, and 9th December, 2020. 

More information here.
In the News
The Hindu: November 30, 2020
The Hindu: November 25, 2020
Climate change activist Licypriya Kangujam wins T.N. Khoshoo Memorial Award
India Education Diary: November 27, 2020
Science The Wire: November 25, 2020
Tree Plantation at IISc’s ‘Green’ Challakere Campus Ignores Local Ecology
Indian Sapid News: November 07, 2020
Towards better menstrual health and cleaner environment
Bangalore Mirror: November 18, 2020
Games of Drones
The Third Pole: November 19, 2020
The Hindu: November 7, 2020
The Weather Channel: November 30, 2020
Mongabay: November 30, 2020
Carboncopy: November 28, 2020
The Perils of taking forests for granted
Down To Earth: November 19, 2020
Scroll: October 15, 2020
How the worship of sacred freshwater swamps is helping preserve biodiversity in the Western Ghats

Sanctuary | Conservation Action
Bandits, Badlands, and Biodiversity - Sanctuary Asia

Science The Wire  | November 19, 2020
The Government of India Has Misled Parliament on Wildlife Decline

India Times | November 7, 2020
Muhamma In Kerala Has Been Declared As First Synthetic Sanitary Pad Free Village

Cambridge University Press | October 9, 2020
From wildlife-ism to ecosystem-service-ism to a broader environmentalism

The Hindu | October 25, 2020
Saving the planet at nine
Copyright © 2017 Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, All rights reserved.
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