ATREE co-organized SPEEC-UP 2018 with National Centre for Biological Sciences(NCBS), Dakshin Foundation, Center for Ecological Sciences, IISc, Wildlife Conservation Society and Nature Conservation foundation. 

SPEEC-UP is a one-day event created to encourage and promote interactions among students of ecology, evolution, conservation and environmental science in Bengaluru. The event featured a competition in the speed-talk format (3 minute talks) in which researchers across institutions participated.

  Community Forest Rights to 39 Gram Sabhas on Indigenous Peoples Day

We are very happy to share that 39 Gramsabhas in Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary received their Community Forest Rights on International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples celebrated on August 9th 2018. ATREE celebrated the 24th International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples in Hanur, Chamarajanagara district with over 1000 members from the Soliga community. The Community Forest Rights were distributed to members of the Soliga community at this event.

The event was organized in collaboration with Soliga Taluk Abhivrudhi Sangha, Soliga District Abhivrudhi Sangha, VGKK and the Karnataka Forest Department.

Policy Consultation on Himalayan Wetlands

ATREE in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund-India (WWF) organized a two-day policy consultation on Himalayan wetlands on the 29th and 30th August, 2018 in Ladakh. The event was inaugurated by the Hon'ble Chairman & Chief Executive Counsellor, Dorjay Mutup and the Director of the Defense Institute of High Altitude Research, Dr. O. P. Chaurasiya.

Representatives from Ladakh Ecological Development Group (LEDeG), All Ladakh Tour Operators Association (ALTOA), Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), Islamic University and Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu (SKUAST), tourism agencies, the District Forest Officer (DFO), Mohammad Abbas as well as a renowned wetland academician, Dr. Brij Gopal participated.

The consultation focussed on reviewing and prioritizing existing governance, policy, tourism and climate change related issues of wetlands (high and medium altitudes) in Jammu & Kashmir.  It also looked at developing a framework for the effective management, sustainable use, and conservation of mountain wetlands in Jammu & Kashmir with a special focus on Ladakh.

This is the first in a series of proposed site-specific consultations planned across the country in critical wetland and grassland habitats organized by ATREE with support from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
ATREE at Urban Works Innovation Challenge 2018

ATREE Fellow, Veena Srinivasan was part of the panel discussion - 'Design and Innovation in Urban Workspaces' at the Urban Works Innovation Challenge held in Bengaluru recently. The challenge organized by CoWrks Foundry in partnership with Columbia University aimed at encouraging innovation to ensure sustainable workplaces.

The panel discussion addressed issues like what constituted sustainability at a workplace and if it could be imagined beyond energy consumption, waste management, or even the physical workspace. It also looked at the use of technology to create sustainable, inclusive spaces for collaboration and creativity.
ATREE 's Agasthyamalai CCC conducts Wildlife Impact Assessment Survey and Social Survey
ATREE's Agasthyamalai Community Conservation Centre (CCC) conducted the annual wildlife impact assessment survey in partnership with Tamil Nadu Forest Department (TNFD) from August 7th to August 14th, 2018. Since 2016, ATREE has been regularly conducting impact studies as part of the project - 'SMK monitoring for change'. This survey is conducted during the annual Aadi Amavasya (no moon day in the Tamil month of Aadi) festival that is held in the Sorimuthayanar Temple at Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR). 

This year's survey involved 10 ATREE researchers and 30 student volunteers. Apart from the survey, they also assisted TNFD for frisking polythene and awareness creation.
ATREE at a Workshop on Kyasanur Forest Disease
ATREE Fellow, Abi T Vanak was part of  the first stakeholder workshop of the Monkey Fever Risk project. This research funded by a Medical Research Council (MRC) Foundation Award from the Global Challenges Research Fund aims to understand how and why the deadly Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) is spreading in forest ecosystems in India.

The framing workshop brought together key disease managers and policy makers from State and District level in India and across animal and public health, forestry, and social welfare sectors.The aim of this participatory workshop was to understand stakeholder needs for information and tools to combat Kyasanur Forest Disease, an emerging tick-borne zoonotic disease affecting forest communities in India. The workshop was particularly important because it followed a co-production approach that places stakeholders at the heart of the research and its outputs.
Photo-stories from the Field
ATREE's Rinan Shah, Neyi Jamoh, Soumya KV and Amruta Pradhan (left to right) presented their 'Photo-stories from the Field' through 15-minute talks held at  ATREE recently.

Amruta Pradhan and Neyi Jamoh spoke about their recent field trip to Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR). They shared their experiences of working on a project that studied diversity of lichens in three different forests in KMTR. Their visit was part of the Natural Science Methods course.

Soumya KV spoke about her quest to find the dhoopa tree in Southern Western Ghats. The gum-resin from the Boswellia serrata is harvested by the Soliga tribes and they call it dhoopa. Soligas offer dhoopa in  local temples and also use it in their household  as part of their religious rituals.  

Rinan Shah presented a photo story revolving around an urban mountain town (Darjeeling) and the way water reaches the communities living here. This collection of photos were based on her observations in Darjeeling as part of her ongoing PhD field work.
ATREE at the 30th International Conferance of Agricultural Economists
ATREE Fellow, Bejoy Thomas attended the 30th International Conference of Agricultural Economists held at Vancouver, Canada from July 28th to August 2nd, 2018. The conference was organized by the International Association of Agricultural Economists and is held once every three years and brings together economists working on agriculture and allied areas from around the world. 

Bejoy presented a paper on the determinants of farmer's crop choice based on data from the heavily groundwater dependent peri-urban Bangalore. The paper found that tubewell ownership is skewed in favour of the wealthy farmers and argued that the adoption of more water intensive crops raises questions on sustainability of water resources and viability of agrarian livelihoods in the region.
ATREE at World Water Week
ATREE Fellow, Veena Srinivasan was at the World Water Week 2018. The World Water Week is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues. This year's theme was 'Water, Ecosystems and Human Development'.

Veena was also part of the UN-Water Strategic Advisory Group Meeting for SDG6 (addresses water) held on  August 26th, 2018. The global indicators report for all targets within SDG6  were released.

There were several sessions on nature-based solutions or 'green-infrastructure'. Panels discussed what it would take to create 'sponge cities' (designing urban systems that mimic natural processes to enhance water availability and quality) and whether developing countries can leapfrog without first building out traditional 'grey' infrastructure.

Sessions on big data analytics and earth observations to improve water management were also held. 
ATREE at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society

Mihir Mathur and Kabir Sharma, system dynamics modellers,who work with ATREE, presented three papers from ATREE's ongoing project- 'The Banni grasslands in a time of change: Ecological and socioeconomic resilience in a coupled human-natural system' at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society held in Reykjavik, Iceland, between August 7th and August 10th, 2018. All three papers were presented in the work-in-progress sessions.

The first paper - 'Modeling coupled human and natural systems in Banni Grassland, India, for multi-stakeholder engagement and consensus building' by Mihir Mathur, Kabir Sharma, Ankila Hiremath, Abi Vanak, Nirav Mehta, Ramya Ravi, Ovee Thorat, Madhura Niphadkar, Swati Shresth was presented at the session on Modelling Approaches for the Environment and Economy. 

The second paper - 'Modelling dynamics of Prosopis juliflora in Banni, India, using a land-biomass simulation model' by  Kabir Sharma, Mihir Mathur, Ankila Hiremath, Abi Vanak, Nirav Mehta, Madhura Niphadkar, Ovee Thorat, Ramya Ravi, Swati Shresth was presented in the session on Renewable Resources Management. 

And.lastely, the paper - 'Understanding changes in governance systems of the Banni grassland in India' by  Mihir Mathur, Kabir Sharma, Ovee Thorat, Ramya Ravi, Swati Shresth, Ankila Hiremath, Abi Vanak, Nirav Mehta, Madhura Niphadkar was presented at the governance session.

The conference enabled ATREE to present its work to a global audience and generated considerable interest in  ongoing research. It also provided useful feedback from leading system dynamics modellers from across the world.
ATREE- Community Environmental Resource Centre (CERC) conducted a training session on organic household kitchen gardens in Muhamma to deal with the issue of pesticide-ridden imported food in Kerala.
Rebuilding Kerala
ATREE's Kerala Flood Relief Efforts

ATREE - Community Environmental Resource Centre (CERC) worked in relief camps in the Muhamma region to help those severely affected by floods . In order to relieve people from the on-going stress and pressure due to the floods, several recreational activities for  kids and mothers were conducted under the supervision of CERC volunteers. Relief materials were collected and sent from ATREE to Kuttanad and Vembanad areas. 
ATREE on Netflix
ATREE's Abi T Vanak talks about golden jackals, feral dogs and wolves in episodes 7,8 and 9 of the new Netflix original series - '72 Dangerous Animals: Asia'.  
Upcoming Events

Training Workshop on Integrating Ecosystem Services and Rural Livelihoods

ATREE in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) will host a five-day workshop that delves into various natural and social science concepts in the field of ecosystem and wellbeing assessments. The workshop aims to link ecosystem services, food and water security, environmental change and the dynamics of rural systems to understand and enhance the wellbeing of rural communities in the Eastern Himalayas.

Training will be imparted through a combination of lectures, discussions, field exercises and intensive group projects. Results of the group projects will be compiled into a discussion paper which will be published in the ATREE’s Environment and Development discussion paper series.

Shrinivas Badiger, Sharachchandra Lele, and Bejoy Thomas (left to right) talk about the need to create coordination committees and generate data and flow modeling models to manage floods around heavily dammed rivers. Read More...
In light of the Kerala Floods, Jagdish Krishnaswamy calls for a transparent approach to generation, monitoring and sharing of hydrologic data and meaningful partnerships between government, academic and civil society. Read more...
Veena Srinivasan explains how rapid urbanization impacts water management and the need to revisit our civil engineering curriculum for preventing disasters like the Kerala Floods. Read More...
Tarun Nair questions the proposal by Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration to delist saltwater crocodiles from the Wildlife Act and its likely consequences. Read More...
In the News

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