ATREE at the Student Conference on Conservation Science - 2018

ATREE  helped co-organise the ninth annual Student Conference on Conservation Science - 2018 (SCCS) at Indian Institute of Science between 27th to 30th September, 2018.The SCCS brought together young researchers in the science and practice of biodiversity conservation.

The conference facilitated interaction, encouraged exchange of research ideas and methods, aided in sharing  knowledge and experiences related to conserving wildlife, and helped build contacts and capacity. The four-day conference included short and long workshops, targeted at students, for capacity-building in areas of conservation research and practice. The conference also included six plenary talks, close to 20 student talks, and 80 poster presentations.
ATREE's co-management meeting with the Soligas
ATREE organised a two day co-management meeting with the Soligas under the Forest Rights Act recently. The main obejective of the meeting was to come up with community and conservation plans to achieve livelihood and governance related goals.

The meeting was held in collaboration with District Soliga Abhivrudhi Sangha, VGKK and the Karnataka forest department. The event was presided over by Nagaraj, the Assistant Conservator of Forest , Siddappa Setty, from ATREE, Arunkumar from VGKK and others from Soliga Abhivrudhi Sangha
ATREE  at the International Phenology Conference 
ATREE's T.Ganesh, Siddappa Setty, M.Soubadra Devy and Shweta Basnett  were part of the fourth International Phenology Conference held in Melbourne between 23rd to 27th September, 2018.

The conference organised by Society of Biometeorology Phenology Commission (ISB-PC) saw the participation of representatives from close to 30 countries. Siddappa Setty, gave a talk on - ' Long-term monitoring of honeybees (Apis dorsata) and phenology of flowering in Western Ghats India' at the conference. Soubadra Devy, gave a talk on - 'Understanding the resilience of bee-plant phenology in the Western Ghats, India using long term data'. T.Ganesh gave a talk on - ' Long term phenology from the rainforests of Western Ghats: Some broad trends and patterns' and  also chaired a session.

Shweta Basnett won the best student paper award for her talk on - 'Reproductive phenology of Himalayan Rhododendrons: Influence of phylogeny and abiotic factors'.

ATREE Fellow, Bejoy Thomas made a presentation on farmer responses to water stress at the URBIO 2018 conference on 13th September, 2018 in Cape Town. The URBIO (International Network for Urban Biodiversity and Design) is an open worldwide network of educators, scientists, government officials, and practitioners that promotes design and management of sustainable cities. The theme for this year was - Urban Biodiversity and Food Security.

Bejoy's presentation focused on crop choice decisions by farmers in peri-urban Bengaluru, and using cross-section data illustrated how access to groundwater, variations in proximity to the city and labour scarcity determine crop choice.
ATREE at National Water Mission's regional workshops
ATREE, Fellow, Veena Srinivasan was invited to be a national resource person at the National Water Mission's regional workshops on State Specific Action Plans (SSAPs) in Pune on 14th September, 2018 and Bhubanwshwar on 19th September, 2018. She presented the rationale and concepts underpinning water budgeting and facilitated discussions among the departmental staff to understand and address challenges they face in preparation of SSAPs. 

Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvination and Niteshwar Kumar, the Mission Director of National Water Mission were also present.

  ATREE at the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) 

ATREE Fellow, Aravind Madhyastha, gave a special lecture on - 'Technological interventions for Biodiversity Conservation with special reference to the Indian Himalayan Region' at the Islamic University of Science and Technology, J&K recently. The talk stressed on the need to have a holistic and interdisciplinary approach for conservation of biodiversity . It highlighted the role of modern technology and social media in conservation.

ATREE at the Nature Conservation Foundation
ATREE Fellow, Abi T Vanak, gave a talk at the Nature Conservation Foundation, North Bangalore branch, on his research - 'Unpacking the Canine Conundrum: From ecology to public health' on September 19th, 2018. 
The talk was in the context of how dogs now occupy a range of ecological and sociological niches - from best friend to mortal enemy, from life-saver to life-taker, from conservation aide to invasive species. In his talk, Abi explored some of the internal contradictions of our relationship with dogs.
ATREE provides training to citizens to use water quality kits

ATREE in collaboration with Biome and FFEM (Foundation for Environmental Monitoring) provided training to citizens to use water quality kits to monitor pollution at Jakkur Lake on September 18th, 2018.

The low cost smart phone based kits developed by FFEM can be used to test Nitrates, phosphates and dissolved oxygen and are intended to empower citizens to monitor and manage lakes in Bengaluru. The water quality data will be uploaded onto the 'Citizen Lakes Dashboard' which is currently being revamped using open source software components developed by NextDrop Technologies. This project is funded by a CSR grant from Oracle.
ATREE at the Sustainability Institute
ATREE Fellow, Bejoy Thomas was a panellist at the panel discussion on ‘How can local innovation eco(systems) drive change in African cities’ held at the Sustainability Institute, Lynedoch, on 14th September, 2018.

At the panel discussion, Bejoy shared his views on making cities resilient and sustainable drawing upon work on water and wastewater management in Bengaluru.
Training Programme on Ecosystem Approaches to Water and Food Security for Rural Wellbeing

A training programme on 'Ecosystem Approaches to Water and Food Security for Rural Wellbeing' took place from 10th to 14th September, 2018 at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati. The programme, in collaboration with the Centre for Rural Technology, brought together 26 participants from varying backgrounds with representation from all the Northeastern states except Mizoram.

The programme comprised two days with in-class lectures and exercises, two fieldwork intense days dedicated to mini-projects and one day for team presentations and a valedictory session. The participants enjoyed the mini-projects as it provided hands-on training. The valedictory session included addresses by Dr Akhilesh Gupta, Head, SPLICE Department and Scientist-G, DST, GoI as well as Dr Nisha Mendiratta, Head, NCSTC, DST, GoI. 

ATREE at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)

ATREE Fellow, Bejoy Thomas gave a seminar at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at University of the Western Cape, Bellville, on 11th September,2018 on water stress and agrarian transition

The seminar was set in the context of 'Day Zero' water crisis and looked at the role of technology and urbanization in agrarian change around Bengaluru city since late 1970s leading to the current water stress. 
ATREE conducts Management Development Programme in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
ATREE's Water Land and Society Programme organised a two-week management development programme for engineers and managers of the Irrigation Department at the School of Ancient Wisdom at Devanahalli near Bangalore from 17th to 29th September, 2018. The objective of the programme, funded by the Karnataka Advanced Centre for Integrated Water Resources Management, was to enhance the capacities of engineers and managers in water-related departments of government to understand, analyse and address water resource management in an integrated and holistic manner.

The training programme employed a 'learning-centred' pedagogical approach with modules designed around clear learning goals. Each session was interactive and included group discussions, case studies, and games. In addition to field visits and sessions on change management and leadership, hands-on training was also imparted in GIS and water accounting.

Participants enjoyed yoga, hiking, badminton, documentary films and a cultural programme by folk group Bhoomi Thayi Balaga. On the final day, participants were required to work in groups and present a case study of a field problem that required an integrated approach.
ATREE-CERC Course on State and Civil Societies in Development and Environment Governance

ATREE-CERC conducted a six-day course on 'State and Civil Societies in Development and Environment Governance' in Vembanad Lake for the Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

The course gave an overview on natural resource governance of Vembanad. Students interacted with several stakeholders like fishermen, clam collectors, farmers, and the scientific community. They also interacted with Dr.T.M Thomas Isaac, Minister of Finance, Government of Kerala, to understand the efforts taken by the  Kerala government in flood management. 
ATREE's Jagdish Krishnaswamy and Sharachchandra Lele were at the National Conference on - ' a New Policy Regime for Water in India' organised by the Shiv Nadar University recently.
Rebuilding Kerala

Drinking Water Distribution by ATREE-CERC

In the wake of Kerala Floods when there was shortage of drinking water in the Kuttanad region, ATREE-Community Environmental Resource Centre (CERC) distributed 9240 litres of drinking water in remote and inaccessbile parts of Kuttanad region in Alappuzha. The ATREE-CERC team also created awareness regarding hygiene to avoid the outbreak of an epidemic. The drinking water distribution drive was carried out with the support of Bisleri.
UN delegation visits Muhamma to assess Kerala Flood Impact

ATREE - Community Environmental Resource Centre (CERC)  facilitated a visit by the UN delegation to Muhamma to understand the impact of Kerala Floods on the black clam sector. The UN delegation interacted with Panchayat members, Clam Society members, Samyutka Vembanad Kayal Samrakshana Samithi members and clam collectors.
Between the Bookends

Rethinking Environmentalism

How do we define environmentalism? Is it caring about nature, the human-wellbeing, fair allocation of earth's resources or equitable sharing of the burden of pollution?

A new book - ' Rethinking Environmentalism' edited by Sharachchandra Lele, Eduardo Brondizio, John Byrne ,Georgina Mace and Joan Martinez-alier makes a case for the need to approach environmentalism in a multidisciplinary way.

ATREE Achievers 

We are very happy to share that Madhushri Mudke (Left) is now an Edge Fellow. As part of the two-year-fellowship, Madhushri will be working on 'Ecological Monitoring and Threat Assessment of Micrixalus kottigeharensis in the Western Ghats'. 
Madhushri also won a scholarship to attend the Advanced Fieldcourse in Ecology and Conservation ( AFEC-X 2018) at  the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Another ATREE PhD scholar, Shweta Basnett (Right), won the first place for her paper presenation on - 'Reproductive phenology of Himalayan Rhododendrons: Influence of phylogeny and abiotic factors' at the International Phenology Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
Small isn’t always beautiful. Shikha Lakhanpal highlights the problems associated with Small hydropower in India. Read more...
Priyadarsanan Dharma Rajan makes a case for the forthcoming COP of Convention on Biological Diversity to take stock of the impacts of parochial restrictions on open access and free exchange of biological resources.  Read More...
Veena Srinivasan on why India needs better data and more transparency on its water use and how new technologies, sensors and satellite imagery are improving ‘water accounting’. Read More...
In the context of the Siang floods, Anirban Datta-Roy on why it is essential to set up fully functional early warning systems that provide regular information to affected downstream countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and India. Read More...
In the News

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