Saturday, May 22, 2010

Putting life on the front page - Biodiversity reporting guidelines


IPS and partners are celebrating International Biodiversity Day, May 22nd, with the launch in Rome of biodiversity reporting guidelines for journalists covering this vital but complex topic. The guidelines are part of a wider communication initiative for 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity. IPS worked with partners Bioversity International and the International Federation of Environment Journalists (IFEJ) on the guidelines, within the COM+ sustainable development communication alliance.


The 30-page publication was authored by Pankaj Sekhsaria and is available in English and Spanish. The main section provides context, definition, linkages and story ideas for journalists, supplemented by a calendar of biodiversity-related events and a list of international conventions and agreements. Mario Lubetkin, the Director General of IPS launched the guidelines during the “Settimana della Biodiversita”, a week-long celebration of agriculture, food and biodiversity organised in Rome by Bioversity International.

Throughout 2010 IPS is giving special emphasis to reporting on biodiversity and you can see all the coverage at One Planet - 1.4 million species. Recent popular stories include Ecosystem in Peril after Gulf Oil Spill, a series of stories from Namibia about the efforts of the San people to keep their land and harvest wild produce sustainably, and a story from Tokyo Prized Bluefin Tuna Adrift in a Sea of Conflicting Interests.

As part of this coverage, IPS will have a small team of reporters reporting from Nagoya, Japan in October 2010 for the tenth meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the major international agreement to protect biodiversity, that came out of the 1992 Earth Summit.

Download available:

Putting life on the front page - Bioversity Reporting Guidelines (English)

La vida en la portada - Guia Para Reportear Sobre Biodiversidad (Spanish)


Dear Friends,
Here is the list of contents and edit of the new issue of the Protected
Area Update - Vol XVI, No. 3, June 2010 (No. 85). If you would like
specific stories or the entire Update as an attachment, please do let me
know at

Pankaj Sekhsaria
Editor, Protected Area Update
C/o Kalpavriksh

News and Information from protected areas in India and South Asia
Vol. XVI No. 3
June 2010 (No. 85)

A summer of discontent

MoEF panel to study proposal for reduction of Kolleru WLS
Tunnel under construction in Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam TR collapses
Memorial for YSR Reddy proposed inside the Gundla Brahmeswara WLS

FD to compensate 300 families affected by elephant depredation in
Jorhat district
Majuli Island to be declared eco-sensitive zone
Assam plans Kaziranga-Manas tourism circuit
FD elephant injures tourists in Kaziranga; visitors did not heed
mahout’s instructions
Kaziranga NP gets record number of tourists

Entry fees may change for PAs in Goa

Fires in forests of North Gujarat
SC permits oil pipeline, electricity line through Dhrangadhra Wild Ass
116 lions died in Gir since 2007
Rs. 48 crores for lion conservation
Siddi tribesmen to become guides at Gir
Road through Velavadar NP to be closed

Corpus fund to curb human-elephant conflict in Dalma WLS
Awareness campaign helps reduce poaching/ ritual hunting in PAs

Project for upgradation of 10kms road stretch inside Nagarhole NP dropped
Illegal tourism inside Bandipur NP
Ban on night traffic through Bandipur beneficial: study
20 animals killed on NH 75 in Panna TR
Airstrip under construction near Pench TR
Concern over process of declaration of buffer zones around critical
tiger habitats
Proposal for six new PAs in state
Frequent forest fires in SGNP
Lioness in SGNP safari kills guard; report suggests better security

Opposition to uranium mining in Balpakram NP; Govt. puts project on hold

FSI records 960 incidents of forest fires in Orissa in the month of
April; PAs also affected
Village relocation from Simlipal TR; differing points of view
Oil spill threatens turtles off the Orissa coast
Concern over relocation of people from the Sariska TR

Swamp deer habitat in Dudhwa TR threatened due to changing course of
River Sharda
FD increases budget to compensate losses in man-animal conflicts
MoEF concerned over growing number of resorts around Corbett TR
FD, SSB and WWF collaborate to check smuggling from the Singalila NP
FD halts the construction of metalled road inside Buxa TR
Police harassment alleged against FRA activists in forests adjoining
Jaldapara WLS

No ban on tourism in Tiger Reserves
Wildlife and forests to split from environment ministry
13th Finance Commission’s grants Rs.5000 crores to states for
conservation of forests
Funds for relocation for villages from PAs for 2008-09 and 2009-10
Fund allocation for wildlife protection outside protected areas
Survey of India to map the 7,500-km-long Indian coastline
MoEF proposes ban on trade in peacock feathers

Human Rights Commission indicts army for killing three unarmed people
in Bardia NP

Project assistant and Project trainee for Forest Ecology Program at
Mudumalai TR
Program Managers for SeasonWatch, a Citizen Science Project
WWF-India’s Small Grants Program for Conservation Research & Action
Volunteer opportunities at ZOO

3rd Asian Lepidoptera Conservation Symposium

PERSPECTIVE (A new column)



The fulcrum of the acrimonious debates and discussions on wildlife conservation in India has been the issue of relocation of people from within protected areas. For all practical purposes it has been and continues to be offered as the single most effective and promising solution to the crisis faced by wildlife and wilderness in India. The political, economic and social landscape of the country may be changing at an unbelievable pace but this demand for relocation stands on like a steadfast rock. It might well be argued, as it often is, that these rapid irreversible and unstoppable changes in fact demand that the people living in forest areas and in wildlife habitats be moved out quickly – only then can the people, the natural habitats and the wildlife have any future.

It is an argument that is persuasive, and as is seen in the stories of this issue of the PA Update, one that has considerable staying power. The push is coming from the very top and the demand for relocation has been clearly primed up over the last few months. When the Prime Minister himself says that relocation of people from PAs should be a priority, the message and trajectory is as clear as it can be.

Relocation is a complex and controversial project with implications that are political, economic, social and cultural. If it has to be successful these dimensions have to be considered sensitively and in detail. It is a process that needs time and thoughtful engagement, something that the Rs. 10 lakh per family compensation package is not equipped to provide. It has been conceived as the easy way out of a situation that cannot and will not be easy.

Communities might want to move and in that case they should be helped in all possible ways. A comprehensive rehabilitation package based on the Rs. 10 lakh scheme might work well but why has there been no thought given to dealing with other situations? What if people don’t want to move? What if they don’t want the compensation being doled out to them? How can they not have the option? How can there be only one plan for millions of people scattered across drastically different contexts? What is the Plan B or C to ensure conservation without violating the rights and livelihood security of our fellow citizens?

Reports you will read below provide an excellent example of the complexities. One report says that the relocation of a village from the Simlipal Tiger Reserve was a success; another says it’s an absolute disaster! In Sariska it has been pointed out that villages are being moved out and simultaneously huge investments are being made to get ramp up infrastructure to get tourists in. In Maharashtra serious concerns have been expressed over creating buffer zones around tiger reserves as the process laid out in laws and policies is being openly violated. In West Bengal it is being alleged that the administration is harassing activists, locals and tribals who are seeking the implementation of tribal rights in forests as per the law of the land.

To claim that anyone has the right answers would be presumptuous but the image that we see of ourselves in the mirror is not necessarily a pleasant one. It augurs well neither for the people who are being relocated, nor for the wildlife in whose name they are being moved!

And that too is only part of the story. There are huge pressures on forests, on natural resources, on wildlife and on communities from a range of forces that include developmental projects, the processes of globalization and in recent times, also from an internal security threat perception. Together they have created huge discontent in the forest areas across the country this summer and we would be ignoring it at our own peril!

Protected Area Update
Vol. XVI, No. 3, June 2010 (No. 85)

Editor: Pankaj Sekhsaria
Editorial Assistance: Reshma Jathar
Illustrations: Madhuvanti Anantharajan
Produced by Kalpavriksh

Ideas, comments, news and information may please be sent to the
editorial address:

Apartment 5, Shri Dutta Krupa, 908 Deccan Gymkhana, Pune 411004,
Maharashtra, India.
Tel/Fax: 020 – 25654239.

Publication of the PA Update has been supported by
Foundation for Ecological Security (FES)
Duleep Matthai Nature Conservation Trust
Greenpeace India
Association for India’s Development
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Indian Bird Conservation Network
Information has been sourced from different newspapers and the following

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jarawa Tribal Reserve Dossier: New Publication from the Andaman Islands

Dear Friends,
We are very happy to announce the release of a new publication on the
Jarawa Tribal Reserve of the Andaman Islands:

Cultural and Biological Diversities in the Andaman Islands

Edited by

Prepared by
under the

No. of Pages: 212; 12 colour plates; 11 colour maps
One of the most distinctive, but relatively little known features of the Andaman Islands is an entity of land and sea called the Jarawa Tribal Reserve (JTR) – a space legally notified in the name and, arguably, the interests of the Jarawa tribal community. Until recently, the Jarawa were hostile to outsiders. As a result, those who might otherwise have exploited the resources of the reserve – poachers, settlers and developers – were denied access.

However, the Jarawa have now chosen to cease hostilities, and the borders of the Jarawa Tribal Reserve have become permeable to intrusion, even though legally off limits to outsiders.

The multiple changes that have ensued have enormous ramifications for both the Jarawa people and their lands. As much of the information relating to the Jarawa and the Reserve remains scattered and difficult to access, this Dossier has undertaken to bring together within the covers
of one publication, information and views about the JTR emanating from a number of distinct disciplines.

Indeed, one cannot comprehend the complex interactions between the biological and cultural diversity of this unique people and place without adopting an interdisciplinary perspective.

The dossier is made up of 10 original or previously published papers:

1) Colonisation and conflict resolution
Manish Chandi

2) Hostile borders on historical landscapes
Vishvajit Pandya

3) Territory and landscape around the Jarawa Reserve
Manish Chandi

4) The Jarawa Reserve: the Last Andaman forest
Manish Chandi & Harry Andrews

5)The Jarawa Tribal Reserve: an important bird area
Bombay Natural History Society

6) The Jarawas and their lands
Anthropological Survey of India

7) Impact assessment around the Jarawa Reserve
Harry Andrews

8) Andaman Trunk Road and the Jarawa situation
Samir Acharya

9) The ATR is like a public thoroughfare through one's private courtyard
Dr RK Bhattacharya

10) Only management of traffic needed on the ATR
Dr SA Awaradi

The dossier also Also contains a comprehensive set of annexures that includes the entire Andaman and Nicobar Islands Protection of Aboriginal Tribes Regulation (ANPATR) - 1956; the policy on the Jarawa tribe as approved by the Kolkata High Court, rules of the Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti (AAJVS), medical regime for the treatment of Jarawas and a compilation of a conflict incidents involving the Jarawas.

The document also has 11 colour maps that for the first time provides detailed and comprehensive insight into the changes in the Jarawa REserve boundary, vegetation, vegetation density and land cover classification, and location of Jarawa camps within the forests of the
Jarawa Tribal Reserve.

If you are interested in receiving copies of the publication please write to me at

Jpeg versions of the dossier cover a few pages, maps, and photographs can be seen below.

The link to the dossier on UNESCO's document system is the following:

Pankaj Sekhsaria


Animal and Plant Diversities

Annexure VII: List of conflict incidents involving the Jarawas

Map III: Changes in the Jarawa Tribal Reserve Boundary

MapVIb: Land Cover Classification

Back Cover