Sunday, October 8, 2017

Protected Area Update - 129, October 2017

Dear Friends,
Pls see below for the list of contents and the editorial from the new 
issue of the Protected Area Update (Vol. XXIII, No. 5, October 2017 (No. 
129). Click here to download the pdf of the issue 
To receive the full issue as a pdf or as a print copy via 
the post, please write to me at

I would also like to take this opportunity to request for your financial 
support for the PA Update. Of the annual budget of about Rs. 7 lakhs 
we've managed to raise only about half at the moment. All donations and 
contributions, big and small, are welcome. Pls do consider helping us 
out pls write to me at the above mentioned email id for any further 
details that you might need.

Many thanks
Pankaj Sekhsaria
Editor, Protected Area Update
C/o Kalpavriksh

News and Information from protected areas in India and South Asia

Vol. XXIII, No. 5       
October 2017 (No. 129)


Systemic injuries, band-aid solutions

- SC asks for explanation on permission for oil and gas drilling beneath 
Dibru-Saikhowa NP
- Eviction drive to remove encroachers from Amchang WLS

- Goa excluded from NGT’s Pune bench; activists condemn the move

- Number of lions in Gir touches 650

- Biodiversity management committees set up in 366 gram panchayats

- Government approves diversion of 1000 ha land from Palamau TR
- Palamau TR brings captive sambars to increase tigers’ prey base

- Kali TR to lose 75% of its ESZ; state bows to public pressure
- Policy for private conservancies for wildlife conservation adjoining PAs
- Over 3000 families displaced from Nagarahole NP to be rehabilitated; 
NGO express concern over implementation of plan
- Stop to illegal electrification work in Bhimgad WLS
- New management plan for otter conservation in Tungabhadra

- Institute for Western Ghats wildlife research
- Survey records over 120 species of amphibians and reptiles in Periyar TR
- 58 tigers in Periyar and Parambikulam TRs
- 400+ families relocated from Wayanad WLS
- Two new species of earthworm discovered in Western Ghats

- NHAI to build only one wildlife underpass near Tipeshwar WLS
- High-level committee to decide about tiger translocation

- Advance payment for human kills by wildlife

- NBWL denotifies over 400 ha of forest from buffer of Ranthambhore TR 
for mining

- 60 Irular families evicted from buffer zone of Mudumalai TR

- NBWL diverts tiger corridor for irrigation project; asks for 16 
eco-bridges to avoid fragmentation

- Build toilets to curb human-tiger conflict in Pilibhit: Chief Minister

- Tiger cell at WII gets three years extention
- Over 27,000 wild elephants in India; highest number of 6,049 in Karnataka
- Over 15% of species in India threatened: IUCN
- Dr. Mahesh Sharma takes charge as Minister of State in MoEFCC
- Centre seeks Supreme Court’s approval for cheetah re-introduction
- One person killed a day in wildlife attacks in India
- 12 important mangroves forests of the country identified
- Exotic species invading PAs: Minister
- Meeting held to discuss, curb wildlife trafficking using postal services
- SC asks Centre to consider suggestions on safe corridors for wild animals
- Eurasian otter presence confirmed in the trans-Himalayas
- Finance Act dilutes the NGT Act says Jairam Ramesh; SC issues notice 
to Centre
- Inclusion of Net Present Value of diverted forest in 
cost-benefit-analysis mandatory; - - - NPV to be 10 and five times more 
than normal for NP and WLS respectively
- NGT asks MoEFCC to prepare a policy for prevention of forest fires
- More than 700 projects awaiting environmental clearance: Minister
- SC questions Centre over reduction of ESZ by 100 times

SOUTH ASIA             
- 50 rhino calves swept away from Nepal to India; eight returned

- Call to decommission the Ithai dam

- Openbill storks abandon nesting in Keoladeo NP because of water shortage


Why I care about the KBR National Park?
'Systemic injuries, band-aid solutions'

Even a quick survey of the conservation scenario in the country today 
makes one thing rather crystal clear – that the imperatives of 
conservation cannot (will not!) be allowed to come in the way of 
industrialization projects and economic growth. This, in fact, has 
become the defining narrative, and PAs are more in the news for policy 
that is constantly being diluted to make clearances and permissions 
easier; for railway lines, roads and canals that will cut through 
forests and other habitat; and for land in PAs (and elsewhere too) being 
made available for mining, dams, and infrastructure projects.
We have in this issue of the PA Update, like we’ve always had in the 
past, a number of such examples: of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) 
being undermined by structural change, of land around tiger reserves 
like Ranthambhore and Palamau being made available for mining and dam 
projects and of linear intrusions being approved in PAs in Maharashtra 
and Telangana.
There are two different kinds of narratives that seek to justify these 
developments. The first and the more blatant one articulates explicitly 
that PAs, environmental regulation and such concerns are impediments in 
the ‘development’ of the country. The other is the more confused and 
self-contradictory one. It pretends to be concerned even as it goes 
about its job of undermining precisely these concerns.
If offers, in cities for example, to transplant full-grown trees because 
roads have to be widened and growth in vehicle population cannot be 
questioned; it claims to be concerned about climate change even as it 
pushes the economy towards a larger emission load; and it allows for 
linear intrusions like power lines, roads and canals to splice through 
PAs and then offers underpasses and over bridges so that wild animals 
can cross over. We have very little idea of how the underpasses and 
bridges for animals will actually work, if they work at all, but caught 
up in the belief that we can have the cake even as we eat it, we are 
willing to go along with these solutions.
We are being enticed and dissuaded by band-aid solutions when the 
injuries being inflicted are systemic and deep. The price to pay will 
also be very high!


Protected Area Update
Vol. XXIII, No. 5, October 2017 (No. 129)
Editor: Pankaj Sekhsaria
Editorial Assistance: Reshma Jathar, Anuradha Arjunwadkar
Illustrations: Ashvini Menon, Mayuri Kerr, Shruti Kulkarni,
Madhuvanti Anantharajan & Peeyush Sekhsaria

Produced by The Documentation and Outreach Centre

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, C/o FES
Donations from a number of individual supporters


-- Pankaj Sekhsaria, PhD Senior Project Scientist, DST-Centre for Policy Research, Dept of Humanities and Social Science, IIT- Delhi Author, 'Islands in Flux - the Andaman and Nicobar Story' (HarperCollins India, March 2017) & 'The Last Wave - An Island Novel' (HarperCollins India, 2014) Also, member, Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group --- facebook: twitter:

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