• Ecocide (editorial)

    Where's the forest service in this? TWO items of news in the past week, on India's tiger count and on forest depletion, has caused much anguished comment.

  • SAARC nations to fight illegal wildlife trade

    Eight SAARC countries have agreed to work jointly to tackle the region's illegal wildlife trade that has assumed alarming proportions. The countries have come under the banner of the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP), an inter-governmental organisation, to tackle the illegal trade. The South Asian region is a storehouse of biological diversity and rich terrestrial, freshwater and marine resources. As a result, illegal trade and over-exploitation of wild animals and plants pose a major challenge to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the region. In a first regional workshop held in Kathmandu, the group agreed to a series of joint action as part of a South Asia Wildlife Trade Initiative (SAWTI). This includes the setting up of a South Asia Experts Group on Wildlife Trade and development of a South Asia Regional Strategic Plan on Wildlife Trade (2008-2013). The SACEP was established in 1982 for promoting regional co-operation in South Asia in the field of environment. The group includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The workshop was organised by the Nepal Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, SACEP, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Nepal and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade-monitoring network. Senior wildlife officials from these countries have called upon the international community to support action in South Asia by providing financial and technical assistance in the implementation of the regional plan, an official statement of TRAFFIC said here. The Kathmandu workshop has agreed to focus on a number of key areas of work. These include co-operation and co-ordination, effective legislation policies and law enforcement, sharing knowledge and effective dissemination of information, sustainability of legal trade and livelihoods security, intelligence networks and early warning systems and capacity building. IANS

  • Focus on agriculture

    Economic growth is greatly dependent on the Government's policies in the farm sphere. Ranabir Ray Choudhury

  • Environment protection laws reduced to a travesty of their mandates

    Since 1980, different pieces of legislation have been enacted for environmental conservation. These include the Forest (Conservation) Act (FCA), 1980, the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), 1986 and the Biological Diversity Act (BDA), 2002. These have the potential to strengthen the conservation agenda. But they are at best being used to

  • Coal India, IL&FS to float JV

    Coal India Ltd (CIL) and IL&FS Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (IL&FS IDC), today entered into a memorandum of agreement (MoA) to float a joint venture company, with 50 per cent equity contribution each by the two organisations, to undertake project development for mine, power and other coal-based projects. The MoA document was signed by NC Jha, director (technical) of CIL, and DK Mittal, managing director of IL&FS IDC, at the CIL headquarters in Kolkata today, in presence of CIL Chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya and other officials of the two organisations.

  • Chidambaram needs to do a balancing act Run-up to budget 2008-09

    Ashok Dasgupta The Finance Minister is faced with conflicting demands from different quarters

  • Venu Menon animal awards presented

    For making a difference to the lives of animals by kindness, courage The 10th Venu Menon National Animal Awards were presented to six individuals, two organisations and one community at a function here on Tuesday for making a difference to the lives of animals by acts of kindness and extraordinary courage. Fred O'Regan, president of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), delivered the 10th Venu Menon Memorial Lecture on the occasion.

  • Budget: Modi may thank people

    ON FEBRUARY 25, when state finance minister Vajubhai Vala rises to present his record 13th budget, there will be two words that can be read from between the lines of his elaborate speech. Thank You.

  • Centre for time-bound execution of Forest Act

    The ministry of tribal affairs has stressed the need for implementation of the Forest Rights Act in time bound manner, urging the states to complete preliminary work for identification of beneficiaries by the middle of March. In two-day meeting of state secretaries of tribal development that concluded in Delhi today, secretary of the ministry of tribal affairs G.B. Mukherji said the Centre was giving priority to the implementation of Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

  • PIL challenges validity of forest Act

    New Delhi: In what could be a fresh headache for government, a petition challenging the constitutional validity of a pet UPA project, the Forest Rights Act aimed at giving land rights to traditional forest dwellers, has been filed by prominent wildlife groups in Supreme Court.

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