Sunday, October 10, 2004

Biodiversity Conservation : DAINET

The intensifying conflict between conservation priorities on the one hand and the needs of the human population on the other, a conflict which militates against the concept of sustainable development for supporting a growing population with increasing democratic expectations of a better life.

The bare facts of the conservation problem in India are that she supports 15% of the world’s population and 14% of its livestock on 2% of its land. India also is host to 45000 plant and 65000 animal species spread over 25 biogeographic zones. In protecting the country’s genetic biodiversity in the face of colossal human pressure, there is a deep conflict of interest, most clearly illustrated in the protected areas of India.

The key components of DAINET Programme are, Eco-development, Corridor Management and Eco-tourism
  • Eco-development

    The ecodevelopment component lays an emphasis on participation of local communities, living within or in the periphery of the PA, in PA conservation. Ecodevelopment Planning for a single or cluster of Pas is based on the potential of the natural resource base, socio-economic and infrastructural needs of the local communities and the capacity of local institutions to participate in conservation activities.
  • Corridor Management

    The programme also examined the possibilities of creating geographical networks of PAs. These networks would be able to provide corridors for migratory species, prevent isolation of gene pools and allow for viable habitats. The group had been attempting to integrate landuse planning for corridor management systems through Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System applications
  • Eco-tourism

    This component assesses the potential for ecotourism within PAs as a source of revenue to conserve and maintain the PA. Pressure on the PA is also reduced by income generating opportunities made available to the local communities.
E-mail: Telephone: +91 11 6965156

Center for Science & Environment: Paani Yatra (Water Pilgrimage)

Paani yatra is a journey to rediscover water. It is a trip that takes the yatris to villages where local communities have harvested rainwater¦and used it wisely. And they have succeeded in achieving a dramatic revival of local ecology and economy. Paani yatra is all about getting to know these individuals and organisation who are driven by their innate zeal to gain Jal Swaraj (water self-reliance). It is about taking an on-the-ground look at their successful initiatives. In other words, paani yatra offters a unique opportunity to attain water literacy.

You can join the tour by paying the following subsidised rates:

  • Rs 3,500 for farmers, grassroot functionaries, Indian NGOs and
  • Rs 8,500 for participants from donor agencies, corporate houses
    and consultants.
The payment could be made either through cheque or demand draft in
favour of the Centre for Science and Environment.

See this page for the next YATRA If you have any queries please write to us at

For more details:
Sumita Dasgupta & Ruksan Bose

Thursday, October 07, 2004

CRY: Are little girls different?

Shy. Pert. Naughty. Bright. Cute. All words we use to describe little girls. The same words we use to describe little boys. Then why do we treat little girls so differently? Consider the 4 basic rights (survival, development, protection, participation) guaranteed to all children by the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child. India has ratified this treaty, yet girl children continue to be aborted at birth or killed soon after, just for being girls. Even if they escape infanticide or foeticide, girl children are less likely to receive immunisation, nutrition, education or medical treatment than their brothers. The first round of Census 2001 figures, just released, reveal that the child sex ratio has worsened since 1991, from 1005 females for every 1000 males, to 933. The figure is even less for the age group 0 to 6 years: 927:1000.

Against this backdrop, it is with the interest and involvement of people like you, that CRY is able to support NGOs like Rachana and Jabala, working for the well being of the girl child. September 24 was Girl Child Day and we urge you to support the girl child, become an active champion for her.

In faith and goodwill
The CRY Team

Sunday, October 03, 2004

An Initiative on Education of Rural Women

Magan Sangrahalaya is a voluntary institution dedicated to the cause of Artisans of India and is working on dissemination of Appropriate Rural Technologies. It has a wing on Science & Technology for Rural Women. Presently this wing is working in 100 villages and is directly linked with 7000 women.

Regarding Education of women of these villages we have followed a unique approach. The approach is to empower them by bringing them into the main stream, strengthening their technical capacity, raising their scientific temper and substantiating their economic status.

In Maharashtra the Educational Scenario is different than other states of India. In our region i.e. Vidharbha 70% women are literate. The reason for high percentage of literacy amongst women is free Education for girls in government schools (from Primary to Higher Secondary standard), free books and subsidized bus fares. Till Primary Standard the School Children are provided mid day meals.

In this region the problem is not literacy but its relevance in overcoming day to day problems and earning livelihood. In the present circumstances with dire poverty and lack of basics, literacy is necessary but not sufficient condition to improve socio-economic status of people below poverty line.

Therefore in our work we emphasize more on imparting short term field based Training specially designed to cater to rural women of our region. The training modules are so geared that after the training the woman is equipped with knowledge and on hand experience to start an enterprise or service. The training has a direct bearing on their financial status and bargaining power.

For further information, please contact: Dr.Vibha Gupta at

Water Management: Need of the Hour

Water as a resource is under relentless pressure across the globe. Due to population growth, economic development, rapid urbanization, large-scale industrialization and environmental concerns water stress has emerged as a real threat. The scarcity of water for human and ecosystem uses and the deteriorating water quality leads to "water stress" and intense socio-political pressures. Many areas are already under severe water stress. Any addition to the intensity of water stress in the existing water scarcity areas, or addition of new areas to water stressed list, will only further push the problem in to the realm of a disaster. Some good links:

World Bank Brief on Water

Water Initiatives by Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India

World Water Assessment Programme – An UN Initiative

River-Link Project