Saturday, December 19, 2009

Out of station

Between 20th and 28th I will be travelling to areas with no internet facility. There won't be any update during this period.

I take this opportunity to wish all of you A Very Happy Christmas

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wildlife Management Course at the Wildlife Institute of India- A Fervent Plea to State Governments

I was shocked to hear about the present status of wildlife management course run by Wildlife Institute of India. The institute is in a hapless state of not getting trainees for this excellent course.

In the past the reluctance on the part of the state Governments was understandable. The state Governments had to bear the entire cost of training and the pay and allowances of the officers during the training period. This picture is completely changed now. Government of India bears the full expenses including the pay and allowances of the officers. To make the course doubly attractive the trainees are taken on a trip to the wildlife reserves of Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Yet officers do not opt for the course.

The course has the facility to cater to the needs of 20 to 25 trainees. Unfortunately they got only 7 trainees for the last course. Out of this seven, four were from the SAARC countries. Indian states sent only 3 trainees. What a shame.

There is an immediate need to take stock of the situation and do something about this sorry state of affairs. Our leaders and officers talk lot of shop during the course of the wildlife week celebrations. They make tall promises which vanish in to thin air after the wildlife week.

Forest ministers and heads of the forest departments of the state Governments and Jairam Rameshji , are you listening?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Silent Valley National Park– In praise of the unsung heroes

The silver jubilee celebration of the Silent Valley National Park was carried out with great fanfare with the central environment minister Jairam Ramesh, and Kerala forest minister Binoy Viswom taking centre stage of the affairs. Environmentalists and activists such as Madhav Gadgil, M K Prasad, A Achuthan, U K Gopalan, Gopalakrishnan Nair, K Sreedharan, V S Vijayan, Anand Parthasarathy, Satish Chandran Nair, Justice K Sukumaran, Namisvayam and V M N Namboodiripad were honoured at the function. All the awards were well deserved and totally unexceptionable. Unfortunately amidst the camaraderie, mutual back slapping, and the evident desire of some persons to earn brownie points,the authorities forgot about one watcher who had put in yeomen service to the National Park. He is late Hamsa a figure etched in the minds of anyone who has visited the Silent Valley in the early years. All the men who were felicitated at the function owe something to this gentleman of the wilderness who had boundless love for Silent Valley. There was not even a passing mention about Hamsa . I am dismayed and chagrined by the turn of events.

My memories of Hamsa are etched in gold. He was a man who loved Silent Valley and who always referred to Silent Valley as Our Forest. His abiding interest was evident in every word he uttered. His outdoor expertise is legendary and I can personally vouch for them. I was the first assistant Wildlife Warden of the National Park. I am pained to see that Hamsa's name do not figure anywhere. His name has gone in to limbo. He should have been given posthumous award for his services to the conservation fraternity. In the western world he would have been a hero.

I find fault with the forest department and the environmentalists who bask in the glory, for this sorry state of affairs. This has always been the bane of the department. The frontline men who put in great service are always ignored left to fend for themselves. I have seen the incredible heights of excellence to which these poorly paid guys rise with proper motivation. My heart goes out to the unsung heroes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Are We Really Serious About Wildlife Conservation? Sad Story From Assam

I was flabbergasted by the utter insensitivity of authorities in Assam when it comes to wildlife. Kaziranga is one of our show pieces, the last bastion of Rhinos. The poor forest guards there have not been paid their salaries for several months.

Left with no other alternatives the guards demonstrated in front of KNP's main office in Kohora range demanding payment of their last five months salaries. What a shame.

Our officials and politicians are loud mouthed during the wildlife week celebrations and then they coolly forget about the denizens of the wild or the employees who risk their life protecting wildlife in areas like Kaziranga.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Twitter Posts

I am very very busy nowadays. I may not be able to post regularly. Follow me on twitter. Follow tahrman

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tiger Conservation-Plethora of committees

Central Government is on a spree of forming committees for the conservation of tiger. This just won't help Jairam Rameshji. We have reports of numerous committees of the past gathering dust in the ministry.

The crux of the matter is unmotivated under trained staff working in our wildlife reserves. What we should aim is to post young,motivated, dedicated guys in widlife reserves. Hand pick them and give them incentives and freedom to work. Do not allow politicians to meddle in the day to day affairs of the parks. As a man who has spent 30 years in the wildlife reserve I can guarantee you Jairam Rameshji that the men will bring in miracles . Give a wide birth to arm chair conservationists. You do not have to rake your brain for solutions. The solution is right there in front of you.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh clamps down on Goan proposal for reducing the buffer zones around the sanctuaries

I was delighted with the recent pronouncements by Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh regarding the proposal by Goa to reduce the buffer zones around the sanctuaries. The proposal was prompted by the interests of the powerful mining lobby.

The minister has categorically stated that the central government cannot countenance the recommendation to reduce the buffer zones around the sanctuaries mooted by Government of Goa. He went on to add that a 10-km buffer zone may not be feasible but a zero buffer zone will not be accepted as far as he is the minister for environment and forests.

High Range tidings salutes Mr Jairam Ramesh for the no nonsense approach taken by him. Keep up the good work Sir. The environmentalists are strongly behind you.