Friday, August 28, 2009

Action Needed: Back the Goa Forest Department Officials

The Goa police have registered an FIR against the forest department officials who had investigated the recent tiger poaching, and arrested the prime accused Suryakant Majik. The police went for the FIR based on a complaint by the accused.

The officers, assistant conservator of forest Anil Shetgaonkar, and range forest officers Paresh Parab and Tulshidas Wadkar are a worried lot. Incidentally Suryakant Majik, the accused is an employee of the home guard department, which works in tandem with Goa police

This is vendetta of the meanest order. Fortunately Goa’s chief conservator of forest Shashi Kumar has come rushing to the rescue of the officials. The chief says the department will not only give them legal assistance, but we will also be taking up the matter with the home ministry.

Environmentalists, it is time to act. Please do whatever you can. Here is a case where a tiger included in the schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act has been poached and the police are coming to the rescue of the poacher. This mean act has to be condemned .Goa police has to be taken to task for highhandedness.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wildlife Conservation- The Goan Somersault

The mining lobby in Goa is working overtime to topple last week’s order of the environment ministry closing down 12 mines owing to their proximity to wildlife reserves. The powerful lobby is making a backside entry through the new mineral policy. The policy allows mining near the state's wildlife sanctuaries.

This is what the policy says "Mining leases/prospecting licences within close proximity from already declared wildlife sanctuaries would be considered provided they adhere to additional safeguards and guidelines whilst operating so as to reduce any adverse effect on the environment,” A clear-cut somersault. Strangely the policy also speaks of maintaining the ecological balance in the state.

Necessary loopholes have been very cleverly inserted for the benefit of the wheeler dealers. Goan environmentalists have a hard time ahead.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Return of the Salmon- A River Cleaning Experiment from France worthy of Emulation by Others

After a gap of about hundred years Atlantic salmon has reappeared in river Seine. Whole of France is agog. The fish abounded in the river in the middle Ages but made the exit with the advent of pollution. Atlantic salmons are bioindicators , indicating that the habitat is healthy.

The spectacular result did not come over night. It was the result of years of painstaking work. This year the numbers of Salmon have exceeded 1000+.

Seine used to be connected to the famed sewers that the writer Victor Hugo called “a world of slime without human form”. For the past 30 years efforts have been afoot to end the pollution of the Seine with organic pollutants and chemical run-off from industry and agriculture. The surface is cleaned regularly and there is a system that pumps oxygen into fish-friendly stretches when the need is felt.

A delighted Mayor of Paris, Mr Bertrand Delanoƫ, is effuse in his praise for the good work. The Mayor says the return of the Atlantic salmon is a triumph for the Seine purification effort of the state and is a sign of a clear improvement in the quality of water in the river.

So far about 30 species of fish have returned to seine. The return of the Salmon is the crowning glory. Anglers’ regularly haul in bream, carp, pike, perch, catfish and sea trout but they throw them back to Seine.

This is an experiment worthy of emulation. Many of our works here in India does not come to fruition. The authorities here should have a close look at how France has achieved this commendable result and redraft their strategies.Environment Minister Jayram Rameshji are you listening?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wildlife Conservation- Good News from Goa

Illegal mining in the vicinity of wildlife reserves have always been a thorn in the flesh in Goa. Operators with political clout were freely mining in the immediate environs of sanctuaries with all permits. Now, heeding to the call of environmentalists Government of Goa has decided to clamp down on these illegal activities.
Environment minister Aleixo Sequeira has given an assurance in the legislative assembly that all mines located near wildlife sanctuaries in Goa will be closed within seven days. Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) which has been at the receiving end of lot of complaints will be reconstituted shortly. The minister has assured that from here onwards it will be coordinated team effort and lapses will not happen.
This new initiative is a victory for the environmentalists. High Range Tidings salutes all the brave hearts who have worked relentlessly for this to happen. Well done