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Sagar Sutar

Published on December 1, 2014

PAGE 2 N EWSLE TERRE Conference: Save Great Indian Bustard Quick Question If you know the answer, send in your entry to us at : The amount of fund announced by Obama for Green Climate Fund A) 3 billion B) 5 billion C) 7 billion “ “ - Rajendra Shende Chairman, TERRE The panel of nearly 400 scientists from more than 30 countries based this conclusion on the decades of the satellite and ground level measurements monitored by World Meteorological Organization. Encouraged by these results developed countries agreed to continue financial and technical support to the developing countries for the residual work of protecting the ozone layer. They agreed to provide for next three years half a billion dollars over and above 3.2 billion dollars already provided. Indian Environment Minister Mr. Javdekar spoke highly of the success of the ozone layer protection and stated that, “This is 325th anniversary of the French revolution that changed the world, and India hopes to see in Paris next year in 2015, yet another revolution on climate change to reset the world clock towards climate resilient society.” While bad news continues to frustrate, sprouts of good news dominate with renewed hopes. Sprouting of Good News... From Page 1 What is it like being on verge of extinction? Not just the end of a caste, creed, political community or regional extinction; but the end of entire species! Imagine only 100 people are left in entire world. Only one lonely man in some distant land; only four in another distant land; and a few others hundreds of miles apart and constant threat to their safety! Can our species exist in such circumstances? No. So how can the Great Indian Bustard survive in such conditions? This is clearly a herald for absolutely desperate measures. TERRE Policy Centre organized a conference at Anandashram to address this issue and contribute our part in saving this majestic bird. The chief speaker was Dr. PramodPatil (he works with BNHS on GIB conservation). In the past, GIB was one of the common birds in India. One example is through the narrations of Colonel Roberts Mansfield. He is noted to have shot (or hunted) 961 GIBs within 20 years in one single district of Ahmednagar (from 1808- 1833). But with time, excessive poaching, building of infrastructure and destruction of grasslands, their population dropped drastically. So much so that, from 1980 to 2014, they declined in population from some 2000 to less than 200. This decline is so rapid that before the danger could be noted, their number has fallen to a degree of absolute helplessness. However, when people like Dr. Patil, Dr. RajendraShende (Chairman, TERRE Policy Centre) and Dr. AnandKharde engage into a brainstorming, there is a beginning of silver lining to the dark cloud. These birds prefer grasslands to live in. Thus, in India, they were initially found in dry regions of Rajasthan, Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Now, they remain only in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. But even these places are not proving to be habitable for GIB. As more and more infrastructure comes in, the species of Homo sapiens is encroaching the habitable land of GIB species. Plantation of exotic trees, removal of endemic grasslands, building of roads, transmission lines, cultivation of cash crops like sugarcane instead of traditional farming and irrational tourism are the human threats to GIB. These appear to be signs of development of human beings, but if it endangers another form of life then how can we humans show the audacity of not restricting such activities as though we own the rights of life of another species? To add to the disgust that is stigmatized Continued on Page 3