Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book: Environmental Transformations A Geography of the Anthropocene (24 April 2014)

Environmental Transformations

A Geography of the Anthropocene

By Mark Whitehead

From the depths of the oceans to the highest reaches of the atmosphere, the human impact on the environment is significant and undeniable. These forms of global and local environmental change collectively appear to signal the arrival of a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. This is a geological era defined not by natural environmental fluctuations or meteorite impacts, but by collective actions of humanity.
Environmental Transformations offers a concise and accessible introduction to the human practices and systems that sustain the Anthropocene. It combines accounts of the carbon cycle, global heat balances, entropy, hydrology, forest ecology and pedology, with theories of demography, war, industrial capitalism, urban development, state theory and behavioural psychology. This book charts the particular role of geography and geographers in studying environmental change and its human drivers. It provides a review of critical theories that can help to uncover the socio-economic and political factors that influence environmental change. It also explores key issues in contemporary environmental studies, such as resource use, water scarcity, climate change, industrial pollution and deforestation. These issues are ‘mapped’ through a series of geographical case studies to illustrate the particular value of geographical notions of space, place and scale, in uncovering the complex nature of environmental change in different socio-economic, political and cultural contexts. Finally, the book considers the different ways in which nations, communities and individuals around the world are adapting to environmental change in the twenty-first century.
Particular attention is given throughout to the uneven geographical opportunities that different communities have to adapt to environmental change and to the questions of social justice this situation raises. This book encourages students to engage in the scientific uncertainties that surround the study of environmental change, while also discussing both pessimistic and more optimistic views on the ability of humanity to address the environmental challenges of our current era.
Chapter 1: Introduction – Geography in the Anthropocene Section 1: Environmental Transformations Chapter 2: Resources – Oil and Water Chapter 3: Air – Science and the Atmosphere Chapter 4: Soil – The Political Ecology of Soil Degradation Chapter 5: Forests – Jungle Capitalism and the Corporate Environment Chapter 6: Cities – Sprawl and the Urban Planet Section 2: Living in the Anthropocene Chapter 7: Governing the Environment Chapter 8: Greening the Brain: Understanding and Changing Human Behaviour Chapter 9: Conclusions: Misanthropy, Adaptation and Safe Operating Spaces
source from: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415809849/

Hong Kong: Environment chief opens green exhibition (27 April 2014)

Environment chief opens green exhibition

March 27, 2014
Out of sight

Out of sight:  Secretary for the Environment KS Wong inspects the waste automatic collection system in Areia Preta.

Secretary for the Environment KS Wong today led a delegation to open the 2014 Macau International Environmental Co-operation Forum & Exhibition.

He toured the exhibition booths to see business opportunities brought by modern environmental technologies and green solutions for a sustainable city.

He met Macau’s Secretary for Transport & Public Works Lau Si-lo, Director of the Office for the Development of the Energy Sector Arnaldo Santos and other Macau officials.

He also met the Portugal's Secretary of State of the Environment Paulo Lemos and his delegation.

Mr Wong inspected the waste automatic collection system in Areia Preta. Comprised of waste collection points, underground pipelines and garbage inlets, the system can collect 35 to 40 tonnes of garbage daily and serves about 15,800 households.

He and the delegation will return to Hong Kong after a dinner the Macau Government is hosting.

source: http://www.news.gov.hk/en/categories/environment/html/2014/03/20140327_190930.shtml

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book: Planning and Installing Micro-Hydro Systems (24 April 2014)

Planning and Installing Micro-Hydro Systems

A Guide for Designers, Installers and Engineers

By Chris Elliott

Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
An essential addition to the Earthscan Planning & Installing series, Planning and Installing Micro-Hydro Systems provides vital diagrams, pictures and tables detailing the planning and installing of a micro-hydro system, including information on the maintenance and economics once an installation is running. The book covers subjects such as measuring head and flow, ecological impacts, scheme layouts, practical advice, calculations and turbine choice. Archimedes screws are also covered in detail, as well as the main conventional choices relevant to small sites.
Micro-hydro refers to hydropower systems with a power rating of 100kW or less. A 100kW system will produce 100 standard units of electricity in one hour. These systems have been popular in some sparsely populated or mountainous countries for a number of years, but now new technology, less stringent regulation of grid connected generators and standardised turbine designs are encouraging more widespread interest in micro-hydro in the developed world.
The renewable energy sector is growing at a remarkable rate, and whilst much attention has so far focused on solar and wind technologies, Europe and elsewhere have great potential for generating power from small scale hydroelectric installations.
This book is aimed at site owners, designers and consultants who are looking to develop schemes in the micro-hydro scale – 5 to 100kW – although the concepts are applicable to smaller and larger schemes.
1. Energy in Context 2. Hydro Basics 3. The Weight of Water 4. Head and Flow 5. Ecological Considerations 6. Stages of Project Design 7. Initial Design 8. Predicting Power Output and Energy Capture 9. The Value of Power 10. Weirs and Impoundments 11. Intakes and Forebays 12. Spillways 13. Channels 14. Fish Passage Structures 15. Powerhouses 16. Screening 17. Penstocks 18. Sluices 19. Turbines 20. Mechanical Transmission 21. Archimedes Screw Turbines 22. Electrical Basics 23. Control Equipment 24. Generators 25. Grid Connection 26. Design for Flood 27. Assessing Historic Structures 28. Condition Monitoring 29. Commercial 30. Site Investigation 31. Temporary Works and Construction Methods 32. Accepting Machinery, Installation and Commissioning 33. Maintenance and Monitoring
source: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781844075386/

Book: The Politics of Knowledge and Global Biodiversity (24 April 2014)

The Politics of Knowledge and Global Biodiversity

By Alice B.M. Vadrot

Routledge – 2014 – 320 pages
The establishment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) points to the crucial role attributed to science and knowledge for the successful implementation of biodiversity politics by both scientists and policy-makers. With the increased importance of biodiversity in international politics, and in part inspired by the success the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has had in raising awareness of global warming, the call for an ‘IPCC for Biodiversity’ was successful.
The Politics of Knowledge and Global Biodiversity gives a full overview of the process of its implementation as finalised in 2013 and proposes an innovative conceptual framework that puts this specific case into a more general perspective of international politics and relations. It provides a detailed empirical analysis of the knowledge politics associated with the establishment of IPBES and its conceptual framework and methodological approach is grounded in a theoretical perspective.
This pioneering work is the first to examine IPBES in this way and is essential reading for researchers and scholars of International Relations, Environmental and Biodiversity Politics, Science-Policy Interfaces and Global Environmental Governance. It will also be of interest to political scientists and social scientists.
Introduction 1. How we view Nature now: the emergence of 'biodiversity' 2. A Novel Approach: 'epistemic selectivities' 3. Who needs a 'Science-Policy Interface' for Biodiversity 4. Conception and Birth of New International Body: the IPBES 5. The Manifold Narratives of the IPBES negotiations 6. Epistemic Selectivies: Knowledge and Institutional Change
source: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415729901/

Hong Kong: Green summit urges less waste (27 April 2014)

Green summit urges less waste

April 11, 2014
Public participation is crucial in achieving the "use less, waste less" vision, Acting Chief Executive Carrie Lam said today.

She was speaking at the Go Green, Waste Less summit, organised by the Environmental Campaign Committee and the Environmental Protection Department.

About 180 representatives from District Councils, local community groups and schools joined. Mrs Lam thanked them for their efforts to promote community participation and environmental work.

Secretary for the Environment KS Wong said the councils and local residents are key to promoting environmental protection in the community.

Since 2012, the department has given funding to District Councils to organise environmental programmes. The 2013-14 theme was Community Action on Waste – Use Less, Reuse, Recycle, featuring district-based education, promotional and recycling programmes, with more than 80,000 participants.

source: http://www.news.gov.hk/en/categories/environment/html/2014/04/20140411_173414.shtml

Hong Kong News: Park photo competition opens (27 April 2014)

Park photo competition opens

April 15, 2014
The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department launched a country park photography competition today.

The event is to promote country park visits and nature conservation.

The department encourages participants to share their country park experiences by taking photographs capturing the seasonal beauty and rich biodiversity in Hong Kong’s country parks.

Entries should be emailed to cpphotocomp2014@gmail.com during specified periods in each season.

source : http://www.news.gov.hk/en/categories/environment/html/2014/04/20140415_151655.shtml

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Book: Complexity and Sustainability (23 April 2014)

Complexity and Sustainability

By Jennifer Wells

Routledge – 2012 – 345 pages
Complex dynamic system studies have been studied explicitly in the natural sciences, and most only implicitly throughout other fields. Yet much great social theory and philosophy is in fact based in complexity, and important concepts like postmodernism, risk, and collapse all stem from complexity. Six key terms are explored: nonlinearity, feedbacks, thresholds, hierarchies, emergence and self-organization, and dozens of related principles are discussed, with a focus on uncertainty, risk, vulnerability, learning, strategy, resilience, collapse and sustainability. The book surveys the role of these complexity principles in the natural sciences, social theory, transdisciplinary discourse, philosophy, and ethics, and shows how this complexity framework is a valuable lens for approaching the spectre of climate change and life in the Anthropocene.
Foreward 1. Introduction 2. Elucidating Complexity Theories 3. Complexity in the Natural Sciences 4. Complexity in Social Theory 5. Towards Transdisciplinarity 6. Complexity in Philosophy: Complexification and the Limits to Knowledge 7. Complexity in Ethics 8. Earth in the Anthropocene 9. Complexity and Climate Change 10. American Dreams, Ecological Nightmares and New Visions 11. Complexity and Sustainability: Wicked Problems, Gordian Knots and Synergistic Solutions 12. Conclusion
source: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781138790742/

Hong Kong: 25 pollution convictions recorded (27 April 2014)

25 pollution convictions recorded

April 15, 2014
The Environmental Protection Department recorded 25 convictions for pollution offences in March.

Six were for air pollution, seven for noise, and 12 for waste disposal offences.

The heaviest fine for the month was $80,000, assessed against a company that used powered mechanical equipment not complying with permit conditions.

source : http://www.news.gov.hk/en/categories/environment/html/2014/04/20140415_161557.shtml

Friday, April 25, 2014

China News: Tap water chief apologizes over contamination (23 April 2014)

Tap water chief apologizes over contamination

The chief of a tap water supplier embroiled in scandal after a contamination affected more than 2.4 million people in a northwestern Chinese city apologized to the public on Tuesday.
Yao Xin, chairman of the Lanzhou Veolia Water Company, bowed and expressed his apology at a news conference organized by the government of Lanzhou City, capital of Gansu Province, after the company reported excessive levels of carcinogenic compound benzene in its water on April 10.
Yao said the reason he had not apologized since then was that he and all his staff had been putting all their energy into identifying the cause of the contamination and building new water pipelines.
He said the company will launch a website in the first half of this year, and disclose water quality results on a monthly basis on the site.
On April 11, the city government warned residents not to drink tap water for 24 hours, after more than 10 times the national standard of benzene was found in the tap water. The pollutants are believed to have leaked from a pipeline of Lanzhou Petrochemical, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, the country's largest oil company.
source: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2014-04/23/content_32177881.htm

World News: UN urges more efforts on sustainable development (23 April 2014)

UN urges more efforts on sustainable development

The United Nations observed the International Mother Earth Day on Tuesday with senior officials appealing for greater efforts to promote sustainable development and use of renewable energy sources.
Desertification in Namibia. [Photo/UNEP]
In his message for the day, marked annually on April 22, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged worldwide changes in attitude and practice to curb the negative impact of human activity on the planet.
"From tropical deforestation to depleted ocean fisheries, from growing freshwater shortages to the rapid decline of biodiversity and increasingly polluted skies and seas in many parts of the world, we see the heavy hand of humankind," he said.
Reflecting on humankind's relationship with the planet, Ban said, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil that grows our food are part of a delicate global ecosystem that is increasingly under pressure from human activities.
As such, and with a growing population, everyone must recognize that consumption of the planet's resources is unsustainable. "We need a global transformation of attitude and practice. It is especially urgent to address how we generate the energy that drives our progress," he said.
The UN chief also emphasized that burning fossil fuels is the principal cause of climate change, which increasingly threatens prosperity and stability in all regions.
He said that action on climate change presents multiple opportunities to "reset our relationship" with Mother Earth and improve human well-being, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable.
"Sustainable energy for all can increase health, wealth and opportunity for billions of people, as can climate-smart agriculture, more efficient cities and better managed and protected forests," Ban said.
As a part of the world organization's efforts to drive home the importance of respecting and protecting the planet towards ensuring 'the future we want', the General Assembly is convening an interactive dialogue on "Harmony with Nature" to commemorate the international day.
Following a high-level segment Tuesday morning, member states, UN agencies and independent stakeholders will discuss in a series of roundtables ways to promote a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
Meanwhile, General Assembly President John Ashe called on the UN family to promote sustainable development and the use of renewable energy sources throughout cities and communities.
"As we confront the unique sustainable development challenges of our time; our understanding of the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations must be rooted in the most up to date scientific information," Ashe said in his message.
Our global strategy must promote sound environmental ethics, and continually emphasize humanity's interconnectedness with nature, he noted.
In 2009, the UN General Assembly proclaimed April 22 as International Mother Earth Day, in a bid to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations.
source : http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2014-04/23/content_32180078.htm

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Taiwan News: 水質監測資訊化 掌控廢水護河川 (22 April 2014)

                                水質監測資訊化 掌控廢水護河川



        環保署強調,全民共同監督參與為水質保護工作重要的一環,102 年經由民眾巡守檢舉查獲暗管高達174處,對於打擊不法,已發揮明顯成效。此外,為鼓勵民眾共同守護河川,在水污染防治法修正草案中,新增罰款的一部分可提撥作為檢舉獎金。相信在全民踴躍檢舉不法,積極參與水環境巡守及運用科學工具輔助下,可遏止非法排放,期待共同營造優質的水體環境。 

source: http://ivy5.epa.gov.tw/enews/fact_Newsdetail.asp?InputTime=1030422161846

China News: China facing severe environmental challenges (23 April 2014)

China facing severe environmental challenges

China continues to face severe challenges in energy conservation and emission reduction, a senior lawmaker in charge of environment-related legislation said on Tuesday.
With only two years left to achieve targets set in the country's 12th five year plan (2011-2015), China needs to step up efforts to cut energy consumption per unit of GDP by 16 percent by the end of 2015, said Lu Hao, director of the National People's Congress (NPC) Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee.
"This means China would have to cut its energy consumption per unit of GDP by at least 3.9 percent each year for the next two years to achieve that goal," Lu said on the sidelines of a bimonthly NPC session.
He said overcapacity high energy consumption and highly polluting industries, coupled with an imbalanced energy structure and the discharge of pollutants, has put enormous pressure on the country's energy conservation and emission reduction initiatives.
Insufficient monetary and policy incentives and unsatisfactory law enforcement also added to the challenges, he said.
source : http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2014-04/23/content_32178174.htm

World News: Earth Day: Last places with their original looks (23 April 2014)

Earth Day: Last places with their original looks

April 22 is World Earth Day. Environmental problems have long been seen as serious topics and many parts of the planet have lost their true colors and natural landscapes. Following are some of the places which still manage to preserve their original characteristics.
Ruunaa hiking area, Finland.

source : http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2014-04/23/content_32179101.htm

China News: China's five-year plan to boost environment protection (23 April 2014)

China's five-year plan to boost environment protection

China's next five-year plan will further boost ecological progress, said Xu Lin, a department head at the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner, on Wednesday.
People are paying much more attention to quality of life and have higher demands and the 13th Five-Year Plan will not ignore this, said Xu, who is head of the commission's department of development planning.
Most sectors have been doing well in meeting targets set by the 12th Five-Year Plan, Xu said.
However, progress on energy-saving and environmental protection have not been satisfactory according to an official evaluation on the 12th Five-Year Plan. But the NDRC, departments of the State Council and local governments are taking various measures to remedy this, Xu said.
Last Thursday, the commission announced it had started to formulate the 13th Five-Year Plan covering 2016 to 2020, with deepening reforms and economic growth at the forefront.
The five-year plan sets out an economic and social policy framework for the country, and needs to be approved by the National People's Congress, China's top legislature. The country's 12th Five-Year Plan period covers 2011 to 2015.
source : http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2014-04/23/content_32186599.htm

China News: China's underground water quality worsens (23 April 2014)

China's underground water quality worsens

Nearly 60 percent of monitored areas of China had "very poor" or "relatively poor" underground water quality last year, a new report showed on Tuesday.
Nearly 60 percent of monitored areas of China had "very poor" or "relatively poor" underground water quality last year.
Among 4,778 spots in 203 cities monitored by the Ministry of Land and Resources, underground water quality was ranked "relatively poor" in 43.9 percent of them and "very poor" in another 15.7 percent last year, said the annual report unveiled by the ministry.
According to China's underground water standards, water of relatively poor quality can only be used for drinking after proper treatment. Water of very poor quality cannot be used as source of drinking water.
The result means 59.6 percent of underground water could not be directly drunk last year, up from 57.4 percent for 2012.
On a year-on-year basis, water quality became worse in 754 monitored spots, but improved in only 647 areas.
source from: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2014-04/23/content_32178751.htm

Taiwan News: 全民複式動員檢查 清除登革熱病媒蚊孳生源 (20 April 2014)

全民複式動員檢查 清除登革熱病媒蚊孳生源




source : http://ivy5.epa.gov.tw/enews/fact_Newsdetail.asp?InputTime=1030422153342

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

China News: Wild panda photos captured again in Sichuan (23 April 2014)

Wild panda photos captured again in Sichuan

Photos of a wild panda were captured for the second time by infrared cameras at Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area in Sichuan Province. The photo is the first one recording a wild panda eating. [Photo/Chinanews.com]
Photos captured by infrared cameras at Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area in southwest China's Sichuan Province show a wild panda sighting in the area, the second time that an adult wild giant panda was spotted in the area within half a year, according to the natural reserve area's management administration.
Staffers from Huanglong Nature Reserve collected the data captured by three infrared cameras installed there.
A total of 66 photos recording a panda eating were captured at night on Jan 21, and another 21 pictures were shot at noon on Feb 26 as a panda passed by the camera.
Besides pictures, a one-minute video clip showing a panda passing by on Feb 16 was also available.
It was the first time a wild panda was photographed eating in the region, according to the reserve.
Researchers at the reserve said they couldn't confirm whether the panda spotted was the same one, and a further investigation is still underway.
The reason photos of wild pandas can be captured frequently in the area is that more pandas are being attracted to the park due to the improved ecological environment in the area over the past three decades.
Images of a wild panda were captured in the region last September for the first time in over 30 years.
source :http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2014-04/23/content_32179187.htm

Event: Public Forum of the Study on the Action Plan for Livable Bay Area of the Pearl River Estuary (26 April 2014)

Public Forum of the Study on the Action Plan for Livable Bay Area of the Pearl River Estuary 

Event Date: 26 Apr 2014 Event Time: 10:30 am - 1:00 pm 
Venue: Multi-Purpose Hall, 3/F, City Gallery, 3 Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong 
Email: sppd@pland.gov.hk Website: www.prdbay.com 

BEC is pleased to support the Public forum for the “Study on the Action Plan for Livable Bay Area of the Pearl River Estuary” that organised by Planning Department of the HKSAR Government.
About the Public Forum
Planning Department will hold a public forum for the Stage 2 Public Engagement of the “Study on the Action Plan for Livable Bay Area of the Pearl River Estuary” on April 26 for the public's further discussion on the recommendations of the Study.  Details of the forum are as follows:
Date: 26 April 2014 (Saturday)
Time:10:30 am - 1:00 pm (registration will start at 10:00 am)
Venue:Multi-Purpose Hall, 3/F, City Gallery, 3 Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong
Anyone who wishes to attend the forum may fill in the registration form and return the completed form to Planning Department by email (sppd@pland.gov.hk), fax (2522 8524 or 2868 4497) or post (Strategic Planning Section, Planning Department, 16/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point) on or before 14 April to facilitate arrangement.  For the details of the Study, please click here.

- See more at: http://bec.org.hk/events-current/public-forum-of-the-study-on-the-action-plan-for-livable-bay-area-of-the-pearl-river-estuary#sthash.cS1Nlaua.dpuf

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Event: Business Strategy and Social Responsibility (25-28 April 2014)

Business Strategy and Social Responsibility
(4 days)

Date:Friday, 25 April 2014   -  Monday, 28 April 2014

Course Overview:
This module will concentrate on strategies to demonstrate how CSR can be an agent for change. The course additionally examines available frameworks, standards and guidelines including ISO 26000 and the Global Reporting Initiative. The lectures and interactive sessions will provide participants with professional competencies to develop meaningful CSR strategies and enhance business reputation, brand and trust through a strategic approach to sustainability and CSR. Participants will also gain skills to manage a sustainability reporting process and develop comprehensive stakeholder communications as a valuable tool in responding to increasingly sophisticated stakeholder scrutiny.
The course will help participants to:
  • Recognise the strategic importance of social responsibility to business success
  • Develop meaningful social responsibility strategies that can add value through brand, reputation and trust
  • Engage in disclosure strategies associated with improved reporting and communications
The course costs 54.000 THB (approx. 1650 USD) and is offered in partnership with the Asian Institute of Technology.
CSR Strategic Partners are entitled to 50% discount without utilizing their training pass. To register please contact your relationship manager directly.
For more details, please click here

To apply please submit the following to csrcenter@ait.asia:
- Resume
- Letter of Motivation
- Billing address
Course Leaders:
Richard Welford
Mara Chiorean

CSR Asia Strategic Partners are entitled to a 20% discount on all courses organised by CSR Asia. To register using your free training pass, please contact your relationship manager directly.

source from: http://www.csr-asia.com/course-detail.php?id=86

India News: CBI takes over tiger poaching probe (10 April 2014)

CBI takes over tiger poaching probe

NAGPUR: Eight months after it was approached to investigate poaching of tigers in the region, the Central Bureau of Investigation, took over the on Friday.

The state government had written to CBI director Ranjit Sinha on July 26, 2013 requesting for probe in the poaching of tigers. State notification to this effect was published in August last week. The CBI started collecting relevant papers from September.

"Finally, the probe has been handed over to the CBI officials from Navi Mumbai who were in the city on Friday," confirmed principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) Sarjan Bhagat.

Bhagat added the probe was handed over to CBI last year but Central government notification was issued in March first week.

In August last year, the CBI was given a mandate to probe three tiger poaching cases. The arrest of 21 poachers and tiger skin traders revealed that it was not just three tigers but nearly 25. Forest officials have reached a figure of 16 so far.

When asked, APCCF for wildlife (east) SS Mishra said the CBI probe will expose national and cross-border links of organized poachers. "The CBI probe will have no affect on the ongoing court cases. We will continue to fight them," Mishra added.

However, official sources said the list of wanted poachers has touched 56. Of these 21 have been arrested and 35 remain absconding. The CBI will help the forest department to nab absconders. "We will now work jointly," said Mishra.

9 poachers nabbed

Nagpur: Nine hardened wildlife poachers were nabbed inside the Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary on Thursday night. Two of their accomplices managed to escape. Divisional forest officer SB Bhalavi said that the accused had sneaked into the park on seven bicycles and two motorcycles with an intention to poach wild animals. A dozen weapons like spears, sickles, and knives used to kill and skin animals, besides huge thick nets were confiscated from them. "The nets could have trapped not only herbivores but also carnivores," said Bhalavi. P

source from: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/flora-fauna/CBI-takes-over-tiger-poaching-probe/articleshow/33638206.cms

India News: Gautala sanctuary to get cameras for tracking animals (9 April 2014)

Gautala sanctuary to get cameras for tracking animals
AURANGABAD: The Gautala Autrumghat wildlife sanctuary in Aurangabad district, a 250 sq km expanse of dense forest, will be first in the Marathwada region to get cameras to track the movement of animals and to keep a hawk eye on poaching activities.

The wildlife division has sent a proposal seeking 12 trap cameras for the sanctuary, which will also help in the bi-annual animal census activity. The trap cameras will have motion sensors and night vision to capture the image of any wildlife passing in front of it. The cameras are waterproof, heat resistant and have global positioning system (GPS).

Such cameras have been installed in Tadoba Andhari tiger reserve and other wildlife sanctuaries of the state, but will be used for the first time in the Marathwada region. The Gautala Autrumghat sanctuary, located on the boundary of the Aurangabad and Jalgaon districts, was notified in 1997.

Sunil Ohol, deputy conservator of forest (wildlife), said that the proposal has been sent to the forest division in Nashik and some permissions were still to be granted by the state government. The wildlife department expects to receive camera during next census scheduled for May.

An official said, "The cameras will help during the annual census exercise as they provide visual record of the animals. As the cameras capture the movement of animals within the sanctuary, it also helps protect and track the animals. Moreover, the cameras help keep a watch in possible poaching activity."

In addition to this, the forest department has also initiated a study of impact of human presence on animals, as vehicles use the national highway (NH-211) located near the forest area. It has carried out various development plans within the sanctuary to boost ecological activities and tourism.

Range forest officer R A Nagapurkar said that a four-member team of experts from Cohort For Bio-Research, Jalgaon has started a study of the impact of traffic and noise disturbances on wildlife, possible movement of animals and connection between major water and food resources. The team would submit its recommendations in the report likely to be ready in the next couple of months.

The RFO added that an information centre has been established at Hivarkheda, where the sanctuary starts. "The centre has the information of all the species found in the sanctuary. In future, guides would be appointed," he added. 10 locals have already undergone training to be guides under the eco-development scheme of the joint forest management committee (JFMC).

Fire-fighting equipment has been procured to tackle any wild fires, but no such instances have been reported in last two years. "The staff has been trained to deal with fires and adjoining villages have been alerted to notify fires. Fire extinguishers, helmets and jackets will be stored in a room," he added.

Four villages, Hivarkheda, Bildari, Haraswadi and Junona, have been identified to reduce the impact on forest area. "Smokeless stoves and solar cookers have been provided to villagers, street lights operating on solar energy have been installed. Majority of the houses have solar system capable of lighting 2-3 bulbs," Nagapurkar said.

Measures have been taken to conserve water. About 35 artificial and an equal number of natural water ponds have been built provide for animals. About 12 cement check dams have also been constructed to conserve water.

The historical sites of Gautam Rishi temple and Sita Nani have been developed to attract visitors and affordable residential arrangements have been made. Four rest houses and a dormitory can accommodate around 70 people. The rooms can be booked through the wildlife office located in Aurangabad. "The bamboo hut is entirely eco-friendly and has been set up at the edge of a mountain for a great view," he said.

Adequate safety arrangements have been put in place for the tourists with nakas and watch towers, with one guard and two forest workers stationed especially during night hours. Another chowk has been created at a central location of the sanctuary.

Sign boards are placed at significant places indicating directions to spots about 12 pagodas have been constructed for resting and sight seeing purposes.

source from: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/developmental-issues/Gautala-sanctuary-to-get-cameras-for-tracking-animals/articleshow/33523892.cms