For private circulation only

       Branches@ATREE(A Bimonthly Newsletter)

Volume 3:2
June 2005

659 5th A Main, Hebbal
Bangalore 560 024
Tel: 080-2353 3942, 2353 0069
Fax: 080-2353 0070
B-80 Shivalik
New Delhi 110 017
Tel/Fax: 011-266 93299, 266 93190
Eastern Himalayas
Bungalow No.2, Bhujiapani
Bagdogra 734 422
Tel/Fax:0353-255 1110, 255 0093
North East
C/o. "Evergreen"
Samanway Path (Survey)
P.O. Belatola
Guwahati 781 028
Tel.: 0361-226 6087
Advisory Board
Dr. R.A. Mashelkar
Dr. Anil K. Gupta
Dr. Peter Raven
Dr. Suri Sehgal
Dr. Jagmohan Maini
Dr. Jairam Ramesh
Executive Board
Dr. K. S. Bawa (Chair)
Dr. R. Shailaja
Dr. K. N. Ganeshaiah
Dr. S. N. Rai
Dr. R. Uma Shaanker
Mr. Darshan Shankar
Ms. Rohini Nilekani
Dr. Gladwin Joseph (ex-officio)
Executive Staff
Dr. Gladwin Joseph
Dr. Bibhab Talukdar
Mr. Manoj Dabas
Mr. Suman Rai


ATREE Delhi, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forests - Government of India, conducted the 1st Vacation Programme on Natural Resources (VPNR). The program selected forty 11th- standard students from various schools located in the National Capital Region, Chandigarh, and adjoining districts of Haryana and Punjab. The program was inaugurated on 16th May by Ms. Meena Gupta, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests. Dr. R. Mehta, Adviser to the MoEF and Dr. Kamal Bawa, President of ATREE, addressed the participants on the occasion.

The first VPNR module lasted three weeks and was held at Delhi and Solan. This module comprised a creative mix of interactive lectures aimed at sensitizing participants to some key issues related to sustainability and conservation of natural ecosystems. Eminent speakers from a range of esteemed institutions active in the field of natural resources management were invited to share their rich perspectives and insights. During the first module, the participants also visited some of the leading institutions conducting cutting-edge research on natural resource management and conservation, such as: the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi, the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal, the National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Y.S. Parmar University, Solan, and the Central Potato Research Institute, Kufri.

The week-long, second module was carried out in collaboration with BioDCS, Government of Himachal Pradesh, and SAHARA, a local NGO. This second part of VPNR was a hands-on exposure camp in the Great Himalayan National Park.

The primary objectives of VPNR were to develop a core of young citizens who are aware of the challenges related to natural resource management, as well as to create a new young constituency of support for conservation efforts. The participants who found the program especially exciting will now work on individual assignments. In September, they will reassemble in Delhi to make presentations with their new insights. The program will conclude with a valedictory function, also planned in September, 2005.

-Vishakha Das


A co-ordination meeting was held between the Karnataka Forest Department, ATREE and Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra (VGKK) on 28th May 2005, at ATREE's BRT Field Station. The purpose of the meeting was to arrive at a coordinated plan of work for BRT in which all three agencies complement each others' work. Each of the three agencies made presentations summarising their work in BRT. The Forest Department appreciated ATREE's presentation outlining their research findings and future plans. VGKK's work with the Soligas was also shared, and there was discussion on some future possibilities of working with the Tribal Federation and mobilising Eco-Development Committees for anti-poaching activities. The Forest Department presented the management challenges for BRT and held discussions on certain tenure questions and the possibility of voluntary relocation. There was also rich discussion on changes required in Large-scale Adivasi Multi-Purpose Societies (LAMPS) inside BRT, as well as the LAMPS of neighbouring areas outside BRT. The most significant outcome of this meeting was that as a result of the valuable long-term inputs from VGKK and ATREE, the BRT Wild Life Sanctuary (BRT WLS) Advisory Committee was formed comprising ATREE, VGKK and the Forest Department. This advisory committee will meet regularly to provide inputs for the management of the park. This unique venture, working toward collaboration in protected area management, was welcomed by all.

-Bansuri Taneja


ATREE, in association with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), New Delhi and the School of Ecology and Conservation at the University of Agricultural Sciences, co-organized a two day meeting: A National Program on the Recovery of Red-Listed Species Using Biotechnological Approaches. The meeting took place from July 18th to 19th 2005, at the Jungle Resorts, Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bangalore. The workshop aimed to identify the species that require immediate attention, and to develop a comprehensive program for their recovery based on existing programs and efforts.In advance, scientists received copies of the Red List of plant species, separately developed by the IUCN, Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata and Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), Bangalore. Several experts presented concept notes on the recovery of selected species that could be taken up under this program. It was felt that the IUCN categories, "rare", "endangered", and "threatened" (RET), are subjective. Participants felt that comprehensive baseline data needs to be generated for some species before including them in the recovery program.

While summing up the workshop, Dr. K.N. Ganeshaiah suggested compiling a general consensus list of species for the program, as well as several more specific categories, and to include many examples for each category. The consensus list of species was considered at length, and 12 plant species and 2 insect species were finally selected to be included in the recovery program. Experts from six institutes were identified to develop preliminary proposals for the recovery of these species. Utilizing appropriate biotechnological tools, such as molecular markers and tissue culture techniques, is being considered for the recovery of these species.

Additionally, participants decided to obtain a list from the Botanical Survey of India, Zoological Survey of India and other institutes, of 30 species of plants and insects that might require recovery efforts. This list, along with the workshop list, is announced in Current Science (Vol. 89, No. 4, page 599-600) and the DBT website. Experts are invited to offer feedback regarding the ranking of species, after which a fresh list of species will be developed for the recovery program.

A total of 30 participants attended the meeting, including scientists and forest officials from various institutes and states.

-Dr. Mohan, G.S.


On July 8th 2005, the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) joined efforts with Development Alternatives, a non-profit research, development, and consultancy organization, in a planting program. This was carried out as a part of their environmental assessment, awareness, action, and advocacy program. Around 50 students from 5 different urban schools, teachers, and ATREE representatives traveled to the rural government high school, Maralwadi, in the Kanakapura region. There they were joined by 25 school students of the Government High School. The students were informed of the importance of planting native species, their uses, and how to plant and protect them. Together, the students then planted and fenced 75 saplings of 6 different native species. The local students and teachers were given instructions on caring for the seedlings and promised to do their best to "green" their campus.

The urban students were very enthusiastic and returned home with a new appreciation for the natural environment. The rural school children were also very excited to meet children from Bangalore and receive help in planting saplings on their campus.

This project was possible thanks to donated time and volunteers from Development Alternatives and the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment.

-Kavitha A.


Dr. Satya Prakash Mohapatra has joined the Center for Conservation, Governance and Policy at ATREE-Delhi. He will be looking after ATREE's work in the area of Production Forestry and Climate Change.

Yogesh Kumar Ghore will be working on issues related to Forestry Taxation in India, as well as help to expand the activities of the Center for Conservation, Governance and Policy at our New Delhi office.

Ranjeet Singh Rawat has joined ATREE, Delhi as an accountant.

Sindhu K. joined ATREE, Bangalore as an accountant. Before this, she worked at the Air Force School, Hebbal for five and a half years.

Nithin Lakshmana completed a masters' degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Mysore and has been a library trainee in IISC, Bangalore. He has joined ATREE, Bangalore and will be updating our library database and catalogues.

Kavitha Ramaswamy joined ATREE, Bangalore as a receptionist on May 16. She was working for small-scale manufacturing company in Bangalore before joining us.

Freeda Maria Swarna will be working at ATREE, Bangalore on issues related to eco-tourism and NTFPs. She completed her MTA (Master of Tourism Administration) from Bangalore University.


Bawa K. 2005. Editorial: Our survival is at stake. The Times of India, Wednesday, 18 May 2005.

Hiremath, A. J. & B. Sundaram. 2005. The Fire-Lantana cycle hypothesis in Indian forests. Conservation & Society 3(1): 26-42.

Nagendra, H., B. Karna & M. Karmacharya. 2005. Examining Institutional Change: Social conflict in Nepal's leasehold forestry programme. Conservation & Society 3(1): 72-91.

Prasad, S., J. Krishnaswamy, & R. Chellam. 2005. Dispersal of seeds that ruminants regurgitate: Phyllanthus emblica Linn. (Euphorbiaceae) at Rajaji National Park, India. In: Proceedings of the IV International Symposium / Workshop on Frugivores and Seed Dispersal. Brisbane, Australia. pp. 101.

Saha S., H. BassiriRad, & G. Joseph. 2005. Phenology and water relations of tree sprouts and seedlings in a tropical forest of South India. Trees 19: 322-325.


ATREE, Bangalore received a grant from the Sri Lankan Forest Department for 'A study tour for Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu forest officials, Karnataka.'

Kartik Shanker was awarded a grant from Winrock International India to support the production costs of the journal, 'Conservation & Society.'

Ravikanth received a grant from the Ministry of Science & Technology, Department of Biotechnology, to hold, 'An Interactive Meeting to Develop a National Programme on Recovery of Red-Listed Species using Biotechnological Approaches.'

Savitha Swami, Joyeeta Das, & Soubhadra Devy were awarded a grant from the Singapore Environmental Council to hold a capacity building programme for select teachers and students.

Sinu, P.A. was awarded the Ernst Mayr Grant from Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University to study Indian Carabid beetles deposited at British Museum of Natural History, BMNH, London in September 2005.

Vishal Sharma received a grant from International Foundation for Science (IFS) to study 'Hydrological Impacts of deforestation in a southern Indian deciduous forest'.

Jagdish Krishnaswamy received a grant from the Wildlife Conservation Society to develop and teach a course in 'Applied Landscape Ecology', for a 'Post- Graduate Program on Wild Life Biology and Conservation.'

Bharath Sundaram has been awarded a research grant from the International Foundation for Science, Sweden for the study, 'The invasive species-fire cycle and its implications for the conservation of tropical dry forests.'

ATREE Delhi has been awarded two grants from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Government of U.K.'s Global Opportunity Fund (Climate Change and Energy Program) for projects: 'The Scope and Role of Production Forestry in Enhancing Carbon Mitigation in India' & 'Reorienting taxation policies to conserve biodiversity and promote sustainability of non-timber forest resources.' The projects will be implemented over a period of 36 & 15 months, respectively, starting 1st September 2005, by the Center for Conservation, Governance and Policy at ATREE.

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