659 5th A Main, Hebbal
Bangalore 560 024
Tel: 080-2353 3942,
Fax: 080-2353 0070
New Delhi 110 017
Tel/Fax: 011-266 93299
Bungalow No.2, Bhujiapani
Bagdogra 734 422
East Office C/o. “Evergreen” Samanway Path
P.O. Belatola Guwahati – 781 028 Assam.
Tel.: 0361-226 6087
Dr. Anil K. Gupta
Dr. Peter Raven
Dr. Suri Sehgal
Dr. Jagmohan Maini
Dr. Jairam Ramesh
Dr. K.N. Ganeshaiah Dr. R. UmaShaanker Dr. S. N. Rai
Dr. R. Shailaja
Mr. Darshan Shankar
Ms. Rohini Nilekani
Dr. Gladwin Joseph (ex-officio)
Ms. Suparna Biswas
Dr. Bibhab Talukdar
Mr. Manoj Dabas
Mr. Suman Rai
CENTER FOR CONSERVATION, GOVERNANCE AND POLICY AT ATREE
Trust has awarded Rs. 10 million (1 crore) to the Ashoka Trust
for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) to initiate
the establishment of a Center for Conservation, Governance
and Policy (CCGP) at Bangalore with a cell in New Delhi.
chaired by Mrs. Rohini Nilekani promotes participation, research
and action in good governance across a wide range of sectors
in India. ARGHYAM was set up in 2001 as a philanthropic fund
from the personal assets of Ms Rohini Nilekani to nurture
initiatives in health, education, ecology, the arts and public
governance. In the past three years ARGHYAM has disbursed
approximately Rs 10 million each year to various individuals
and organizations working in these fields. This grant of Rs
10 million to ATREE is ARGHYAM’s biggest single grant
grant from ARGHYAM Foundation will support an Endowed Fellow
at the Center. The grant will also fund interdisciplinary
research and action in conservation planning and management
of natural resources, particularly water resources and biological
diversity; develop decentralized, participatory models of
co-management of natural resources; contribute to effective
policy and good governance based on an understanding of the
interactions between humans and their biological and physical
surroundings; and strengthen the involvement of civil society
Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson of ARGHYAM says, “We at
ARGHYAM are proud to set up a partnership with ATREE which
has done seminal work in ecology research. With this grant
of Rs 10 million, part of which will sustain an ARGHYAM FELLOW
at ATREE, we hope that we can foster a sharper focus on issues
of governance and policy that can empower conservation efforts
OF ATREE AS A PH.D CENTRE OF MAHE
WORKSHOP ON “REGIONAL COOPERATION FOR CONSERVATION OF
BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOTS OF THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT AND TAXONOMIC
DATABASES FOR CONSERVATION”
has been approved as a Ph.D center of MAHE (MANIPAL ACADEMY
OF HIGHER EDUCATION). The first batch of MAHE Ph.D guides in
ATREE and their specialized areas of interest are:
K.N. Ganeshaiah: Genetics & Plant Breeding, Evolutionary
Ecology, Genetic Diversity, and Developmental Biology.
R. Uma Shaanker: Plant Reproductive Physiology and Ecology,
Physical Basis of Biological Phenomena, Conservation Biology
and Forest Genetics, and the Biology of Invasive Species.
K.D. Singh: Forest Policy/Planning, Biological Diversity,
Biometrics, and GIS/MIS/Remote Sensing.
Gladwin Joseph: Tree Physiology, Sustainable Agroforestry,
and General Forestry.
Jagdish Krishnaswamy: Landscape Ecology and Watershed Hydrology,
and Applied Statistics.
Priyadarsanan Dharma Rajan: Insect Taxonomy, Bio-Informatics,
Conservation Ecology & Management, and Integrated Pest
T. Ganesh: Long Term Phenology of Canopy Trees in the Wet
Evergreen Forest, Fruit-frugivore Interactions-the Impact
of Forest Fragmentation on Plant-animal Interactions, Diversity
and Abundance of Mammals and the Role of Forest Disturbance
on their Survival, and Conservation of Wintering Harriers
at a Landscape Level.
Harini Nagendra: Landscape Ecology, Collective Action and
Common Property Management, Land Use and Land Cover Change,
and Mountain Area Research.
M. Soubadra Devy: Setting up a Model Tropical Canopy Research
Program in India, Effect of Disturbance in Plant-pollinator
Interactions, and Urban Biodiversity Assessment Around Bangalore.
Kartik Shanker: Sea Turtle Ecology and Genetics, Amphibian
and Reptile Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Small Mammal
Ecology, and Community Ecology and Diversity.
in association with University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore
and University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA, together organized
a workshop on “Regional Cooperation on Conservation of
Biodiversity Hotspots of the Indian Subcontinent and Taxonomic
Databases for Conservation” from August 31st to September
1st, 2004 at Bangalore. The workshop was supported by the S.
M. Sehgal Foundation, USA and the Indian National Science Academy,
New Delhi. The participants of the workshop included scientists
from countries such as Nepal, Burma, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, India,
USA, UK, and Denmark, working in the area of biodiversity conservation
and taxonomic databases. There were about 125 participants from
various places within and outside the country.
regional cooperation for biodiversity conservation in two hotspots
of the Indian subcontinent, the workshop aimed at assessing
the potential and future prospects of internet based taxonomic
initiatives in the country, and to plan new programs through
networking of taxonomists and utilizing new techniques in the
area of web based taxonomy for biodiversity conservation.
theme on conservation of hotspots of the Indian subcontinent
included presentations on topics (number of presentations in
each topic is indicated in parentheses) such as Natural History
of the Hotspots (5), Conservation Concerns (5) and Effectiveness
of the Present Conservation Efforts in the Hotspots and Cooperative
Policy Issues (3). The theme on taxonomic databases for conservation
included topics such as Conceptual issues in Taxonomy Databases
(3) and Efforts in Developing Taxonomic Databases (12). There
was also a panel discussion on both the themes.
the inaugural session of the workshop, Dr. M. N. Sheelavantar,
Vice Chancellor, UAS, Bangalore, released the CD-ROM on Plant
Resources of south India (Sasya Bharati- Dakishinamnaya).
The CD-ROM includes various data recovery modules and gives
information on taxonomic hierarchy, distribution maps and data,
checklist of flora and images of South Indian plants. In a special
program at the workshop venue, Dr. Jayaram Ramesh, Member of
Parliament and member of the National Advisory Council launched
the website www.plantsindia.org.
This website, which is the first of its kind on plant resources
of India, contains checklists and images as well as comprehensive
information on taxonomy and distribution, of Indian plants.
workshop was successful in achieving the set objectives and
produced valuable recommendations. In the area of conservation
of hotspots of the Indian subcontinent, transboundary collaboration
was sought in the spheres of research, policy, training and
conservation management. The mechanisms and action plans for
achieving this through the establishment of a regional consortium,
research groups and networking were also thoroughly worked out.
Recommendations such as establishment of a regional consortium,
development of a locally controlled, distributed taxonomic information
system with the component of capacity building, and building
a pilot project on a cyber facility for regional taxonomy were
evaluated. – Initially for plants / specific biotic groups
with the features such as taxonomic information, type images,
taxonomic literature and technical expert groups involving taxonomists,
software professionals and other experts were featured in the
section on taxonomic databases for conservation.
BUTTERFLY KIT TO BRING HOME THE FLYING JEWELS!
butterfly kit is being launched by the Butterfly Conservation
and Outreach Unit at ATREE. The butterfly kit has 8 larval food
plants of more than eight different species of butterflies found
within Bangalore. Each plant is specific to a butterfly species,
which lays its eggs on them. The caterpillars that emerge out
of the eggs feed on these plants before pupating and emerging
as butterflies. Apart from caterpillar plants, a few seeds of
nectar plants suitable for butterflies are also being supplied.
The plants are being provided in baskets made of Lantana, a
ubiquitous and troublesome weed. It is for the first time that
this weed is being put to such a novel use. The plants and the
baskets are being made possible by tribal Self Help Groups based
in forest areas. This offers an alternate and sustainable livelihood
option for local communities who otherwise depend on forests.
The butterfly kit has a guide on how to grow these plants and
the specific butterflies that they will attract. The plants
can be grown on rooftop terraces or kitchen gardens, or among
other ornamental plants. These will attract butterflies to lay
their eggs on them, and their caterpillars will feed on the
plants. The nectar from the flowers are likely to attract other
species of butterflies as well. The kit also has a small pictorial
guide of some of the common butterflies seen in and around Bangalore.
This could be an unforgettable experience that can get one introduced
to the wonderful world of butterflies!
& TIMES NIE,GREENING SCHOOLS IN BANGALORE
STAFF AT ATREE
in association with the Times NIE (Newspaper In Education) launched
the“ Green Week” on July16, 2004 by planting butterfly
host plants in National Hill View School, Rajajeshwari Nagar,
Bangalore. A gift pack comprising of three sets of plants (Citrus
limon, Cassia fistula, Ficus religiosa)
Suman Rai has jointed ATREE as the new regional director,
Bagdogra from October 1, 2004. He was working with ICIMOD, Kathmandu,
as its regional coordinator for 5 countries in South Asia and
Ms. Kalyanee Chetia, M.Sc. has joined ATREE-North
East Office as Office Administrator with effect from October
Mr. Pravat Chandro Sutar has joined ATREE from
October 1, 2004 as a Research Associate. Pravat has a masters
from School of Environmental Sciences, JNU, New Delhi and was
working with "Vasundhara" at Bhubaneswar as Programme
Officer. He will be stationed at Bhubaneswar .
Ms. Vishakha Das is the new development/administrative
officer at Bangalore. She has an MS in Ecology and Environment
from the Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment and a Masters
in Environment Management from the Indian Institute of Social
Welfare & Business Management. She was previously working
with FICCI (New Delhi) as a research associate in the environment
and information leaflets about butterflies, were given out.
This was an urban education initiative for city schools aimed
at promoting butterflies as umbrella species. Enthusiastic students
of 17 different schools participated in the program.
EXECUTIVE BOARD & ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Rohini Nilekani, President, ARGHYAM Foundation is the
new Executive Board Member of ATREE from September 15, 2004.
Dr. Jairam Ramesh, Member of Parliament and
The Member of National Advisory Council, Government of India
is the new Advisory Board Member of ATREE from September 15,
BY ATREE STAFF
K., R.K Aggarwal, J. Rama Devi, B.C. Choudhury, &
L. Singh, (2004) India – the cradle of the world’s
olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea): phylogeography
and implications for conservation theory. Presented at the 18th
Annual Meeting Society for Conservation Biology, July 30 –
Aug 2, 2004. New York, USA.
Irfan Ullah and Sham Davande. (2004)
Effectiveness of Genetic Algorithm for Ruleset Prediction based
Modeling in Predicting Invasion of Prosopis juliflora –
A Case Study. Presented at the conference on The Invasive Alien
Species and Biodiversity of India” 18-20th August 2004
at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, has delivered a lecture on “Threats
to Biodiversity, habitat loss, poaching and man animal conflict”
at the Academic Staff College of Guwahati University on 10th
September 2004 as per new initiatives of the University Grant
Commission to introduce Environmental Studies in college curriculum.
About 50 teachers from various parts of Assam participated in
K., Field training workshop (April 24-25, 2004):
Training to NGOs on sea turtle biology and mass nesting
counts at Rushikulya and Devi River mouth rookeries, Orissa.
Funded by Marine Conservation Society, UK.
received an institutional grant from the Ford Foundation
to strengthen institutional and programmatic needs and
enhance outreach activities in the field of biodiversity
K.R. Shivanna, Hon. Senior Fellow, ATREE was the recipient
of "Panchanan Maheshwari Memorial Lecture Award" 2004
by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA).
Dr. Mohammed Irfan Ullah, Fellow has been elected
as a Fellow of Geological Society of India on 13th September,
K.S. R. Seidler, P. H. Raven. (2004) Reconciling conservation
paradigms. Conservation Biology, 18 (4): 859-860.
K.R. (2004). ‘Pollen biotechnology for conservation
and utilization of plant genetic resources’, in R, Chaudhury,
R. Pandey, Malik, S.K. and Mal, B. (eds), In Vitro Conservation
and Cryopreservation of Tropical Fruit Species, pp 201-213.
IPGRI Office for South Asia, New Delhi / NBPGR, New Delhi, India.
Ashok., S. Balachandran, N. Chaturvedi, & V. Patil,
(2004). ‘A preliminary report on the biodiversity of Mahul
Creek, Mumbai, India with special reference to Avifauna’,
Zoo’s Print Journal, 19(9): 1599-1605.
M.S., K. Vasudevan, & K. Shanker. (2004).
‘The biodiversity bandwagon: the splitters have it’,
Current Science, 86: 897-899.
R.K., T.P. Velavan, D. Udaykumar, P.S. Hendre, Shanker,
K. and L. Singh. (2004). ‘Development and characterization
of novel microsatellite markers from the olive ridley sea turtle
(Lepidochelys olivacea)’ Molecular Ecology,