Vol 1:2
For private circulationonly
July 2003
Branches@ATREE(A Bimonthly Newsletter)

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment

Bangalore Office
659 5th A Main, Hebbal
Bangalore 560 024
Tel: 080-353 3942,353 0069
Fax: 353 0070
Delhi Office
B-80 Shivalik
New Delhi 110 017
Tel/Fax: 011-266 93299
266 93190
Eastern Himalayas Office
Bungalow No.2, Bhujiapani
Bagdogra 734 422
Tel/Fax:0353-255 1110
255 0093

Advisory Board
Dr. Kanchan Chopra
Dr. Anil K. Gupta
Dr. R.A. Mashelkar
Dr. Jagmohan Maini
Dr. Peter Raven
Dr. Suri Sehgal

Executive Board
Dr. Ganesan Balachander
Dr. K.S. Bawa
Dr. K.N. Ganeshaiah
Dr. S.N. Rai
Dr. R. Uma Shaanker
Dr. R. Shailaja
Mr. Darshan Shankar
Dr. Gladwin Joseph
Executive Staff
Dr. Gladwin Joseph

Dr. Bibhab Talukdar
Mr. Manoj Dabas
Ms. Suparna Biswas

(Department of Science & Technology, Government of India)

June 16 –30, 2003,Bangalore.
The Conservation Biology course catered to post graduate students exposing them to various topics in Conservation biology. Specifically on how biodiversity is distributed, what are the global and local threats to biodiversity, and how science can help in advancing the protection of areas rich in biodiversity. It also integrated social and economic issues related to the conservation of biodiversity.

Several leading conservation biologists from within and outside the country delivered the lectures. After the first 5 days of lectures, the participants were taken to BR hills for a real life experience in conservation biology, where they completed a short field project, followed by a presentation in Bangalore before a panel of experts.


An International Journal, Conservation and Society (www.conservationandsociety.org) is a path breaking peer-reviewed journal committed to bridging the gulf between the natural and social sciences in the environmental sphere. It has an international Editorial Board. The first issue of this journal was released at the eco-informatics workshop in Bangalore on June 9, 2003. It is published by Sage Publishers India, private limited.


A CD on the flora of the Western Ghats called Sasya Sahyadri was presented to Dr. A.M. Krishnappa, Vice Chancellor of the University of Agricultural Sciences at the eco-informatics

workshop inaugural session on June 9, 2003 at the Chancery Hotel in Bangalore.

Dr. K.N. Ganeshaiah, Dr. Uma Shaanker, senior fellows at ATREE and professors of the University Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore with their team have succeeded in the unique achievement of creating a database of the entire plant and tree species of the 1000 kms long Western Ghats. This 6-year project representing and containing information to the equivalent of 1.4 lakh pages is the first Indian digital plant database of Western Ghats.
Sasya Sahyadri CD is available for individuals at Rs. 499 and for institutions at Rs. 999. Please contact info@atree.org or call ATREE offices.


ATREE awarded subscription grants to 45 meritorious Indian scientists to provide access to the latest information in conservation science. All 45 were given a 1-year subscription to Conservation and Society. In addition, 10 of these scientists were selected for a 1-year subscription to Biotropica, and 8 were selected for a 1-year subscription to Conservation Biology. ATREE believes that access to quality information will catalyze good research in conservation science.


Ms Preethi Mony, Senior research associate is involved in plaNETwork, ATREE’s conservation education program. Preethi has a Masters degree in Interdisciplinary Ecology from University of Florida, USA.

Ms. Devaki Panini, Outreach and Policy Co-ordinator has completed her Bachelor of Law degree from University of Delhi and postgraduate diploma in Environmental Law from the Centre for Environmental Law, World Wide Fund for Nature-India, New Delhi.


A field laboratory has been set up at Sringeri in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka with accommodation and communication facilities. This laboratory will primarily service the project “Influence of Different Land-use Corridors on Insect Pests and their Natural Enemies in Paddy

Agroecosystems” funded by the National Agricultural Technology Project. For details contact: ATREE-NATP Field station, Ganesh Nilaya, Mallappa street, Sringeri 577139. Tel: 08265-551686. Email: sinu@atree.org)


Ms. Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister of Delhi releases the CD on Key Environmental Concerns of Delhi

L-R: Secretary for Education, Preethi Mony (ATREE), Manoj Dabas (Regional director, ATREE) Dr. Sabatta, Sheila Dixit (Chief Minister of Delhi), Naini Jeyaseelan (Secretary for Environment


April 28-30,2003 Bangalore
Co-organized by ATREE Bangalore and the Forestry Research Program for Asia and the Pacific (FORSPA), FAO, Bangkok, addressed a global challenge with a regional focus. Sufficient scientific evidence collected over the years proves that indiscriminate harvesting and unfettered overexploitation of NTFPs has consequently lead to the depletion of irreplaceable forest resources.
The main objective was to identify gaps in policy, management, utilization and conservation of NTFPs, to promote conservation and sustainable resource use and enhance rural livelihoods. It involved participants from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Hawaii, Indonesia and India. The participant profile included academicians, researchers, policy makers, government officials and NGO representatives, among others.



May7-June 5, 2003, National Capital Region May 12- 31, 2003, Bangalore
Vacation programs on bioresources were conducted by ATREE at Delhi and Bangalore and supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. The programs, which were publicized widely, evoked an overwhelming response. There were 32 participants in Delhi and 25 in Bangalore. Experts from various fields were invited to give lectures on conservation, management and utilization aspects of bioresources and biodiversity. The lectures were backed up by exposure visits to premier scientific institutions working at the forefront of science and conservation of bio-resources.

Field trips (BRT Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Great Himalayan National Park, Satpura National Park) were arranged for participants to give them a field perspective and to expose them to scientific tools of bioresource conservation and management viz., waste management, renewable energy resources, GIS, etc. Students were taught low impact camping, rope climbing, trekking, etc.
Moreover, students also worked on individual projects with the help of course faculty and ATREE professionals. Their projects were assessed on the basis of presentations, made towards the end of the course.
T.Ganesh, Joyeeta Das and Preeti Mony


Oct 2002– Feb 2003, National Capital Region
ATREE and National Museum of Natural History of India, Min. of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India have collaborated to implement the OELI. The program is implemented out of outdoor learning facilities set up by ATREE in Gurgaon (Aravali Hills), Haryana and Churdhar Ranges, Dist. Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh. Launched in September 2002, the program has had more than 1200 student participants from various schools in the National Capital Region.


ATREE and Biodiversity Conservation Society (promoted by the Govt. of Himachal Pradesh) have signed an MoU to work on conservation education, especially outdoor environmental learning in and around Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), Himachal Pradesh. The Biodiversity Conservation Society (BiodCS) shares responsibility for the management of GHNP. ATREE and BiodCS. It would jointly work towards developing at GHNP, a world-class facility for conservation education. The activities resulting from the MoU would be organised under ATREE’s plaNETwork program.

ATREE has been involved in capacity building programs and development of curriculum materials for school children on environmental issues. ATREE professionals participated in various training programs conducted by Department of Environment, Govt. of Delhi for school teachers in-charge of environment education activities in Delhi schools. Work has just been completed on a set of five slide packs focussing on 5 key environmental concerns of Delhi. Supported by the Government of Delhi, these slide packs focus on issues specific to Delhi. These are now being made available to interested schools free of cost.


ATREE is collaborating with Government of Delhi to develop Asola Wildlife Sanctuary as an educational destination for students in general, especially those involved with school based eco-clubs in Delhi schools. The project has several components, including the creation of a nature trail and an interpretation center at Asola. Asola has the distinction of being the only protected area in the city of Delhi. In addition, facilities would be created for screening of films/documentaries for visiting students and general public. A film on the role of protected area network in conservation of our biological heritage is also in the final stages of production.


As a part of the project, orientation modules to sensitize teachers and school administrators on importance of outdoor environmental learning have been organized and more are planned in the coming months. The project is likely to be completed by September 2003.


ATREE conducted a four-day training program on outdoor environmental learning techniques for 39 teachers from Delhi schools. The program was conducted at Churdhar Environmental Learning Facility (developed by ATREE under its plaNETwork program) from 22nd –25th March, 2003. The program was conducted as a part of the Asola Conservation Education Project with support from the British High Commission. ATREE collaborated with Department of Environment, Government of Delhi and the National Museum of Natural History, Govt. of India to conduct the training program.


Biotechnological approaches to transfer genes across species limits (two lectures), K.R. Shivanna, Department of Applied Botany
and Biotechnology, University of Mysore, Under the UGC Faculty Improvement Programme, 21, 22 May 2003
Conservation of non-timber forest products with special reference to Participatory Resource Monitoring. by R. Siddappa Setty *, Kamal. Bawa at Moolike Utsav 2003 in Dharwad dated on 8th – 10th March 2003
Conservation by substitution: Utilizing lantana as a substitute to bamboo.
By Ramesh Kannan*. H., Uma Shaanker R., Gladwin Joseph and presented at " National Seminar on Ecorestoration Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development. on June 3 - 5, 2003 at Visakapatnam.
Bridging the Ground and the Sky: Merging Datasets from Satellites to Ecosystem to Landscape Elements for Conservation Ecology.
By J. Krishnaswamy, Kamal Bawa, K. N. Ganeshaiah delivered at the Eco-informatics workshop on June 9, 2003 at Bangalore.
Mining Datasets: Adressing Conservation Concerns. By Narayani Barve*, Soubadra Devy, K.N. Ganeshaiah at the Eco-informatics workshop on June 10, 2003.

Potential to Improve Seedling Quality in Restoration Efforts Using Newer Techniques
By Raghunandan K L , G. Joseph at the National Seminar on Ecorestoration Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development. on June 3 - 5, 2003 at Visakapatnam.

Greening rural schools: Environmental education in Kanakapura, Karnataka by A. Kavitha, G.Joseph at the National Seminar on Ecorestoration Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development. on June 3 - 5, 2003 at Visakapatnam.


Workshop on "Policies, Management, Utilisation and Conservation of Non-timber-Forest Products in the South Asian Region" Funded by FAO, for $ 20,000. PI: Dr. Gladwin Joseph
Eco Informatics for Conservation planning of Natural Resource Management and Training. Funded by: Indo-US Science & Technology Forum, DST for Rs. 9,31,000. PI: Prof. K.N. Ganeshaiah
Regional Approach to Tropical Forest Conservation in North Eastern India. Funding by: Netherland Committee of IUCN for 69,000 Euro. P I: Dr. Bibhab Kumar Talukdar


M. Soubadra Devy and Priya Davidar. 2003. Pollination systems of trees in Kakachi, a mid-elevation wet evergreen forest in western ghats, India. American Journal of Botany 90(4): 650–657.

Report by Ganeshaiah, K. N. and Uma Shaanker, R., 2003, A Decade of Diversity, ATREE and UAS, Bangalore

K.S.Murali, A.Kavitha and R.P.Harish.
"Spatial patterns of tree and shrub species
diversity in Savanadurga State Forest, Karnataka". Current science,Vol 84,No.6, 25 March 2003,Page 808-813.

R. Ganesan, Identification distribution and conservation of Phyllanthus indofischeri, another source of Indian gooseberry. Current Science vol.84; 1515-1518, 2003.

Ravikanth, G., R. Uma Shaanker, and K.N. Ganeshaiah, 2002. Identification of hot spots of species richness and genetic variability in rattans - an approach using GIS and molicular tools. Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter 132: 17-21.