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Experiences and Encounters in Pune

Archive for October, 2009

Participatory Budget in Pune

Posted by Sanskriti on October 27, 2009

Today, on the online Participatory Budget 2010-2011 form on www.punecorporation.org, I put in requests for pedestrian crossings on ITI Road, as well as a small bridge over the nalla between Pushpak Park and Sindh Society. Lets see if they get approved.

PMC’s Citizen Suggestion Form is available online at www.punecorporation.org (scroll down to ‘What would you like to do?’)

Dr Nitin Kareer, IAS formally introduced Participatory Budget in Pune in 2007, when he was Municipal Commissioner, PMC.

Its come a little way further since then .. the form is available online, the admin procedures are getting streamlined … but there is a long, long way to go.

Here are instructions for PB 2010-11.

General instructions for suggesting works

  1. Please fill in all columns
  2. Citizens should note that suggesting a work does not necessarily mean its inclusion in the budget; the projects inclusion/ exclusion will be determined on technical and legal considerations
  3. All suggested works should be specific (location, description, quantity, category etc) (attach maps, photos where needed – fill a physical form in this case)
  4. Only projects that pertain to neighbourhood or locality level works are to be suggested, not city level infrastructure
  5. The cost of suggested works should preferably be below Rs 5 lakh
  6. Projects of the following type are admissible: pavements, water supply, drainage, bus stop (in consultation with PMT), parks and gardens (only repair works), bhawan (only repair works), public toilets, lights (roads and traffic), roads (only resurfacing)
  7. Projects of following type are not admissible: pedestrian bridges, speed breakers (prohibited by Supreme Court), garden (new provision), construction on land not owned by PMC
  8. Non budgetable projects should be avoided – For e.g. appointment of staff, minor repairs, clean up etc
  9. Deadline for submission is 09 Nov 2009
  10. When submitting the paper form, citizens must ensure that it is duly in-warded at the ward office and the tear-off receipt with inward entry number is given. This number will be needed to the unique id number after computerization. Those submitting suggestions online will directly get the unique ID number on completion of the entry. This number will be needed to track the suggestion and what decision is taken about it.
  11. Suggestions can also be made in the prescribed forms available at ward offices.  All ward offices are also making arrangements for online entry.

And here is some background information.

What is Participatory Budgeting?

The Participatory Budget of the PMC provides an opportunity for citizens to give suggestions for works to be taken up in the next financial year. Citizens can make suggestions for streetlights, footpaths, public toilets, waste sorting shed/ biogas plant/ bulk compost unit, drainage etc, in spaces where such works are permissible and needed. Participatory Budget has been carried out in Pune over the last three years. It is a mechanism for citizens to give inputs for works to be carried out through the ward offices. The final decision regarding the budget of our city government is of course taken by our elected representatives with inputs from the administration.

What is the process citizens are to follow?

Citizens can make their suggestions online in the E-Budgeting application available on the PMC website from 26th October to 10 November. The form is available at the website of the Pune Municipal Corporation

Suggestions can also be made in the prescribed forms available at ward offices.  All ward offices are also making arrangements for online entry. When submitting the paper form, citizens must ensure that it is duly in-warded at the ward office and the tear-off receipt with inward entry number is given. This number will be needed to the unique id number after computerization. Those submitting suggestions online will directly get the unique ID number on completion of the entry. This number will be needed to track the suggestion and what decision is taken about it.

Of course, citizens have to be clear that submission of suggestions does not necessarily mean that the work will be accepted. The PMC has to check the feasibility and the Prabhag Samiti will be making their decision too.

What is the benefit of Participatory Budgeting?

Participatory Budget is a refinement in the ‘institutional design’ of the democratic process to make it more responsive to citizens’ needs. Our democratic process is that we citizens elect our representatives to take decisions that are well thought out, in keeping with societal and environmental concerns, and responding to our needs. However, a necessary condition for representative democracy to function well is that citizens actively provide inputs to elected representatives. This happens in many ways through RTI, the media, NGOs etc. Draft master plans and new policy drafts are kept open for a specified period for public input. The most direct method is of course discussions with corporators. However, in a city where the ratio of representation is about 15000 citizens to one corporator this may pose some problems.

The participatory budget process helps to deepen our existing democratic framework. It is an evolving mechanism to enable the democratic process to function better. The underlying idea is that citizens get a formal opportunity to deliberate upon the needs of their areas and submit requests to the respective administrative ward offices.

What are the achievements so far?

A few thousand people have participated in the exercise over the years. Last year over 1300 suggestions for works were received. Over 35 crore worth of projects were incorporated into the main budget.  There is recognition that some project ideas are mundane (fix a pavement); but the fact that citizens have to ask for these is a telling comment on how these very aspects may be ignored in conventional budgeting processes. There are the not-so-usual ideas as well – sorting sheds, composting units, benches, hawking zone platforms, etc.

Is PB happening anywhere else?

In many parts of the world! Participatory Budgeting started in Latin American countries struggling to build or rebuild their democratic institutions and to eliminate corruption, improve transparency and accountability of government. The innovation of ‘participatory budgeting’ has been praised internationally as an example of “good” governance.

In Brazil, citizens deliberate on five thematic areas: transport and traffic circulation; education, leisure and culture; health and social welfare; economic development and taxation; city organization and urban development. Meetings are held in each neighbourhood, where residents draw up their list of priorities for investment in infrastructure. These inputs are provided to the municipal budget council who determines the distribution of funds for each priority among districts. The municipal budget council and the district budget fora also monitor spending year-round.

In UK, talking about participatory budgeting, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blear said “councilors must not feel their democratic mandate is bypassed, and instead recognize that it will strengthen their relationship with their local community”.  Also, that, “I think the world has changed. I think voting every four years and basically handing over responsibility and power to other people and then doing nothing again for four years, I think our democracy is not like that any more.”  Ms Blear may well be talking about our city!

Some more information is available at Janwani including the list of works (suggested by citizens through PB) included in the final budget and the PB pages on the Pune wiki and an article about the PB process in 2007

About the list of works in the current budget … as Arvind Bijwe points out, it will be well worth taking up a monitoring exercise right away! So that is a TBD for very soon.

Posted in Participatory Budget | 5 Comments »

Ram Nadi

Posted by Sanskriti on October 18, 2009

Here is a slideshare slide show that traces the short journey of the Ram Nadi from its origins in Khatpewadi about 40 kms to the north-west of Pune, off the Pirangut Road, to its confluence with the Mula River, in Aundh. These pictures were taken on a bike and walking trip along the Ram Nadi with Titus and Zigisha in Jan 2007 or so. This parikrama of sorts was educative …  the continuity of the landscape, the dependence of our city on its upstream regions, and how natural elements change sometimes gradually, and sometimes drastically. Can be a good school excursion with very many opportunities for discussing concepts in geography, social studies, history etc.

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One Right Turn

Posted by Sanskriti on October 16, 2009

Learning for Sustainable Mobility in Pune, India

(Interview published in Education and Sustainability no. 6 Autumn 2009 www.es-online.info

And I acknowledge that the title of this article is drawn (its the same title, actually) from a seminar that Parisar organized a couple of years (or more?) ago to draw attention to the mobility and livability of Pune )

Ranjit!

Ranjit!

Ranjit Gadgil a civic activist for Parisar[1], a civil society organization focusing on sustainable development based in Pune, India, shares his views on Education for Sustainable Mobility in Pune with Sanskriti Menon who works with Urban Programmes at the Centre for Environment Education[2], and is developing RCE Pune.

What is sustainable mobility?

The first step towards sustainable mobility is the recognition that though private motorized transport offers individual convenience, it cannot be the major mode as cities grow. The situation rapidly becomes unsustainable with congestion and pollution. Building a city around the private automobile leads to an insidious reduction of quality of life and equity; there is lop-sided allocation of resources, and even social issues such as people becoming cut-off from one another. Understanding about carbon contributions from transportation systems to climate change has added a global dimension to what was earlier thought of as a local issue.

Is it understood in Pune and in India?

The National Urban Transport Policy (new window pdf 250 kb) by the Government of India, and the federal Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission have strongly emphasized enhancement of public transport and non-motorized transport. These are both welcome and important policy decisions however a greater emphasis on Traffic Demand Management is still needed.

In Pune, civil society groups have been discussing the traffic and transport issues for over a decade so the demands for bicycle tracks, improvements in buses, and even the concept of traffic demand management are no longer met with incredulous surprise. However, the old paradigm is still too deeply ingrained – when  we suggest ‘add a bus lane’ or ‘increase the footpath width’, people still ask, ‘ what about space for motor vehicles?’

People are still not thinking of non motorized transport and public transport as the main pillars of mobility systems for the city, but simply as utopian ideas.

How useful are examples from cities elsewhere?

The major transformations towards more sustainable mobility seem to have taken place in South America and Europe. The Transmileno[3], Velib[4] and the London Congestion Charge[5] are powerful demonstrations of this and we have facilitated visits of municipal officials to some of these cities.  It has been clearly demonstrated in Curitiba and Bogotá that a committed politician can bring about radical change, however in Europe, the change has been more gradual and accompanied by wide-ranging discussions and public engagement in the formulation of local and higher-level policies.

In Pune we don’t have a directly elected mayor and nor are our city-level policy formulation processes very well formed as yet, so we have to adapt examples of transformation processes that might have been very effective elsewhere in the world such as design typologies and films prepared by Interface for Cycling Expertise[6] and GTZ[7].

How have you engaged with local policy-makers?

Civil society groups in Pune have largely interacted with the bureaucracy on sustainable transport issues. However, much more engagement with elected representatives is necessary for the evolution of local policies, plans and budgets for sustainable mobility systems. In the future, we aim to help candidates standing for election as well as the electorate, understand how public transport and non motorized transport facilities are related to equity, quality of life, income levels etc. Given that at least half the voting population of Pune uses the bus service (which needs great improvements), it makes sense to be more strategic about engaging with elected representatives.

Mobility needs to be part of election manifestos.

Parisar has organized car-free days, pedestrian protests, a signature campaign by bus users demanding improvements, protests against bus fare-hikes etc. Hopefully, such expressions do convey the citizens’ needs to the politicians!

What´s the role of young people’s clubs and senior citizen organizations?

When you’ve just got your driving license, and experienced freedom with a motorbike, it’s difficult to be too serious about footpaths and buses! But students in professional courses of architecture, engineering, planning especially must be exposed to technical aspects of designing sustainable mobility systems as well as the social dimensions such as equity and inclusion. For this, we design projects for students such as passenger counts, footpath designs, opinion surveys, designing communication material, organizing presentations etc.

It’s a good idea to engage senior citizens groups as advocates for sustainable mobility. They are adversely affected because of poor footpaths and bus services and they are often well-connected since they’ve been around, and can influence the local councilors!

What about schools?

We’ve developed a survey on how children come to school. Students are supposed to take the survey sheet home and fill it in after discussing it with parents. Often parents call up to complain that cycling is not safe in Pune’s traffic conditions and we explain that the idea is to help children understand the need for city-wide safe and sustainable mobility. We also conduct a short slide-show and a film by ICE, followed by a discussion.

The values dimension (equity, inclusion) is often included as we think it important that students are able to link the state of our city to its governance. We encourage students to write to the Municipal Commissioner presenting their views on the state of traffic and transport in Pune, and how they would like it to be.

Political education is part of learning for sustainability.

Non Motorized Transport Needs Special Emphasis

A Cell for Non-Motorized Transport has been recently created in the Pune Municipal Corporation and a separate budget line has been allocated. It is important to have a separate Cell with a special budget, at least initially. Ideally, these should be an integral part of road design, and be administered by the Road and Traffic departments.  Citizens have a large role in the transition to more sustainable transport, they need to realize their own power and demand a great bus service, footpaths and cycling facilities from the councilors.

Madhav Latkar, Development Engineer, Pune Municipal Corporation

Concepts: Non motorized transport, traffic demand management, political education

Safe Transportation (primary level)

Mobility!  (secondary level)

Mobility and social exclusion: a new challenge for the local administration (university level)

Debate: What has politics got to do with sustainable mobility?

References

  1. http://www.parisar.org/ Civil society organisation promoting sustainable urban transport in India
  2. http://www.ceeindia.org/ Non governmental organisation delivering environmental education since 1984, with 40 offices across India
  3. http://www.transmilenio.gov.co/ Bus Rapid Transport system in Bogota which carries a citizenship education program on sustainable mobility.
  4. http://www.velib.paris.fr Bike rental service in Paris open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with stations approximately 300m away
  5. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/congestioncharging An obligatory and automated charging system of £8 per vehicle per day to enter the central zone of London. Alternative fuelled and electric vehicles, vehicles with more than 9 seats and motor-tricycles are exempt from the charge
  6. http://www.i-ce.info/ International NGO for low cost mobility and integrated cycling planning and interface to the Dutch cycling culture and capabilities
  7. http://www.gtz.de/ International cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations

Posted in Traffic | Leave a Comment »

Urban Resilience and Justice in SoW 2009

Posted by Sanskriti on October 11, 2009

Resilience and Justice

One of the two panel discussions at the Pune launch of the Indian edition of the State of the World 2009 was ‘The Urban Perspective: Resilience, Justice and Governance’.

This panel drew upon the State of the World 2009 chapters on Building Resilience[1] which suggests that

Urban resilience can (also) be facilitated through the adoption of pro-poor strategies that enable individuals to develop sustainable and resilient livelihoods. Indeed, having a solid economic base is one of the main ways to help households cope with the shocks and stresses that will become more frequent as a result of climate change,

and Employment in a Low-Carbon World[2], which says:

In developing countries, paper recycling is often done by an informal network of scrap collectors, sometimes organized into cooperatives in order to improve pay and working conditions. Jobs and livelihoods in informal communal recycling efforts are difficult to document; in Cairo, the Zabbaleen have received considerable international attention. Believed to number some 70,000, they recycle an estimated 85 percent of the materials they collect. Brazil is thought to have some 500,000 recycling jobs. China, with estimates as high as 10 million jobs, trumps all other countries in this area.9

And states that

Green jobs need to be decent jobs—offering good wages and income security, safe working conditions, dignity at work, and adequate workers’ rights. Sadly, this is not always the case today. Recycling work is sometimes precarious, involving serious occupational health hazards and often generating less than living wages and incomes, as is the case for 700,000 workers in electronics recycling in China.

Sustainable employment (should) be good not only for the environment but also for the people holding the jobs. (Still) An economy that reconciles human aspirations with the planet’s limits is eminently possible.

The rest of this post is a rough and somewhat summarized transcript of the talks by Rebecca Kedari and Laxmi Narayan.

Rebecca Kedari

(Waste Collector and Executive Committee member of Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, a trade union of waste pickers)

I live in Bopodi and work in Aundh. I used to carry a sack and collect recyclables. Now I collect door to door. We get mixed waste, and separate out the recyclables which I sell to scrap. I make compost and vermi-compost from the organic material. What I am not able to sell as scrap or compost, I discard. The pollution of the environment is not because of me or others like me it is because of rich people. I travel by foot or cycle, and if we are in a hurry we take a bus or auto. In my house I have only one bulb. That is all our electricity consumption. Rich people use polluting cars, lot of electricity etc. We don’t pollute the environment instead we contribute to improving it by recycling.

Now in Pune, a company has started to collect mixed waste which is taken to Uruli (dumpsite near Pune) for recycling, and it consists of both dry and wet waste in mixed form. The company has started to take the whole waste and so we will not get the scrap. The little that we used to get – Rs 5 to Rs 10 as user fees – that too we will now not get. Nobody is bothered about what is the impact on us. Company is concerned about its own profits. They should be concerned about our livelihood as well. We need the scrap. What we want is that we should be able to remove the saleable scrap first and then the company can take the rest of the waste to recycle it.

As regards the waste itself – the generator of waste and we the collectors know what is in the waste. When I get mixed waste, I have to find some space within the society premises or outside to segregate it. So people look at us with disgust that we are putting our hands in the waste. The perspective of the passerby is that we are doing a dirty work and they cover their noses when they go by.

We have a problem and that is that we need space to segregate. When we segregate, the neighbours complain, they phone the corporation saying we are increasing the pollution. In fact, pollution is not increasing because of us. It is your waste, what you have generated. So what we want is that in your housing society itself you should provide us a little space for segregation then it will not trouble anybody. We can make compost also in your society premises and you will not need to buy compost. If you give us little space for segregation then we won’t have to sit on the road and the municipality officials will not harass us or take away our sacks. So if societies give us some alternative spaces and we can segregate properly and you will benefit from the compost and we will benefit from the dry waste.  There is enough space for parking, for 2 or 3 cars, because these are planned in advance. The flats are built later, first parking is built first. In the same way, housing complexes should make space for waste storage and segregation.

In the waste we get diapers, sanitary napkins, bedclothes of sick people at home. These products are very convenient for people. Our cooperative is making special paper bags for disposal of sanitary napkins which you can buy at just Rs 10 a pack. When you dispose such items in these bags which are marked with a special symbol we will know what is inside and we won’t open these bags. Now these items come just like that in the waste bags which we open to look for recyclables. When we are working with waste we have to take care of our health. It will be better for you also it is a better way of disposing waste.

Laxmi Narayan

Laxmi Narayan argues for a Just Transition: a low carbon world will see a growth of green jobs in sectors such as renewables and mass transportation, but existing environmentally friendly livelihoods such as those in informal recycling need to be strengthened

Laxmi Narayan argues for a Just Transition: a low carbon world will see a growth of green jobs in sectors such as renewables and mass transportation, but existing environmentally friendly livelihoods such as those in informal recycling must be supported and strengthened

(General Secretary of Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, a trade union of waste pickers, and associated with the international advocacy group ‘Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing’ (WIEGO) advocating a Just Transition at the preparatory committee meetings for the Copenhagen COP)

Waste picker groups from across continents participated in the Bonn discussion and we will be making a representation at the Copenhagen. We are making two points mainly. One, that recycling is under-represented overall at the Climate Change talks. And two, that poor communities have not necessarily been involved in the talks, and we need a stake, a voice, and we need fora to make these issues felt.

One of the key things we feel strongly about is the kind of employment this sector offers. The State of the World 2009 book talks about green jobs that are cleaner and greener. Definitely there are jobs in the renewable energy and transportation sectors. But simultaneously we should look at sectors which have already been promoting environmentally friendly jobs and look at ways to protect them – this does not seem to be happening, in fact everything seems to be happening against that. We should look at mechanisms to strengthen these existing green jobs.

The authors say that even when recycling is promoted, and integration models like Swach where waste pickers are integrated into door step collection in an attempt by the city to improve conditions of work, it may not be on terms that are fully fair. We have to look at work as decent livelihoods, conditions of work, minimum wages, etc as these are the only ways that work becomes sustainable. For this, the city or state needs to make financial investment, make policies that it supports this kind of processes, as this cannot be done in isolation. You cannot simultaneously make two different and opposing policies in each sector.

The connection traditionally made between the Waste sector and Climate Change is related to landfills since they generate methane. Waste to Energy (WtE) projects have been promoted as green as it takes waste as its raw material, but we strongly question that WtE is ‘green’.  All forms of WtE actually use material that could have been recycled or composted. Several groups have highlighted the residual ash, air pollution and environmental impacts of incineration or burn based technologies. Typically Industry reacts by making better technologies or variants of the same such as RDF, plasma pyrolysis, etc, which all take un-segregated waste. Biogas does not fit here, though some people do refer to biogas too as WtE, but it requires, like compost, a segregated organic stream so it encourages recycling.

Waste to Energy projects are recognized as a CDM option but actually, they would displace a huge number of people, as the waste sector employs about 1% of the economy working in the informal sector. This is likely to get threatened by WtE. WtE impacts livelihoods because it takes in paper plastic cardboard etc for burning, which are also the source of livelihood for the waste collectors. So the question is are we looking at recycling or incineration, and it is an OR, as both are looking at the same resources.

So should you have a centralized model and burn the recyclables, or have a decentralized model, with cash for trash centres and composting. In the choice of the system, the costs, livelihoods, environmental impacts should all be assessed. WtE proponents say their technology is green but we question that strongly. The point is that recycling is robust is independent of doing anything.

It is a sector that ticks. We should look at infrastructure and policies that support it and help it to function much better. Additionally, we have to look at composting and biogas.  In the CDM, composting and recycling are not mentioned as options, which should be corrected.


[1] By David Dodman, Jessica Ayers, and Saleemul Huq, (pp 161)

[2] Michael Renner, Sean Sweeney, and Jill Kubit, (pgs 115-118)

Posted in Uncategorized, Waste Management | Leave a Comment »

‘Cities’ in State of the World 2009

Posted by Sanskriti on October 8, 2009

Launch of SoW 2009 in Pune, 6 Oct 09

Launch of SoW 2009 in Pune, 6 Oct 09

In preparation for organizing the launch of the Indian edition of State of the World 2009 in Pune, I’ve been selectively reading the content related to cities.

David Satterthwaite and David Dodman bring a few new perspectives in their article on ‘The Role of Cities in Climate Change’ in SoW 2009.

They say that Cities are often implicated in discussions on Climate Change (CC).  Cities have been made a focus of reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs), the sources of which include industrial production, transport, buildings, waste, etc. However, it is not clear how GHG allocation is to be done in the case of industrial production (or even power production) – at the point of production or at the point of consumption? And cities that have manufacturers of ‘green products’ like solar panels and windmills – they will have high local GHG emissions, but would be contributing to savings elsewhere. So it may be unfair to put the blame squarely on cities.

They also point out that there is a lot of variation regarding quantity of GHG emissions between different cities. Satterthwaite suggests that maybe cities in developed world are to blame? He however, also points out that some studied cities (e.g. New York and London) show lower GHG levels than their national averages in Europe and North America. So instead of a blanket blame on cities, it is better to assess particular activities. Making cities the culprit misses the fact that GHG emissions are caused by consumption patterns of middle and upper income groups.

The role that well-planned cities have in achieving good a good quality of life with low GHG levels is also often over-looked. For example, cities  have a concentration of opportunities for enhancing Quality of Life with low GHG emissions: arts, theatre, music, library etc.

Given that cities  have large populations, they need to focus on vulnerability, protecting people, preparedness, resilience, such as the steps taken in the city of Manizales, Colombia for lowering risk. Certainly, the planning, management, and governance of cities should have a central role in reducing GHG emissions due to human activities worldwide. But this should also have a central role in the often neglected activities of protecting people in cities from the floods, storms, heat waves, and other likely impacts of climate change.

Greening of Pune's Hills by citizens is super ... but should we also be protecting the forests in the upstream areas in the Sahyadris

Greening of Pune's Hills by citizens is super ... but should we not also be protecting the forests in the upstream areas in the Sahyadris

One of the boxes informs about innovative arrangements that some cities have made for securing water supply. Marta Echavarria in Protecting Watershed to Build Urban Resilience, says that ‘In a warmer world, water supply challenges will require new ways of thinking about resilience that go beyond the engineering of pipes and ditches to new nonstructural land management approaches that work with nature to protect the quality and quantity of the resource.  She gives the example of New York City that in the early 1990s rejected a proposal to build more water filtration plants in favor of buying and protecting forested land well beyond city lines in the upstream watershed of the Hudson River.

More recently, Quito, in the northern Andes has created the Quito Watershed Protection Fund funded through a 1.25-percent percent tax on municipal water in the metropolitan area, supplemented by payments by electrical utilities and donations from private water users. This fund invests in an innovative public-private partnership to protect and manage the grassland-covered mountain watersheds above which provide the city most of its water.

Rebecca Kedari (R) and Mangal Gaekwad (L)

Rebecca said the city gives free parking for polluting cars but has no space for us who segregate and recycle; the company that collects waste to burn steals our livelihood to make profits and pollute; Swach changed work conditions but we need the support of citizens and the city govt

Another point made in the book that struck home was on Green Jobs. Michael Renner, Sean Sweeney, and Jill Kubit in Employment in a Low-Carbon World say ‘Green jobs need to be decent jobs—offering good wages and income security, safe working conditions, dignity at work, and adequate workers’ rights.

Sadly, this is not always the case today. Recycling work is sometimes precarious, involving serious occupational health hazards and often generating less than living wages and incomes, as is the case for 700,000 workers in electronics recycling in China.’

Kartikbhai in his closing remarks at the launch event suggested that India could lead the evolution of a (or may be many?)  ‘different development paradigm’.  I think Swach in Pune is certainly one such  example  for the world.

I found a few very ‘quotable quotes’ type of statements … like this one:

… the resources, technologies, and human capacity for change are all in place.  The missing ingredient is political will, and that is a renewable resource

– Christopher Flavin and Robert Engelman in The Perfect Storm


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Turtle Ahoy

Posted by Sanskriti on October 4, 2009

October is about the time when Olive Ridley Turtles start to nest sporadically along the Indian coast.

Night out With Turtles

Arribada or the Arrival of the Olive Ridleys in February, along the Orissa coast is famous. ‘Night Out With Sea Turtles’ is a short slide show of pictures of conservation efforts in the lesser known nesting sites along other parts of the Indian coast. Through patrolling, nature walks, conservation oriented eco-tourism etc some agencies are trying to protect turtle nesting sites.

And so, we (Ramjee and Sujeet from CEE’s Tamil Nadu and Goa offices, and me as series editor) decided to focus on Turtles in our latest attempt at writing on conservation issues for children …

It is a late evening on the beach. The air is cool, the first signs of  winter setting in.  Sujeet and I are leading a Turtle Walk. Suddenly we hear our children scream, “moving rock, coming out of the sea”.  Just a few metres away a beautiful Olive Ridley sea turtle was emerging from the sea to lay her eggs.

Read Turtle Ahoy …. a short story-article in CEE’s Earthcare page in Sakal Young Buzz describing efforts to educate young people about coastal environment and development issues and to protect turtles.

Posted in CEE's Earthcare Page in Sakal Young Buzz | 5 Comments »