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TRINet Newsletter February 2012 +  

IMD claims its radars chased ‘Thane' to the wire

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has had a mostly successful outing tracking the very severe cyclone ‘Thane' to its logical conclusion.
 
The damage caused by the havoc wreaked by cyclone Thane in the district has been pegged at Rs 4,000 crore, according to an official of a Central team that inspected the affected areas here. “In total, two lakh hectare of agricultural lands were affected, of which more than over a lakh hectare of lands are in Cuddalore district. In this district alone, the worth of damages would be pegged at Rs 4000 crore approximately,” said the official from the nine-member team led by joint secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs Lokesh Jha.
 
It could take "years" for hundreds of thousands of people in southeastern India to rebuild their livelihoods after a devastating cyclone wiped out their entire plantations of cash crops last month, aid workers warned on Tuesday.

Cyclone Thane -- Disaster Preparedness and Response +  

Cyclone Thane --  Disaster Preparedness and Response 

By Annie George, CEO, BEDROC with additional information from Ahana Lakshmi, TRINet; based on field observations and various reports on the internet. The views are of the authors alone.

 


Banana plants destroyed by the cyclone

 

TRINet Newsletter January 2012 +  

Fitting The Pieces - RIO+20

Stockholm, Sweden forty years ago. The UN Conference on Human Environment. It pushed ‘environment’ into the international agenda when it declared that there was ‘a need for a common outlook and for common principles to inspire and guide the peoples of the world in the preservation and enhancement of the human environment’. Right at the beginning, the statement refers to man’s power to transform his environment on an unprecedented scale. The statement also talks about globalization and the growing number of problems that affect the common international resources. more

 News and Analysis:
Hiatus, controversies, collapses

It is that time of the year when reviews, reflections, and evaluations of the different trajectories that the world has offered are an integral part of broadcast time and printed matter. With some hesitation, I will join the bandwagon, to stand witness to the manner in which environmental regulation has played itself out in India in the year that has fast gone past us.

FITTING THE PIECES TOGETHER - RIO+20 +  

Stockholm, Sweden forty years ago. The UN Conference on Human Environment. It pushed ‘environment’ into the international agenda when it declared that there was ‘a need for a common outlook and for common principles to inspire and guide the peoples of the world in the preservation and enhancement of the human environment’. Right at the beginning, the statement refers to man’s power to transform his environment on an unprecedented scale. The statement also talks about globalization and the growing number of problems that affect the common international resources.

Impact of ICT on Climate Change and Agriculture in India +  

ICT is both energy saver and energy guzzler rolled into one. On the saving side, we have intelligent devices and applications that have brought about revolutionary energy saving in almost all sectors and our lifestyles. According to consulting firm McKinsey, boosting the use of intelligent devices and applications could reduce global CO2 emissions by as much as 15% by 2020. 

On the guzzling end, ICT usage is responsible for about 7.8% of the EU's electricity consumption, and will hit 10.5% by 2020, if we believe the estimates. Though there is no data on usage in the developing world, we know for sure there is a definite increase in usage in emerging economies like India and China. McKinsey also fears this increase would make ICT among the biggest greenhouse gas emitters by 2020.

The contributions of ICT to mitigating climate change can be divided into three broad, logical categories: 

1. Infrastructure innovation, 
2. Behavioural change and greening of lifestyles
3. Energy efficiency of ICT products and solutions

Infrastructure innovation is mainly about increasing the energy efficiency of buildings/infrastructure through intelligent systems and design; reducing the energy use of the manufacturing sector through intelligent systems, design and change of business models; enabling smarter management of energy supply and demand and sustainably producing energy.

Behavioural change and green enablement is focused on the need for measurement and monitoring of carbon reduction and tools that cause positive behavioural change. This includes the use of innovative technologies and opportunities that reduce travel and transportation, such as those for virtual meetings, telecommuting and online services like eHealth, eTaxation and eBanking, and software tools for carbon impact measurement.

TRINet Newsletter November 2011 +  

 

FLOODS 2011

WILL THERE BE FLOODS? +  

Photo: NOCERE
 
Will there be floods? 
The North East monsoon has set in over the state of Tamil Nadu about a week ago, according to the IMD. Also known as the retreating south west monsoon, the season runs from October to December. Rainfall during this period is extremely important to the state as it supports the main cultivation season, Samba (rabi).  Rain occurs in spells of a few days, usually during night or early morning. It is also the season that we have to be prepared for floods. Will there be floods like last year that resulted in entire villages getting marooned? 
 
Data analysis on disasters worldwide by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) last year showed that floods caused greatest damage compared to other disasters such as earthquakes (including tsunami), drought, volcanoes, storms, wildfires etc. Right now (October 29, 2011), there are reports that at last the floodwaters had begun to recede from Bangkok, Thailand, with the Prime Minister of Thailand saying that the centre of Bangkok may dodge the worst floods to hit Thailand in nearly 60 years.
 
The swollen Chao Praya river was overflowing its banks with added danger from unusually high tides.  News reports on 31st October say that as authorities have been building flood barriers to prevent inner Thailand's capital from deluge, some residents outside flood barriers, who have been living with floodwater for months, have started to express their anger and tried to damage the floodgate. They have been living with one metre floodwater for over a month now.

Challenges to Community-based Conservation of Forests +  

Challenges to Community-based Conservation of Forests by Shiba Desor

Soligas assembled for a meeting on community based conservation

In the field of forest governance, there are constant battles about methods, stake holders and justice. It has been now well established that exclusion-based preservation approach as a way of conservation in India has been unjust and often even counter-productive.

Koodankulam Agitation and the Increasing Onus on Communities +  

 
Photo: The Hindu

The anti-nuclear movement against the Koodankulam project began less than a month after India and the Soviet Union signed the deal on 20 November 1988. In 1989, during a demonstration in Kanyakumari by over a thousand people, organised by the National Fishworkers Union, the police opened fire and disabled the public address system. This angered the demonstrators further and many more meetings and protest marches were organised in the aftermath but it was the collapse of the Soviet Union that literally sunk the project into hibernation.