ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Umesh SrinivasanSubscribe to Umesh Srinivasan

Sidestepping Science

The Narendra Modi government's initial reconstitution of the National Board for Wildlife, which the Supreme Court questioned as contravening the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, is in line with the current ethos of development at all costs. The decision to keep out domain experts in ecology suggests a refusal to acknowledge the complexities underlying conservation.

Oil Palm Expansion

To bolster its edible oil security, India is aggressively pushing for oil palm cultivation in the country despite its well documented deleterious socio-economic and ecological impact. In this scenario, it becomes vital for the government to institute a comprehensive framework for initiating and monitoring oil palm cultivation and encourage sustainable agricultural practices.

The Worrisome Business of a National Investment Board

While the National Investment Board is supposed to speed up economic growth, it raises questions about the environment, livelihoods of marginalised people, existing legislations for wildlife and forest conservation and interrelations between the centre and the states since forestland comes under both central and state laws. Disguised as an opposition to red tape this is a sinister agenda to circumvent India's democratic process to favour short-sighted economic gains.

Turning the Page in Wildlife Science

A majority of Indian wildlife scientists are unable to come together to create a united front to add a much-needed conservation focus to policymaking. In an age when we are trying to balance development with protection of forest areas, wildlife biologists need to actively respond to and engage with situations where the wildlife and conservation angles need to be highlighted. They should make the effort to translate science into policy in conjunction with the bureaucracy and actively work towards creating a much-needed platform for collaboration.

Turning the Page in Forest Governance: Science and Bureaucracy

Despite the legal provisions for the functioning of expert bodies like the National Board of Wildlife and the Forest Advisory Committee, the forest bureaucracy disdains the experts and often overrides scientific evaluations. The training course of the India Forest Service too lacks a social science component that can help new foresters understand the social ramifications of forest-related issues. It is time to create space for scientists and conservationists to liaise with the forest departments in the country.
Back to Top