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

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Maps and Disaster Management

Mapping has become an integral part of modern decision support systems. Disaster management involves complex issues of decisionmaking, because most decisions are taken in an uncertain environment. In this context convergence of imagery, information and maps has immense potential. It can facilitate better policy analysis, preparedness and quicker response that can help save life and property.

Environmental Compliance versus Growth

Stringent regulations to control pollution due to effluents have not stifled the growth of the palm oil industry in Malaysia; rather, they have complemented the industry's efforts to innovate and remain competitive.

Pesticide Spraying in Kerala

The aerial spraying of pesticides on cashew plantations in Kerala has now been documented to have taken a heavy toll on human health and environmental well-being. Ironically, the anticipated economic gains from it now stand questioned as industrial countries are increasingly rejecting cashew kernel imports contaminated by chemical spraying.

Water Resources, Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystem Services

The second biennial conference of the Indian Society for Ecological Economics on the theme of 'Water Resources, Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystem Services' brought together researchers and practitioners and gave them an opportunity to present their findings and dialogue on topics that ranged from technical to interdisciplinary.

The New National Water Policy

The revision of the National Water Policy was a wholly internal governmental exercise, with no consultations with people and institutions outside. Further, it was a mere 'amendment' exercise, and the resulting document can hardly be described as a 'new policy'. The two most egregious failures of the new NWP are in relation to water-harvesting and community management of water. The prime minister's speech to the NWRC stressed both, but there is nothing corresponding to this in the NWP. Important controversies such as those relating to water as 'commodity' versus water as 'commons' or 'a basic right', the desirability of water markets, etc, are ignored. A valuable opportunity for a comprehensive review and a well-considered new statement has been lost. However, NWP 2002 is now the officially declared policy, and will stay in place for some years. While pointing out deficiencies and calling for revisions, the attempt must be to see what can be done with the document as it exists. Through proper, effective and repeated citation, the document can in fact be made to come alive and serve useful purposes.

Barmicede's Feast

Effects of Globalisation on Industry and the Environment edited by Rajat Acharyya and Bhaswar Moitra; Lancer’s Books, New Delhi, 2001; pp 306, Rs 595.

Pervasive Links and the Study of Nature

Social Nature: Resources, Representations and Rule in India edited by Arun Agrawal and K Sivaramakrishnan; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2001; pp x+316, Rs 595.

Environmentalist of the Poor

For more than two decades Anil Agarwal was India's most articulate and influential writer on the environment. His work was marked by his striking ability to synthesise the results of specialised scientific studies; his knack of communicating this synthesis in accessible prose; and the insistence that it was not enough for the environmentalist to hector and chastise, but offer solutions as well even if the state was unwilling to accept them as yet.

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