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Old 21st July 2009, 09:20   #16
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The story goes like this:
Cattle consume the forest, resident herbivores do not stand a chance in competing and so drops their reproduction rate, cattle reproduction increases many fold and also their adult head count, resident herbivores which make up the natural diet of the tiger diminishing rapidly, tiger starts to prey on cattle to survive, herdsmen's bitterness at loss and dissent follows, forest department's slow and procedural compensation to cattle owner adds fuel to fire, cattle herdsmen poison tiger as revenge killing and to save future killings, one more tiger dies of poisoning if not by poachers.
End result of this Man- Animal conflict? Tiger heading for excitation at breakneck speed, ensuing a chain reaction of degradation and deforestation by over grazing even if we discount the deforestation by man.
I meant extinction, here.
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Old 21st July 2009, 10:57   #17
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Has anyone ever thought of how responsibly we discard our automobile waste,

All these things have to start from home. The paper bag is a nice idea, has me thinking on the same for the mudumalai forest check post now.
DKG, that has had a good influence on me.

Last edited by beejay : 21st July 2009 at 10:59. Reason: Typo error
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Old 21st July 2009, 12:02   #18
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The paper bag is a nice idea, has me thinking on the same for the mudumalai forest check post now.
You should be able to get this made and printed for Rs 1.50

Ideally if a tribal family can be introduced to making the bags and handprinting the matter (using a block print) you are encouraging some livelihood for the family. They will sustain it by followup for business.

I also feel the tribals can be employed to man rest areas on forest roads. They can sell tea/coffee and some snacks and earn some money. That way they would have a vested interest maintaining the place.

Eco tourism really is also a powerful tool in providing employment to tribals.

If we could network by way of a website all these eco tourism sites in different forests and provide the tribals with a steady inflow of tourists along with guidance on hospitality requirements we could see a change for the better.

The ultimate goal really should be to harness tribal support in conserving the forests. They are the real owners of those forests and I'm sure the older tribals recognise the need for a balanced coexistence.

The pressures of survival may have forced them to plunder their very homes. True and sustainable conservation efforts in my opinion is possible only with the harnessing of the local tribal will to sustain the forests.
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Old 21st July 2009, 12:22   #19
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Eco tourism really is also a powerful tool in providing employment to tribals.
Fazal made a comment about people not being allowed into forests, in his case he had photography in mind.

I personally feel this is the answer to India's conservation struggle. People like Fazal who love the wilderness and are willing to spend money to stay in lodges in forests so they can do their photography is really the core activity that needs to be encouraged. Eco tourism resorts operating in buffer zones of forests is a surefire way to not only provide employment but enable a natural policing mechanism.

When I visited Dhikala in Corbett I was the guest of my brother in law's friend who runs a resort at Ramnagar. In the three days I was there often I heard him in conversation with staff about poachers and forest fire sightings. It was heartening to realise that these resort owners whose livelihood depends on the tiger's survival were now working as sentinels for the forest department alerting them about poaching and forest fires in time. These are people who make money because of the tiger's survival. They also provide considerable employment opportunity for the locals.

One can argue that there is a downside to opening forests to tourists but I think its more dangerous to seal them off.

I am not implying there is one solution to all problems. Conservation is a complex suject and I am no expert in the field. There may be issues that miss my mind and perhaps I am being too much of an idealist.

But we need to make some beginning.

The forest department has created staying facilities at Mannanur. They now have cottages and also a dorm. Tasty vegetarian food is made to order.

They have a new rest area at Gundam where you can go for a short trek.

Malleelathirtham is a stunning waterfall. I agree with Fazal about the littering. There also had been an accident with people diving into the waters. What one really needs to do is to let out the area to a resort so they would take care and maintain the place.

The forest department cannot manage everything. Eco tourism is the way ahead. Harnessing more partners in the process whose very livelihood depends on the survival of the forest and the animals.

Last edited by DKG : 21st July 2009 at 12:23.
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Old 21st July 2009, 12:55   #20
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You should be able to get this made and printed for Rs 1.50

Ideally if a tribal family can be introduced to making the bags and handprinting the matter (using a block print) you are encouraging some livelihood for the family. They will sustain it by followup for business.

I also feel the tribals can be employed to man rest areas on forest roads. They can sell tea/coffee and some snacks and earn some money. That way they would have a vested interest maintaining the place.

Eco tourism really is also a powerful tool in providing employment to tribals.

If we could network by way of a website all these eco tourism sites in different forests and provide the tribals with a steady inflow of tourists along with guidance on hospitality requirements we could see a change for the better.

The ultimate goal really should be to harness tribal support in conserving the forests. They are the real owners of those forests and I'm sure the older tribals recognise the need for a balanced coexistence.

The pressures of survival may have forced them to plunder their very homes. True and sustainable conservation efforts in my opinion is possible only with the harnessing of the local tribal will to sustain the forests.
Most of these things and even more are being done in Sanctuaries/National Parks in Kerala. Those who visited Periyar, Parambikulam, Silent Valley etc. in the recent past should be aware of it. I do not mean everything is perfect, but things are getting still better. And who/what in this world is perfect?
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Old 21st July 2009, 13:06   #21
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But as consumers we can start boycotting Chinese products and do so vocally so more and more people join in.
Are you serious about this? About 95% of the equipment we buy for our office are China made. There is no way one can boycott Chinese made products these days.
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Old 21st July 2009, 13:22   #22
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Rather boycotting products or suggesting to change other,
India should rectify its own system regarding forest and wildlife conservation.
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Old 21st July 2009, 14:51   #23
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Are you serious about this? About 95% of the equipment we buy for our office are China made. There is no way one can boycott Chinese made products these days.
Perhaps the issue on hand is not important enough to want to do so

But if China decides to enforce its demand on Arunachal Pradesh then we'll see how many businesses continue patronising Chinese products

Environmental conservation is not a priority for the vast majority of people as it doesn't affect their day to day lives. If the forests at Srisailam located 175 kms away from Hyderabad are slowly but surely dwindling away how many people are even alert to this loss and more importantly affected by it? Not many I am afraid. If a particular cause or issue affects you deeply then you respond. But if most can't relate to the issue obviously one cannot expect a commitment to resolving it

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Old 21st July 2009, 17:23   #24
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Deepak,
My comment on certain officers, averse at the mention of wildlife photography and research, was based on a one to one interaction with them ( though Mr. Shankaran was kind enough to provide us with a tracker and allowed me to travel in our own vehicle on Gundem-Farahabad road) but their attitude in general is very hostile towards anyone seeking permission to explore or photograph Nallamalla.
My personal reasons are not confined only to photography.

We have just been to Karnataka where the forest department is very sucessfully managing the afffairs there in comparrision, Nagarahole is about 700 square kilometers and Nallamalla 3 558 Square kilometers, which means 5 times larger. I agree the weather and soil conditions there play a pivotal role in the condition of the forest, but here the other extreme of cattle and sheep grazing is increasing the disparity between these two forest's fast is getting wider and increasing.

The officers at Nagarhole, now and on our previous visits were welcomed us and we did spend money for every amenity provided, which was valuable earning for the department, this is just one instance....take Kanha, Corbet, Ranthamore, Kaziranga, Sunderbans etc. Do they all not earn domestic and foriegn revenue? See the success story in Africa, this money generated through eco, wildlife-tourism is pumped back in conservation. This is huge huge income which a forest can thrive due to the tourist-forest relationship.

Why not at NSTR (Srisailam)?
Why is the A.P.forest dept. stuck with. .. "keep everyone out" policy and what is the gain.
It is a collosal loss!

"DKG: One can argue that there is a downside to opening forests to tourists but I think its more dangerous to seal them off. ""
The above is a very experienced observation from you.
Illegal activities come down where tourist, photographers, researchers, (cited by you) resort owners working as sentinels as their survival depends on the tiger's and so many tribal youth employed in the chain of activities.
As the department lacks the required staff because it has not filled in the vacancies and the poor state of affairs with the 4th class employees in this department are pathetic, which takes them to the path of corruption and bribery.

Can anyone from the A.P. forest dept. justify their stand against eco, wildlife-tourist? Previously they had a legitimate reason of naxalite presence, what now?

Controlled and monitored wildlife, eco-tourism is possible (not what was started at Farahabad, it had become a zoo) Naxalites did the wildlife in that part a favour by blowing up the infrastructure.
Which forest in India has lost wildlife or habitat due to wildlife, eco-tourist?
Deepak, here I am not promoting wildlife, eco- tourism here, but my discussion is hinged on, why should the forest be totally closed to all with the exception of officials and political big wigs?

In 2002 tiger census, I know two persons who were participating in it and were driven off by the department guys although they were accompanied by forest staff...reason, they found a pug mark before the forest team arrived, the accompanying forest guard was mercilessly reprimanded and these two asked to leave immediately.
This is just a glimpse of their belligerent attitude which is in stark contrast to what we have seen elsewhere in India. There is much to keep under wraps.

In Panna, 3 years back there were 40 tigers and last month...NIL?
The true story is that there were never more than 10 tigers in Panna since the last 3 years, all of which were killed later, this news was out a year before it hit National headlines.

At NSTR, 2009 tiger census: 81 tigers. This is fraud!! There are no more than 20 tigers. In the coming years NSTR will meet the same fate as Sariska and Panna, and the papers will read 81 tigers to NIL, first of all who is monitoring the figures presented by the forest department?, their obsolete and unscientific method of count by pugmark cast is wronged by many wildlife experts world wide and also by the World Bank.

There is a definite downside if the forest is thrown open to public like you mentioned, as it is, the traffic on the highway has killed many animals who crisscross the highway moving through the forest corridor.

You have proposed many workable rehab programmes for tribals, and also long term solutions are afforestation (CAMPA fund realesed by the supreme court for this purpose on 8th July 09 is Rs.11,000 crores, A.P."s share 897 crores.) us this judiciously, equip the forest staff and give them incentives, be honest in tiger census by sincerely involving individuals, NGO's, create ways to generate employment, create income to self sustain expenditures.
And so on .

A forest takes centuries to come into existence, but can be decimated to a barren land in just a few years.

Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 21st July 2009 at 17:31. Reason: grammar, of course.
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Old 21st July 2009, 22:00   #25
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Fazal if you have ideas about how we can aid the conservation at Srisailam I am for it.

It would need to be a multi pronged approach. As I see it we need to form a strategy to create awareness. Perhaps if we can mobilise support in people we form small teams to focus on individual activities.

Then there's animal husbandry issues.

Cattle grazing

Relocation of families from core areas

Biogas or alternative energy source

Eco tourism initiatives

I know two people who run magazines in Hyderabad. I can request them to carry articles targeted at creating awareness. A voice to NGO research data perhaps?

We need to make a beginning. We will make some mistakes but I am sure we will learn.

I am fully aware that my paper bag initiative may not see sustenance on account of poor focus by forest department staff. But some papers carried articles about the initiative and the need for conservation. A couple of thousand people would have received the bags and hopefully got some exposure to the need to keep the forests litter free. To me that was worth it.

More people need to talk conservation. More initiatives need to be taken, Some corporates must join the effort as they can sustain the efforts at larger levels.

We need to draw some celebrities into this too just to popularise the notion of saving the forests to the common man.
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Old 21st July 2009, 22:32   #26
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Default Launch of visitor garbage disposal bag program at Mannanur, Srisailam Forest

Introducing the paper garbage bags at Mannanur check post. Mr. Shankaran and Mr Naik of the AP Forest department formally launch the program introducing the procedure to the first vehicle at Mannanur check point

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0047.jpg

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0043.jpg

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0045.jpg

My mother at 80 bustling with energy as she explains to a family the need to conserve the environment by disposing garbage appropriately.

She travelled with me in my Tata 207 all the way to Mannanur and back as she felt the program was vital and deserves support!!

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0046.jpg

Mr. Naik and Mr. Shankaran of the AP Forest depart holding a press conference to highlight the need to prevent littering the forests and the initiative to curtail the same

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0052.jpg

A pay and use toilet facility at Mannanur

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0023.jpg

A charming dorm created for weary travellers reaching Mannanur late by when the gates would have closed

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0028.jpg

Apart from this dorm there are a few cottages and a canteen too

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0038.jpg

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0039.jpg

The rest area created at Gundem, just before the entrance to Farahabad viewpoint

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0056.jpg

Last edited by DKG : 21st July 2009 at 22:36.
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Old 21st July 2009, 23:08   #27
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Since we are talking about Srisailam and the need to save the forests there I guess its apt that I share with you guys the reasons why I feel so deeply about Srisailam. In all my life spent in Andhra Pradesh it was during my first visit to the Akka Mahadevi caves upstream of Srisailam dam that I encountered this breathtaking sight. The vista simply blew me away. I was dumb struck. I couldn't believe that so close to Hyderabad was such virgin territory. So untouched. So pure. So beautiful

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0184_2_2_2.jpg

I feel compelled to do something, whatever I can afford to in terms of my time and resources to help preserve this beauty we know as Srisailam. She is Hyderabad's lung space

Last edited by DKG : 21st July 2009 at 23:10.
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Old 22nd July 2009, 00:02   #28
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There's a sense of intimacy at Srisailam. Perhaps its the nearly 1000 foot hills that flank the mighty river. The sense of mystery that a forest invariably affords. Perhaps its the history of the region and the scores of sages who lived there. Perhaps its the lovely and enchanting ambience of the temple there.

I make it a point to sleep late when at Srisailam, listening to her sounds and enjoying her views as she settles for the night, and I wake up early too listening to her sounds and taking in her breathtaking vistas and the cool fresh crisp air.

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0124_3.jpg

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0130_3.jpg

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0131_3.jpg

The hills come alive as the sun breaks cover and banishes the blanket of darkness that night affords

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0138_4.jpg

The boat ride upstream treats you to one of the most intimate and breathtaking views of Srisailam

The hill sides seem to dip so gently into the river

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0147_2_2_2.jpg

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0162_2_2_2.jpg

Its almost like a private theatre show as the river meanders amidst those hills

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-img_0210_2.jpg

Talking about pillarless beams this one surely takes the cake at Akka Mahadevi

Saving our Forests : What the individual can do-raw00202.jpg
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Old 22nd July 2009, 07:11   #29
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Deepak,
I am for it, working together for a beautiful place called Srisailam, like you, I am in love with this place since I first stepped in here back in 1992, now seeing your pictures, the urge and pangs are growing to leave for here today, as the weather is just just right, ....but.
I need just a week to clear the way for making things possible here.
Your mother, hats off to her!
Regards,
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Old 22nd July 2009, 08:28   #30
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Perhaps the issue on hand is not important enough to want to do so
Deepak, you are missing the point. You might score a few brownie point with Sierra club by boycotting chinese products, but it is merely a symbolism. You might sleep better at night, but it won't make any dent in Chinese export market.

Due to the low quality of most chinese imports, I try like hell to avoid buying China made A/C, batteries, UPS, inverter, PCs, monitors, etc, etc. But, my suppliers tell me that every brand is chinese made these days. Recently one interiors project at the office was delayed for 3 months because the order I placed for apna desi Voltas cassette A/C was simply unavailable. Why? The chinese supplier was not delivering the certain vital parts. Then I was forced to go with chinese made Carrier cassettes. There is no practical non-chinese option.

I love forests, I have lived close to forest most of my life, even now I do. And suddenly my loyalty to forest/nature cause is a suspect because I am unable to make a symbolic gesture?
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