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National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
A REPORT ON SOUTHERN REGIONAL WORKSHOP
JANUARY 5 - 7, 2002
Village Pastapur, Zaheerabad Mandal,
Medak District, Andhra Pradesh

By
Mr. B. Suresh Reddy
Mr. Pulak Barua

 

Day I: January 5, 2002

Registration

Mr. Ashish Kothari, Coordinator, Technical Policy Core Group, NBSAP, welcomed the gathering and asked the participants to register.

I. Inaugural Session

Introductory remarks by Mr. P.V. Satheesh, Director, Deccan Development Society (DDS).

On behalf of DDS, Mr. P.V. Satheesh welcomed Mr. Premchandra Reddy, District Collector of Medak District. He briefed the participants about the mobile biodiversity festival, which was a part of the Deccan sub-state plan under the NBSAP last year. The nodal agency, the DDS, went around 60 villages exhibiting the seed biodiversity of the region, mounted on bullock carts. He spoke of the people for whom agro-biodiversity was an integral part of life, farm-practices and culture, though they might not have had opportunities to articulate its significance within the policy framework of the country.. . He informed the gathering about the different DDS activities, such as the formation of consumer action groups, and also about Mr. Premchandra Reddy's initiative, calling for the restoration of the forgotten crops on the agricultural map of the district. . Mr. Sateesh also introduced the women who form the policy group of the DDS, and who have conserved biodiversity on their farms, in their culture, and in their lives.

After the welcome address, the participants, representing different states, introduced themselves. . There was, however, no representation from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, and Tamil Nadu, as well as from the the eco-region of the Western Ghats

Inauguration:

Mr. Premachandra Reddy, District Collector, Medak District, inaugurated the workshop by lighting the lamps.

Brief Report on the Status of SAPs by Mr. Ashish Kothari

Mr. Kothari started his presentation by giving a brief introduction to the NBSAP. He talked about the four levels of functioning (local, state, ecoregional and thematic), for which 74 plans were being formulated, which would later cohere into a national level strategy and action plan. .

Mr.Kothari then spoke of the need for organising a Southern regional level workshop. He said that four workshops, covering other regions of the country had already been held. He then went on to explain the idea behind this regional workshop, which was to link up all the different co-ordinators of the southern region in the context of three or four basic objectives. : .

The objectives were:

  1. To frame the final action plan, bearing in mind that the strategy should be very specific, and that the kind of action contemplated must be something that can be implemented.
  2. To strengthen the integration of issues like gender equity and people's participation into the strategy and action plans.
  3. To strengthen the integration of biodiversity issues into all sectors of planning and development
  4. To establish relevant linkages between the plans of the states, substates, ecoregions and themes so as to have a regional level integrity.

Inaugural address by Mr. Premachandra Reddy

Mr. Premachandra Reddy, in his address, appreciated the whole NBSAP process. He briefed the participants about the different government programmes to improve the economic status of the rural poor, specially the credit schemes and the watershed programmes in Medak District. He gave an oral commitment to accept the strategy and action plan for the agricultural biodiversity of the Deccan region as the District Agriculture Plan.


II. Presentations by States and UTs

Chaired by Mr. Ravi Chellam, Member, Technical Policy Core Group, NBSAP

Andhra Pradesh
Mr. Rajashekar Tummala, Project Faculty, ENVIS, from Environmental Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI), Hyderabad, presented the Andhra Pradesh State Action Plan. He clarified the methodology adopted by EPTRI for the formulation of the plan. The key recommendations emerging so far are on the following sectors:

  • Biodiversity
  • Technology, Industry and Biodiversity
  • Education, Training and Research
  • Policies, Law and Planning

He also stated that EPTRI has integrated the cross-cutting issues such as :

  • Role of Women in Joint Forest Management in Andhra Pradesh
  • Case Study of Vanasama Rakshana Samithi of Medipalli.
  • Women's role in changing socio-economic status and their empowerment
  • Decline of social evils like drinking

Hehighlighted the role of EPTRI in integrating biodiversity into other sectors of Development. The various sectors are:

  • Forestry Department
  • Tribal Welfare Department
  • Animal Husbandry & Fisheries Department
  • Vana Rakshana Samithis
  • JFM
  • Community Biodiversity Registers

During the discussion. the various points that came up were:

  • Most of the actions were at the level of Strategy; actions need to be made more specific
  • There were no issues related to conservation of the important ecosystems or habitats in the State
  • Dr. Ravi Prased Rao of Krishna Deva Raya University worked with EPTRI. He provided information about the three workshops organised by them under Andhra Pradesh State programme.
  • Dr. L. Kannan proposed to give the East Coast ecoregion's action plan, which can be incorporated in the Andhra Pradesh State plan.
  • There should be a road map for each one of the recommendations.

Mr. Ashish Kothari proposed to facilitate the exchange of drafts to all the co-ordinators and also put them on the web site. He also suggested that the drafts be made available to not only the Steering Committee members, but also to relevant individuals.

The second state to present was Karnataka. Dr. Subhash Chandran, Dept. of Botany, Dr. AV Baliga College, Uttara Kannada presentated the Karnataka State plan on behalf of Dr. Raghvendra Gadegkar and Dr. Madhav Gadgil.

He started his presentation by stating that Karnataka has a wide range of biodiversity. The focus of the action plan is on six themes. They are:

  • Protected area
  • Medicinal Plants
  • Fresh water Fish
  • Wetlands
  • Cultural Traditions of conservation
  • Land races of cultivated plants

The Karnataka Bio-diversity Strategy and Action Plan's (KBSAP) key concerns are:

  • Need to focus on the entire spectrum of bio-diversity
  • Focus on protected areas and connectivity
  • Need to go beyond to the landscape
  • Need to focus on neglected eco-regions
  • Bio-diversity focussed efforts to enhance the quality of life of the masses
  • Bio-diversity concerns in development process

He spoke about bio-diversity integration into other sectors such as:

Bio-diversity boards / committees at different levels

Capacity building for civic bodies, coast guards (enforcing rules and regulations for fisheries), NGO's, private sector policy makers, teachers, and government agencies

The points that emerged from the discussion are:

  • There is no standard prescription, so whether it is a protected area or sanctuary, one cannot say this to be there and this is not to be there.
  • There was doubt regarding the effectiveness of coast guards taking up bio-diversity protection near the coast. The formation of a Separate establishment in this connection was recommended.
  • It was noted that Karnataka has a very peculiar geomorphologic situation on the West Coast; this will have tremendous implications for the bio-diversity plan.

The third state to present was Kerala. Dr. P.S. Easa, Scientist, Wildlife Biology, Kerala Forest Research Institute, Kerala, presented the Kerala State plan.

Dr. Easa started his presentation with a briefing regarding the District level workshop conducted by his organisation. The various issues they discussed in the workshops are:

Economics and Bio-diversity

  • Livelihood, Culture, Lifestyles, Benefit sharing and IPR
  • Health and Bio-diversity
  • Domesticated Bio-diversity
  • Natural Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • Natural Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Micro-organism Diversity
  • Policy, Laws and Institutions
  • Education, Training, Awareness and Research
  • Technology, Industry and Bio-diversity

He also spoke about the workshops they have conducted on specific themes such as:

  • Mangroves
  • Domesticated Diversity
  • Natural Aquatic Diversity
  • Wild animal diversity
  • Non-Wood Forest produce
  • Medicine plants
  • Education, Research and awareness
  • Rubber and Bio-diversity
  • Industry and Pollution
  • Policy, law, and institutions

He also shared the future plans of his organisation such as conducting a workshop on:

  • Species Diversity
  • Sacred Groves
  • Tribal and Cultural Diversity

Till now they have collected background information on various diversity related activities in the state. They have conducted working group meetings, and discussed the Issues, Strategies and Action plan. They have compiled a list of relevant rules and regulations.

For disseminating information, they have published a brochure in Malayalam, and have relayed information about the workshops in print and electronic media. They have also arranged radio talks and publications in the press to raise people's awareness,. He concluded his presentation by stating that the Action plan would be ready by Mid-February 2002.

The points that came out in the discussions were:

    • There was no concrete evidences that an increase in diversity would increase the production in rubber plantation, so the rubber board should monitor this.
    • Need to take a hard look at the government development priorities and how it effected bio-diversity


The fourth state to present was Pondicherry. Dr. P.P. Mathur, Head Department of Biological Sciences, from Pondicherry University, presented the Pondicherry State plan.

He started his presentation by stating that they formed a State steering committee in June 2001 and recruited staff in September 2001. They have collected documents from various departments in the State such as the departments of Science, Technology and Environment, Agriculture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Forest and Wild Life, Education, Town and Country planning. They have visited a few of the farms and NGO's, and have conducted educational programs such as elocution competitions and workshops for teachers. And they also have conducted public hearings at Yanam, Veerampattinam, and Pooranankuppam; the various issues were Fisheries and Agriculture.

The points that figured in this presentation were:

  • Paddy and sugar cane cultivation alone is promoted
  • Industry is proliferating in Pondicherry
  • Fields are getting converted into urban areas
  • Forestry is negligible
  • Wildlife is limited
  • Overexploitation of fertilisers, concentration on increase in agriculture production
  • Over exploitation of ground resources

As part of the Action Plan, he proposed the following measures:

  • Prevent prime agriculture land diversion to other use
  • Develop village level storage facilities
  • Create awareness about crop insurance
  • Use sprinkles, drip irrigation system
  • Adopt appropriate land use pattern
  • Introduction of desi breeds in cattle and poultry
  • Encourage backyard poultry
  • Conserve the rare and endangered fishes
  • Specify the areas for industry
  • Encourage Urban Greening
  • Conduct bio-diversity festival

The points that came out of the discussions were:

  • The thought of conservation itself is not very prominent
  • Need an interaction with politicians to sensitise them to bio-diversity issue

The State representatives from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, and Tamil Nadu were not present.

III. Presentation by Ecoregions

Chaired by Mr. Ajith Kumar

The first Eco-region was East Coast. Mr. L. Kannan, Centre from Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu represented the East Coast eco-region.
He began by listing the states covered by the East Coast eco-region, which are:

- Tamil Nadu
- Pondicherry
- Wast Bengal
- Orissa
- Andhra Pradesh

He said that they addressed various sensitive areas like mangroves, coral reef, brackish water lakes etc.

  • Assessed the existing action plan and strategy
  • Interacted with many colleges, schools, fishing groups, government bodies, Universities etc. to popularise the National Bio-diversity plan.
  • Created awareness regarding bio-diversity
  • Set up the following state-wise thematic groups:
  • Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry:
    • Flora including mangroves
    • Fisheries, aquaculture, coral reef
    • Tourism, pollution and socio economics
    • Gender issues, empowerment and cultural issues
  • Andhra Pradesh;
    • Coastal management
    • Coastal monitoring process
    • Mangrove conservation
    • Fisheries management
    • Community based marine bio-diversity conservation
  • Orissa
    • Sensitive ecosystems
    • Fisheries bio-diversity and aquaculture
    • Pollution and Marine bio-diversity
    • Management of Mangroves ecosystem
    • Socio-economic aspect of fisher folks
    • Role of women in bio-diversity conservation
  • In all the workshops, people from different walks of life participated, and gave their valuable inputs.

The key recommendations were:

  • For Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry
    • Banning, trolling net operation for fishing
    • Restriction of sea weed harvest for a particular season
    • Training to the local people for sea weed cultivation
    • Subsidies for sea weed culture
    • Dependency on conventional fishing to be reduced
    • Restricting the use of mechanised boats on the off shore area
    • Banning or bring in mess size regulation for fishing
    • Banning fish aggregation devices
    • Ban on improved fishing methods
    • Dissemination of information in local languages
    • Extending Joint Forest Management concept to mangroves
    • Engaging aforestation of mangrove areas with multiple species
    • Create awareness of bio-diversity among politicians, government officials, students and others.

  • For Andhra Pradesh
    • Industries along the coast should be set up after the EIA
    • Industries should allocate certain portion of their profit for research and development activity
    • Community based participatory aforestation
    • Setting up of seed production and rearing of endangered species
    • Alternate source of income for fisher folks like turtle conservation
    • Awareness through drama, music etc.
    • Creation of special task force for deforestation of mangroves
    • Regular monitoring of various physical, chemical and biological parameters along with different pollution in the source points, discharge points in coastal areas.
    • Involvement of more NGO's and women.

  • Various cross- cutting issues were:
    • Allotting more funds to local people to form small village level NGO to develop more effective bio-diversity plan.
    • Involving fishing communities to protect fisheries through international agreement.
    • Involving all the countries from where birds fly into India in tight-structuring conservation strategies.
    • Ensuring alternate income for the fisher-folk during a fishing holiday.

Mr. Kannan observed that much time was spent just in being able to reach the fishing groups. He said that they could conduct meetings in only two or three places for want of time and money.

The second Eco-region, Eastern Ghats, was represented by Professor T. Pullaiah, Department of Botany, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Andhra Pradesh. Professor Pullaiah said that they have conducted several meetings in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu, and observed that most of the problems faced by Eastern Ghats are same as East Coast's problems. The problems are:

  • There are broken hills in Eastern Ghats, which have their own ecosystem.
  • There are many dams, and because of this dam construction huge chunks of land get submerged under water while some go barren.
  • Awareness on ecological bio-diversity is necessary
  • Because of remunerative paybacks, tobacco and cotton have take the place of Jowar, so all the bio-diversity and cultural diversity are gone.
  • Podu cultivation is destroying the forest.
  • Coffee plantation is fast expanding, thus destroying the forest.
  • Ground flora is getting disturbed.
  • The natural streams are getting effected

To overcome these problems, he proposed the following points:

  • The traditional crops are low income ones. So a support system has to be developed for cultivating traditional varieties.
  • A separate board of bio-diversity should be established for Eastern Ghats alone to take stock of the situation.
  • There is no documentation on bio-diversity, so this needs to be developed.


Ms. Rekha PD, Dept. of Biosciences represented the third Eco-region, West Coast, Mangalore University, on behalf of Professor M.N. Madhyastha.

Ms Rekha characterised various types of eco-systems, and cited her study to point out how one eco-system conflicts with the other.

  • Natural eco-systems face threats from the man-made ones.
  • Land eco-system poses threats to Marine eco-system.

She also proposed a few strategies to overcome these problems:

  • Island ecosystem conservation
  • Coral reefs are in patches along the coast and not very extensive, so special conservation states to be given to coral reef areas.
  • The information available on the various bio-diversity issues of western coast is to be documented.
  • The projects, which are at initial stages in various maritime institutions, can be modified to look into bio-diversity. The data obtained from the many sources can be interrelated to obtain a holistic database.
  • Fisheries being a major threat, there is a need for co-operation between the different fisheries' groups, which should be asked to maintain and follow a responsible fisheries policy. There should be a month or year-wise check on their catch.
  • A fisheries management has been formed, which networks with various fisheries departments to obtain information on responsible fishing.
  • Conservative fisheries should be incorporated into the curriculum of fisheries school.
  • There must be strict vigilance on the maritime activities, like the ships arriving from international water, to monitor the dumping of hazardous waste or degraded materials.
  • The mining activities should be regulated.
  • There should be an appropriate disaster management cell along the coast.
  • Pollution control board should be strict in monitoring the industrial waste.
  • Regions of rare species rich bio-diversity should be conserved irrespective of the industrial and local demands.
  • Data needed on marine amphibians for their protection strategy to be developed.
  • Strict enforcement rules on the construction of hotels, resorts etc.
  • Sustainable tourism management practices should be there. Identify the capacity of each tourist location, whether they can handle the changes caused by tourist influx or whether the system can sustain the imbalance caused in the process.
  • Involving the local people in the tourism monitoring


Mr. Ranjit R.J. Daniels from Western Ghats was not present, but his paper was distributed in the workshop and Mr. Ajith presented it on his behalf. The paper highlighted the following points.

  • Gap analysis is incomplete, specially gaps in information and vision
    There are 200 laws, which are there to conserve biodiversity, which a majority of lawyers in the country are not aware.
  • Lack of taxonomic expertise about lower vertebrates and invertebrates is another gap
  • Inadequate presence and involvement of trained socio-economists and ecologists
  • Inadequate linkages between academicians and activists is a problem
  • Non availability of reliable data
  • Inadequate capacity of organisations to take up research in Western Ghats.


Major strategies suggested:

  • Basic research on streamlining of procedures for obtaining reports and permission for reports
  • Find ways and means to feed research output into forest departments and management plans
  • Action research to understand and develop workable models for integrating human concerns in biodiversity conservation, especially wild life.
  • Centralized repository of information for the Western Ghats.
  • Interstate mechanism to counter poaching, smuggling etc.
  • Forest lands under various departments to be brought back under forest department jurisdiction.
  • Curtailing of contract farming and mining
  • Providing incremental cost to ongoing conservation projects
  • Establishment of gene sanctuaries.

Actions Suggested:

Mr. Ashish Kothari said that one of the main recommendations Ranjit & his group have suggested was the formation of Western Ghats Conservation Board. He also recommended a monitoring mechanism for the board. There were some more suggestions in the documents sent by Mr. Ranjit.

The points that came out in the discussion:

  • Biodiversity in coffee plantation in a few pockets of Western Ghats has to be looked into.
  • The Coffee board should take initiatives to promote diversity in coffee plantation.
  • We should not encourage growing Coffee inside a forest but a forest inside a Coffee plantation.

IV. Presentation by Substate Sites

Chaired by Mr. L. Kannan

Mr. B. Suresh Reddy, from the Deccan Development Society, was the first one to present his report on the Deccan Substate Site.

His report put forth the following points:

  • All the farmers of the region were involved. They constituted the grassroot communities.
  • Degraded lands are present in the region
  • The region hosts a lot of diversity
  • Millets are significant for ecological survival.
  • To guide the whole NBSAP process in the Deccan region, a Local Advisory Committee was constituted, comprising people from different fields such as farmers (small, marginal, medium and big), tribals, NGOs, Forest department, other government departments, politicians and scientists.
  • Some of the LAC members took initiative for organising the sectoral meetings with different sections of people like tribals, scientists, politicians, VSS members etc.
  • As a part of this NBSAP, a unique process called Mobile Biodiversity Festival was organised in 62 villages of Zaheerabad region of Deccan area.
  • In each village in the afternoon, a meeting was organised with the farmers of the village (in each of these meeting between 300 to 400 farmers participated) and they were posed the following four main questions:-
    1. Whether the biodiversity- based traditional agricultural system and crops were beneficial to soil, human beings and animals or not?
    2. If yes, what were the reasons for the decline of the traditional agriculture system?
    3. Are you interested in bringing back the traditional agriculture system and biodiversity?
    4. If so, what is that you as farmers can do and what is that the government should do?
  • Most of the NBSAP report is based on the responses of the farmers in 62 villages for the above questions.
  • The Mobile Biodiversity Festival gave chance to the voiceless i.e. women and dalit, who are never consulted in the planning process.
  • In the biodiversity festival, the farmers raised several health issues and they loomed as a major concern.
  • Women's concerns were also taken into consideration while preparing this plan. They recognised the nutritional, dietary and recuperatory value of the millets.
  • Interestingly, out of the 20000 farmers with whom we could dialogue during the Mobile Biodiversity Festival, none said that biodiversity based traditional agriculture systems or crops were not good.

Required Action to Fill Gaps and further Strengthen Ongoing Measures

  • Supply of cheap rice through the Public Distribution System has been the single most cause of destruction of millets and sorghum in the farming systems.
  • The Government must introduce jowar in the PDS system. This will open up a huge market for the traditional jowar- farmers of the Deccan, and rekindle interest in their own cropping practice, while enhancing biodiversity on their fields.
  • Efforts toward creating new markets and regenerating farming diversity must be speeded up along with the introduction of sorghum and millets in the diet system of the government hostels and the ICDS schemes.
  • A simultaneous action should be to recognise that the changing tastes of children have been caused mostly by aggressive commercial media campaign. This needs to be reversed through an early education. Therefore, efforts must be made to put the issue of agro biodiversity and safe foods into the curriculum of schools and colleges.
  • This will help children to scientifically understand the nutritional superiority of their own food systems, and help them overcome the mispropaganda carried out in the media by commercial interests.
  • As with children, the media has played havoc in changing the status perception of millets and sorghum in the adult minds. This must be countered through a vigorous educational campaign to introduce sorghum and millets into the diets of people.
  • The government, primarily, must handle this responsibility. The high nutritional value of the traditional millets and sorghum must be made known to people through government media as well as through a well- organised campaign in the villages.
  • Since the lending policies of the government highly favour commodity crops, and systematically ignore sorghum and millets, there is no level playing field for the millet farmers.
  • This must be corrected through a change in lending policy. The financial lending policy, which supports commodity crops like sugarcane, horticulture etc. must also be extended to the traditional biodiversity farming systems in the Deccan.
  • As with the lending policies, the insurance policies are also loaded against the millet farmers. This must stop, and the traditional farmers who grow a diverse variety of crops on their rain-fed farms must get insurance cover.
  • Enterprises that support traditional crops should be set up. As part of the rural processing industry development policy, small processing machines which can pound and dehusk small millets like foxtail millet, little millet and kodo millet must be set up in villages.
  • These will give a definite fillip to many a minor millet, like foxtail millet and little millet, which are highly nutritious, but difficult to process. Such machines can be owned and operated by women's groups like DWCRA and self-help groups, and can give them a great income edge.
  • Since organic manure is the most critical component of this farming system, policies to increase cattle wealth in villages should be revived. The IRDP lending policies, which used to promote cattle- related lending have stopped doing so, and have instead initiated lending for farm machines. Cattle are the primary suppliers of farmyard manure, which is the soul of traditional farming. The lending institutions must understand this critical link between cattle availability and agro biodiversity and offer loans to farmers for the purchase of plough bullocks as well as milch animals. Their increased presence in the farming system will help bring back biodiversity to the farming.
  • The two mechanical meat factories, which slaughter hundreds of animals every day for export of beef are accentuating the problem of cattle reduction in villages. They help the distress- sale of cattle and their theft. Considering the fragile nature of the region and the importance of conserving cattle here, the two beef exporting mechanical slaughterhouses in Medak district must be closed down.
  • In order to supplement the farmyard manure, capacity- building measures for farmers are necessary. Farmers must be trained in the production of backyard bio-fertilisers and enriching of their composts. This will enhance the availability of non- chemical fertilisers and lessen the problems faced by traditional farming systems. However, caution must be exercised to see that bio-fertilisers like vermicompost must be used only as a supplement to FYM and not as a complement. Otherwise, this may again create imbalances in the soil.
  • Farmers have been organised around many other farming systems like the Cane Development Society, which works for sugarcane farmers, while the Mango Growers Society for mango growers, etc. But there is no farmers' organisation to care for millets and biodiversity. The emergence of such an organisation is a dire necessity for the farmers to be able to enjoy a sense of solidarity and a strong bargaining position.
  • Success stories of farmers, who are following traditional systems of cropping with good yields, of farmers who are cultivating traditional crops, which are on the verge of extinction, should be documented and in turn utilised for creating awareness in the farming community.

The points which came out of the discussion were:

  • To overcome the marketing problem, the farmers gave two suggestions, which are integral to the whole process, the introduction of millets in ICDS schemes and introduction of millets in Public Distribution System.
  • The point was that wheat and rice, which are nutritionally inferior and utilise a lot of energy to grow get support from banks and insurance companies, while the food crops of drylands, which are nutritionally superior and do not require any special inputs to grow go unprotected by any insurance cover.
  • To the question whether insurance was efficacious for dryland farming, the answer was" It depends on which area you come from! In an area where drought occurs every third year, and the farmers lose 30% to 60% of the crop, despite their best efforts, then surely they have the right to claim insurance."
  • DDS would lobby with the district administration to approve the NBSAP plan as district agriculture plan, as the district collector, who was present at the inaugural session, has orally promised.

Presenting the report for Southern Andhra Pradesh, Dr.Ravi Prasad Rao said that:

  • He has organised meetings in which 500 people participated. He has also organised two workshops and three public hearings. Workshops were organised at Tirupati (concentrating on Eastern Ghats) and Sullurpet (Concentrating on Pulicat Biodiversity).
  • There are more than 100 sacred groups in the southern Eastern Ghats. He urged that there should be proper marketing avenues for medicinal plants. In the workshop organized at Sullurpet on Pulicat biodiversity, the main gaps were
    1. Heavy siltation
    2. Over fishing
    3. Mushrooming of prawn farms

The strategies suggested are:

  1. Industrial pollution be avoided
  2. Mechanised boats be presented? ( prevented from operating) in the lake
  3. No construction be allowed up to 1 km from the lake.
  4. Solid waste management in the Eastern Ghat zone of Seshachalam & Srisailam be recognised as absolutely important.
  5. Some concrete decision on Neelguy should be taken.


Mr. Sanysir Raju presented the report for North Coastal Andhra.
(Ms. Shruti Devi translated his report, which was presented in Telugu)

DESCRIPTION OF THE METHODOLOGY USED IN THE PREPARATION OF THE SAP

  • The co-ordinator attended the Inaugural National Workshop at New Delhi on 23rd. and 24th. June, 2000.
  • A Local Area Committee (LAC) was formed, and LAC meetings were held on 6th Oct. 2000 at village Kurupam, and on 15th Oct., 2000 at the Nehru Yuva Kendra, Vizianagaram. (Annex. 1. LAC list and LAC minutes to be attached)
  • The co-ordinator visited LAC members at their hamlet/village/town and discussed the NBSAP in detail, with a focus on the role of that particular member.
  • The Telugu Call for Participation was widely distributed by the nodal agency.
  • A document on the local SAP process was prepared in Telugu with the help of an LAC member and distributed to district-level NGOs of the sub-state site.
  • Documents pertaining to relevant statistics and ongoing programmes that relate to biodiversity from various points of view were collected from district-level officials, who were approached for this purpose. (Annex. 2. List of documents collected to be attached)
  • Village-level meetings and consultations were held by the nodal agency at various sites with the help of relevant LAC members. The relevant TPCG member also actively attended a number of these meetings. (Annex. 3. List of villages and details of meetings held to be attached)

A number of meetings have been photographed.

  • Workshops conducted: A two-day adivasi workshop at Boddamanaguda, A workshop with 50 primary school teachers of Kurupam, Adivasi Food and Nutrition Workshop for the self-help youth groups, Thodu and Yamnaba, comprising mostly of adivasis.
  • A series of consultations, spread over ten days related to micro planning for the twin villages of Kurupam and Sivannapeta.
  • Questionnaire pertaining to JFM/VSS and some aspects of GCC projects were prepared and used to guide consultations. Documents provided by TPCG members were also referred to while preparing these questionnaires.
  • Questionnaire and simple format for project proposals pertaining to education were prepared and used to guide relevant consultations in addition to workshop discussions that were documented.
  • Questionnaire pertaining to micro planning was prepared and used to guide discussions during micro-planning consultations.
  • Relevant LAC member organized the first ever meeting of indigenous healers in the area to discuss issues related to medicinal plants and access and benefit sharing.
  • In the course of the above mentioned proceedings, the following categories have been consulted: farmers, traders, adivasis, NGO activists, youth activists, mahila mandalis, panchayat and local self-government leaders and groups, VSS members, officials, indigenous healers, cattle breeders, vegetable growers, and a large umber of rural women, men, girls and boys.


Dr. Subhash Chandra presented the report for Uttara Kannada (North Canara).

Giving a geographical description, Dr.Chandra said that Uttara Kannada is a Western Ghat district with a substanatial seacoast. He said that the coastal and marine eco-systems of the region are riddled with problems. Enormous incidental damage has taken place due to mechanised boats and middlemen. Till recently, only fishermen used to catch fish. But now, there is a scramble, with everyone out to chase fish. Even Brahmins have swum into the business, thus badly impacting the livelihood of the proper fishing community.

Key recommendations / Action points

General

  • Bio-diversity centre for Uttara Kannada
  • Injecting bio-diversity concerns in the functioning of civic bodies and enhancing their capacity to manage bio-diversity
  • Creation of village level bio-diversity registers
  • District level and panchayat level bio-diversity management institution

Coastal and Marine Ecosystem

  • Need for Central Ministry on Marine Resources Management
  • Compilation on community based inventories
  • Mangrove enhancement / habitat restoration in the estuaries
  • Sea shore protection through natural methods
  • Regulations of dynamic nature on estuarine and sea fishing
  • Creation of bird sanctuaries along the coast
  • Human resources development for coastal tourism, CRZ awareness, capacity building among local people.
  • Need to prevent unregulated entry of extraneous forces into the marine / estuarine fisheries
  • Monitoring and protection of rare and endangered by locals

Integration of Cross Cutting Issues

  • Gender
    • Projects on Fisher women's co-operatives
    • Quota of fish for drying by these co-operatives
    • Sea weed based cottage industries
    • Commercial production of ornamental fishes
    • Enhancing quality of life through bio-diversity conservation
  • Equity and empowerment
    • Fisher folks to run museum on community fisheries
    • Compilation of community based inventories of bio-diversity
    • Creation of public domain database
    • Formation of coastal VFC's/beach protection committees
    • Turtle breeding centres to employ fisher-people
    • Training of local youth in coastal tourism management
    • Participatory management in fisheries
    • Local farmers/people in mangrove restoration projects

Integration of Bio-diversity into Other Sectors

    • District bio-diversity Centre to advise the district administration and government
    • Local educational institution / village communities to be part of compiling community based inventories
    • Imparting bio-diversity concerns in civic bodies and sensitising civic bodies to bio-diversity concerns.
    • Capacity building in local bodies in bio-diversity management and creation of CRZ awareness

He proposed to complete the draft by January end 2002.


Day II: January 6, 2002

I. Orientation, discussion and exercise on

  • Gender & equity issues
  • People's participation and empowerment
  • Use of indigenous knowledge and practices etc.

The session was facilitated by Mr. PV Satheesh

Presentation by Mr. PV Satheesh

Mr. Satheesh starts his presentation by mentioning the importance of Gender on agriculture:

  • Women are basically concerned about the food, health and nutritional security in the household.
  • The NBSAP process should bring to focus the strategies that women need to craft to be able to find a voice for themselves. These strategic needs relate to leadership which in turn strengthen them in the public domain


The main points that came out are:

  • How the mindset differs from men to women. Women are responsible for administration of all agriculture process.
  • All weeds are uncultivated foods for women. So whatever is grown in their field they utilise them as food either for her family or for her cattle.

Apart from Gender issue he also emphasis on the various aspects NBSAP should look in to, they are :-

  • The scientific community is talking about question of indigenous knowledge. Now there is grudging acceptance from formal science. It is called as ITK, which is dangerous. NBSAP should look into it so that it gives precedence to indigenous knowledge, as formal science tends to make every thing standardised and uniform thus affecting diversity.
  • If the NBSAP says it is the livelihood security not only ecological security then who decides it is livelihood security or national security. For example in the Medak District the only river flowing is Manjeera but the water from this river goes to Hyderabad for which purpose a dam is constructed on this. The local people are not allowed to lift water, which is seen as against national interest. We have another such example from Singroli area where a huge power project is there but the adjoining villages of this power project do not have any electricity. How long do we put, what we call the national interest against the local interest and the well being of the local communities.
  • Similarly the biodiversity has to be seen in whose interest it is been conserved. Following from this are is issue of: how do we weave-in gender and empowerment into our plans. Whether we can see a different kind of peer review of our plans and allow them to be reviewed by communities because they have been conserving, protecting and have enormous amount of knowledge in biodiversity related issues.
  • There is lot of enthusiasms among the young women who want to do something, which we need to tap in our action plans. And also there are very limited written materials available when it is concerned to women.
  • As preservers of seed the women used to have intellectual roles till recently. When we are looking at process of biodiversity we are not looking at it uni-dimensionally but from many dimensions like how it addresses livelihoods of people, how does it bring in indigenous knowledge and how does it help vulnerable sections, women, local people etc. So within that framework we should highlight gender. It is not artificially transposed issue; it is very integral and very organic to biodiversity.

Mr. Satheesh concluded his presentation by stating that the women are the most important stakeholders of biodiversity and they have most deserve set of concerns.


II. TPCG members presentation

The first TPCG member to present was Mr. Ajith Kumar from Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coimbatore.

His Presentation on Wild animal diversity started by that "What ever is said or written it should be scientific and have quantitative data".

As per his presentation the major strategies to be followed are:

  • All species to be covered in protected ecosystem.
  • All species should be represented in at least ZPA
  • Re-examination of the specimen, which the universities collect.
  • For few species like elephant etc. largest population of its species should be there.
  • Identification of habitats for species survival
  • We need to look for species outside permitted areas also.
  • Habitat monitoring should be done.

The Institutional problems he mentioned are:

  • Non availability of specimens
  • Gender representation in forest department


The second TPCG member to present was Ms Manju Raju, from Bangalore.

Her presentation was on livelihood and biodiversity: The basic issues were Control and Agriculture.

Currently the linkages between bio-diversity and livelihood has been looked in a unidirectional way like: biodiversity degradation and how it has been affecting livelihoods. Other issues that are affecting livelihoods like access etc., conservation programmes that are in place, also touch on consumption patterns and changes in life style. Deliberations on the necessary policy and laws were derived after

She put forward the major points as:

  • MOEF should enforce the Supreme Court's order prohibiting aquaculture with in 50 meters of high-tide level.
  • To enhance the scope of CRZ to all mangroves stretcher irrespective to their proximity to coast or their size. Initiate mangrove programmes with the participation of local community
  • To keep all forms of infrastructure away from the ecologically sensitive regions. Tourism development not to be located in community living spaces make the local communities equal partners in all aspects of planning, implementation, monitoring and profit sharing
  • Modern technology in resource mapping geographical information system should integrate with traditional knowledge and wisdom to equip the community with modern scientific systems without losing traditional systems.

During the discussions the points that emerged were:

  • Quantify some of the points
  • Look at guidelines for references and sources to make the data reliable.
  • Restoring the right to the rightful partners.
  • Stall farming with livestock as livelihood to be looked up. The impacts of conversion of Agricultural lands to aquaculture. Livelihoods and lifestyles have to be looked.
  • It is important to look at positive sides of WTO in addition to negative side.

The third TPCG member to present was Dr. T. N. Prakash, Co-ordinator - TWG, Domesticated Biodiversity, Bangalore.

Dr. Prakash started his presentation by stating that domesticated Bio-diversity is a very vast subject. The different issues related to this topic are:

  • As of now, the stated role of domesticated bio-diversity is an auxiliary and not a direct aspect in the process of development. He explained the need to examine this.
  • With increase in areas of high yielding varieties, the areas of indigenous varieties is decreasing. So the status of domesticated bio-diversity is becoming difficult to assess.
  • It was noted that the scoring between high yielding and indigenous farming was not developed properly. The major scoring parameters used have been yield, which is not enough to assess the situation objectively.
  • The farmers should be aware of "why to conserve; what are the benefits?"
  • What are the incentives for the farmers?
  • Categorising the stakeholders as primary and secondary.

He concluded his presentation by stating that they have collected materials from agricultural diversity, honeybees, and pets, and asked the co-ordinator NBSAP for some bonus time. He promised to present the draft action plan by the end of February 2002.

The issues that emerged from this discussion are:

  • The action plan should state the relationship between wild life and agriculture. It should not be in terms of mentioning the wild cousins of domesticated varieties but it should be something like what are the benefits to agriculture because of wild life, does the agriculture pattern benefit the wild life? What are the negative effects? etc.


Dr. H. Mohamed Kasim (TPCG member) from the Research Centre of CMFRI, Kakinada.

Dr. Kasim started his presentation by speaking about the last meeting on bio-diversity where the issues discussed were:

  • Fresh water bio-diversity
  • Brackish water bio-diversity
  • Marine bio-diversity

He mentioned that his team had prepared the Strategies but that the action plan was due. He also mentioned the issues that they have identified for further study:

  • Salt pan (extremes of Aquatic Bio-diversity)
  • Glaciers
  • Impact of Agriculture and Industrial waste on Aquatic bio-diversity
  • Gender is a great issue in fisheries. In traditional fishing women do have a role to play, but in mechanised one they have no role.
  • Fish marketing and processing
  • Introduction of ornamental fish

The issues that emerged from the discussion were:

  • Under aquatic ecosystem for India what is the critical habitat that needs to be under protection, for overall conservation of aquatic ecosystem
  • Utilisation of resources within aquatic ecosystem, livelihood, sustainability, overall exploitation

Mr. Ashish Kothari informed the audience about the submission of Drafts. The drafts should reach the TPCG members by the end of January 2002. After that none of the members will be in a position to comment on the action plan as they will be in the middle of making the National Plan.

Ms. Shruti Devi suggested few things

  • In Orissa on 18th January Chilika authorities are planning a seminar and they are keen to feed their ideas.
  • The state is also looking at the waterfall of Orissa. Whatever they make it need to be reflected in the paper.

Dr. Mohideen Wafar presents a brief about the issues that should be incorporated in the Action Plan.

  • The titles should be specific action details
  • Quantify out your achievements
  • Give a root map
  • The process has to be decentralised
  • Try to categorise the action plan

Mr. Ashish Kothari informed the participants about the two sets of documents, which will help them in preparation of the action plan

  • Indicative outline for the strategy and action plan
  • Format for the action plan

III. Interactive session on

  • Intersectoral co-ordination and other issues
  • Filling up of the matrix on Intersectoral issues

Facilitated by: Mr. Ashish Kothari

Mr. Ashish Kothari starts the interactive session by asking the participants to pick up a sector and then discuss on various issues

The different sectors suggested by Mr. Kothari were :-

  • Forest and Environment
  • Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry
  • Watershed and soil conservation
  • Revenue department
  • Energy
  • Transportation
  • Mining
  • Industries
  • Urban and Rural Development
  • Tourism
  • Planning department
  • Education department
  • Social / tribal welfare
  • Panchayats
  • Culture
  • Others

He asked the participants to pick two or three sectors.

The participants picked the following sectors :-

  • Energy, Infrastructure and Industry
  • Tourism
  • Watershed

The following issues were discussed in each of the sectors

  • Lookup how it degrades the bio-diversity
  • Root cause
  • Broad policy and Strategy for integration of bio-diversity
  • Specific action plan
  • Indicators like assessment, monitoring and evaluation

IV. Identification of overlaps in State/ sub-state/ eco-region strategies and dovetailing issues

Facilitated by: Mr. Ashish Kothari

Mr. Kothari started the session by telling the participants to pick up very specific actions that relate to the co-ordination or linkage between two states.

The first states were Kerala and Tamil Nadu

  • Various anti poaching co-ordination need to be done including common wireless
  • Use of the money available in Periyar Tiger reservoir into an alternative livelihood source.
  • Habitat protection has to be done
  • Payment for ecosystem services

The second presentation was by Prof. Pulliah on Eastern Ghats

He first talked about issues related to Andhra Pradesh and Orissa:

  • One of the major problems with Eastern Ghats are the Dams in the ghats that goes across the states. The Upper stream should compensate
    Then he touched the issues related to Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
  • Basins of Eastern Ghats need to form a common policy or strategy for the conservation of entire states, issues like dams, river sharing etc.
  • Problems because of Temples, cutting of forest
  • Schedule tribe legislation need to be harmonised

The third presentation was by Dr. L. Kannan on East Coast, he point out the following issues

  • Conflict between fishermen of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh
  • Development activity in Pulikat lake
  • Migratory fish species and turtles

He also proposed some recommendations

  • Interstate community comprising of fisher folks from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu helped by the fisheries department of both the sides
  • The same recommendation for eco-regions.
  • NIPA development in Mangrove area of West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands can be used in the Action Plan

During the discussion the following points came out

  • The root cause of all the issues are
    • Carrying capacity is same
    • Demography and population increases
  • Saving the resources is the issue unless it is regulated in both the regions
  • Large scale mechanised fishing vessels are one of the main cause of destruction
  • There was one recommendation
  • Mechanised fishing should be prohibited in Indian water
    The members opposed the recommendation by stating that, "Banning Mechanised fishing is not possible because more then 60% of the production are through mechanised sector, so instead of banning the mechanised fishing it should be disciplined".


The fourth presentation was from West Coast eco-region, the point out the following issues

  • Trolling Ban, Fishing Holiday, Mud bank
  • Sea walls in Kerala and Karnataka, which may prevent approach of marine territory to the breeding ground.
  • Interstate and International fishing
  • No data available from Lakshadweep

Mr. Wafar added few more points

  • Assessment of bio-diversity or monitoring the changes, watch for extinctive species could be incorporated into the monitoring programme
  • If any of the eco-regions know of any example from any State, which could be replicated and from which lessons could be learnt by another State, then please put that in.
  • Planning commission has a hill development scheme of 10 years, one needs to take a look at this scheme. It starts with how Western Ghats needs to be made to ecologically sensitive, that it is hotspot etc.

The Substates presented their issues:

Along the deccan covering Maharastra, Telangana and North Karnataka a common recommendation came up.

  • Planning commission came up with a thought that coarse grain may be take up as a PDS option, but it must be implemented by the states.
  • These three states have a great capacity and potential to implement it and policy recommendation are needed here
  • The draft National Plan should reach the state and the eco-region.
  • The relevant TPCG members should be present in the final meeting with the neighbouring States representatives

The final concluding remarks by Mr. Kothari
Since we are already at the end, please do incorporate as many issues as possible without causing any great time delays.

Vote of Thanks by Ms. Salome Yesudas