Scientists Work On Breeds That Can Resist Climate Change

Researchers based at the Rice Research Station at Mankombu here are working on new hybrid derivatives of rice seeds, which could withstand the vagaries of climate change, salinity and waterlogging in eco-fragile regions like Kuttanad. A recent World Bank commissioned report had warned that the world was moving to a one degree celsius increase in mean temperature, and this would create extreme heatwaves and life-threatening rise in sea levels. The study also pointed out that coastal and wetland areas near the sea would be the most affected, creating havoc in the prevalent eco-system.

Thiruvananthapuram: The report released by the expert committee, constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to formulate parameters for inviolate areas around forests, wetlands, catchment areas and perennial rivers, overlooks areas that may have lesser bio-diversity but still possess large ecological significance.

Apart from obvious damaging consequences for already fragile environments, this lacuna could become a loophole to sanction mining and other commercial activities around these areas. Incidentally, the expert committee was constituted in September 2011 to identify areas where mining and other commercial activities would be completely banned.

35 Dams Constructed Provide Perennial Waterholes For Wild Animals

Thiruvananthapuram: An eco-friendly initiative by the forest department deep inside the forest areas of the state is slowly turning into a perennial waterhole for hundreds of wild animals, this summer. The state forest department, to counter the drought inside the forests, has constructed around 35 check dams across many rivers which originate from the Western Ghats, blocking the flow of the water before letting it flow down into the villages bordering the buffer zones of the Ghats.

As summer sets in the next few weeks and many districts are staring at a severe drought, the slogan for World Wetlands Day this year -- Wetlands take care of water -- is a portent for the future.

Thiruvananthapuram: The principal bench of the National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to place the report of Kasturirangan committee, which is reviewing the Western Ghats Expert Ecology Panel (WGEEP) report, by March 1.

The green tribunal has also directed the chief secretaries of all states to cooperate with the Kastrurirangan expert committee. The order came on apublic interest litigation filed by Goa Foundation with regard to the conservation of Western Ghats and implementation of the WGEEP report.

Hotels And Resorts Can Build Only Up To 3 Floors In These Areas

Thiruvananthapuram: An expert committee appointed by the state government to demarcate the eco sensitive zones (ESZ) around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries has recommended stringent regulations for construction of buildings in these zones. It has suggested capping the height for hotels and resorts in the ESZ area to three floors besides limiting the construction area to 7,500 sqft.

WGEEP Had Sought Ban In Eco-Sensitive Zones

Thiruvanathapuram: Green activists in the state have expressed their shock over the government’s response to the recommendations of the Western Ghats Expert Ecology Panel (WGEEP) that seek a ban on mining activities in the ecosensitive zones (ESZ) in Kerala. The government, in its response, said that a complete ban of mining in ESZs would put lakhs of migrant labourers from other states at the receiving end and would create unpredictable and adverse consequences in the industrial, economic, labour and social sectors in the state.

Seeks Dilution Of EIA Norms

Thiruvananthapuram:Efforts are on to undermine Western Ghats Experts Ecology Panel (WGEEP) report suggestions in the state. TOI has learnt that the state government has told the Dr K Kasturirangan review committee that proposed mining regulations in the eco sensitive zones (ESZ) will impact mining activities and there is a need to dilute the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure “in view of the lesser scale and the extent of mining activity” in the state.

State Accepts Majority Proposals, Rejects Those On Building Code, Dams

Thiruvananthapuram: The state government has accepted a majority of recommendations made by the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel.

This was conveyed to Dr K Kasturirangan committee that visited the state last week. The expert review committee is reviewing the Madhav Gadgilchaired WGEEP report after states, including Kerala, raised several objections to it. Kerala has in principle accepted that there would be no development in water bodies, biodiversity rich areas and sacred groves. It would also conserve wetlands in accordance with the Wet Land Conservation Rule 2010 and the Kerala Conservation of Wetland and Paddy Land Conservation Act, 2008.

Thiruvananthapuram: The National Green Tribunal, in a bid to curb excessive honking, has directed the Delhi road transport department to measure decibel levels of pressure horns installed on vehicles while issuing pollution under control (PUC) certificates.

The order was passed by the tribunal while directing the Delhi road transport department and traffic police to check and prohibit the entry of heavy vehicles that have pressure horns. The green order comes following a Public Interest Litigation on noise pollution filed by the Supreme Court Group Housing Society and Indian Foreign Service Group Housing Society in the Delhi high court. The case was later transferred to the National Green Tribunal.