SHILLONG: Meghalaya Government carried out the second round of pre-budget consultations on resource allocations, even as the Chief Minster Mukul Sangma emphasized on the targeted 11 per cent growth

“Food security and environment sustainability are the major challenges faced across the globe and collaborative efforts between countries alone will solve these problems,” says John J. Kennelly, Dean Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta (UA), Canada.

He was speaking to The Hindu after visiting tribal villages in Valappur Panchayat atop Kolli Hills in Namakkal district on Wednesday, where the university and the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, India, is jointly implementing the ‘Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agro Biodiversity Hot Spots.'

Finally it is victory for environmentalists, especially for Dharwad-based NGO Samaja Parivartana Samudaya, which questioned the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education's (ICFRE) suggestion to exploit mining reserves in the Western Ghats.

The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) in its report submitted to the court on February 3 rejected the suggestion by noting that “ICFRE has gone totally out of context and beyond its terms of reference.”

The throb of the Subansiri valley will stop on the day when practically no water will be released by NHPC except in the peak period of the evening, and for all the winter months to come, the river,

Undeterred by the criticism that the Athirappilly hydroelectric project may cause irrevocable environment damage, the Kerala State Electricity Board Undeterred by the criticism that the Athirappilly hydroelectric project may cause irrevocable environment damage, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) continues to bat for it.

The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), appointed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), has recommended that the proposal should not be cleared citing its environmental impacts. The KSEB proposes a project with an installed capacity of 163 MW across the Chalakudy river.

A team of researchers from the University of Calicut has discovered a new species of wild ginger endemic to the Silent Valley National Park on the Western Ghats, one of the biodiversity hotspots in India.

The discovery, reported by M. Sabu, V.P. Thomas, and K.M. Prabhu Kumar of the Department of Botany, has been published in a recent issue of Phytokeys , a journal on biodiversity research. The new species, named Amomum nilgiricum , is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) consisting of 53 genera and over 1,200 species, many of which are widely used as spices, in medical formulations, or simply for decoration.

The total area of 9,400 sq.km. of forest cover in the State needs to be expanded to at least 20,000 sq. km .

The importance of forests has to be acknowledged as these areas are the major repositories of biodiversity. The flora and fauna are valuable for carbon sequestration and oxygen replenishment. Loss of rare, endangered and threatened species is the most important issue of today.

Understanding diversity patterns and the mechanisms underlying those patterns along elevational gradients is critically important for conservation efforts in montane ecosystems, especially those that are biodiversity hotspots. Despite recent advances, consensus on the underlying causes, or even the relative influence of a suite of factors on elevational diversity patterns has remained elusive.

Conservation of biodiversity in managed landscapes is of critical importance due to the rapid degradation and loss of primary habitat in the tropics. Soppinabetta forests are farmer-managed, fragmented evergreen forests of the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India. We hypothesized that these forests have immense importance in conservation of epiphytic orchid flora, although management intensity may differentially affect the diversity. Orchid diversity of
the Soppinabetta forests of two degrees of management (sustained Soppinabetta, N = 11; degraded Soppinabetta,

Conservation assessments are critical to the long-term survival of species, communities, ecosystems, landscapes and vast ecological regions. The Western Ghats is amongst the globally recognized biodiversity hotspots that are in dire need of a regional conservation plan. The ecological region is known for high levels of endemism, especially amongst vertebrate animals. Not less than 35% of the 1,282 species of vertebrates known in the region are endemic.

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