In Short

On biosafety bandwagon: Paying heed to the growing concern about the efficacy of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), India has finally ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The treaty is the first international regulatory framework which seeks to make the transfer, handling and use of GMOs safe. It will help minimise the risks to environment and health when dealing with GMOs.

communities count: Community support can save Indian wetlands from extinction, opine experts. A one-of-its-kind study conducted by the Coimbatore-based Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History reveals that wetlands are fast disappearing. Among the reasons listed for this trend are land use, agricultural practices, irrigation, clay gathering, fishing and sewage disposal.

weak link: The Union government's recent plan to link rivers has met with strong opposition from several quarters. The latest critic of the programme is World Wide Fund for Nature's International director general Claude Martin. He says that a river is an ecological system and linking it like ordinary pipelines would dry the rivers or fill them with sand and destroy the species living in them.

environment short-changed: Massive deforestation, timber smuggling and poaching have taken their toll on Nepal's environment. But the cash-strapped Nepalese government has overlooked all these alarming signs and reduced the budgetary allocation for the environment by over 14 per cent