Your Environment This Week: Medicinal plants that heal, saving sparrows and Karnataka’s barefoot ecologist

This week’s environment and conservation news stories rolled into one.

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The evolving story of India’s forests

From covering 19.49% of India’s land area in 1987 to 21.6% in 2019, India’s forest sector has had a roller coaster journey. We examine this via the lens of India’s State of Forest Reports.

Conservation is serious business at this private nature reserve in Uttarakhand

A businessman and a conservationist have developed a 100-acre forest area in Mussoorie as a private nature reserve: a company called Jabarkhet Nature Reserve.

[Video] The barefoot ecologist who brought forests to life

Eighty three-year-old Halakki tribal woman Tulasi Gowda has been awarded Padma Shri for her outstanding contribution to conservation.

Bird festival puts spotlight on the biodiversity of Gujarat’s Dang forests

If you think of Gujarat, the Gir forest or Kutch come to mind. But a biodiversity hotspot lies in south Gujarat close to the Maharashtra border. Dang forest forms the northern end of the Western Ghats and is home to over a hundred species of birds and medicinal plants.

Saving sparrows in cities, one nest at a time

Rakesh Khatri’s Eco-Roots Foundation has created about 1,00,000 handmade nests and wooden birdhouses for sparrows, from 100% recyclable material.

[Explainer] What is a forest?

We break down the definition of forests, or rather the lack of it; and go back into the history of forests in India, forest policy and more in this explainer.

Forests that heal: Medicinal plants as an ecosystem service

Medicinal plants play a crucial role in drug discovery, with at least 25 percent of modern medicine being derived either directly or indirectly from them.

Climate change, land-use change may enhance plant species loss in the Eastern Ghats

Researchers have demanded more conservation attention on the Eastern Ghats to counter the loss of biodiversity.

All forest fires may not be bad fires

Research proves surface fires provide essential ecosystem services and need to be brought back into forest management practices.

Urbanisation and climate change sting bees. What can cities do for them?

Companies such as Bee Basket are promoting ways for urban areas to become bee-friendly through sustainable honey harvesting practices and honeycomb rehabilitation initiatives.


Banner image: Artificial water holes at the private reserve are hand-filled regularly for wild animals. Photo courtesy Jabarkhet Private Reserve.

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