Your Environment This Week: Five years of Mongabay-India, studying microorganisms, cracks widen in Joshimath

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

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[Editorial] Five years of Mongabay-India

Mongabay-India completes five years in bringing you stories and inspiration from nature’s frontlines in India.

In the past five years, we traversed all landscapes of India, wrote about the country’s rich biodiversity, tracked the impacts of climate change and followed India’s transition to renewable energy.

A fisherwoman pulling up her Chinese net using the traditional Khu-il Chingba method in front of a homestay. Photo by Victor Ningthoujam.

As cracks widen in Joshimath, reasons lay hidden underground

As cracks widen in Joshimath’s houses and residents get displaced, protests against hydropower projects are emerging. Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand’s neighbour state, also faces the risk of land subsidence.

46 years on, there is mountain of studies but Joshimath is still sinking

Since 1976, there have been many studies on Joshimath and its surrounding areas. However, experts and activists say that the recommendations made by these studies were ignored and as a result Joshimath is standing on the verge of this crisis. 

Cracks have been appearing in houses in Joshimath for the last 14 months. The situation aggravated with rapid land subsidence in early January. Photo by Manish Kumar/Mongabay

Climate change vulnerabilities pushing landless farmers to the brink

Unseasonal or high intensity rainfall is regularly damaging crops across India over the past few years.

Usually, farmers get some compensation for the damage. But these primarily land-holding farmers and ignore the huge chunk of landless farmers and tenant farmers working on leased land.

Channu Lal Rajput of Thekua village in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh had taken 2.5 acres of land on contract but the crop suffered heavy damage due to heavy rain. Like, many other tenant farmers Rajput will not get any compensation for his loss.


[Podcast] Imprints: Sifting through microfossils with Rajani Panchang

Rajani Panchang, an oceanographer and micropaleontologist studies microfossils from oceans to interpret how the environment may have been when the microorganisms were alive. In the new episode of ‘Imprints’, Panchang explains how paleoclimate research can develop our understanding of climate change.

Biodiversity, human rights safeguards are crucial to nature-based solutions, say critics

Experts emphasise that there can be no successful nature-based solutions without the preservation of biodiversity and human rights.

Mangrove restoration

Challenges abound to conserve the popular hilsa fish

Experts say that India, Bangladesh & Myanmar will have to work together to conserve the migrating fish, known for its health benefits. 

A big hilsa, weighing 1 kg is sold for Rs. 2,700 - 2,800. A smaller one, weighing 400-500 grams, fetches Rs. 700-800. Photo by Rahul Singh.


Delhi proposes “community solar rooftops” to encourage renewable growth

The concept of community solar rooftops may benefit individual consumers who do not have the option or space to setup solar panels. 

Lack of market support for bio-manures among others hindering the growth of Indian CBG plants

Compressed biogas plants produce bio-manure as a by-product, a rich source of organic fertilizer. India is keen on 5,000 CBG plants by 2023-24, but till now, only 40 such plants are operational on the ground.

Asia's largest Compressed Biogas (CBG) plant. The Plant with a total capacity of 33.23 ton CBG per day has been operationalized at village Bhuttal Kalan (Sangrur) in April, 2022. Photo by Invest Punjab/Government of Punjab

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