|A Degree of Concern|
During the last decade, there has been much talk of two phenomena that threaten the future of the earth and of mankind: global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer. One of the crucial aspects of the global warming theory is that as world temperatures go up the glaciers will melt.
The Himalayas are already beginning to feel the effect. But with every crisis, there are people who come forth with innovative solutions. Chhewang Norphel, a retired civil engineer by profession, pioneered the creation of artificial glaciers as vast frozen water storage tanks that are created in the winter and melt in the spring to supply the water to the villagers of Ladakh. The project has met with great success, and has been replicated by about a dozen of other villages. Even the Aga Khan Development Network on the Pakistani side of the border is using the same technique to meet the growing demand of water for agriculture.
Innovation and ingenuity could come into play amidst the toughest battle. The creation of artificial glaciers shows that human mind could explore unique solution when pushed to the wall — a solution which is also environment friendly. It demonstrates that the alarming effects of climatic change motivated an individual to find a solution taking a leaf not from technology, but from the benign nature and serving the needs of a large community.
011 – 26101307
|SAHYADRI: Western Ghats Biodiversity|
In an effort to make all the citizens environmentally literate, TV Ramachandran has developed an environment information system on the Internet. The salient features of Sahyadri-Western Ghats Biodiversity Information System are-it is the first ENVIS centre in India among 85 centres under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India to launch e-version in 1984 and sustain the same with updation everyday. The system has fully automated features and is first to provide flora and fauna database (open access) pertaining to Wetern Ghats including comprehensive information about ecology and biodiversity. It is also the first to introduce concept of environment education at all levels and launch internet based courses for working professionals at IISC.
Over the past five decades in India, the cognitive and cultural separation of ecology and environment from the human enterprise has resulted in large scale degradation and depletion of natural resources. There is an urgent need for a guiding ideology to learn and teach sustainability is an ideological orientation that emphasizes conserving cultural values, beliefs, and practices, which supplement sustainable relationship with the environment.
|<< The system has fully automated features and is first to provide flora and fauna database (open access) pertaining to Wetern Ghats including comprehensive information about ecology and biodiversity. >>|
Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Environmental Information System, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science
080 – 22933099