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  • Visit of His Excellency Shri V.P. Singh Badnore, Hon’ble Governor of Punjab and Administrator, Union Territory of Chandigarh to Wildlife Institute of India on 27 December, 2017

    The Governor of Punjab & Administrator, Union Territory of Chandigarh, His Excellency Shri V.P. Singh Badnore visited the Wildlife Institute of India on 27th December, 2017. The Hon’ble Governor expressed his pleasure to be at the Institute and recalled his long association with the Institute in working towards the goal of wildlife conservation in general and tiger conservation in particular. The programme of his visit included interaction with the faculty and research staff of the Institute. Presentations were made on four topics comprising ‘Tiger Conservation in India: An Update’ delivered by Dr. Kausik Banerjee; ‘Tiger Conservation in Sariska’ by Dr. Parag Nigam; ‘Conservation of the Great Indian Bustard’ by Dr. Sutirtha Dutta; and ‘Management of Keoladeo National Park: A World Heritage Site’ by Dr. K. Sivakumar. The Hon’ble Governor acknowledged the Institute’s scientific inputs in successfully bringing the tiger back in Sariska and Panna Tiger Reserves. He emphasised the need to connect local communities with conservation and stressed the importance of their support for achieving conservation success. He also highlighted the need for responsible tourism and the need for tourism to provide benefits to local communities while ensuring its regulation and commitment to best practices. The Hon’ble Governor also expressed his willingness to promote the conservation of the Great Indian Bustard by lending his support in involving the Indian Army further in the species conservation in large tracts of land where the Army operates and which also provide habitat to the species.

    A souvenir was presented to the Hon’ble Governor by the Director, Dr. V.B. Mathur as a token of gratitude on behalf of the Wildlife Institute of India. Dr. Mathur recalled the dynamic leadership provided by the Hon’ble Governor as Chairman of the Rajasthan State Empowered Committee set up to deal with tiger conservation and wildlife management issues post Sariska debacle.

       
  • Himalayan Heritage: Community-led Economic Regeneration

    Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) - Intangible Cultural Heritage Division 
    in collaboration with INTACH Uttarakhand Chapter and UNESCO Category 2 Centre on World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia and the Pacific Region, Wildlife Institute of India (29th - 30th November, 2017)

    The Himalayan region in India, broadly comprising of the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, the hill region of West Bengal, and Arunachal Pradesh, is a unique landscape dotted with communities possessing a wealth of intangible heritage. This is reflected in numerous languages, indigenous knowledge systems including medicinal knowledge, food ways, arts, crafts and performative traditions. Several major religions and sacred shrines have influenced the movements of populations and impacted cultural flows in the area. For hundreds of years, the beliefs and practices of ethnographically complex groups have informed the region’s way of life, and contributed to the evolution of distinct cultural identities. The region is also high in biodiversity and has a very rich natural heritage which is inseparably entwined with local cultures.

    Due to the mainly agrarian nature of this region, its climatic conditions and tough topography, and lack of income opportunities locally, migration is on the rise, putting at risk many old traditions. Under gravest threat are the oral traditions of several communities, which incorporate invaluable local knowledge and creative output. This loss is also underpinned by the loss of languages, thus impacting the composite culture of this region.           

    The Intangible Cultural Heritage Division, INTACH in collaboration with the INTACH Uttarakhand Chapter and the UNESCO Category 2 Centre on World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia and the Pacific Region at Wildlife Institute of India is organising a National Conference on the intangible culture of the Himalayan region, with an aim to deliberate with community members, professionals, scholars, researchers and other cultural and natural heritage specialists on the idea of social and cultural identity, related oral traditions and to explore how this meets the challenge of an ever changing contextual environment. 

  • WII-POWERGRID MOU for Avifaunal conservation under Corporate Social Responsibility

    jpgThe Govt. of India has enacted Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Act in 2013 with the objective of engaging the companies in managing their business to produce an overall positive effect on society and environment. CSR is governed by clause 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 that encourages companies to spend at least 2% of their average net profit from the previous three years on CSR activities.

    In order to meet the growing requirements of the power sector, the country is seeing a surge in the expansion of power transmission line network across the country, many of which are being aligned through areas harbouring avifaunal populations and growing network is becoming a threat to the survival of a range of rare and endangered birds. In order to mitigate this situation, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Powergrid Corporation India Pvt. Ltd (PGCIL) have signed an MOU on 31st October, 2017 for initiating a project on “Assessing the Impacts of Power-Lines on Avian Species in the Arid Plains of Western Gujarat” under the CSR initiative of PGCIL. This is the first ever project taken up by WII seeking partnership with corporate sector under the CSR umbrella. The project will be completed in two years with a financial assistance of with corporate sector under the CSR umbrella. The project will be completed in two years with a financial assistance of Rs.90,00,000/- from PGCIL. The key objectives of the project are:

    1.  To assess the electrocution and collision risk to birds due to existing power-lines and wind farms, identify problematic configurations and generate comprehensive data on mortality of avifauna  

    2. To identify sensitive bird habitats along existing and proposed power-line and wind farm corridors in Western Gujarat.

    Dr. R Suresh Kumar and Dr. Anju Baroth would coordinate this project.

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  • Hands-on Training towards marine biodiversity monitoring with scuba diving for the frontline staff of Tamil Nadu Forest Department by CAMPA-Dugong Recovery Programme

    Wildlife Institute of India in collaboration with Tamil Nadu Forest Department and SDMRI has organized One-Week Special Course in ‘Hands-on Training towards marine biodiversity monitoring with scuba diving for the frontline staff of Tamil Nadu Forest Department’ as part of CAMPA-Dugong Recovery Programme, on 8th – 15th October, 2017 at Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, Tamil Nadu. A total of 10 Range Forest Officers and four Researchers have participated in the training. The Chief Wildlife Warden, Government of Tamil Nadu, Director, Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, Wildlife Warden, Gulf of Mannar National Park, Director, SDMRI have provided inputs in the course along with WII Team lead by Dr JA Johnson. The main objectives of this training are to provide a) basic knowledge of marine biodiversity of Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay and their conservation b) knowledge on dugongs and their conservation c) SCUBA diving in open water d) hands-on training of under water marine biodiversity monitoring using, quadrats, LIT and PIT methods. In future, similar trainings are planned for frontline staff of Gujarat and Andaman and Nicobar islands and also for the Managers of Marine Protected Areas of these three states.

    Sea Cow Dugong dugon, is occur in Andaman and Nicobar islands, Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay, and Gulf of Kutch in India.  Several reasons have been attributed to their population decline, some of which include sea grass habitat loss and degradation, boat traffic, gill netting, disease, chemical pollutants, consumptive use, and poaching. Therefore, recovering dugongs entails targeted, multidisciplinary research that flows into management actions and advocacy for policy changes. Therefore, dugong recovery program aims at: (a) assessing and monitoring Dugong population and habitat status; (b) implementing site specific management actions to recover populations and restore critical habitats; (c) incentivizing participatory conservation efforts involving local stakeholders; and (d) improving the capacity of enforcement and management agencies to promote integrated protection and management of Dugong and associated species. For further details: ksivakumar [at] wii [dot] gov [dot] in

       
  • India has launched its 3rd National Wildlife Action Plan 2017-2031 – A road map for wildlife conservation

     

    The Hon’ble Minister, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr Harsh Vardhan has unveiled the India’s third National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031 on the inaugural day of the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference on 2nd October, 2017. The Plan is the future road map for wildlife conservation in India.  The third National Wildlife Action Plan is unique as this is the first time India has recognised the concerns relating to climate change impact on wildlife and stressed on integrating actions that need to be taken for its mitigation and adaptation into wildlife management planning processes.  Further, the Plan adopts a "landscape approach" in conservation of all wildlife that have an ecological value to the ecosystem and to mankind irrespective of where they occur. The Plan also gives special emphasis to recovery of threatened species and aquatic ecosystems. Further, the Action Plan emphasise the importance of integrated management of coastal and marine ecosystems in India. Under five themes, there are 103 conservation actions and 250 projects in the Action Plan.  

     

      

  • Presentation on Work Environment for the Women Employees: Statutory and Organizational Aspects, 25th September, 2017

    jpgDr. Arvind Kumar Jha, Former PCCF & DG (Social Forestry), Maharashtra State and Managing Trustee of Global Enviro-legal Services Foundation (GELSEF) delivered a Guest Lecture on "Work environment for the women employees: Statutory and Organizational aspects" on 25th  September, 2017. In his talk Dr. Jha discussed the provision of appropriate environment to the women staff in view of the fact that the Act and Rules related to sexual harassment at workplaces cast a special responsibility on the employer. Further, creation of an organizational climate that promotes efficiency of one and all is extremely important for improving the overall effectiveness and quality of outputs of any organization. This sensitization programme was designed  taking the above points in view and also duly considering the fact that the Section 19(c) of The Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 and its Rules 2013 makes it mandatory for the employer to take steps for creating adequate awareness in this regard amongst the employees. The talk was attended by faculty, researchers and students of the Institute. Dr. Jha made three presentations viz a) The Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act,2013 b) Sexual Harassment of Women(PPR) Rules 2013  and c) Roles and Responsibilities- Women’s  Safety at Workplace. These presentations helped in understanding the provisions of various statutory aspects as well as their nuances both for the employer and employees. The talk was followed by a Q & A session in which participants sought clarifications regarding various statutory and organizational aspects of provisions available to women employees.

  • Special Course in ‘Wildlife Protection, Law and Forensic Science’ for the 68th Batch Officer Trainees of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)

    Wildlife Institute of India is organizing One-Week Special Course in ‘Wildlife Protection, Law and Forensic Science’ for the 68th Batch Officer Trainees of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) on 18-23 September, 2017. The course was formally inaugurated by Dr. V. B. Mathur, Director WII in presence of Dr. G. S. Rawat, Dean FWS,  Dr. K. Sivakumar, Course Director and Dr. J.A. Johnson, Associate Course Director,  on 18 September, 2017 at WII Auditorium. A total of 75 Officers Trainees from the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, Faridabad participating in this course. The main objectives of this attachment training are to provide a) basic knowledge of wildlife and their conservation perspectives in India to Officer Trainees, b) knowledge on relevant laws and polices to protect wildlife and prevent its illegal trade at National as well as International levels, c) Introduction to Wildlife Forensics, d) hands-on training of identification of certain wildlife products and parts that are in illegal trade and e) a field tour the Corbett Tiger Reserve. Eminent experts from WII, Uttrakhand State Forest Deparment, NBA, MoEFCC, and BNHS would be providing inputs in this course. 

  • First Meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the WII-NMCG Project (Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation)

    The first meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the WII-NMCG Project was held at Wildlife Institute of India on 7th September 2017. The meeting was chaired by Shri U.P. Singh, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) & Chairperson, Monitoring Committee. The committee members included Dr. V.B. Mathur, Director, Wildlife Institute of India, Dr. Savita, Director, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, Dr. Arun Kumar, Director, Dolphin Institute of Biomedical & Natural Sciences, Dehradun, Dr. Raghav Langer, Director, State Program Management Group Uttarakhand, Dr. Sandeep Behera, Biodiversity Consultant, NMCG.

    The entire WII-NMCG project team comprising of the faculty and the project personnel participated in the meeting. 

    The meeting started with the welcome of the monitoring committee members. Shri U.P. Singh, Director General, NMCG released the six brochures published under the “Vibrant Ganga Series”, on the aquatic fauna of Ganga River. After a round of introductions, the committee members were given a brief on the project. Shri U.P. Singh, in his opening remarks stated that although Wildlife Institute of India’s biodiversity project is small in financial terms, it is a very important component of the NMCG and Namami Gange programme. 

    Presentations on the objectives, approaches and progress under the six components were given by the component coordinators. In addition to the presentations on the approach and work done on three specialized aspects of the project viz: Ecotoxicology, Genetics and Remote Sensing & GIS were also made. 

    The committee members were appreciative about the project approach and the progress achieved so far. Shri U.P. Singh concluded that project has initiated well, however, it is a very challenging task and we need to keep up the momentum. He suggested that other organizations and wings of NMCG, such as SPMGs, Ganga Vichar Munch and their activities should also be linked with the biodiversity conservation.

  • XVI M.Sc Course Inaugurated

    The XVI batch of the 2 year M.Sc in Wildlife Sciences (2017-19) began on the 26 June 2017 at WII. A total of 20 students have joined the course after a rigorous selection process including a National Eligibility Test (NET) examination followed by Personality and Aptitude Test (PAT). A total of 474 candidates appeared for the online NET on 07 May 2017 at 10 examination centres across the country (Bengaluru, Bhopal, Delhi, Dehra Dun, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jammu, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai). Out of the 474 candidates, 94 candidates were shortlisted for the PAT that was held on 29-30 May, 2017. Subsequently, the final results were declared on 31 May 2017 and 20 candidates were selected.  8 candidates have been awarded WII fellowship and 12 candidates have joined under self sponsored category. The batch includes10 General, 5 OBC, 3 SC and 2 ST candidates. The course was formally inaugurated by Dr. V. B. Mathur, Director WII and Dr. G. S. Rawat, Dean FWS on 30 June 2017 in presence of the faculty members. The course is at present being offered in collaboration with the Saurashtra University, Rajkot (Gujarat), which awards the degree while all teaching is done at WII at Dehradun and at various field sites around the country.

    List of Students who have joined the XVI M.Sc Course (2017-19):

    S.No

    Name of the students

    State

    1.

    Ms. Aaranya  Gayathri

    Tamil Nadu

    2. 

    Mr. Abhishek B

    Karnataka

    3. 

    Mr. Abir Jain

    Madhya Pradesh

    4. 

    Ms. Bhavya Iyer

    Haryana

    5.

    Mr. Brihadeesh S

    Andhra Pradesh

    6.

    Ms. Doli Borah

    Assam

    7.

    Ms. Indira S

    Tamil Nadu

    8.

    Mr. Himanshu Chandrakant Lad

    Maharashtra

    9.

    Mr. Kushagra Meshram

    Chhatishgarh

    10.

    Ms. Laxmi Langlang

    Arunachal Pradesh

    11.

    Mr. Mohit Mudliar

    Chhatishgarh

    12.

    Ms. Nisam Mang Luxom

    West Bengal

    13.

    Mr. Pratik Das

    Assam

    14. 

    Ms. Sakshi Nulkar

    Maharashtra

    15.

    Ms. Sayanti Basak

    Assam

    16.

    Mr. Siva R

    Tamil Nadu

    17.

    Ms. Subhashini K

    Tamil Nadu

    18.

    Ms. Sumashini PS

    Karnataka

    19.

    Mr. Sutirtha Lahiri

    Assam

    20.

    Mr. Varun Kher

    Maharashtra

     

  • Braille Version of the SECAS Booklet Released, New Delhi, 23 May, 2017

    The Braille versions (English and Hindi) of Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS) booklet on ‘Climate Action: We Must Not Delay’ were released by Shri N.S. Kang, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India in a function held at Pandit Deen Dayal Antodaya Bhawan in CGO Complex at New Delhi. The Braille versions of the booklet have been brought out to make the educational experience about biodiversity conservation and climate change of the visually challenged persons more inclusive.

    Shri Siddhanta Das, Director General of Forests & Special Secretary to Government of India, MoEFCC was the Guest of Honour on this occasion.

    Speaking on the occasion, Dr. V.B. Mathur, Director, Wildlife Institute of India gave the background of SECAS and said that a range of educational material in the form of booklets, posters, stickers etc. have been prepared by the Institute to raise awareness about biodiversity conservation and climate actions. He further said that the idea of making a Braille version of this booklet was suggested by Sh. A. N. Jha, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India during the flag off event of the train. He added that these Braille booklets will be sent to over 150 institutions/ NGOs dealing with visually challenged persons to enrich their educational experience about biodiversity and climate change. The Braille versions have been printed at the Central Braille Press, National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities (NIVEPD), Dehradun. The representatives of NIVEPD, Dehradun also participated in the event and read the extracts from the Braille Booklets.

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