IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 12 Issue IX

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 12 Issue IX

ISSN 2394 – 6946

Download the full Newsletter PDF by clicking the below button –
IndiaWilds Newsletter-September-2020 (8.1 MB, 110 downloads)

Technology per se will not save us from Climate Change:

IndiaWilds Newsletter PDF-September-2020

IndiaWilds Newsletter PDF-September-2020

Climate change is on us. The manner in which extreme weather events are increasing in intensity and in frequency is scary. Human beings are not designed to sustain record high temperatures. The sudden cyclones and storm water surge is exposing the inefficient city drainage and building designs. So every year you hear alarm bells ringing about Mumbai, Chennai and other such cities drowning during the rains.

Scientists of National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) recently made an alarming announcement that Artic Sea ice has contracted to 3.74 million square kilometers on September 15, 2020. This is the lowest area covered by Artic Sea ice in the last 42 years. In the last four decades, two thirds of artic sea ice volume has already been lost. Due to this unprecedented loss of sea ice, we will see ships easily navigate in that route. Arctic sea ice used to reflect the heat and now due to melting more heat will be absorbed and the global warming will be accelerated.

Scientists have predicted that the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic should not be seen as a one off event. Deadly viruses lying hidden under the permafrost will get exposed due to higher temperatures and cause massive pandemics.

Unfortunately, the various Governments who are supposed to take hard decisions are still not interested. And the industrialists are pursuing their agenda of making money from Climate Change. Hence the focus on attacking Climate Change is misdirected.

Recently Bill Gates wrote that “The pandemic has also reminded us how much innovation is needed to prevent a climate disaster. The best numbers I have seen estimate that the economic slowdown due to COVID-19 reduced global emissions by around 8 percent. That’s not nothing, but the austerity that got us there obviously isn’t sustainable. If we’re going to address climate change, we need to find new ways to do things that don’t release greenhouse gases, including how we move around.” (How will we move around in a clean, green future, Bill Gates, 27 August 2020; )

One can clearly see that the focus of USA and other developed countries is to create technological solutions which will help them become richer. The carbon footprint of travel industry is a lot and hence needs to be reduced. One of the major problems people face while commuting to work or traveling is the clogged roads. The reason for the traffic jams is because there are simply too many people on the roads, or rather too many vehicles on the road. When every person drives one car the city roads quickly fill up. Some companies tried staggering their shift timings to beat the traffic. However, everybody started shifting their work times and the traffic jams in the roads remained.

Traffic causes sound pollution in cities

Traffic causes pollution in cities

If people take public transport instead of driving their own vehicles then immediately the pressure on the roads becomes less. With less vehicles on the road, there is less traffic jams, less idling of vehicles on the traffic signals and less crawling of vehicles at slow pace. So less emission of noxious gases from automobile exhausts. The reason why this doesn’t happen is primarily because our public transport is not designed to suit our needs as well as comforts. The buses are always overloaded. The metros are filled to capacity in most of the times. It is important to have different category of buses for people needing different comfort levels. People don’t like having their suit and dress creased in the overcrowded buses while traveling for work.

Another challenge of metro trains is that, people stay at a distance from the metro stations and their offices are also again at a distance from the nearest metro station. So they need to drive down to the metro station and park their vehicle and again walk or take a auto rickshaw to their office. That induces great cost. Parking vehicles for the entire day is a costly affair in the metro cities. So public transportation like Metro rail and busses can’t simply remain restricted to major routes. A feeder transport connecting these major metros or bus routes have to be efficient for people. Till this date this pain point has not been rectified. World’s biggest billionaires like Bill Gates and other such people who can influence Governments can always help in designing city transport solutions.

For a city like Delhi, the feeder transport solutions like autorickshaw are very costly for people. The people who buy these or the electric rickshaws lack the funds and hence are forced to go to agents who exploit them. The licensing authorities are hand in glove with these agents. So the overall cost of owning an autorickshaw or electric rickshaw is high. Obviously they will be forced to charge high. So people prefer to have their own personal vehicles. It would be pertinent to mention that after the advent of app based cabs like Uber and Ola, many people started taking cabs. People who felt traveling in an autorickshaw is beneath their dignity were ok traveling in cabs. So if comfortable, spacious and timely public transport solutions are available then people would prefer to use those.

With the moribund state of the public transport system, the air pollution in India is high. 15 Indian cities are among the top 20 worst polluted states in the world. The massive air pollution is leading to deaths due to asthma, bronchitis and other such respiratory related diseases which are caused by exposure to toxic air. The State of Global Air 2019 (  published by Health Effects Institute found air pollution caused 1.2 million deaths in India in 2017. In India air pollution is the third most important reason for deaths. Worldwide deaths due to air pollution is higher than that from road accidents. Air pollution also causes life expectancy to be reduced on an average of 20 months.

Instead of taking steps to reduce this, suddenly we find in India there have been efforts to reduce or make the reporting opaque so that the actual pollution information doesn’t become a talking point in the media.

Certain corporates have moved in to sell indoor air purifiers and profit from the air pollution problem. The unprecedented Covid-19 lockdown suddenly resulted in clear skies and views of distant mountains became possible. People realized the problem that a major portion of air pollution is from automobile exhausts and industries are to be blamed too. However, the Government has neither the will nor the ability to design an efficient urban transport solution. So it would be very helpful if Bill Gates and other such people who also have foundations with supposedly altruistic motives should step forward and work with various city and state Governments worldwide. This will immediately result in less pollution from automobile exhausts and hence more clear skies. And most importantly it will also result in less deaths. However, Billionaires will remain focused on enhancing their wealth, so a major cause of automobile exhausts and overall carbon footprint of transportation sector will continue to enhance climate change.

Journey to Neelakurinji Land

By Mrs. Shakti Bishnoi & Mr. AS Bisnoi 

Journey to Neelakurinji Land


Conservation News:

UNCCD and the Center for Environment Education of India launch a partnership to innovate nature education

Bonn (Germany)/Ahmedabad and New Delhi (India) – On 24 September 2020, the UNCCD secretariat and the Indian Center for Environment Education (CEE) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to advance innovation in the field of environmental education with focus on desertification, land degradation and drought.

Following UNCCD COP14 hosted by India in September 2019 in New Delhi, the UNCCD secretariat has been working toward implementation of the decisions taken by the Parties on scaling up sustainable land management practices and increasing the role of women and youth in achieving environmental and sustainability goals. In the words of UNCCD Deputy Secretary Dr. Pradeep Monga, who co-signed the MoU on behalf of the secretariat, now is an opportune time to reemphasize the role of education as a key driver to reduce land degradation, revitalize degraded lands and enhance drought resilience. Key partners such as CEE play an important part in implementing local initiatives, contributing to national and international dialogues and sharing best practices.

Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Founder and Director of CEE, who co-signed the MoU, confirmed that through innovative educational strategies, capacity building programmes and research, the new partnership has the potential to increase public awareness, education and participation of youth and communities in positive action toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The MOU signing took place during an online ceremony with the participation of Dr. Ashok Khosla, Head of Development Alternatives and Chairman of CEE, and Mr. Jigmet Takpa, UNCCD focal point at the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) of India.

The CEE was established in 1984 as a MOEFCC Centre of Excellence to promote environmental awareness nationwide. The center develops innovative programmes and educational materials to build capacity in the field of education for sustainable development. Committed to ensuring that environmental education leads to action for sustainable development, the center undertakes field projects that demonstrate the role that education can play in achieving SDGs.


India urges Nations to put Nature at the heart of recovery plan post COVID19

India urges Nations to put Nature at the heart of recovery plan post COVID19

Equipment Discussions:

Canon launches EOS C70 4K Cinema camera in RF Mount

Canon launches EOS C70 4K RF Mount Cinema camera


Canon launches CJ20ex5B 4K UHD portable broadcast lens

Canon launches CJ20ex5B 4K UHD portable broadcast lens


GoPro Hero 9 Black shoots 5K video

GoPro Hero 9 Black shoots 5K video


Natural History

COUNTRY NOTEBOOK: M. Krishnan: ‘HOOPOE‘ shared By Saktipada Panigrahi


Photography Tips – Learning Exposure

To make photography learning easier, we are creating a photography tutorial video series. The first part of photography tips is on learning exposure. Check it out in this link:


Wildlife Photography

Tiger about to start stalking by Sabyasachi Patra

Grizzled Giant Squirrel by Shyamala Kumar

Lion-tailed Macaque by Mrudul Godbole

Pied Kingfisher by Sabyasachi Patra

Cormorant by Mrudul Godbole

Streak throated woodpecker female by Shyamala Kumar

Green beeeater on a dead tree by Sabyasachi Patra

The curled tongued beauty by Prajwal Ullal


This is the 141st issue of IndiaWilds. The image of a wild tigress and her cub adorns the cover page of this issue. The wild tigress is suddenly alert and getting out of the water. As a mother it has to protect its cubs from any emerging danger. The tigress will face larger tigers and risk death to save its cubs. However, a greater danger is steadily increasing in intensity for which tigers don’t have any defence.

Climate Change is relentless and is resulting in extreme heat waves. The average global ambient temperatures have been steadily increasing. Tigers need to cool off in water as they lack sweat glands in the body. With forests gradually being hived off for industrial projects, and lot of anthropogenic pressures like wood cutting, grazing of cattle etc tigers are finding it tough to have inviolate forests. Perennial streams are drying. Prey base is thinning. And to top it all, tigers are being hunted by poachers for their skin, nails and other body parts for Chinese traditional medicine. Today the tiger is facing its worst battle for survival.

I look forward to your inputs and support in preserving the last tracts of wilderness and wildlife left in our beautiful country and raising awareness about it. For other interesting articles and images check –

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Sabyasachi Patra

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IndiaWilds Newsletter-September-2020 (8.1 MB, 110 downloads)
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