Lessons to learn from Namibia
The elephant has just been declared a national heritage, but the protected areas in India continue to be violated. Often, the issue of local populations is cited as a reason for a decline in wildlife.delhi Updated: Oct 25, 2010 00:12 IST
The elephant has just been declared a national heritage, but the protected areas in India continue to be violated. Often, the issue of local populations is cited as a reason for a decline in wildlife. Many environmentalists don’t agree, because they believe people are part of the solution.
Namibia has something to show for this debate. By involving locals in conserving its dwindling wildlife, Namibia has been able to ensure a comeback for many species and is even relocating animals like Black Rhino into these lands. It’s main tool was through conservancies, or lands where over 10% of the population, have taken up the responsibility of looking after the wildlife on common lands, plus being able to earn from setting up tourism-based businesses.
Across the country, you can see signs of this — a crocodile ranch or a gaming farm, for example. Namibia has fewer people and this makes it easier to implement such plans. India should also create models where wildlife conservation can turn into a lucrative opportunity.
All of us want to protect our children from harm. But do you know if you are able to? In the US, or rather, in Georgia and Washington, a study has delivered a frightening judgment to the parents of 46 children.
A study of the food they ate over 3 days showed that 20% of it was contaminated by one or more pesticides. What made the study even more worrisome was that when fruits and vegetables were tested for pesticides, over 25% were contaminated. I was left wondering about the fruit invading our markets and thelas — apples from Washington (also tested in this study). We need better control over what we import.