Archive for September 2010

Bhutan Prime Minister Explains Metric of ‘Gross National Happiness’

Sep 29th, 2010 | By




Forget gross national product. The prime minister of Bhutan says a nation should measure itself by its gross national happiness. Jigmi Y. Thinley spoke about his country’s unusual metric to about 450 people in Low Rotunda during Columbia’s World Leaders Forum on Sept. 15. His was the first in the 2010-2011 series of forums and

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International Mountain Conference 2010: Global Change and the World’s Mountains

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




Mountain areas occupy 24% of the Earth’s land surface; they are home to 12% of the global population, and another 14% of the population live in their immediate proximity. Globally, mountain areas are vital sources of water for agricultural, industrial, and domestic use. They include major centres of biodiversity, often coinciding with centres of cultural

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Perth hosts international mountain regions conference

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




Leading scientists from across the globe are meeting in Perth this week to take part in the largest ever conference on mountain regions. Global Change and the World’s Mountains, organised by Perth College UHI’s Centre for Mountain Studies (CMS) and the global Mountain Research Initiative, will see an international band of scientists presenting their research

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Step to get hills’ voice heard at UNFCCC

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




Is the voice of mountains getting lost in climate change discussions? As bigger players hog the limelight, smaller nations with mountainous regions are feeling sidelined. With two months to go for the COP 16 climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, Nepal has launched an initiative to ‘introduce’ the mountain agenda into the UNFCCC negotiation process.

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Load Shedding or Load Sharing?

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




During a trip last week to Nepal to attend a workshop on climate change adaptation strategies across the Himalaya, I experienced darkness within darkness for several hours every night. I am not talking about visiting one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, though poverty and political dysfunction are part of the

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Flood-hit Pakistan seeks priority access to climate change aid

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




As Pakistan struggles to recover from recent devastating floods, it is pushing for recognition in U.N. climate negotiations as one of those nations judged to be most vulnerable to climate change and in need of funding to cope. This summer’s flooding, caused by unprecedented monsoon rainfall, has drawn international attention to the damaging effects of

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Indian satellite to check greenhouse gas, aerosol emissions

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




India will launch a dedicated satellite in 2012 to monitor greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions, Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said here Tuesday. ‘In addition to a dedicated satellite to check greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions, we will have a dedicated forestry satellite in 2013 for real-time monitoring of both deforestation and

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India: Adapting to climate change with Submarine Rice

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




Swarna SUB1 flood-tolerant varieties of rice are deemed as a great example of climate change adaptation by Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute. The institute plans to transfer the gene to rice varieties across Asia to make them more resilient to climate change. ”Submergence-tolerant rice varieties are classic examples of adaptation to climate change,” says Uma

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The Big Debate: on the eve of Cancun, can we cut carbon in time?

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




With no action beyond what we are already taking, the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report by climate scientists on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects the planet will warm by between 1.1C and 6.4C over the next 100 years. That doesn’t sound much, but as well as warmer days and nights, rising sea

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Biodiversity as important to India as climate change: Jairam Ramesh

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




Ramesh has underlined that Convention on Biodiversity was equally important to India as combating climate change, which tends to hog the limelight. “Climate change gets the headline, biodiversity does not get the headlines,” Ramesh told PTI as he left New York this weekend after a week of attending environment related meetings, including those with US

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Climate change: Jairam slams US ‘commitment’

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday made a scathing attack on the United States’ “commitment to climate change”.Speaking to Headlines Today Ramesh said that the US has failed to provide political leadership on climate change. He said the US commitment on the issue was not up to the mark. “The real problem is the

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Step to get hills’ voice heard at UNFCCC

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




Is the voice of mountains getting lost in climate change discussions? As bigger players hog the limelight, smaller nations with mountainous regions are feeling sidelined. With two months to go for the COP 16 climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, Nepal has launched an initiative to ‘introduce’ the mountain agenda into the UNFCCC negotiation process.

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Are human actions making natural disasters more destructive?

Sep 28th, 2010 | By




(CNN) — As Pakistan struggles to recover after one of the worst floods in its history, questions are already being asked about how human decisions may have exacerbated the effects of this natural disaster. “Human activities have made the impacts of disasters more destructive,” Claire Seaward, Oxfam, told CNN. In Pakistan, as in many countries

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Conclave of mountainous countries to be held in March

Sep 27th, 2010 | By




KATHMANDU: After cancelling the Mountain Alliance meeting slated for early October due to its failure to confirm the participation of several ministers from mountainous countries across the world, the government has stepped up efforts to hold the same meeting in March 2011. Towards this end, experts from 16 mountainous countries, at a meeting held in

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Experts call for greater global support for Nepal’s Mountain Initiative

Sep 26th, 2010 | By




The two-day International Expert Consultation Meeting: Mountain Initiative on Climate Change organised by the Government of Nepal Ministry of Environment (MoE) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on 23-24 September 2010 in Kathmandu concluded with a clarion call for greater global support and partnership to protect mountain ecosystems and their services from

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Innovation key in combating climate change, Germany tells General Assembly

Sep 26th, 2010 | By




Germany emphasized innovation in efforts to combat climate change, telling the General Assembly to that it will contribute its technological expertise in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency to help both developed and developing countries build sustainable development. “Anyone who’s serious about combating climate change has to build on innovation, new technologies and

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Foreign Minister Rudd of Australia: Tells UN to up its game

Sep 26th, 2010 | By




Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says the United Nations risks becoming a hollow shell unless it does the job it was set up to do. With an ever-increasing range of global challenges, including terrorism, natural disasters and poverty, Mr Rudd said member states must summon up the political will to invoke real change. In his second

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We can learn from Bhutan, oh, yes!

Sep 26th, 2010 | By




I have just finished a book The Rational Optimist by the international best seller Scott Ridley. He was interviewed briefly by Mark Colvin on Radio “Notional” in May. At the time, it came as a shock to see such optimism about the environment and human progress overcoming problems like climate change being promoted by the

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India’s monsoon is getting more erratic by the year

Sep 26th, 2010 | By




A cloud burst in Leh; then in Uttarakhand; incessant rains in north Pakistan, and drought in the Gangetic plains — the monsoon had always been unpredictable, but never so much! “It is raining where it should not, and not raining where it should,” says a meteorological department scientist at Nagpur, asking not to be named.

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China seeks binding climate treaty late 2011: report

Sep 26th, 2010 | By




China wants the world to seal a binding climate change treaty by late 2011, a Chinese negotiator said in a newspaper on Friday, blaming U.S. politics for impeding talks and making a deal on global warming impossible this year. Li Gao, a senior Chinese negotiator on climate change, said his government would remain unyielding on

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Indo-Pak ‘natural partners’ to combat climate change: Qureshi

Sep 26th, 2010 | By




Noting that the climate change may have contributed to the devastating floods in Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi suggested that India and Pakistan were natural allies in combating the problem plaguing both countries. “If we need to look into climate change, can we do it alone?” Qureshi said, speaking at the Asia Society yesterday

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Indian Environment Minister Confronts Activists over Dams in the Northeast India

Sep 25th, 2010 | By




Recently I had an exciting opportunity to be part of a Consultation on Big River Dams in Northeast India held by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh in Guwahati, Assam. Mr. Ramesh was forced to listen to complaints about dam building in the Northeast of India during a public consultation in Guwahati, Assam. The Northeast is an

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China Wants Legally Binding Climate Agreement by 2011, Economic Times Says

Sep 25th, 2010 | By




China wants a binding global climate-change agreement by late 2011, the China Economic Times reported today, citing Li Gao, a Chinese negotiator. China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, hopes definite measures for the next decade will be implemented after the United Nations conference in South Africa scheduled for the end of next year, Li

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Containing climate change-India

Sep 25th, 2010 | By




Climate change is affecting all of India, but is particularly devastating to millions of vulnerable farmers who struggle year after year to support their families. Climate change scientists have warned that as the world gets warmer, we will experience a stronger hydrological cycle. In layperson’s terms, we will get more intense rain and more intense

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Bangladesh on right track to achieve MDGs, says Danish PM

Sep 25th, 2010 | By




Denmark ‘s Prime Minister (PM) Lars Lokke Rasmussen Thursday said that Bangladesh was on the right track for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) within 2015, the deadline set by the United Nations. The Danish PM made the appreciation during a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the 65th session

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Leonardo DiCaprio to visit India for tiger conservation

Sep 25th, 2010 | By




Leonardo DiCaprio will be visiting India soon to see tigers in the wild and raise global awareness about their dwindling numbers. The Titanic star is the ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and met Minister Jairam Ramesh to discuss potential ways for him to get involved in the cause of the Indian tiger. “He

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The Effect of Clouds on Climate: A Key Mystery for Researchers

Sep 25th, 2010 | By




As climate scientists wrestle with the complexities of how the planet will react to rising greenhouse-gas levels, no variable is more difficult to decipher than the impact of clouds. But thanks to new satellite data and other technologies, clues are emerging that may help solve the puzzle. by michael d. lemonick Back in the 1920’s,

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SAP goes global with upgraded carbon software

Sep 24th, 2010 | By




Carbon Impact On Demand 5.0 promises to extend support to over 50 countries as carbon software market continues to heat up. Business software giant SAP has this week launched an updated version of its Carbon Impact OnDemand software suite designed to make it easier for large multinationals to measure and manage their greenhouse gas emissions.The

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Suzlon crosses 5,000 MW of wind power installations in India

Sep 24th, 2010 | By




Mumbai, Sep 24 (IANS) Suzlon Energy, India’s largest and the world’s third leading wind turbine maker, Friday said it has installed over 5,000 MW of cumulative wind turbines in India, accounting for nearly half of the country’s total wind installations. The cumulative wind generated power has the potential to light up four million homes annually,

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IMD’S Major Project of Modernization on Integrated Forecasting and Communication System Launched

Sep 24th, 2010 | By




Forecasting is very crucial when one come across events like Leh and Uttarakhand. Some of them might be due to global phenomena of climate change, human interventions and others, but understanding this complex phenomena is very crucial for entire world community and more so for India. Inaugurating Integrated Forecasting and Communication System at India Meteorology

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US says binding carbon cuts for India, China

Sep 24th, 2010 | By




NEW YORK: If the international negotiations were to move in the direction of legally binding carbon emission cuts then all major economies, including India and China should be under an obligation to do so, the US said on Wednesday. “If we are in the world of legally binding…where the negotiation on the table is for

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Study: women more likely than men to accept global warming

Sep 24th, 2010 | By




Women tend to believe the scientific consensus on global warming more than men, according to a study by a Michigan State University researcher.The findings, published in the September issue of the journal Population and Environment, challenge common perceptions that men are more scientifically literate, said sociologist Aaron M. McCright. “Men still claim they have a

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The powerful coalition that wants to engineer the world’s climate

Sep 24th, 2010 | By




Businessmen, scientists and right-wing thinktanks are joining forces to promote ‘geo-engineering’ ideas to cool the planet’s climate, writes Clive Hamilton Some people geo-engineering techniques, such as filling the sky with shiny dust to reflect sunlight, could curb such temperature rises without the need to restrict greenhouse gas emissions In August 1883 the painter Edvard Munch

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China’s great green wall grows in climate fight

Sep 24th, 2010 | By




China is speeding ahead with its massive tree-planting project to combat climate change – but questions still remain over the great green wall’s effectiveness. Dubbed “The Great Green Wall,” a human-made ecological barrier designed to stop rapidly encroaching deserts and combat climate change is coming up across China. By 2050, the artificial forest is to

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Solar Mission of Government of India ignores environmental impact

Sep 22nd, 2010 | By




Contrary to popular assumptions that there is ‘zero’ environmental impact of solar energy development in the country, there are serious potential environmental risks associated with National Solar Mission that can not be ignored. India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) is considered to be the most important Mission to reduce GHG emissions phenomenally without compromising

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Clean Stove’ Initiative to Save Lives and Heal Environment

Sep 22nd, 2010 | By




A United Nations-backed intervention involving cook stoves holds the promise of saving lives, uplifting health, improving regional environments, reducing deforestation, empowering local entrepreneurs, speeding development, and helping to stem global climate change. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has joined international efforts to dramatically boost the efficiency of some 3 billion cook stoves across Africa,

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18 Climbers Join Save the Himalayas Rally in New York

Sep 22nd, 2010 | By




Eighteen mountaineers who have summited the highest peak on earth, Mt. Everest, gathered at a rally in front of the United Nations building on Tuesday at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 47th Street, New York, USA while world leaders gathered in the United Nations. The climbers present at the rally were Appa Sherpa (scaled Mt Everest 20

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More water released from Tehri dam, Uttarakhand India

Sep 22nd, 2010 | By




The Ganga today continued to rise above the danger mark, sounding more trouble for the low-lying areas of Uttarakhand and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, and damaging the under-construction Koteshwar dam. With heavy rains pounding Uttarakhand in the past few days, the reservoir level at the Tehri dam has now crossed the danger mark of 831.45 metre,

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Uttarakhand, India: Water level continues to rise in dams-150 deaths

Sep 22nd, 2010 | By




150 people were dead due to the cloudburst, flood, and landslide in Uttarakhand and water level in the Tehri dam continued to raise upto danger level on Sep 21.In a memorandum to PM Manmohan Singh, a BJP party delegation demanded that Uttarakhand should be declared as disaster-struck region and a package of Rs 5,000 crore

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Apple crops suffered in Uttarakhand India, due to flood

Sep 22nd, 2010 | By




The Uttarakhand State Horticulture Department Director B P Nautiyal told “Over 30 per cent of the apple crops have been damaged in the flood and cloudbursts that have brought miseries in Uttarakhand”. The damage to the apple crops has been estimated at between Rs 22-25 crore. Apples are grown in 31,662 hectares areas in the

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More than 3 million affected by Indian floods

Sep 22nd, 2010 | By




More than 3 million people in northern India have been affected by floods that have washed away homes, swept through holy sites and damaged crops as the authorities step up efforts to contain the damage. Heavy monsoon rains have swelled mighty Himalayan rivers, which broke their banks in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and

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Millennium development goals summit: live updates-Guardian UK

Sep 21st, 2010 | By




World leaders begin gathering in New York today for a three-day UN millennium development goals summit to review ambitious anti-poverty targets adopted in 2000. Follow updates throughout the summit Over the next three days, the great and the good will be discussing how far the world has gone in meeting the MDG agreed at a

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Strong laws for safe climate-Bangladesh

Sep 21st, 2010 | By




Two bills were placed in parliament yesterday seeking to increase power and number of environment courts to take stern actions against polluters and also to establish a trust to tackle adverse impacts of climate change. State Minister for Environment and Forest Hasan Mahmud placed the bills, which were sent to the parliamentary standing committees on

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Climate change focus shifts to “post-Cancun”: Ramesh, India Environment Minister

Sep 21st, 2010 | By




Noting that “no major breakthrough” was possible at the climate change conference in Cancun, environment minister Jairam Ramesh said that the focus of the international community had now shifted to what measures needed to be taken “post-Cancun”. The minister, who initiated the discussion at the Major Economies Forum in New York yesterday, pointed out that

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India reaches out to small island nations on Climate Change

Sep 21st, 2010 | By




India has reached out to small island states, which are the most vulnerable to climate change, to convey its sensitivity to their concerns on the issue, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said. The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) had asked emerging economies like India and China to take legally binding cuts on carbon emissions

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UNEP Report : Green Economy can reduce poverty and help meet Millennium Development Goals

Sep 21st, 2010 | By




Investing in clean energy, sustainable transport, forests and environmentally-friendly agriculture is essential, if internationally-agreed goals to reduce poverty are to be achieved. This is among the central conclusions of A Brief for Policymakers on the Green Economy and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), launched today as heads of state and ministers meet at the UN Headquarters

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Assam-India: Power is needed, but at what cost?

Sep 21st, 2010 | By




On one hand I constantly need to mobilise power in the face of a demand growth explosion in my State – on the other hand I cannot turn blind eyes to the other side of development problems. With around 160 hydal power projects planned on Brahmaputra, there is a need for a holistic environment assesment

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Floods caught the Governments in India Unprepared

Sep 21st, 2010 | By




The flood situation in many parts of north India, stretching from Uttarakhand to Bihar through Haryana, Delhi and western Uttar Pradesh, with the two major rivers, Ganga and Yamuna and their tributaries in spate, is hovering between critical and catastrophic. Hundreds of villages have been inundated, and nearly 200 people have died. It is a

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India-Tehri water rises Lakhs of people hit, Yamuna and Gandak in spate

Sep 21st, 2010 | By




Many parts of north India, including the capital, were threatened by floods on Monday as a swollen Yamuna threatened to overflow its banks and the waters of the Tehri dam posed a danger to Uttarakhand, where at least 50 people have been killed. Further east in Bihar, lakhs were affected with the Gandak in spate.

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Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand (India) overflows..

Sep 21st, 2010 | By




Even as over 60 people are reported to have been killed in rain-related incidents in the last few days, the flood situation in Uttarakhand threatened to get worse as the water level in the Tehri dam spilled over its optimum capacity of 830 metres early Monday morning. Over 145 families in at least a dozen

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IPCC Studies and Reports Have Nothing to Do with Climate Change

Sep 20th, 2010 | By




Most people have no idea what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) actually studies. They believe their reports are complete reports of climate change. This misconception is mostly because the IPCC arranged it and does little to correct it.  In fact, they only look at that portion of climate change caused by humans. Here’s

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Cloudburst in Uttarakhand[India], 60 people dead

Sep 20th, 2010 | By




At least 41 people were killed overnight as incessant rains wreaked havoc in the hill state of Uttarakhand triggering landslides and floods which rendered hundreds homeless. Authorities shut schools for three days as the death count owing to relentless rains rose to 60 in the state in the past two days. The help of Army

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Heavy Rains Hit-Uttarakhand in India

Sep 20th, 2010 | By




The Rail track at Haldwani, Uttarakhand India also damaged The flood hit Dehradun, capital of Uttarakhand, India Over flowing river at Rishikesh, Uttarakhand The Vikasnagar area adjescent to Dehradun, Uttarakhand India   Courtesy: Prasenjit Rastogi, Hindustan Dehradun  






Uttarakhand floods-Prime Minister of India takes note

Sep 20th, 2010 | By




Top BJP leaders L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj on Sunday spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram about the grave flood situation in the BJP-ruled state of Uttarakhand. Sources in the BJP said Uttarakhand CM Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ apprised Advani and Swaraj of the flood situation. Thereafter, Swaraj spoke to

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Government of India proposes 35 new small hydro-power projects in Himachal

Sep 20th, 2010 | By




Close on heels of the Shukla Committee report that highlighted environment damage being caused due to hydro power projects in the state, the state government has decided to go ahead with 35 new small hydro power projects. Amid voices of dissent from various environment groups over allowing more hydro power projects in the state, the

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Himalayan glaciers: Weaknesses in IPCC review to the fore

Sep 20th, 2010 | By




Mechanism had failed to scrutinise the voluminous main assessment report The review by the Inter-Academy Council (IAC) of the working of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was released on August 30, has brought out some interesting facts about the Himalayan glacier controversy. Significantly, besides revealing the weaknesses in the multi-layered process established

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GLOBAL: Reform of UN climate panel

Sep 20th, 2010 | By




The InterAcademy Council has recommended reforms to a UN climate panel – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC – following errors in some of its assessment reports. A council review committee said in a report that the process used by the IPCC to produce its periodic assessment reports had been successful overall but

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Wages of GDP-ism

Sep 20th, 2010 | By




The Dilemma of Environment and EcoNoMics! In a recent media interaction, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hinted that he might reshuffle his cabinet. We don’t know what its shape will be. But it’s near certain that he’ll replace Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) junior minister Jairam Ramesh by someone more pliable and pro-industry. The Singh-Ramesh

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20 More killed as heavy rains continue to lash Uttarakhand-India

Sep 19th, 2010 | By




Heavy rains today continued to batter Uttarakhand claiming 20 more lives and triggering more cloudbursts, landslides and floods that rendered hundreds of people homeless with major rivers flowing above the danger mark. Seventeen people were still trapped under the debris of landslides and cloudbursts struck villages. The toll in the rains-related incident like landslides and

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India floods kill 63 people in two days

Sep 19th, 2010 | By




At least 63 people have been killed from flooding and landslides in northern India since Saturday, officials said Sunday. Authorities have evacuated about 5,000 people to safety from one of the three worst-hit districts of Uttarakhand state, its disaster-management secretary, Rakesh Kumar, told CNN. Flooding from heavy rains has blocked state highways, cutting off communication

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