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Bittu Sahgal's Blog

Sanctuary Blog

Bittu Sahgal's Blog
bittusahgal Description:
I oscillate between elation and despair as I write of an exquisite nation, blessed with an embarrassment of natural riches, which is steadily being brought to its knees by relentless politicians and planners who find no pleasure in birdsong, or forest smells, or pure rivers.

Tourism: wildlife boon or bane

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

Its a tough one to answer, but yes, there is an an answer. Not an easy one, but it can be done.

 In Rwanda (and several other countries that have learned to turn their wildlife tourism into a sustainable income source for the nation and for the communities living next to wild places), a central, online booking facility offers


Mumbai's Miracle Forest

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

On Sunday, September 2, 2013, a GreenKarbon team from Deutsche Bank and Sanctuary Asia, undertook a study trek in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park where the Director of the Park, Mr. Limaye, began  by explaining that along with the scores of other problems, this city forest was being choked by plastic being thrown by careless

Ambitions Blacker than Coal

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

So the Prime Ministers Office is catching stick for coal block allocations. But its not merely how coal was allocated that is the issue, its also the very fact that it is being allocated from forests and other ecosystems without which India has no future.

 As a long time member of the Central Government's environmental expert


So, after giving the Supreme Court faulty advice, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) realises that it acted in haste, but it will nevertheless be forced to repent at leisure... at the expense of a nation riven with quixotic planning, short-term goals and insensitivity to the environment that support us all.


I miss Mahatma Gandhi

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

Many of us who served India for decades on Environmental Committees mandated to protect our natural resources have tried without success to convey to planners that they cannot so ruthlessly destroy life-support infrastructures -- forests, wetlands, coasts, rivers, lakes -- to create infrastructures of commerce -- mines, dams,


The news came in three days ago about the Supreme Court of India banning tourism in the core areas of national parks and sanctuaries in response to a Public Interest Litigation filed. While everyone waits for the text of the final ruling, clearly this is a case where the law has confused the current impact of tourism (negative)


As the editor of Sanctuary Asia I have been asked this question by hundreds of young persons down the years.  Here is the advice I gave to Sutirtha Lahiri, one of our brightest young wildlifers from Guwahati Assam:

 Your personality must determine what you do in life. And making turning your passion into your work should be a


DIVIDED AND RULED

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on


The greatest environmental tragedy, in my view, is that even as the development brigade purposefully and effectively divided (and thus ruled) wildlife and tribal groups, they managed to sell the Trojan Horse of consumptive development to influential tribal leaders who are currently conspiring to open gate after forest gate from


ECONOMISTS AS ORGAN TRADERS

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

Its bad enough that India's economists are doing a terrible job of managing our fragile nation. Its worse that they are trying to cover their inefficiencies by plundering our ecological vaults (exporting cheap coal to China from under critically important forests, including our Tiger Reserves). This will end up by turning India


Getting off the fence

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

Can petitions, emails, blogs and comments on the internet help protect wildlife? Well, remember that even a small act done on the ground is magnified by the impact of collective, public opinion. Besides, the issue today is that irrespective of the different problems confronting us, social or environmental, possibly just one per