2021 Thomson foundation Young (environment) Journalist Awardee * currently : German Chancellor Fellow fellow — @climate tracker COP26 | @southasiaspeaks | @earthjournalism | @PulitzerCenter
The Rise and Fall of a Commercial Seaweed – and a Community’s Fortunes With It
Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu—On the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent, Pamban island is straddled by India and Sri Lanka. On the west, a single railway line and an asphalt bridge run parallel to the turquoise water, connecting the island with mainland India. And on the east, a chain of natural limestone ridges, often known as Adam’s bridge or Rama Setu, reaches out to Sri Lanka.
How a Scientific Debate and a Secret Disease Stalled Algae Farming in Parts of Tamil Nadu
CHENNAI, INDIA—Mutha’s sari fills up like a pink water balloon as she drags herself against the current of the sea. Standing in the shallow waters near the coast, she peers below for a few moments, through her thick plastic goggles, and takes a dip, emerging with a clump of greenish seaweed, called marikolunthu pasi in Tamil.
Why Delhi Is Teeming With Mosquitoes
As the sun began to set on Delhi, 45-year-old Rani hiked up her salwar pants, squatted next to the iron pan just outside her home, and lit a match. The plastic grocery bags were the first items to catch fire. Soon the cow-dung cakes ignited, their chocolate-brown edges glowing in the dusk. Rani coughed as smoke rose from the pan.
Dual dilemma: Agriculture in India suffering from and contributing to biodiversity loss
The commercial agricultural sector has been found to be responsible for the extinction of over 86% of species; a worldwide loss of all pollinators threatens to reduce annual agricultural output by about $217 billion, according to estimates
The trillion-dollar question that online sharing of DNA poses
Over a decade before the COVID-19 virus was detected, an organization began an ambitious project to track the various strains of the influenza virus across the world. The Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data, or GISAID, has, over the years, managed to create a bank of genetic information on lethal viruses.
India’s Energy-Environment Catch-22
Rani, a domestic worker in New Delhi, travels 10-15 kilometers every day from her cramped urban slum in Goyla Dairy, Najafgarh, to high rise buildings in Dwarka. Sometimes she hops on a shared rickshaw, or hangs by the door of an overloaded minibus. Traveling is just one of the difficult parts of her day when she is forced to endure the heat.
Nairobi: Global Deal to Halt Biodiversity Loss Dissolves Into Disagreements
Last week, parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity concluded their meeting of the open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).
Before the beginning of the discussions on June 21, world leaders had expected the meeting of the GBF would birth better consensus on the framework’s underlying document.
The misery in the mango orchard
Extreme weather ruined this year’s harvest, but that is just one of their challenges
Some farmers are hoping for government compensation, and argue for greater state support. In its absence, they say, they would rather get out of growing mangoes.
Why There Are High Hopes From the Nairobi UN Biodiversity Meeting
A view of the plenary session of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 GBF, March 2022. Photo: Convention on Biological Diversity. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s Open-Ended Working Group is meeting in Nairobi this week to discuss the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).
Lucknow, a case study for permanently disappearing aquifers in north India
Studies on central Gangetic alluvial plains in Lucknow reveal that the city’s aquifers are unable to sustain extraction levels and may be disappearing permanently and rapidly.
The exploitation of groundwater resources and unsustainable land use were highlighted as major causes for countless cases of sinking land, or land subsidence.
Translating India’s constitution into a tribal language
When the coronavirus lockdown started more than two years ago, Sripati Tudu kept himself busy by working solely on one of his dream projects: translating the world’s longest constitution into his tribal language, Santali.
Heat, hardship and Punjab’s bitter harvest
PUNJAB/NEW DELHI : April in north India is a season of approaching bounty – the wheat crop ripens under a spring breeze, and the fields turn many shades of gold. But this year, a sudden spike in temperatures left the crop shrivelled. Wheat was harvested from the fields 15 days ahead of schedule, to save whatever was left from the swirls of hot, steaming air. For several farmers such as Ramandeep Singh, whatever they could salvage was not enough.
A small farmer in Bajak village in Punjab’s Bat...
A burning ‘mountain of shame’ is poisoning Delhi’s 30 million residents
Ghazipur, a vast landfill in the Indian capital, has been over capacity for 20 years. Every time it catches fire, it chokes the city
Abu Talib points at the mountain of waste on fire and the grey cloud of smoke that has obscured the blue sky over the Indian capital, Delhi. “Almost every summer [for] the last few years, this has been happening,” he says.
We are standing on the edge of an open drain choked with household waste in Ghazipur, to the east of the city. Plastic, paper, sanitary napki...
‘The tuber man of Kerala’ on a quest to champion India’s rare and indigenous crops
Known as “the tuber man of Kerala”, Shaji NM has travelled throughout India over the past two decades, sometimes inspecting bushes in tribal villages, at other times studying the ground of forests closer to home among the green hills of Wayanad in Kerala. His one purpose, and what earned him his title, is to collect rare indigenous varieties of tuber crops.
“People call me crazy, but it’s for the love of tubers that I do what I do,” says Shaji. “I have developed an emotional relationship with...
Satellites Investigate Climate Peril Over Himalayas
In 2017, Karen Anderson, Associate Professor at the University of Exeter in England, made a trip to the Himalayas in Nepal with an aim to study the region’s glaciers. Like other visitors, she was fascinated by the soaring high mountains clad with white blankets of snow, but what ultimately caught her attention were the colored patches of vegetation, rarely seen at that altitude.