Monday, 19 September 2016

Honey with coffee reinforces climate resilience

While honey can sweeten coffee for the drinker, coffee farmers of Kodagu district of Karnataka are realising that raising bees for honey in the farms can sweeten their economic returns. It is one of the innovative methods being tried out in the district to provide additional financial incentives to coffee farmers so that they conserve the landscape they have inherited. This, in turn, can strengthen climate resilience and improve the water flow into the Cauvery. MORE … 

The landscape of Kodagu.

Climate change measured in coffee rain

A climate change related vicious cycle is happening in the coffee estates of Kodagu. The changing climate is making rainfall erratic. The blossom showers needed during the coffee flowering period between February and April is getting missed out in years. With the blossom showers becoming erratic, coffee farmers are opting for irrigation, which in turn is reducing the importance of the shade trees for them, and they let them die. When these trees die there is an adverse impact on the water flow into the Cauvery river, and also the climate resilience in the hills and the plains. MORE … 

A farm worker measures daily rainfall in a coffee estate. Picture by K.K. Naren.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Bringing coffee back into the shade

With insufficient rains over the Western Ghats during this year’s southwest monsoon, there is a shortage of water in the reservoirs across the Cauvery in Karnataka. This has led to the flaring of the water sharing dispute with the lower riparian state of Tamil Nadu in the recent days. While this acrimony continues, eco-certification as a form of payment for ecosystem services is becoming popular in Kodagu district, so that coffee farmers protect the forests under which they grow their crop, thereby preserving the water flow into the Cauvery. These measures also help to maintain the climate resilience in the river’s catchment and command. MORE … 

B.B. Thammaiah in his coffee farm where the coffee plants are grown under native shade trees.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Crisis of imagination

Amitav Ghosh makes a profound statement in The great derangement. He says that individual action is not sufficient to deal with climate change. It needs collective effort, for which writers of fiction have to write about climate change. It has to become as much of a canvas as war is in fiction. MORE … 

Friday, 22 July 2016

Paradigm shift

In the 25 years since economic reforms was launched in India, the urban middle class has found a new economic and political voice. Environmental movements in which poor communities pitted their moral strength against the combined strength of the State and the industry got sidelined in the national mind space. As a result the iron triangle got stronger. MORE …

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Changing climate threatens sacred groves

The sacred groves in the eastern coast of south India are a unique ecosystem. They represent tropical dry evergreen forests. Over the years the tree population in these forests have decreased by 30% and liana (woody climbers) have increased by 30%. While this could be an indication of climate change, it also indicates a decline in the ecosystem’s climate resilience. MORE … 

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Puducherry leads in LED lighting revolution

Two years ago a programme for promoting LED bulbs for lighting launched in the tiny Puducherry (Pondicherry) has now grown into a national programme, with impact on energy savings and greenhouse gas emission reduction. MORE …