A four day (23-26 April 2017) event, the Himal Kalasutra Bird Festival, concluded yesterday at Sarmoli village, above Munsiari, Uttarakhand. An annual event, this was organised by Sarmoli village (in whose van panchayat forest, and that of Shankhdhura village, quite a bit of birding took place), Maati Sangathan, Himal Prakriti, Jungli School, Kalpavriksh,  and Himalayan Ark. Most participants were villagers from the area and surrounds in Kumaon, some from outside the state; on the first day several schools (with kids of various ages!) also took part. In total, we saw 125 species. Some images can be viewed here at Ashish Blog

More than 75 organisations and movements, and another 50-plus individuals have written to Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, asking him to use his position to safeguard the rights and interests of the Dongria Kondh adivasis and other local communities in Niyamgiri, Odisha, against attempts by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India, to link their organization NiyamgiriSurakshaSamiti with ‘Maoists’ in its 2016-17 Annual Report.

Please read the Petition

Badhalukal 2017, the Kerala Vikalp Sangam (Alternatives Confluence) was held on 10-12 April, 2017, at Bodhigram, north of Thiruvananthipuram. Over 130 people participated, though most of them on the first day, rapidly declining to about 60 on Day 2 and 25-30 on the last day! This lack of a critical mass on all 3 days, a rather formal atmosphere set by a seminar-like first day, some key missing groups and movements, and inadequate sharing of actual experiences were weaknesses. Strengths included........Read more on Ashish Kothari's Blogspot

Images from a Honeybee Festival organised by Garbewadi (Bhorgiri) and Yelavali villages and Kalpavriksh, at Bhorgiri, in Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary area, Maharashtra, on 1 April 2017. Display and sale of wild bee honey and other local produce, reading of children's book on honeybees, brief presentations by local people and Kalpavriksh / Honey Bee Network members, and painting ... lots of fun!


 An image here of Thomas and Lucy at their house, 2014.... wearing the KV t-shirts we'd gifted them!

Deeply saddened to report that Thomas Rengma, wildlifer, environmentalist, and above all a great human being from Nagaland, passed away on 27  January 2017. Another very untimely death. Thomas was with the Tourism Dept there. Kalpavriksh first encountered him about 30 years back, and several times in the last few years on our trips to the state in relation to community conservation or communitisation. Incredibly helpful, always willing to go out of his way to help us arrange things, welcoming us to his (and his partner Lucy's) house, and much else. You will be missed, Thomas


 Anupam Mishra: a small tribute

Just heard that Anupam Mishra passed away this morning, 19 December 2016. Very very sad; for the social, ecological movements in India, a big loss. Anupamji quietly did some of the most amazing work on traditional water harvesting systems, and much else; in this and in his gentleness, his insistence on speaking Hindustani, his unwillingness to seek the limelight, his simple lifestyle, and his Gandhian strength of conviction,  he was an inspiration for many of us. In the late 1970s and early 1980s he was a major influence on those of us just starting our interest in environmental and social issues; he encouraged us when we were starting Kalpavriksh, including readily agreeing to host a meeting of some stalwarts from movements like Chipko that we wanted to organise. I am expressing all this in very inadequate ways, for the contribution of people like Anupamji simply cannot be expressed fully in words. Rest in peace, Anupamji.