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India: How can we save India’s ecosystems? By paying for it! March 20,2017   |  Source: Hindustan Times

n 2015, just before the last inter-governmental climate jamboree began in Paris, I was in Ramanathapuram, a sleepy coastal town in Tamil Nadu. I was following a story of declining fish catch in the area thanks to over-fishing and destruction of coral reefs (the breeding ground of fish) by trawlers. “Declining fish catch will have a disastrous impact on our lives,” a fisherman told me, as he rowed his boat towards the stunning Pamban Bridge, which straddles the Indian Ocean like a colossus. “How will I continue to send my girl to college?”

“Over-fishing will also strain India’s relations with its neighbours,” an activist, the fisherman’s neighbour, added. I remembered that conversation recently when I read that the Sri Lankan Navy has killed a fisherman and injured three because they moved into Lankan territorial waters in search of better catch. Though ecosystems and biodiversity are critical to our daily existence, most seem oblivious to it and so destroy it without any fear of reprisal. Why does this happen? At a recent conference organised by the Dialogue Highway, a Chandigarh-based Trust, and the department of environment studies, Panjab University on Himalayan ecology the brain trust of the meeting --- academics, ecologists, foresters and activists ---

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2014)