Reflecting on Three Months of Coastal Grassroots Fellowship

By Thisam Mahsana OK | The second cohort of Coastal Grassroots Fellowship (CGF) for women from coastal communities of the Palk Bay region of Tamil Nadu started last March with a wonderful group of twelve women. They were excited about this fellowship opportunity and the learning platform that it offered them. Together we developed the structure for the fellowship programme, keeping in mind the objective of enhancing their leadership qualities and capabilities. As a fellowship coordinator, it was thrilling to work with these amazing women.

Whose commons are they?

By Nayana Udayashankar | “What are ‘commons’?”

I posed the question to a room of fourteen women participants. One of them had a quick and ready answer.

“They are resources everyone can use. Like the roads; the seas; the beaches.”

“Do you really mean ‘everyone’? Will my boat get a space on the beach in your village?”

“Ummm…yes, I think so. If they are the commons, then you should be able to use them.”

I could see that even as she spoke those words, she was unconvinced by her own answer. She searched the room for assistance, and another participant pitched in. A spontaneous debate ensued and suddenly the whole room was abuzz.

The surprisingly dazzling world of coral reefs

By Esha Gokhale | The world of coral reefs has always fascinated me. Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the largest coral reef system in the world, covers more than two thousand square kilometres?! What really got me thinking is how these massive and stunning reefs are built by such tiny animals. What are the early life-history processes that are responsible for building these habitats that house about 25% of all marine life? Which factors facilitate this reef-building and which ones deter? Determined to find answers to these questions, I dove into the world of coral settlement and recruitment last field season.