Kick-starting the Long Term Ecological Observatories Programme

By Tanmay Wagh | The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEF&CC) recently launched the nationwide Long Term Ecological Observatories (LTEO) programme, a multi-institutional and inter-disciplinary initiative  to understand the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic disturbances on a range of ecosystems and taxa. The programme is being implemented in landscapes across India and involves monitoring of soils, grasslands, forests, animal movement, herpetofauna, invertebrates, fish, birds and marine ecosystems. The marine ecosystems component of the LTEO programme is led by Dakshin Foundation in collaboration with Pondicherry University, Nature Conservation Foundation and the Indian Institute of Science. The Marine Theme’s research will be carried out in the Andaman Islands and will involve long term monitoring of coral reefs, seagrass meadows, leatherback turtles and abiotic water quality parameters.

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Sports and Community Wellbeing: making progress

By Kanishk Srinivasan | Earlier this year, we announced the launch of our new ‘Sports and Community Wellbeing’ programme in the previous edition of ‘Out of the Blue’. This time around, we have an even more exciting update, as we can announce that we received a grant for a three-year project to introduce sports activities as a platform to engage with youth in coastal communities in our project sites in the Andaman Islands and Odisha from 2021 to 2024! 

SOL Foundation — an organisation based in the Principality of Liechtenstein have generously agreed to support us in our endeavours to use sports to engage with youth in coastal communities on topics of social and environmental resilience.

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Navigating through the tides of the pandemic: Updates from the Health and Environment Project

By Biswa Swaroop Das and Madhuri Mondal | The Health & Environment programme was initiated in February 2020 in Odisha. In the same month, COVID-19 started spreading across the entire country and we had to start working remotely due to lockdown and associated restrictions. In one of our previous newsletters we elaborated on how the team helped communities deal with the pandemic and its fallout. While providing relief to the fishing communities in distress, we realized how important it is to understand the impacts of the pandemic and the lockdown on these communities to better understand their needs and build their resilience to such external shocks.

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In which we share a map

By Vineetha Venugopal | The importance of coastal commons such as beach spaces, sand dunes, mud flats etc. to fishing communities can’t be overstated. They rely on these spaces for keeping and mending boats and nets, catching prawns and crabs, and having community gatherings. Despite this, the value of these spaces is often ignored by the state while making executive and policy decisions on coastal development. Sometimes even people living in hinterland villages and towns adjacent to fishing hamlets are unaware of fishers’ relations with these spaces. To remedy this oversight,  the Communities and Resource Governance Programme at Dakshin started a participatory mapping initiative in Purnabandha fishing village in Ganjam. Our efforts were inspired by a mapping exercise undertaken by fisher groups in Chennai who recorded uses of coastal areas and commons, using this tool to fight back coastal grab. 

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