CSE 13th media fellowships on Backs to the wall: tigers, tiger habitats and conservation

April - June, 2012

This fellowship is supported by Jamsetji Tata Trust
In 2009-10, 51 tigers were killed in India, in spite of all the conservation programmes, awareness drives and public campaigns to save them. India hosts the majority of the world’s tiger population -- about 1,700 tigers, according to the May 2011 census.

But a combination of threats is holding this meager number to ransom, and poaching and trade in wildlife parts is just one of them. A shrinking habitat, conflicts with humans, growing tourist interference… the tiger has a lot to contend with.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had invited applications from journalists in India to investigate the issues and concerns of tigers, their habitats, and their conservation in the country. Applicants can present proposals on the following areas of study:

1. India’s wildlife conservation policies, laws and regulations
2. Wildlife crime and trade in wildlife products
3. Who’s the encroacher – people vs wildlife
4. Wildlife tourism
5. Relocation: the social, economic and political agenda
Science and wildlife protection

The Centre has successfully conducted fellowships on subjects ranging from desertification, human-wildlife conflicts and climate change, to water bodies, the Forest Rights Act and transport and water-sewage issues in urban centres. Each one of these fellowships has generated a wealth of information.

Of total 40 complete applications, 12 fellows have been shortlisted by our jury members

Mr Varghese George, Hindustan Times
Rajesh Gopal, National Tiger Conservation Authority
Madhu Sarin, Forest Rights Activist
Sunita Narain, Centre for Science and Environment

This fellowship is supported by Jamsetji Tata Trust

North: Uttar Pradesh  

Biswajeet Banerjee
bureau chief
The Pioneer, Lucknow

Location: Terai belt comprising Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri and Maharajganj

Focus: Encroachment, relocation of encroachers, vultures on

Jury suggestions
• focus on the issue of human-tiger conflicts.

Fellowship Reports

The Pioneer
Terai gives new wings to vultures
The Pioneer
Growing tussle over right to forests
The Pioneer
Foresters, politicians fight over tourist spots within tiger reserve

The Pioneer
Officials look the other way while encroachers make merry on Khiri forests
The Pioneer
Terai belt witnessed a silent revolution during last decade
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Anupam Trivedi
special correspondent
The Hindustan Times, Dehradun

Location: Corbett Tiger Reserve

Focus: Wildlife tourism, human animal conflict

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North East: Arunachal Pradesh  

Appu Gapak
senior sub editor
The Independent Review, Itanagar

Location: Namdapha National Park, Changlang district,

Focus: Pressures of tiger conservation in Namdapha

• habitat loss, logging, shifting cultivation, human settlements, poaching and hunting (human encroachment and poaching taking a heavy toll)
The Tiger Protection Force and its impact

Jury suggestions
• Investigate and report on the people and wildlife interfaces in Namdhapa. Study and analyse the reasons for the underlying tensions and the options for the future. Is an inclusive agenda where the local tribals become a part of the conservation practices -- possible for Namdhapa?

Fellowship Reports

Independent Review, Itanagar, June 8, 2012
Namdapha: for Lisus or Tigers?
Contd. from page 1: Namdapha...
Contd. from page 1: Namdapha: for Lisus...

Namdapha - then and now

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Teresa Rehman
Dainik Janambhumi, Guwahati

Location: Kaziranga National Park, Assam

Focus: Human-tiger conflict after Kaziranga was declared a Project Tiger reserve (2007)

• how are the locals adapting to this change in status
• how are the fringe areas faring?

Jury sugestions

• Illegal mining
• Rice cultivation and the use of pesticides therein – what this is doing to wildlife
• The encroachment of Kaziranga land by the rich and powerful
• The crisis of floods and how wildlife find no refuge during floods because of park politics

Fellowship Reports

Disturbed Pathway
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Centre: Madhya Pradesh  

Pavan Shrivastava
city head
Dainik Jagran, Bhopal

Location: Ratapani sanctuary

Focus: Who's the encroacher human-wildlife conflict in MP's forests

Jury suggestions
• Look into the problem of illegal felling.
• Investigate the vested interests, and procrastination on the proposal to declare the area as a reserve forest.

Fellowship Reports

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P Naveen
chief state correspondent
DNA, Bhopal

Language: English

Focus: The case of Panna's lost tigers

Investigate why the state is not handing over the case to CBI despite park rangers' report that insiders were involved.

Increasing human animal conflicts in and around Bandhavgarh
Should tourism be banned in core areas?

Fellowship Reports :-

DNA Bhopal
Who killed Bandhavgarh tigress?
DNA Daily News & Analysis
Poachers out to get me: Ali
Poachers out... ‘Power struggle’... PM man..
DNA Daily News & Analysis
IIS researchers held for ‘poaching’ in Panna tiger reserve
DNA Daily News & Analysis
Chouhan may agree to CBI probe
DNA Bhopal: Indore, June 24, 2012
NTCA to decide Panna cub’s fate
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Tikeshwar Patel
Central Chronicle, Raipur

Location: Achaanakmaar Tiger Reserve

Focus: The Achaanakmaar-Amarkantak highway: Supposed to be closed since 2008, but it continues to place animals at grave risk.

Timber mafia and cattle grazers: Rampant activities inside the

Jury sugestions

  • The case of relocation of the six villages which were dumped in deforested land

  • In the original villages which have been relocated/demolished, titles to the land had been given to the villagers. Have these land-holders been compensated and given land in the relocation site, or have they been left high and dry?

  • Compliance with Forest Rights Act

  • The Naxalite presence in this region and what it is dong to the forest and its conservation

Fellowship Reports

  CM Assures livelihood security to displaced tribal from forest
  Relocation fine, livelihood still an issue
  Fire in Achanakmar reserve causes massive damage to vegtation
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East: Odisha  

Bijay Misra
The Economic Page, Angul

Location: Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary and Baisipalli Sanctuary

Focus: Community wildlife tourism which will encourage communities living in and around tiger landscapes for sustainable livelihood support and will minimize human-tiger conflict and

Jury sugestions:
With respect to Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary.

• The fallout of declaring it a tiger reserve
• Implications on the people
• Growth of the tiger reserve and what it will do to more villages

The jury insisted that you broadcast your show on Doordarshan and AIR.

Fellowship Reports

The Political business daily: Cuttack, May 27, 2012
Satkosia Tiger Reserve under threat
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Anupama Kumari
senior correspondent
Tehelka, Ranchi

Location: Palamau Tiger Reserve, Jharkhand

Focus: 20 elephants were released by the Maharaja of Surguja and they turned feral, subsequently increasing in numbers. Look at the elephant-human confrontations.

• The core area in the tiger reserve is facing the threat of submergence from a dam.

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West: Maharashtra  

Chandan Haygunde
senior correspondent
The Indian Express, Pune

Location: Satpura Tiger Reserve and Sahyadri Tiger Reserve

Focus: Wildlife protection, impacts of tourism, forest department-tribals conflict, saving tigers with help from local communities, FRA implementation inside the reserve

Jury sugestions
• For Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, look at the illegal mining operations, the mining lobby, and their clash with the conservationist
• A story on illegal windmills and small hydro projects in and around the reserve.

Fellowship Reports

Indian Express Mumbai May 26, 2012
Bauxite mines: 10 km from National Park on paper, NTCA says 1 km in reality
Indian Express Pune: May 31, 2012
In Koyna sanctuary, 7 NREGS roads, private construction defy court ban
Indian Express Mumbai: May 31, 2012
Compensation to be raised to Rs 5 lakh, says Kadam
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South: Karnataka  

G S Shashidhara
sub editor/reporter
Prajavani, Bangalore

Location: Bandipur, Nagarahole,Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple (BRT) Wildlife Sancturay and other reserve forests in Karnataka

Focus: Wildlife tourism and its impacts
• Violation of Wildlife Protection Act
• Using local tribals to promote sustainable wildlife tourism
• How private wildlife tour operators could contribute in protecting wildlife
• Difficulties being faced by government agencies in implementing rules and regulations.

Jury sugestions

• Tourism activities
• What the local people stand to gain or loose, and on the issue of corridor destruction.

Fellowship Reports

Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Mitigating conflict
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Anil S

chief reporter
The New Indian Express, Kochi

Location: Periyar Tiger Reserve

Focus: Tourism, Sabarimala pilgrims
• Mullaperiyar dam, Pachakanam estate
• Inter-state boundary resulting in poaching and illegal trade, frequent forest fires, lack of sewage management or sufficient buffer zone

Jury sugestions
• Investigate and write on the status of eco-tourism in Periyar – whether there is any substance in the celebrated park's eco-tourism claims.

Fellowship Reports

Proposal for Eco-Sensitive Zone awaits government nod
he New Indian Express: June 29, 2012
Mullaperiyar: Hurdles ahead for proposed dam
The New Indian Express: KOZHIKODE MAY 11, 2012
Wayanad Ready to Play Host to Tigers
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