Photo by Austin Yoder

Welcome to the drought

Despite large-scale water supply infrastructure built over the years in India, areas prone to drought have only increased. Communities having had to deal with changing climate and ill-planned infrastructure, innovate and look at simple systems to manage water requirements. Gopakumar Menon throws light on such best practices, and asserts the need of the Government to learn from these.

Sustainable Planting

Communities moving away from traditional farming in search of opportunities in cities is a common trend in India. With is the loss of traditional farming knowledge and practices that have proven over and over to be sustainable is worrying. But there is are a few shining examples, as shown by the author Mari Marcel Thekaekara, in her article on Sustainable Planting.

From Shallow Cleanliness to Zero Waste

Alex Jensen in his thought-provoking article on waste management, focuses our attention on plastic wastes in India and the associated environmental problems. He highlights linkages between climate change, environmental health, plastics production, waste & health of the economy, to drive home the point of interdependencies and the need to move towards zero waste options. Above: Leh landfill. Photo Credit: Juan Del Rio

Magazine: Campaign for Climate Justice 2014-15

The media in India, especially the Indian languages media, has a vital role in creating awareness among the general public and in engaging policy makers on aspects related to climate justice, low carbon farming, alternative energy and other mitigation and adaptation strategies. The communication campaign of Pipal Tree is hence aimed at facilitating alliances of freelance writers, social researchers and activists to come out with stories and articles on how climate change is being felt by communities, and what would form effective adaptation measures for those whose livelihood is affected by the changing climatic patterns.

This release is a compilation of articles written and published by twelve freelance writers from the three South Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala during the programme year 2014-15.

Available languages: English, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil 

Sesame: the dismal story of a rainfed crop

Sesame known as the Queen of Oil Seeds is grown extensively in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Orissa. It is drought resistant and many pests find it inedible because of its salty tang. The only requirement is regularity in the rainfall pattern. With the accelerating changes in climate the inherent need of the sesame crop for good rain at planting and dry spells during harvesting has become skewered. Ganapathi Bhat observes that this unpredictability has reduced productivity and many farmers are seeking alternate means of livelihood. 

Devoted commitment to our inheritance: Stories of people returning to Agriculture

Unbridled usage of chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides had denuded the soil of its rich micro nutrients and drastically reduced yield. The skyrocketing debt and lack of productivity led many farmers to commit suicide. The youth moved to cities for better prospects, lived in abysmal conditions and earned a pittance which was hardly enough to meet their obligations. Mallikurjana Hosapalya writes about reverse migration from cities to villages through stories of some of the youth and urban experienced couples who had chosen to return to the villages, to take up agriculture, using time honed methods that had stood the test of time.