Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Seeking partnerships/collaborations for 2nd Odisha River Conference! Climate Change & River Basins!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Applications invited for SANDEE Summer School on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Dear Friends,

The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) is a research network at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), which provides support to South Asian researchers and institutions interested in the connections between development, natural resource use, and the environment. SANDEE is organizing a three-week training course on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from 30 April–18 May 2018. The main objective of the Summer School is to provide economists with the basic skills necessary to teach environmental and natural resource economics and to undertake research in this area. The course is meant for practicing South Asian economists interested in upgrading their knowledge on the linkages between economic development, poverty, and the environment.  The workshop also seeks to enable participants to develop research proposals for later submission to SANDEE.

Please email your application to Neesha Pradhan at neeshap@sandeeonline.org  by 22 February 2018. For any additional queries, please contactneeshap@sandeeonline.org.

More information pertaining to the call is included below and also available at the following URL: http://www.icimod.org/?q=30192

Please do consider sharing your call in your networks.

Best,
Utsav

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Call for Applications: SANDEE Summer School on Environmental and Resource Economics
30 April–18 May 2018
Application Deadline: 22 February 2018

The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) is organizing a three-week training course on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from 30 April–18 May 2018. The main objective of the Summer School is to provide economists with the basic skills necessary to teach environmental and natural resource economics and to undertake research in this area. The course is meant for practicing South Asian economists interested in upgrading their knowledge on the linkages between economic development, poverty, and the environment. The workshop also seeks to enable participants to develop research proposals for later submission to SANDEE.

What can you expect from the Summer School?
The course will cover economic issues underlying sustainable development, externalities and market failure, policy instruments, non-market valuation, poverty-environment interactions, and natural resource use and pollution management. Participants will be exposed to theoretical issues and economic tools and methodologies for analyzing environmental problems in developing countries.

Who will teach the course?
The course will be taught by:
·         Sir Partha Dasgupta, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus, Cambridge University
·         AK Enamul Haque, Professor, East-West University
·         Randall Bluffstone, Professor, Portland State University
·         Maximillian Auffhammer, Professor, University of California, Berkley
·         Mani Nepal, Programme Coordinator SANDEE and Lead Economist, ICIMOD

Additional guest speakers will be invited depending on the need and availability.

Organization
Mani Nepal (Programme Coordinator SANDEE and Lead Economist, ICIMOD) is the course director and Neesha Pradhan (Programme Associate SANDEE) will administer the course.

Who should attend the course?
The ideal participant has a Masters/PhD in economics and a good understanding of microeconomics, calculus, and basic econometrics. Junior and mid-career faculty and researchers, especially women are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to university teachers and researchers who have submitted a research proposal to SANDEE on issues related to environment and resource economics. Those who have already had training in environmental and resource economics through other programmes or universities or are likely to go overseas for higher education within the next year, are not eligible.

What are you expected to do during the course?
This is a residential teaching workshop. Therefore, participants are expected to read material before each day of lectures, and participate in individual and group assignments and discussions. Working days on occasion will extend from 9 am to 9 pm or beyond because of assignments. Participants are required to present an empirical paper and a research concept note during the course. Last year’s Summer School agenda is available here.

Funding
SANDEE will provide a scholarship of $3,500 per participant in terms of course materials, international travel, meals, and stay during the Summer School. All participants are responsible for their local travel, travel insurance, visa fee, and other personal expenses.

Application process
Interested and eligible candidates from South Asian countries should write to the SANDEE secretariat with the following information (not exceeding five pages):
        A one-page cover letter indicating how such a course will be useful in your teaching and research activities, the applicant’s exposure to basic mathematics (e.g., calculus, linear algebra) and computing skills (e.g., spread sheet, statistical software), and the name of the person nominating him/her (if any).
        A three page research concept note (a precursor of a research proposal) on issues related to environmental and resource economics. The concept note should include a discussion of the research problem and its policy relevance, a clear research question(s), a short literature review that discusses at least three key peer reviewed journal articles related to the proposed analytical framework, empirical methods (data requirement, collection, and analysis) and expected outcomes.
        A brief CV (no more than one page) indicating professional responsibilities/activities, (please include current job and institutional details), educational qualifications, (highest degree/institution), age, and two most important research publications, if any.

Please email your application to Neesha Pradhan at neeshap@sandeeonline.org  by 22 February 2018.

We request you to pass this information to interested colleagues. We are also seeking nominations from colleagues who have been part of SANDEE activities. Approximately 24 participants will be invited to the workshop.

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Disclaimer: This information has been forwarded by "Combat Climate Change Network, India" for information of potential applicants.  We are not part of this programme.

To be part of the Combat Climate Change Network, India, please write to us at:  ranjanpanda@gmail.com

Thanks and regards,

Ranjan K Panda
Convenor
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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Hirakud Dam completes 61 years of existence, dying faster than thought!


Today, Asia’s longest earthen dam and Mahanadi River’s largest dam, enters into 62 years of age.  And it’s seriously ailing.  The Dam, that’s fighting a battle for its own life is also the epicentre of conflict between two major riparian states.   

When this dam was built, immediately after India attained independence, it was considered a modern temple by the then PM of India Jawaharlal Nehru. People who were submerged and were thrown out of their homes and villages could never get properly compensated. It is said, more than 8000 families are yet to get any compensation even though the Dam celebrates 61 years of existence.

The dam has certainly created the rice bowl of Odisha with the command area irrigation, but has destroyed sustainable farming practices and traditional irrigation. It has increased dependence of farmers on poisonous pesticides and invited industries that keep sucking its water without doing anything to recharge the river and replenish the water they draw. The same farmers, who once prospered with Hirakud water, are now fighting a battle for survival as industries snatch away their share of water.

The displaced people were virtually thrown inside the forested areas and were mostly left to themselves to develop their own farm lands and rebuild their livelihoods. Most of them are yet to get the benefit of assured irrigation even though their ancestral lands have been used for irrigating others' fields, to supply water to industries and urban areas.

The dam, that was originally built to control floods in coastal Odisha, has now spread flood menace to western Odisha as well. It miserably failed in power generation targets too. There have been disastrous environmental impacts of the dam, starting from climate change to desertification. However, there is hardly any mechanism in our systems that study the dams' multiple impacts thoroughly. That's the reason, our planners keep pushing for more dams.

The Hirakud dam is old and ailing. Its designed life span is 100 years but several problems, including siltation and cracks, is surely going to end majority of its functions much before that. Chhattisgarh is now blocking more water than before and soon will deprive the dam of water that is needs to stay alive with its multiplicity of functions.

Time the government and people debate these issues and plan a strategy of decommissioning of the dam in a way that does not affect the irrigation and water supply to people at least. Rest of the functions can be done away with!

Ranjan Panda
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO)
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Global Waterkeeper Alliance)

Mobile: +91 9437050103
Email: ranjanpanda@gmail.com

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Welcome back Sushma Swaraj ji: common Indians now need your help in healing their kidney diseases due to water pollution!

Sushma Swaraj ji: welcome back to a normal life after going through kidney transplantation. Congratulations!
You gave credit for your healthy recovery to the blessings of all MPs in Parliament and support of your 'Krishna'. Among others Uma Bharti ji was also present in Parliament and welcomed you.
Please tell her that water pollution is a major cause of kidney related diseases in millions of Indians and most of the common Indians can't afford treatment.
Please pursue for the same blessings from MPs and Krishna for all of them. We need strong action against polluters, major drives to abate water pollution and well equipped cheap/free public health facilities in the country!
Thanks & regards,
Ranjan Panda
Water Initiatives Odisha(WIO)
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper
Email: ranjanpanda@gmail.com
Tweet @ranjanpanda
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Tasmania's glowing coastline is a worrying signal of Climate Change!

Pick from a Guardian Report!
The waters along Tasmania’s north-west coastline have taken on a bizarre, glowing appearance in recent days. Photographs taken off Preservation Bay and Rocky Cape showcase bioluminescent waters caused by a natural phenomenon known as noctiluca scintillans (AKA sea sparkle), which happens when tiny plankton turn blue in self-defence.
The phenomenon, which is best seen in calm, warm seas, is foreboding. “The displays are a sign of climate change,” Anthony Richardson, from the CSIRO, told New Scientist after an occurrence in Tasmania in 2015.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/15/australian-coastline-glows-in-the-dark-in-sinister-sign-of-climate-change

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Ranjan Panda
Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO)
Combat Climate Change Network, India
Email: ranjanpanda@gmail.com
Tweet @ranjanpanda
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Odisha Farmer Suicide Clock - 2017 from WIO: 3rd Death

Bulu Reddy, a farmer from Ganjam district's Chikrada committed suicide on 13th March due to crop loss.  Ganjam is the Odisha Chief Minister's constituency. 

As per available reports, he took his life on 10th March owing to crop loss.  He had borrowed an amount of 1 lakh rupees (source of borrowing not known as of now) for tomato and chilly cultivation.  He got a good production of tomato but the rate for the product had crashed in the market, forcing him not to harvest it but let it die in the field.  He consumed pesticide and died.

While the government officials, as in other cases, have been trying to find reasons for the suicide and would surely come up with a false and funny reason (something other than crop loss and debt burden), the fact remains that farmers are dying due to governmental apathy.  Both the state and central governments have perpetually failed our farmers.

Ranjan Panda
Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO)
&
Combat Climate Change Network, India

Email: ranjanpanda@gmail.com

Tweet @ranjanpanda
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lack of toilets and more of tourists: Lake Baikal's new fight for survival!

Russia's Lake Baikal, a world heritage site, which contains about one-fifth of the unfrozen freshwater on the earth’s surface has got respite from a polluting paper and pulp industry just three years ago. However, the lake fights new environmental battles. An interesting read...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/world/europe/a-russian-lakes-future-hangs-on-tourists-and-toilets.html?_r=0

Ranjan Panda
Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO)
Combat Climate Change Network, India

Email: ranjanpanda@gmail.com

Tweet @ranjanpanda
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