Birds of A Feather

Following the success of the Birds of a Feather session from past conferences, we decided why not have a group discussion online! This year, the topics that will be discussed include the following:

The OneHealth Framework: disease spillovers from wildlife to humans

Abi Tamim Vanak | Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment

There is a strong correlation between three global patterns: human and livestock density, biodiversity hotspots, and the emergence of infectious diseases that spill over from wildlife to humans (called zoonoses). Asia, with very high human densities, among the highest diversity of mammals in the world, and a saturated interface between humans, domestic animals and wildlife, is considered to be among the hottest of hotspots for risk of emergence of zoonoses. Conservationists and ecologists can therefore play a vital role as a bridge connecting the worlds of environmental health, animal health and human health under the OneHealth framework.

Working with the media towards effective conservation campaigns

Cara Tejpal |Sanctuary Nature Foundation

Jungle mei mor nacha kisne dekha? Public perception of the natural world is moulded by media communications, yet traditional and digital media remain under utilised tools for conservation action in India. With dozens of environmental campaigns taking wing in every corner of the country, it's imperative to harness their power to articulate issues and catalyse change. Media and communication professionals are conservation allies in waiting, let's learn to work with them.

Impacts of feral species on native biodiversity

Chandrima Home | DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance

Though domestic carnivores such as dogs and cats have been an integral part of people's lives, there have been increasing instances of how these animals are affecting native biodiversity across the globe. Using research across the Trans-Himalayas to set the context for feral species’ impacts on wildlife, this session will explore how free-ranging domestic carnivores have turned the tables in terms of both ecology and society in our fragile landscapes.

Plastic pollution and mitigation in marine systems

Chetana Purushottam | Spiders and the Sea

Plastic debris is an irreversible form of pollution in the marine system. Kilometer long ghost fishing nets are trapping marine life of all sizes and even the tiny zooplankton can be seen feeding on microplastics from under a microscope. From the middle of the Pacific Ocean, down to the depths of the Mariana trench, plastic is a globally ubiquitous threat. Scientists argue that plastic pollution is on its way to becoming a 'planetary boundary threat'. Will mitigation of a problem so pervasive need a change in public policy or consumer mindset? Will it involve stemming plastic production or improving management? At a more fundamental level, whose problem is it?

Ecological Restoration

Divya Mudappa | Nature Conservation Foundation

Can degraded ecosystems be restored? Ecological Restoration is one of the most promising as well as challenging conservation frontiers today. As the coming decade has been declared as the decade on ecosystem restoration, how do we attain our goals and what should be the guiding principles of such efforts? Successful ecological restoration is possible only with a good understanding of ecosystems coupled with on-ground application.

Nature/conservation education and outreach

Karishma Modi | Dakshin Foundation

In this Birds of a Feather session, the discussion will be about what environmental education means to different people. Are there different ways to think about education in these fields? Do we think about these things differently? Who can be an environmental educator and what can such a person do?

Political Ecology

Madhuri Ramesh | Azim Premji University

In recent years, we've heard many accounts of human rights violations by conservation organizations across the world. As practitioners, how do we find ethical, just ways of working with human communities that are directly affected by conservation?