Gujrat’s pride grows…

Gujrat now has 674 Gir lions

June 5 census of Asia’s exclusive population indicates numbers have risen by 29% over five years..

Gir Forest is famous for?

The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Sasan Gir, is a forest-cum-sanctuary in the Indian state of Gujrat famous for being the only abode of the Asiatic Lion.

Once at the verge of extinction –

Once seen as threatened by extinction, the lion population has grown by almost 29% from the last count in 2015. Today, Asiatic lions are present in Protected Areas and agro-pastoral landscapes of Saurashtra covering nine districts, over an expanse of about 30,000 sq. km.

The State Forest Department says the population is 674 including males, females and cubs. During 2015, the baseline was 523 lions. Moreover, the distribution of the lions expanded from 22,000 sq. km in 2015 to 30,000 sq. km in 2020.

Mr.  Modi praised the efforts –

“Two very good news: Population of the majestic lion, living in Gujrat’s Gir Forest, is up by almost 29%. Geographically, distribution area is up by 36%. Kudos to the people of Gujrat and all those whose efforts have led to this excellent feat,” Mr. Modi said in a twitter post.

“Over the last several years, the lion population in Gujrat has been steadily rising. This is powered by community participation, emphasis on technology, wildlife healthcare, proper habitat management and steps to minimise human-lion conflict. Hope this trend continues!” he added.

A convergence of crises (@the_hindu_editorial)

Policy ideas should marry employment and industrial priorities with green outcomes

In less than a month, we have been given a glimpse of how the climate crisis can yank at the seams of a state already undone. We saw cyclone Amphan transform from a tropical storm to one of the largest cyclones South Asia has ever seen in a matter of hours, aided by warmer than usual waters in the Bay of Bengal. We also saw Cyclone Nisarga barrel down on Maharashtra, the second pre-monsoon cyclone to hit the west coast in 127 years.

Governments would have been hard-pressed to deal with such extremes even in the best of times

How COVID-19 will change our future –

There are two strands of opinion. The optimistic one sees this as a moment to remake our states and societies in a measured response. This includes directing economic packages to areas that increase our resilience to natural disasters and technologies that reduce our emissions.

The other strand is more dire, arguing that this will amount to a lost decade or two as our attention is focused on keeping the teetering ship of economy afloat. At this critical juncture what we do will determine the flow of events decades into the future.

Limited Funds –

It has been two months since India’s lockdown, and we know enough to have a rational conversation about our climate future. Perhaps the most important news relates to public and private debt. The government has raised its borrowing limit, states will need to borrow more to tide over shortfalls and the private sector has seen returns from investments dry out. All three are already heavily indebted, meaning the cost of capital for future borrowing will only grow.

Dealing with twin challenges

Preparing a response that balances present and future will take a great deal of collective effort. Foremost, it will require policy ideas that deliberately marry employment and industrial priorities with green outcomes.

Ideas such as pushing to manufacture solar equipment or electric vehicles in India should, at some point, coalesce into something that looks like a climate plan for the country.

This task will fall to universities, NGOs, think tanks and individuals working together in disciplined debate. This process is our only hope for being creative about the twin challenges battering the country.

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