Jangal hei

Jangal = jungle

After net gains for several years, India’s forest cover is in decline. The full data is available now from the Forest Survey of India in its newly released State of the Forest Report 2011.

The government writes off any major backsliding, saying the reduction is due to shifting cultivation patterns in the rural northeast, plantation harvesting and Naxal rebels cutting trees. That last one is a dubious.

More likely, there are many factors at play in a complex dynamic that varies state by state. I’m in the process of designing a statistical research project looking for explanation among a number of variables, biological, economic, political and social.

The photo above comes from tropical forest in the Andaman Islands.

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More treetops

A great advantage of not owning a car. While riding, I have the luxury to look around so much more.

Of course people sometimes think I’m goofy. And I am, so I don’t care.

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A walk in the woods

A stroll after the rain

Colleagues Lopen and G.S. walk home after we paid a visit to a wedding farther down our valley. It had been raining most of the afternoon, but the clouds cleared and the sun broke through the trees.

A fine evening.

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Saving a forest?


Saviors of the Mandena forest?

The hands belong to Johny Rabenantoandro, director of biodiversity and rehabilitation for Rio Tinto’s mine in southern Madagascar. Yes, you read that right. A mine, with a director of biodiversity.

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Does this look like a titanium mine?

The mining company's big gambit

The mining company's big gambit

I came to Ft. Dauphin in remote southern Madagascar for one primary purpose: to visit the Rio Tinto titanium mine that is pledging to be environmentally friendly.

This photo came from the nature conservancy at the first mine site in Mandena; the nursery above will be used when the company attempts the gargantuan task of regrowing precious littoral (coastal) forest out of fields of sand left behind by the mine.

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