Conservation in Bhopal
Central Indian Highlands Wildlife Film Festival 2012
Bhopal, capital of Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, is going to host the Central Indian Highlands Wildlife Film Festival 2012 in two section beginning this month end. The concluding part of the festival, which would include the panorama section and the Award Function will be held in the last week of February this year. The wildlife film festival devoted to "The Tiger Habitat" as the main theme acquires special significance as it would specially showcase the central Indian landscape which happens to be one of the best tiger habitats in the world. The film festival is being organised by CREW, a society registered in 1997, in association with the wildlife wing of Madhya Pradesh Forest Department, Sanctuary Asia, CMS Environment, National Institute of Technical Teachers' Training, Bhopal and Regional Museum of Natural History The Central Indian Highlands Wildlife Film Festival 2012 being organized by CREW [Crusade for Revival of Environment and Wildlife] will combine adventure with an amazing film experience for individuals, teams representing academic institutions, the whole family, or a group of friends. There will be a special 3-day workshop on January 27, 28 and 29, 2012. It will offer the chance to aspriring wildlife film makers the chance to learn the art of documentary filmmaking amid the breathtaking wildlife in the lap of the Satpura Tiger Reserve.
CIHWFF has been planned in a manner that it would be one of the most cherished and remembered media events devoted to conservation and wildlife in this part of the world in 2012. The festival will have two sections: 1. Panorama of professionally produced films on wildlife 2. Competitive section devoted to students and youth. CIHWFF secretariat will provide B-rolls and arrange a field visit to the Satpura Tiger Reserve in collaboration with the wildlife wing of the State Forest Department. After an initial screening process by a panel of professional filmmakers, a selection of the best films will be screened before the Jury in Bhopal between 17 and 23 February, 2012. The winners will be announced at the closing ceremony with prizes. Short Film Contest Wanted your best short film with a message for wildlife conservation (maximum length 4 minutes).
Photo Contest Wanted your best still photograph depicting nature and wildlife. Short films can be filmed in any medium – including mobile phone, camcorder or digital camera. Deadline to enter: February 15, 2012. Open to all ages (teenagers and beyond). Cash prizes: Short film First Prize: 18 years and over First Prize: 13-17 years Still photograph First Prize: 18 years and over First Prize: 13-17 years Official Contest Rules & Regulations Contest runs from January 15, 2012 to February 15, 2012.
When posting a short film entry on a video sharing website, details including link, name, and address should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The photo contest entries should be sent by email to email@example.com. The contest is open to Indian citizens. Decisions of the contest judges are final - no substitutions will be available. All winners will be contacted via email and prizes will be awarded in the order they appear above.
Van Vihar National Park
The Van Vihar National Park is a national park located in the heart of Bhopal. Although declared a national park in 1983, it is developed and managed as a modern zoological park. It covers an area of about 4.45 km².
(Crusade for Revival of Environment and Wildlife)
CREW is a society registered in 1997 under the Madhya Pradesh Society Registration Act 1973. CREW's aim is to emerge as Central India's primary centre for policy and enforcement regarding conservation and management of natural resources, wildlife and biodiversity. The Central Indian States of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have distinctive characteristics that set this region apart from other areas of the Indian sub-continent. Besides the wealth of natural resources-both forest and mineral--some of the most important archaeological sites, dating back to ten thousand years are located in Madhya Pradesh.
CREW has continued to campaign for the protection of environment, biodiversity, wildlife, forest cover, endangered species and wetlands. CREW uses the visual media and releases b-rolls in digital broadcast quality format on crucial environment related issues to different sections of the media for direct relay and wider dissemination of knowledge and information relating to natural environment and factors threatening environmental balance. As a major initiative to build awareness regarding the importance of wetlands and their conservation, Crew launched an awareness campaign with its documentary "water Birds of Bhopal" shot mainly around Van Vihar National Park, a huge wetland recognized by the Ramsar Convention as an important wetland site in Central India.
Crew has produced the documentary "Endangered Gharial (crocodilian gharial crisis)" to tell how India's special crocodilian Gharial, considered to be one of the most critically endangered of all crocodilian species, is threatened by the destruction of its nesting and basking sites and shrinking prey base. Gharials get caught in fishing nets and are killed by fishermen and turtle hunters.
In collaboration with the Regional Natural History Museum Crew organised a forest, wildlife and birding training camp for college and university teaching staff in the Satpura Tiger Reserve. Crew also organises birding camps for village children.
A number of risks and practices are threatening forests, wildlife, wetlands and the environment. Crew works hard at preventing them. These threats include:
- Disintegration of natural habitats and the remaining forest corridors due to rapid development and human pressure.
- Pollution due to the reckless dumping and disposal of waste and the destruction of the ecosystem and the threat to aquatic and avian species.
- Destruction of natural habitats because of unlawful mining, logging of timber, grazing, man-made forest fires, large-scale commercial exploitation of minor forest produce, use of chemical pesticides, and fishing practices.
Crew had released two reports Vanishing Stripes-I (1999) and Vanishing Stripes-II (2000) to issue the firm warning that Tiger's survival is threatened by poaching and loss of prey-base. Our forests are shrinking at an alarming pace. Human pressure on forest is immense due to rapidly increasing population. The situation gets aggravated by reckless destruction of green cover by the timber and the mining mafia. Forest land is also getting rapidly encroached. Unhindered grazing, minor forest produce and firewood collection are also activities adding to the crisis.
From 710 tigers in the last census, the tiger population in the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh has now come down to 276. The latest Tiger figures were presented by the Wildlife Institute of India and the Tiger Conservation Authority of Government of India at a seminar held at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on May 23, 2007. The seminar was attended by Prodipto Ghosh, Secretary Union Ministry of Environment and Forest, Chief Wildlife wardens and Tiger Reserve directors from many States.
The latest Tiger population estimate glaringly shows that most of those at the helm of affairs have never bothered to realize the gravity of the problem on the Tiger front. They have only offered lip-service and exhibited superficial concern for the basic issues involved. They have remained mainly interested in deriving benefits, both financial and political by allowing populist activities to continue even in the core forest areas. Unless ecological balance is ensured on a long-term basis, no living species, including the human beings, may be able to survive.
Our forests are shrinking at an alarming pace. Human pressure on forest is immense due to rapidly increasing population. The situation gets aggravated by rapidly shrinking green cover. We are now confrionted with a national crisis. It is important to save the tiger in its natural habitat. The tiger sits at the apex of the biotic pyramid and is an important link in the entire food chain. The tiger will be safe in the wild only when there is prey-base. This would in turn depend on the survival of the flora, i.e., grasses, fruit bearing trees, herbs, shrubs and the water bodies along with all other factors linked with the natural habitat. Only then our rivers would be perennial and the underground water would remain charged.
The two reports-Vanishing Stripes-I; and Vanishing Stripes-II published by CREW reveal the gravity of the problem and point out how gravely the tiger is threatened in its own habitat.