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Biodiversity

The Many Facets of the Aarey Metro Debacle

– by Anuj Puri The verdant expanse of Aarey forests in suburban Mumbai turned into a battleground between environmentalists and authorities. Triggering this confrontation was the BMC-appointed Tree Authority’s clearance to cut almost 2,700 trees in the area to construct a car shed for the upcoming metro line. This controversy expectedly reignited the development vs. environment debate. In a space-starved and congested city like Mumbai, Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Aarey are the few open green spaces left. Rich in biodiversity, home to several animals and birds and with lakhs of trees, the Aarey forests are the lungs of the city. Environmentalists fear that this mass felling of trees will disturb the whatever ecological balance Mumbai still retains and can exacerbate chronic proble...

Decoding Bhutan’s secret to happiness

Rooted in its ubiquitous culture of Buddhism, the collective cultural consciousness of the citizens of Bhutan totally aligns with the cultural consciousness of the nation. This sonorous arrangement makes Bhutan the happiest country on earth – a unique country where Gross National Happiness (GNH) is the measure of success and not Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It considers the well being of the people in materialistic, spiritual and social terms. The four main parameters of GNH are economic development, conservation of the environment, cultural promotion and good administration. Mythbuster Anushree, Bhutan, the tiny kingdom, peacefully transitioned from absolute monarchy to democracy with the king at the top in 2008. Never before in history, had such a transition taken place without disrupti...

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