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Biodiversity conservation in Uttarakhand
Contributed by: Mohan Rajinikanth

Valley of Flowers

In several Himalayan states like Uttarakhand, ecology is highly synonymous with the religions practiced. In the nine districts in Uttarakhand, there are 168 sacred natural sites including 75 sacred forests, 74 sacred groves, 10 water bodies and 9 pastures. In some cases, entire forest areas are dedicated to deities. Let alone resource exploitation, trespassing into the sacred forests is considered a taboo, punishable by the wrath of the deity. As a result, forest areas flourish untouched. The only occasion these areas are accessed, with minimal invasion, is during annual festivals. Continue reading...

Fig trees in Rome, Greece and in Christianity
Contributed by: Gaurav Moghe

Prophet Isaiah

Figs have been consumed with relish since ancient times, even by the Romans and Greeks. According to an ancient myth, fig was the favorite fruit of Bacchus, the Lord of Carnival and the Lord of Wine. Fig juices were also used in religious ceremonies. In addition, the fig tree is widely employed in Roman symbolic traditions, as the twin founders of Rome - Romulus and Remus - when they were infants, were transported by the River deity Tiberinus in a basket made from roots of the fig tree. The fig tree, in Rome, was considered an emblem of the future prosperity of the race. Continue reading...

Man made radiation and nature's resilience
Contributed by: Mohan Rajinikanth

The 1000-year old cherry tree near Fukushima

In 1986, the worst nuclear accident in history- the Chernobyl disaster- occurred in Ukraine. It was the result of the explosion of a nuclear reactor built to generate electric power. The blast splattered radioactive material across 200,000 square kilometers of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. Many plants and animals died quickly from radiation overdose. Pine tree needles withered away, earning an area near the destroyed reactor, the name ‘Red Forest’. More than a third of a million people were evacuated. A 60 mile exclusion zone was created. But with the migration of people, began a spectacular ingress and resurgence of animals and plants. Continue reading...

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