In this project we deal with three major topics. 1. Publishing materials (posters, books, field guides and manuals) in Tamil related to nature conservation 2. Conduct workshops for students, journalists, researchers to encourage and train them in writing in Indian languages on natural history and conservation issues 3. Encouraging and publicizing nature watching through citizen science programs mainly in Tamil Nadu.
Nature related publications in Tamil
It is imperative to disseminate the values and services rendered by the natural world to the younger generations and general public in particular as well as to government officials, bureaucrats and decision makers. To do this we publish natural history, nature conservation related articles, field guides, booklets, posters in Tamil, in newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs.
Language and ecology
South Asia is as rich in biodiversity as it is in linguistic diversity. However, as a colonial legacy publication on natural history and conservation issues are mostly in English. It is essential to engage with the grass-root public and relevant stakeholders (such as legislators, media persons, forest department) on conservation issues in local languages. This would help them to better understand the subject. This will also help the naturalists, conservationists and wildlife biologists to create awareness among wider sections of the public as well as bridge the gap between locally available, locally relevant knowledge and scientific knowledge. There is a close link between language and conservation movement. Hence, it is essential to encourage students to communicate conservation science through vernacular languages. We introduce students through an interactive lecture on importance of using local languages, challenges in writing and translating into local languages, aspects to consider while translating ecological concepts, importance of documenting and redeeming traditional nomenclature and coining new scientific terminologies.
Citizen science and other initiatives
As a part of Tamil Birders Network (an informal group that aims to popularise birdwatching and bird listing in Tamil Nadu) we have been organizing Tamil Birders Meet since 2014. This meeting is organised essentially to plan for various surveys (such as Pongal Bird Count, GBBC and birding gaps filling in Tamil Nadu), and other activities related birding.