Climate change has been one of the most polarizing issues in contemporary debates about environment and conservation. Hence, it came as a pleasant surprise that nearly 200 countries were able to come to a reasonable agreement about the way forward at the Paris conference in end 2015. Matt Creasey provides a broad overview of the ecological impacts of climate change and the role that the recent talks may have in mitigating them. In order to monitor ecosystem responses to climate change, India’s Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change launched its Long Term Ecological Observatories programme, intended to monitor socio-ecological systems, at the Paris conference.
However, climate change is far from being the only, or even most immediate, stressor for the environment. Karthik Teegalapalli and Deborah Lawrence call attention to the spread of oil palm plantations in Northeast India, and Eduardo Gallo-Cajiao points the devastating role of development on coastal intertidal ecosystems, which affects many species of shorebirds amongst other animals. Needless to say, politics plays a significant role in all these policies and consequent transformation of landscapes. Mathew Mabele questions the philosophy and practice of militarization in conservation. Staying with the intertidal theme, Hari Sridhar talks to Sonia Kefi about ecological networks, and how they can improve our understanding of non-trophic and trophic relationships in complex ecosystems . Finally, Naresh Kumar reviews Eliza Kent’s ‘Sacred Groves and Local Gods’ which examines the link between ecological values and religious beliefs in communities in southern India.