Honey safely in the bag!

Archana, Bala, Senthil, Vinod and Anita were at Bangalore from the 7th to the 11th of August, 2012 for the Society for Conservation Biology-Asia chapter meeting. Keystone Foundation was happy to be one of the supporters of the conference.

The conference had its share of the good, bad and ugly papers! The plenary talks were captivating with a wide range of subjects from climate change to elephants to Asian politics to frustrations of biologists who are misquoted to get EIA clearances. It had the young and old timers, seasoned and raw ones presenting side by side. The conference had approximately 400 participants and scientists from 25 countries sharing their work.

The Keystone contingent also put up an exhibition of posters and a sale of publications and forest products. All of us took turns at attending favourite talks and standing in for the other at the stall. The stall was well received and a number of people came by to talk, see and buy.

Catching up with old friends at the gate of the main lobby, the security person with a bottle of honey and a bag from the stall caught my eye. But by the time I took out my camera he sensed that he was being watched (part of his job to be alert I guess) and then I had to ask him to pose for me. But it left me thinking that this is what conservation means for me – something in it for everybody. If a security guard can understand the relationship between Apis dorsata, Kurumba honey hunters and the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve then the work of the past years has been well worth it! It’s not only been about putting honey in the bottle and selling it but also that the honey reached a venue of the meeting of conservation biology. There are ways to link conservation, livelihoods, culture and enterprise and in the security guard’s curiosity and purchase of the honey I saw it all come together.

News contributed by Anita