13983Re: [HasiruUsiru] Re: [bngbirds] HSBC - greenwash etc.
- Jan 2, 2014Dear Subbu,As an organiser of Delhi BirdRace last year (and being criticized for the same by a couple of'self proclaimed 'birding czars' of this city to the extent of their bad mouthing and raising questions on my integrity) you have expressed exactly the passion and feelings that have driven my birding for over 25 years and continues to motivate me.It was and is for the pure joy of bringing together hundreds of enthusiasts together and initiating many more to the joy of birding that we need many more events across every city in India. Needless to add that NOT a paisa was ever taken by me personally or by any other organiser of Delhi BirdRace and NONE was even expected. It will always remain this way for us inspite of insinuations regarding commercial interests or even doubts on personal integrity made by the 'birding czars' of Delhi..!I see a gentleman from Delhi parroting the same lies and making wild accusations on this forum as well. Having lived at many cities and actively coordinated birding activities, I haven't come across a more factious group anywhere in India. The sole aim of the few who run the Delhibird yahoogroup is personal self-aggrandisement and anyone opposing their personal and self-serving agenda is banished from the egroup. Has anyone heard that happening across any other city in India..!Take no heed of these nay-sayers and continue the good work, Subbu. We are all aware and salute your contribution.Happy Birding.KBKanwar B Singh
On Friday, January 3, 2014 8:47 AM, Leo Saldanha <leofsaldanha@...> wrote:
Dear SubbiHappy New Year.I have never ever doubted your integrity nor even that of Sanjay or anyone who is helping set up this Bird Race.All I have asked you to examine, and critically, is how HSBC is using your good reputation and credibility to clean up their bad. I am not against any human enterprise that is humanistic. But today's corporations are clearly headed the wrong way. So the sooner highly influential folks like you wake up to thus reality, the better the world will be for all of us.It is possible to get 500 birders out on a day to celebrate birding and it is also possible to socialise after an exciting day out in a public place without corporate funding. We did birding like this for years in the 19th and 1990s and are even more capable of pooling in our transport and birding resources to do that now with our own pocket monies.So why wait till next year. All you and Sanjay have to do is to tell HSBC: thanks very much, but we still value the IVC model.Thanks for taking time off your busy schedule to write back.Wishing new beginning this New Year.LeoOn 3 Jan 2014 06:28, "Subramanya DrS" <subbus@...> wrote:Dear all,
I am happy that this discussion is happening.
As far as I am concerned, I do and I have always done birds for the pure joy of it.
I do BirdRace with the sole joy of bringing together nearly 200 birders on a single day to enjoy an all day birding. I do not charge a single paisa for my involvement in the event despite investing my time, energy and my personal money by way of making innumerable phone calls. The evening function gives me an opportunity to meet many birders including my own birding-buddies, shake hands with them and even hug those whom I am really very very close with and exchange birdlore.
As far as the ethicality of running such HSBC events, let me leave this topic to Sunjoy Monga to answer. Many have questioned me as to why does Sunjoy Monga do this and what is his take in this – let me also leave that to Sunjoy to answer (mail copied to him).
All through my nearly four decades of birding, I have never used birds or bird watching for profiteering or for name or fame. I do not charge consultancy for any bird related activity. Also, I do not conduct group events that charge on a per-person basis. What started as a hobby has become a passion and all along it is this passion for birds that has driven me.
I work with a lot of individuals, students, academics, people’s groups, NGOs (including ESG!), PILs, institutions, their committees, with a SOP that my association/support/involvement comes on a “free of cost and no strings attached” basis, that, I have been part of many birding initiatives/events/ with the sole intention and joy of making birdwatching/ornithology happen in all its spheres and that I want to do my tiny little bit in the service of birds, for the simple reason that birds have changed my life so much that, I dread to think what would have happened to me and my life, had I not taken to birds.
I have already committed to run the BirdRace this year, thus, I will run with it. Who knows, I may think differently next year.
[snip]On Sun, Dec 22, 2013 at 9:00 AM, Shyamal L. <muscicapa@...> wrote:
Leo, thanks for raising this point (yet again). Also note that similar operations are being played in Kaiga which involves dragging in birders and newspapers articles are giving a slant that such projects benefit biodiversity. Another example is the so-called conservation organization called the Bombay Natural History Society that receives support from MSPL mines to the extent that almost every issue of Hornbill carries blatant advertising and claims that private mining is great for all.Having pointed out this HSBC issue in the past and noting that sensitive people around the world steer clear of anything to do with HSBC, one can only hope Indians are likewise able to see how goodwill and birding associations are being used to manipulate public opinion.Especially note that the HSBC has been known to fund projects that even the World Bank thinks as being environmentally risky, including the Three Gorges Dam which is going to or is already destroying the habitat of the last remaining population of Siberian Cranes.There is a recent trend among conscientious organizations to make it part of their organizational policy to avoid taking large funds or contributions so that any single contributor (one that does not have a conflict of interest) can contribute less than 10% of the total funds and that a wide diversity of groups fund it so that no funding agency can sway the organization's official stance. Of course governance issues and transparency of decision making are also changing.
Is it not possible that we can organise similar educative events without any corporate sponsorship. We did birdwatching for decades with nothing more than a few rupees for idli/coffee, with shared sandwiches, binoculars and bird books, and with lots of joy cycling, biking and walking, and with hardly a camera around. The same birds are around, perhaps in far lesser numbers, but we seem to have mutated into something else?Well said! I am sure we can continue the old style of small-crowd-funded idli/coffee event with birding, spread out activities across the year and gather useful information - post observations http://www.ebird.org on a routine basis and junk these ceremonial events and the greenwash associated.best wishesShyamal
On Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 9:26 AM, ESG India Gmail <esgindia@...> wrote:
Dear Subbi,Thanks for sharing this. I appreciate the fact that this initiative is with the intent of popularising bird watching, and that it has received popular support over the years. However, I was wondering if we could debate openly at some point its association with HSBC, a bank that has allegedly been involved in serious money laundering. Some links are enclosed:The money laundering is not merely from petty businessmen, but involves various serious mega-fraudsters including corporate biggies involved in extractive industries: resulting in massive loss of forests, wetlands and peoples livelihoods. I believe our effort in conserving birding areas and birds, in particular, is not blind to this wider reality.My fear is that HSBC is using your commitment, and that of so many who innocently (or knowingly) participate in the "bird race" to greenwash its image, and re-presents itself as a responsible, just and "green" company, which it clearly is not in its banking operations (they have admitted guilt in the US).Is it not possible that we can organise similar educative events without any corporate sponsorship. We did birdwatching for decades with nothing more than a few rupees for idli/coffee, with shared sandwiches, binoculars and bird books, and with lots of joy cycling, biking and walking, and with hardly a camera around. The same birds are around, perhaps in far lesser numbers, but we seem to have mutated into something else?I hope you will take these concerns into account.Best wishesLeo
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