A PAWS-Web Documentation
An overview of People, Animal and Waste Systems in a Tropical Megacity
This is sneak peek into what lies lost in plain sight, in a complex urban system. The global south has a very different outlook in its urban form compared to the global north. The entangled state of cultural practices and biological mechanisms creates a chaotic whirlwind which is hardly noticeable to the stakeholders who participate in acting within the system while it presents a complex challenge to administrators and academicians alike for creating a sustainable outlook. Much is left to nature’s devices in such a situation. This perspective is being documented by the PAWS-Web Team in form of a never before attempted, comprehensive documentation of a system from an academic perspective which can begin to unravel the right questions to begin a worthy transdisciplinary academic investigation.
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The Webs of Conspecific & Heterospecific networks in tropical cities is complicated, due to contested urban space over access to resources: Human areas of multiple stakeholders, Waste areas, and spatio-temporal responses of opportunistic animals
1. How specifically do urban animals thrive on anthropogenic-resources in tropical megacities?
2. Under what conditions are these human-waste-animal interactions a cause of concern?
Our core Objectives
#1 Bridging The Gap
To reduce the gaps between academic prerogatives and on-the-ground challenges that concern urban space for solid waste, informal human settlements, and urban animals.
#2 Knowledge Integration
To integrate knowledge that is currently distributed among multiple-stakeholders concerning spatial relations in South-Asian-megacities that promote the convergence of solid waste, urban poverty, and opportunistic animal populations.
#3 Platform Building
To build a platform for inter-disciplinary basic and applied research to address objective #1 and #2, while incorporating cutting-edge scientific-methodology and tools.
#4 Examine Underexplored Domains
To examine critically the rapidly evolving trade-offs, pertinent to the religiously grounded human patronage of animals and the practice of harnessing informal garbage-disposal by companion animals that also cause conflict and diseases.
Focus area #3
Contextualising human mediation (waste and ritual-food-subsidies) that promotes proximity to animals: it begets conflicts and supplicates zoonosis, adding to the urban precarity of poor people
The inevitable urbanised future for tropical-landscapes encompasses complex issues that are captured in SDGs. As India prepares to urbanise a further 400-million of its rural citizens over the next 30 years, the country’s development agenda will largely revolve around optimising urban space for humans, the disposal of enormous solid-waste, and for the co-existence of humans with diverse opportunistic-animal-populations, responding to anthropogenic-resources and religious patronage. Although Delhi’s civic bodies undertake measures like neutering, translocation and occasional culling, their understanding of urban animal ecology, and urban changes that rapidly alter the dispersion of food-subsidies (e.g. slum-rehabilitation, and the decommissioning of landfills and abattoirs) is incomplete and inadequate to the task of urban development. This workshop would address major impediments to SDGs by identifying multiple conflicts amongst human-groups involving animal-cohabitation, and human-animal conflicts within heterogeneous megacities. The project aims to integrate scientific approaches that individually lack scope with respect to the scale of evidence for instinctive animal responses, and diverse, inductive folk-biology and practices of native stakeholders.