Ramachandra T.V., Subhash Chandran M.D., Sreekantha, Diwakar Mesta, Rao G.R., Sameer Ali*

* Centre for Ecological Sciences,
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore-560 018
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We thank Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL), Government of Karnataka and the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Government of India for the financial assistance. We are grateful to Prof. Madnav Gadgil and Prof Niranjan V. Joshi for useful suggestions during discussions.

Sustainable development of a region requires a synoptic ecosystem approach that relates to the dynamics of natural variability and the effects of human interventions on key indicators of biodiversity and productivity.The concept of cumulative effects of the incremental reduction and erosion of the integrity of natural systems from the interactions of developmental activities provides a perspective to redirect impact analysis to deal with the driving causes of unsustainable development. An explicit attempt to monitor cumulative changes at catchment level due to hydroelectric projects is expected to lend itself to the establishment of ++notional ecological thresholds. This paper focuses on the cumulative effects that have taken place in the river ecosystem due to developmental projects over the last four decades.

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