Union Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) has approved a proposal for development of Western Ghats, the proposal was prepared by K Kasturirangan led panel.
Kasturirangan Panel has recommended a ban on development activities in 60000 sq km ecologically sensitive area spread over six states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashthttps://greencleanguide.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpra, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
1.The 10-member high-level working group (HLWG), headed by Kasturirangan, was constituted in August 2012 to examine the Western Ghats ecology expert panel report (WGEEP) prepared under the leadership of eminent ecologist Madhav Gadgil.
2. The Kasturirangan panel had submitted its report to the MoEF on 15 April 15 2013 and it was put in public domain and also disseminated to all stakeholders for feedback and comments.
3. Kasturirangan Panel has recommended a ban on development activities in 60000 sq km ecologically sensitive area spread over six states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
4. According to the report, roughly 37 percent of the total area defined as the boundary of the Western Ghats is ecologically sensitive.
5.Over this area of some 60000 sq km, spread over the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the working group has recommended a prohibitory regime on those activities with maximum interventionist and destructive impact on the environment.
The Western Ghats, also known as the Sahyadri Hills, a mountainous ridge running parallel to the west coast of India. The Western Ghats was declared as an ecological hotspot in 1988.
A large number of plants, amphibians, birds, reptiles, mammals are endemic to this region. This area has a number of protected areas including 2 biosphere reserves, 14 national parks and several wild life sanctuaries.
Besides, many regions are declared as reserve forests. In recent times, due to anthropogenic pressures the intactness of the Western Ghats is getting fragmented day-by-day. Most of the ecosystem, which is outside protected areas is now in danger. The habitat of plants and animals is also threatened due to large-scale deforestation and destruction of forests.
Environmentalists fear that 63% of the area from conservation will be excluded from conservation if the report is accepted and implemented n its current form. The Kasturirangan panel recommendations are different than the Gadgil committee report. The Gadgil committee report was considered by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee while deciding to include sites of the Western Ghats on the World Heritage List.