Conserve India's Natural Heritage! Implement Western Ghats Panel Recommendations
  • Petitioned Ms. Jayanti Natarajan

This petition was delivered to:

Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India
Ms. Jayanti Natarajan

Conserve India's Natural Heritage! Implement Western Ghats Panel Recommendations

    1. arpana udupa
    2. Petition by

      arpana udupa

      Bangalore, India

The Western Ghats are breath-taking in their beauty. A biodiversity hotspot that is fragile and needs protection from the greed and destructiveness of human beings. And the importance of the area has been recognised by UNESCO which has added it to the list of World Heritage sites. India should rejoice that it has added one more of its crown jewels to the list of World Heritage.

Western Ghats is the first global 'cluster' of natural sites to be declared world heritage. But this is not what the Karnataka Govt. have in mind.  The state says it is perfectly capable of looking after its own heritage and that the Central government should ask for the status to be withdrawn. The stand of the state government has baffled environmentalists. 

As per UNESCO's recognition, 39 sites including forests, wildlife sanctuaries and natural parks have now made it to the World Heritage List. These are spread across 19 pockets in Kerala, 10 in Karnataka, six in Tamil Nadu and four pockets in Maharashtra.

The Central government has warded off pressure from UNESCO to implement the controversial Western Ghats report as a pre-condition to the 'World Heritage' tag. By keeping the Western Ghats report disentangled from the World Heritage tag, the Centre has ensured that even if it implements the report later, in complete or in parts, the strong recommendations of the expert panel do not become binding even before it processes it. The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) has recommended conservation of the western ghats keeping in view the needs, development and culture of the indigenous people residing in the same areas. Therefore, implementing WGEEP's recommendations will ensure an all round balanced development of the ecological hotspot.

Many Environmentalists believe there are lobbies at work, from the mining industry. The Kudremukh iron ore company used to mine in the region - until shut down for environmental reasons. The Western ghats region with a potential to discover unknown species and is home to many lesser known, fast-disappearing species like nasikabatrachus, which is believed to have lived with the dinosaurs 300 million years ago, we all know that mining results in loss of ecosystems ad makes these species vulnerable.

Join me and tell Minister of Environment and Forests (MoEF)  Jayanti Natarajan, that you take pride in the Western Ghats given 'World Heritage' status and its ensure its utmost protection so that the ecosystem that it preserves is not lost.

News Sources:

NDTV: Western Ghats heritage status? No thanks

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/western-ghats-heritage-status-no-thanks-245358

The Hindu: Edakkal has all it takes to be a World Heritage: archaeologists

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/article3677973.ece

The Econimist: Western Ghats World Heritage Site Tag

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-07-15/news/32685244_1_western-ghats-world-heritage-site-heritage-tag

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 3,000 signatures
    2. Working group to assess report of Western Ghats panel

      arpana udupa
      Petition Organizer

      A working group headed by Planning Commission member K. Kasturirangan will assess the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) report and submit an action plan for its “effective implementation” to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). MoEF has asked the group to evaluate the report in a “holistic and multidisciplinary fashion in the light of the comments” received from various stakeholders, including State governments and Central Ministries. The group has C.R. Babu, former Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi; J.M. Mauskar, former Special Secretary, MoEF; Kanchan Chopra, former director, Institute of Economic Growth; Jagdish Kishwan, Additional Director-General of Forests (Wildlife), MoEF; Darshan Shankar, Chairman, Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, Bangalore; Sunita Narain, DG, Centre for Science and Environment; and P.S. Roy, Director, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun, as it as its members. Indrani Chandrasekhran will be a special invitee.

    3. Reached 2,500 signatures
    4. Jayanti Natarajan the most (non) green Environment Minister!

      arpana udupa
      Petition Organizer

      This month Jayanthi Natarajan will complete one year in the Environment Ministry. To start with Jayanthi Natarajan can lay claims to being a true green minister. She has given the green signal to every single project that has come to it for clearance, even those with ecologically disastrous consequences. She has chaired three meetings of the National Board of Wildlife, a premier decision making body that decides whether a crucial wildlife habitat should be signed away or not for a road or a dam project, not even one project has got a firm no. And then there are projects which her own ministry's Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has advised her to reject. For instance the 300 MW Alaknanda hydro-electric project. In 2011, Ministry has granted environmental clearance to 181 coal mines, 267 thermal power plants, 188 steel plants and 106 cement units Further an astounding 210,000 MW of thermal power capacity , has been cleared, that's 60,000 MW more than what has been proposed till 2017!

    5. Reached 50 signatures
    6. Bombay High Court raps centre on WGEEP's recommendations

      arpana udupa
      Petition Organizer

      The Bombay High Court today rapped the Centre for failing to take a decision on a report submitted by the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel in connection with the conservation measures in Sahyadri range.

      A division bench headed by Justice D D Sinha questioned the central government on why it had failed to take decision on implementation of the report despite their earlier directions on June 12.

      The panel headed by Madhav Gadgil had made recommendations on conserving and preserving ecologically sensitive areas within the Sahyadri range.

      The Maharashtra government has already forwarded its views on the panel's recommendations to the Centre way back on January 25, 2012. However, the Central government has still not taken any specific decision on the same.

      The state government counsel also informed the court that they are not issuing new mining leases in the ecologically sensitive area until final decision was taken on the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel.

      More in the given link!

    7. Reached 25 signatures
    8. States have never implemented stringent green legislations!

      arpana udupa
      Petition Organizer

      Even with national level legislations to protect forests and ecological hotspot areas, states have never paid much attention to implement them or protect the forests. However, international tags such as the "World Heritage" given by UNESCO will ensure that states give more attention to protected areas due to international scrutiny. While a recent Times of India report actually questions whether the tag will create political will in the state governments, I believe that such an international tag will ensure protection of the critical hotspots as then it would be India's prestige at stake!

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

      • 12 months ago

      for our children

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jaimee Powell AUSTRALIA
      • about 1 year ago

      The Earth is important to me.... as it should be to all.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Amanda Smith MONTMORENCY, AUSTRALIA
      • about 1 year ago

      We should be protecting significant areas of biodiversity across the world, as important resources for global diversity and health.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • yadnesh sanzgiry PORVORIM, INDIA
      • about 1 year ago

      Nature to me is GOD

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Damodar Kamat Ghanekar PANAJI, INDIA
      • about 1 year ago

      plz change my address to: c/o Rajhauns Vitaran, DAULAT, Campal Panaji

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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