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

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

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is perfectly capable of looking after its own heritage and that the Central government should ask for the status to be withdrawn.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

 

Letter to
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India Ms. Jayanti Natarajan
I've just signed the following petition addressed to: Ms Jayanti Natarajan, Ministry of Environment and Forests


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Conserve the Western Ghats by implementing Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel's (WGEEP) recommendations!

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The Western Ghats is spread over 8,000 sq km along the west coast of India, covering parts of the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat. 39 pockets of the Western Ghats have acquired the UNESCO's 'World Heritage' tag.

According to UNESCO, ‘Older than the Himalaya mountains, the mountain chain of the Western Ghats represents geomorphic features of immense importance with unique biophysical and ecological processes. The site’s high montane forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern. Moderating the tropical climate of the region, it presents one of the best examples of the monsoon system in the planet.’ This year's haphazard monsoon should make us realise the importance of such an ecological system.

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.

Now the environment ministry has, as per Times Of India reports, has decided to set up a committee under an eminent scientist and comprising of experts, state representatives and union government, to review the recommendations of the WGEEP.

This is clearly a ploy by the ministry to dilute the recommendations of WGEEP. The government first sets up WGEEP to use its expertise to recommend how the Western Ghats have to be conserved. Now it is setting up another committee to review its recommendations!

We need to let the central government know that critical natural resources cannot be exploited in the name of development! It is of immense pride for India to have such a diverse ecological hotspot! Therefore, the WGEEP recommendations must be implemented without dilution! This will also ensure that the states will take the classification of the Western Ghats and its protection seriously in the ensuing years.

Please sign the petition and lets ensure that the Western Ghats are protected and saved!

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Sincerely,