Keep Kodagu Green! Support Eco Notification
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Political parties are set to oppose "eco-sensitive zone" tag for the Western Ghats. They are opposing the move mentioning that it would affect the farmers, tribals and locals living in the earmarked areas. However, it is not true. The actual ban will be on commercial activities such as building big hotels, resorts, mining, cutting of forest produce for commercial means, conversion of forest/agricultural lands for commercial activities, etc. Most of the political leaders do have a share in many of these and are hence set to send a strong opposition against this "environmentally sensitive zone"
If the people watch silently the forests in the Western Ghats will be reduced to bare minimum affecting rainfall to a great extent. There will be severe water shortages in the cities of Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Mandya, Hassan and all the towns in and around the Western Ghats. More and more animal-man conflicts can be expected because of reducing forest cover.
We the people of Kodagu and Western Ghats have been nature worshippers from the beginning and have always supported nature conservation. However, in the recent times we are changing our practices in the favor of urbanization, tourism and economic interests. Tourism is booming in the Western Ghats only because of greenery! Imagine more and more people clearing forests to build resorts, homestays and hotels; the greenery will gradually vanish and so will the tourists who come to enjoy nature!
As always, the resistance to any ecological protection tag comes from the finer details not being shared with farmers. When the finer details have not been given to them, the farmers will resist simply out of fear of losing control over their land.
So here are some of the details mentioned in the DRAFT NOTIFICATION FOR ECO SENSITIVE ZONE.
UNDERSTANDING ECO-SENSITIVE ZONE MADE EASY
What farmers can and cannot do is given here. Along with links that lead to the original documents, which you are welcome to read and confirm the details shared here.
Following are the brief points regarding the Permitted, Regulated and Banned activities in an Eco Sensitive Zone.
Permitted: Activities that can be carried out without need for obtaining permissions from regulatory authorities
Regulated: Activities that can be carried out after obtaining permissions from regulatory authorities
Banned: Activities that cannot be carried out
Promoted: Activities which are encouraged
The conversion of agricultural lands within the Eco-sensitive Zone may be permitted on the recommendation of the Monitoring Committee, and with the prior approval of the State Government, to meet the residential needs of local residents, and for the activities such as:
(i) Eco-friendly cottages for temporary occupation of tourists, such as tents, wooden houses, etc. for Eco-friendly tourism activities,
(ii) Widening and strengthening of existing roads
(iii) Small scale industries not causing pollution
(iv) Rainwater harvesting, and
(v) Cottage industries including village industries, convenience stores and local amenities
• Ongoing agriculture and horticulture practices by local communities along with dairies, dairy farming.
• Rain water harvesting.
• Organic farming
• Cottage industries including village artisans, etc
• Local people shall be permitted to undertake construction in their land for their residential use
• The construction activity related to small scale industries not causing pollution shall be regulated and kept at the minimum
Felling of trees:
• There shall be no felling of trees on the forest or Government or revenue or private lands without prior permission of the Competent Authority in the State Government
Commercial water resources including ground water harvesting:
• The extraction of surface water and ground water shall be PERMITTED only for bona fide agricultural use and domestic consumption of the occupier of the land
Movement of vehicular traffic at night:
• Regulated for COMMERCIAL purpose, under per laws.
Small scale industries not causing pollution:
• Non polluting, non-hazardous, small-scale and service industry, agriculture, floriculture, horticulture or agrobased industry producing products from indigenous goods from the Eco-sensitive Zone, and which do not cause any adverse impact on environment shall be permitted
• Forests, horticulture areas, agricultural areas, parks and open spaces earmarked for recreational purposes in the Eco-sensitive Zone shall not be used or converted into areas for COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL RELATED DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES
• COMMERCIAL Mining, stone quarrying and crushing units
• Setting up of saw mills
• Setting up of INDUSTRIES CAUSING WATER OR AIR OR SOIL OR NOISE POLLUTION
• COMMERCIAL USE of firewood
• Establishment of new major hydroelectric projects and irrigation projects
• Establishment of large-scale commercial livestock and poultry farms by firms, corporates, companies. (INITIATIVES ON A SMALL-SCALE BY THE LOCAL FARMERS ARE PERMITTED)
• Discharge of untreated effluents and solid waste in natural water bodies or land area.
For further details one can look into the detailed notifications below:
Year 2017 DRAFT NOTIFICATION FOR DECLARATION OF ECO SENSTIVE ZONES IN THE STATES OF Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu
Year 2015 DRAFT NOTIFICATION FOR ECO SENSITIVE ZONE AT BRAMHAGIRI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY.
YEAR 2016 DRAFT NOTIFICATION FOR ECO SENSITIVE ZONE AT CAUVERY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY.
YEAR 2016 DRAFT NOTIFICATION FOR ECO SENSITIVE ZONE AT TALACAUVERY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY.
YEAR 2013 DOCUMENT WITH LIST OF VILLAGES THAT ESA WILL PROTECT.
LETTER TO THE CONCERNED AUTHORITY
Supporting Draft Notification declaring Ecologically Sensitive Area in Western Ghats in the states of Gujarat, Maharahstra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu
The Western Ghats in India have been classed among the eight “hottest Biodiversity hotspots” in the world. Many important rivers such as Godavari, Nethravathi, Krishna, Vaigai, Kaveri, Kunthi and numerous other water bodies originate from the Western Ghats that run parallel to the West Coast from the river Tapi in the north to Kanyakumari in the south. The range starts near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra, south of the Tapti river, and runs approximately 1,600 km and 48 to 210 km wide, with an area of 1,29,037 square km.
The Western Ghats shelters as many as 25 crore people in six states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala ending at Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of India. The area has over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species and 179 amphibian species. It is likely that many undiscovered species live in the Western Ghats. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats. Though this area covers barely five percent of India's land, 27% of all species of higher plants in India (4,000 of 15,000 species) are found here. Almost 1,800 of these are endemic to the region. The range is home to at least 84 amphibian species, 16 bird species, seven mammals, and 1,600 flowering plants which are not found elsewhere in the world.
The Western Ghats are not true mountains, but are the faulted edge of the Deccan Plateau. They are believed to have been formed during the break-up of the super continent of Gondwana some 150 million years ago. Geophysicists Barron and Harrison from the University of Miami advocate the theory that the west coast of India came into being somewhere around 80 to 100 million years ago after it broke away from Madagascar. After the break-up, the western coast of India would have appeared as an abrupt cliff some 1,000 m in elevation.
The Western Ghats form one of the four watersheds of India, feeding the perennial rivers of India. Important rivers include the Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri. These rivers flow to the east and drain out into the Bay of Bengal. The west flowing rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea and the Laccadive Sea are fast-moving, owing to the short distance travelled and steeper gradient.
Important rivers include the Periyar, Bharathappuzha, Netravati, Sharavathi, Mandovi and Zuari. Many of these rivers feed the backwaters of Kerala and Maharashtra. Rivers that flow eastwards of the Ghats drain into the Bay of Bengal. These are comparatively slower moving and eventually merge into larger rivers such as the Kaveri and Krishna. The larger tributaries include the Tunga ,Bhadra , Bhima , Malaprabha , Ghataprabha , Hemavathi , Kabini. In addition there are several smaller rivers such as the Chittar ,Manimuthar , Kallayi , Kundali and the Pachaiyar.
A study of the southern region, comprising the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu, showed that about 40 percent of the original vegetation cover was lost or land converted to other uses between 1920 and 1990.The consciousness that preservation of nature and environment is essential for the existence of human life is getting strengthened day by day the world over.
When the report was made public in March 2012, various peasant organisations, socio-political movements and all the six state governments levelled the widespread criticism that certain recommendations for conservation of nature and environment were against the fundamental rights and livelihood of the local residents, and would impede local development.
I suggest MoEF NOT to encourage any non-forestry activity & any commercial activity in and around Western Ghats like ore mining, quarrying, sand mining, road widening, laying of railway lines, diverting riverine ecosystem, hydro, solar, wind, Thermal, Gas based & Nuclear power projects, resorts, dams & any other projects of any type which can create impact on the eco system.
As a responsible citizen of India & in the interest of our nation I am SUPPORTING these Draft Notifications declaring Ecologically Sensitive Area in Western Ghats in the states of Gujarat, Maharahstra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
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