Report of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel Part I

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Report of the Western Ghats,Ecology Expert Panel,Submitted to. The Ministry of Environment and Forests,Government of India. 31 August 2011,Report of the WGEEP 2011,Cover Design. Courtesy Kerala State Biodiversity Board,Report of the WGEEP. Panel Members,Prof Madhav Gadgil Chairman,Shri B J Krishnan Member.
Dr K N Ganeshaiah Member,Dr V S Vijayan Member,Prof Ms Renee Borges Member. Prof R Sukumar Member,Dr Ligia Noronha Member,Ms Vidya S Nayak Member. Dr D K Subramaniam Member,Dr R V Varma Member ex officio. Chairman Kerala State Biodiversity Board, Chairman National Biodiversity Authority Member ex officio. Prof S P Gautam Member ex officio,Chairman Central Pollution Control Board.
Dr R R Navalgund Member ex officio,Director Space Application Centre SAC. Dr G V Subrahmanyam Member Secretary ex officio,Advisor RE Ministry of Environment. Forests Government of India New Delhi,Report of the WGEEP. India is remarkable for the deep and abiding concern demonstrated by its people and its. successive Central State and local Governments towards halting the rapid pace of. degradation of the environment Our country has been a pioneer in the area of integrating. the needs of development with the desire to protect the environment as reflected in the. emphasis on sustainable development as a key feature of the development strategy of the. nation since the Fourth Five Year Plan of the country in the early 1970s The constitution of. the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel by the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the. Government of India is yet another reflection of the seriousness with which our country. views these significant challenges, The Western Ghats are naturally an important focus of sustainable development efforts The. protector of the Indian peninsula the mother of the Godavari Krishna Netravathi Kaveri. Kunthi Vaigai and a myriad other rivers Kalidasa likens the Western Ghats to a. charming maiden Agastyamalai is her head Annamalai and Nilgiri the breasts her hips. the broad ranges of Kanara and Goa her legs the northern Sahyadris Once the lady was. adorned by a sari of rich green hues today her mantle lies in shreds and tatters It has. been torn asunder by the greed of the elite and gnawed at by the poor striving to eke out a. subsistence This is a great tragedy for this hill range is the backbone of the ecology and. economy of south India, Yet on the positive side the Western Ghats region has some of the highest levels of.
literacy in the country and a high level of environmental awareness Democratic. institutions are well entrenched and Kerala leads the country in capacity building and. empowering of Panchayat Raj Institutions Goa has recently concluded a very interesting. exercise Regional Plan 2021 of taking inputs from Gram Sabhas in deciding on land use. policies Evidently the Western Ghats constitutes an appropriate region of the country to. attempt to make the transition towards an inclusive caring and environment friendly. mode of development, It is therefore with tremendous enthusiasm that the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel has. approached its appointed task The Panel embarked upon the assignment through a multi. pronged strategy which included i compilation of all readily available and accessible. information on the Western Ghats ii development of a geospatial database on ecological. sensitivity for the entire Western Ghats region which would provide a multi criteria decision. support system for demarcation of ecologically sensitive areas and iii comprehensive. consultations with principal stakeholders which included civil society groups government. officials and peoples representatives ranging from members of Gram Panchayats and Zilla. Parishads to MLAs and MPs, It is noteworthy that in all these endeavors special effort was made to have wide ranging. discussions with complete transparency All the information generated by the Panel. including the geospatial database is publicity available through a dedicated website created. for the Panel, During the course of the last one and half years Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel has. had fourteen Panel meetings wherein the Panel deliberated at length on various issues. related to the Western Ghats region The detailed minutes of all these meetings are available. on the Ministry s website These meeting were interspersed with brainstorming sessions. public consultations and field visits The central stream of thought was to develop a sound. Report of the WGEEP 2011, scientific methodology basis for arriving at decisions with these decisions deliberated upon. by adopting a participatory approach, The report embodies among other things i categorization of the Western Ghats into three.
zones of varied ecological sensitivity based upon careful analysis done by WGEEP ii. broad sectoral guidelines for each of these zones and iii a broad framework for. establishment of the Western Ghats Ecology Authority. In this endeavor the Panel has utilized the expertise of a number of people and. organizations to whom the panel expresses its gratitude The Panel thanks the Ministry of. Environment and Forests Government of India for giving it this unique opportunity to be. part of a very significant initiative directed at conserving the natural heritage of the Western. Ghats a global biodiversity hotspot,Prof Madhav Gadgil. Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel,Report of the WGEEP. Acknowledgements, The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel WGEEP acknowledges the valuable inputs. provided by the Hon Ministers for Environment and Forests GoI several Ministers of State. Governments and the Members of Parliament of the Western Ghats region. The WGEEP acknowledges the help and cooperation provided by the State Environment. and Forest Departments as well as other departments including Rural Development and. Panchayat Raj and institutions such as KILA and KFRI of various Western Ghats States viz. Gujarat Maharashtra Goa Karnataka Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The WGEEP acknowledges the members of all the civil society groups who have interacted. and shared their invaluable experience and information with the Panel Many of them have. played an important role in evolving policy and management formulations for the. ecologically sensitive zones Individual names of the members and the civil society groups. appear at relevant places in the Annexures, The WGEEP acknowledges with great pleasure the warmth with which people at the grass. roots welcomed it and shared their understanding perceptions and concerns. The WGEEP acknowledges the significant and critical inputs provided by Shri Sanjay. Upadhyay Advocate Supreme Court and Managing Partner ELDF regarding the. modalities for setting up the proposed Western Ghats Ecology Authority. Most importantly the Western Ghats Ecology Expert panel puts on record its gratitude to. Dr S N Prasad and its deep appreciation of his effort in preparing the geospatial database. for arriving at ecological sensitivity levels for the whole Western Ghats region This. database is the basis for defining the proposed ecologically sensitive zones across the. Western Ghats, The Panel would also like to acknowledge the following persons for their invaluable help.
and assistance in accessing the data and information required for the geospatial database. used by WGEEP, 1 Mr Kiran Arundhati Das V Srinivasan and Dr Jagdish Krishnaswamy of ATREE. Habitat related information for parts of Maharashtra Karnataka Kerala and Tamil. 2 Mr Ravindra Bhalla of FERAL and Mr Bhaskar Acharya of CEPF. 3 Dr R J R Daniels of Care Earth point locations of mammals reptiles birds amphibians. and fishes, 4 Dr K A Subramanian ZSI point locations of Odonata. 5 Prof R Sukumar elephant corridors,6 Dr K N Ganeshiah Western Ghats boundary. 7 Dr P S Roy habitat information and shapefiles for Gujarat and Maharashtra. 8 Dr Bharucha and Dr Shamita of BVIEER Pune and Dr Jay Samant and his colleagues. from DEVRAAI Kolhapur data on parts of Maharashtra. 9 Dr K S Rajan Open Source Geospatial Foundation India chapter and IIIT Hyderabad. geospatial statistical analyses,Report of the WGEEP 2011. 10 Dr P V K Nair KFRI analyses for Kerala, 11 Mr Santosh Gaikwad Mr Siva Krishna Mr Ravi Kumar Ch Appalachari and Mr Sai.
Prasad of SACON for their invaluable and dogged GIS work. 12 Ms Amruta Joglekar of Garware College Pune for able support in the work of the Panel. for its Maharashtra segment, The Panel acknowledges the efficient support provided by Ms Geetha Gadgakar Centre for. Ecological Sciences Indian Institute of Science Bengaluru in convening the Panel meetings. and brainstorming sessions and by Ms Saroj Nair The Energy and Resources Institute. TERI New Delhi with the formatting of the report Special thanks to Ms Shaily Kedia of. TERI for research support at various points, The WGEEP acknowledges the whole hearted support provided by the Ministry of. Environment and Forests Government of India and its officers In particular we wish to. acknowledge the unstinting and enthusiastic support provided by Dr Amit Love Deputy. Director MoEF,Report of the WGEEP,Table of Contents. A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S VII,LIST OF T A B L E S XI. LIST OF FIGURES XII,LIST OF B O X E S XIII,L I S T O F A N N E X U R E S XIV.
L I S T O F A B B R E V I A T I O N S XV,REPORT OF THE PANEL PART I 1. 1 Summary 1,2 Introduction 2,3 Mandate of the Panel 3. 4 Organization of the report 4,5 Activities undertaken 5. 6 Boundaries of the Western Ghats 5,7 The Setting 8. 8 Develop sustainably conserve thoughtfully 13,9 Ecologically Sensitive Zones 16.
9 1 Western Ghats Database 17,10 ESZ assignment 20. 11 Existing ESZs Lessons Learnt 27,12 Buffering Protected Areas 37. 12 1 Bhimashankar Wild Life Sanctuary 39, 12 2 A people oriented process to ESZ delimitation 40. 13 Proposed guidelines summary recommendations for sector wise activities 41. 13 1 Regional Plans and ESZs 47,14 Western Ghats Ecology Authority 49. 14 1 The Legal Framework 52,15 Athirappilly and Gundia Hydel projects 58.
15 1 The Athirappilly Project 58,15 2 Gundia hydroelectric project 65. 16 Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts 71, 16 1 Assignment of levels of ecological sensitivity 71. 16 2 Deficit in environmental governance 71,16 3 Recommendations 74. Report of the WGEEP 2011,17 Mining in Goa 76,17 1 Status and Trends 76. 17 2 Footprints of mining 77,17 3 Governance Issues 81.
17 4 Recommendations 84,Appendices 86, Appendix 1 Methodology employed in generating and interpreting the Western Ghats. Database and assigning ESZs 86, Appendix 2 Proposed assignment of various Western Ghats Talukas to ESZ1 ESZ2 and. Appendix 3 Proposed ESZ1 and ESZ2 assignment of various Western Ghats talukas for. which less than 50 area is within the Western Ghats boundary 95. Appendix 4 Current Science Paper 97,References 146. Report of the WGEEP,List of Tables, Table 1 Geographical attributes of the Western Ghats 8. Table 2 Specific proposals for new Ecologically Sensitive Localities ESL 19. Table 3 Proposed assignment of various Western Ghats districts to ESZ1 ESZ2 and ESZ3 25. Table 4 Proposed ESZ1 and ESZ2 assignment of various talukas for which less than 50. area is within Western Ghats boundary 25, Table 5 Proposals for Ecologically Sensitive Localities ESL in Sindhudurg District 26.
Table 6 Proposed guidelines and summary recommendations for sector wise activities 41. Table 7 Salient features of the proposed Gundia Hydroelectric project 66. Table 8 Survey Responses to mining activity 84,Report of the WGEEP 2011. List of Figures,Figure 1 Western Ghats Boundary 7, Figures 2 7 Depicting PAs and ESZ1 ESZ2 and ESZ3 22. Figure 8 Production of Iron ore in Goa 1992 2009 77. Figure 9 Mining leases in Goa 78, Figure 10 Sedimentation of river beds and estuaries 79. Figure 11 Overburden dumps close to waterbodies 79. Report of the WGEEP,List of B o x e s, Box 1 Development by Exclusion Lote MIDC and pollution of Dabhol creek 14. Box 2 Conservation by Exclusion Soligas of BRT hills 15. Box 3 Adaptive Co management 15, Box 4 Mapping Ecologically Significant and Sensitive Areas of the Western Ghats Proposed.
Protocols and Methodology 18,Box 5 A grass roots level initiative 26. Box 6 Extracts from resolution of Gram Sabha of village Talkat Taluka Dodamarg District. Sindhudurg translated from Marathi 27, Box 7 Dahanu Taluka Environment Protection Authority 29. Box 8 Mahabaleshwar Panchgani Eco Sensitive Zone 31. Box 9 A summary of feedback from citizens in Mahabaleshwar Panchgani ESZ 35. Box 10 Kolhapur Wild Life Division s proposed management rules for Ecologically. Sensitive Zones around Protected Areas 38,Box 11 Regional Plans and the WGEA 48. Report of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel Part I Submitted to The Ministry of Environment and Forests Government of India 31 August 2011

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