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Conservation of Western Ghats

Wed 27 May, 2020

Recently, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar interacted with Chief Ministers, Cabinet Ministers & State Government Officers of six states viz, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu through Video Conference to discuss issues relating to notification of Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) pertaining to Western Ghats.

Background

  • A high-level task force headed by Dr. Kasturirangan formed for the sustainable and inclusive development of the region enclosed by the Western Ghats as well as its biodiversity conservation by the Government of India.

Major Highlights

  • The ecologically sensitive area is notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, whose basic objective is to regulate certain activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries so that sensitive ecosystems covering protected areas But the negative effects of such activities can be reduced.
  • The Gadgil Committee, formed before the Kasturirangan Committee, recommended the entire Western Ghats be designated as 'Ecologically Sensitive Areas' (ESA).

Western Ghats

  • The Western Ghats are a mountain range running parallel along the western coast of India starting from Gujarat and ending in Tamil Nadu covering the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. The Ghats are often called the Great Escarpment of India and are also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • The ‘Gersoppa’ or ‘Jog’ waterfall on Sharavati River is located in Western Ghats which is India’s highest waterfall. The famous hill station ‘Kodaikanal’ (Tamil Nadu) is on the Palni Hill whereas ‘Ooty’ (Udagamandalam or Ootacamund) is located on the Nilgiri in Tamil Nadu.