Friday, May 8, 2009

Green manifesto to save Western Ghats

Green manifesto to save Western Ghats
Green manifesto to save Western Ghats

Dhanya Matsa
First Published : 07 May 2009 03:19:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 07 May 2009 07:58:55 AM IST

CHENNAI: Candidates contesting from the 32 parliamentary constituencies that fall under the Western Ghats region in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, and Kerala would now have to sign a letter promising to take up measures to protect the Western Ghats.

An initiative of the Tamil Nadu Green Movement, Wildlife Association of Rajapalayam (WAR), and the Organisation for Social Awareness and Illumination (OSAI), Coimbatore, several non-governmental organisations and wildlife enthusiasts have drafted a manifesto on the Western Ghats to garner the support of policy makers, who will decide on these issues in their constituencies for the next five years.

Joint Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Green Movement, S Jayachandran, said: “The importance of issues such as protection of forests need to be emphasised among candidates so that they raise these issues at the national level.’’

He said that the manifesto detailed the connection between the protection of forests in the Western Ghats and ensuring water security in South India through the protecting the rivers such as Cauvery, Tungabhadra and Krishna.

The manifesto enumerates the danger of implementing various projects like mega thermal power plants, which were under consideration for implementation in places such as Konkan and the Western Coast.

The representatives of these organisations told Express that they would present the candidates with the manifesto that would enumerate the danger of constructing dams in the Western Ghats and emphasised on the need for a review of the existing dams in the Ghats to enable MPs to make an informed decision.

“The depleted forest cover occupies only less than 36 per cent, while it needs to have at least 66 per cent of the total geographical area of the Ghats. Also, rampant monoculture of exotic species should be discouraged, and instead, indigenous plants and trees should be grown to conserve the ecology of the Ghats. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve should be developed into a modern reserve. This will ensure ecological security for the three States,’’ said T S Subramaniyaraja, naturalist, Wildlife Association of Rajapalayam.

These demands were made after consultation meetings of over 85 organisations working towards saving the Western Ghats and S Jayachandran hoped that major political parties and their candidates would endorse these demands.

No comments: