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Centre Has Proposed Eco-sensitive Areas

Centre Has Proposed Eco-sensitive Areas:

Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Goa, three of the six states where the Centre has proposed eco-sensitive areas (ESAs) to protect the Western Ghats have requested a reduction in the extent of these ESAs to permit development projects.

  • In 2013, the government constituted a High-Level Working Group under the Chairmanship of Dr. Kasturirangan to make recommendations for conserving and protecting the biodiversity of Western Ghats while allowing for sustainable and inclusive development of the region.
  • Previously, the Madhav Gadgil Committee (2011) also gave its recommendations of conservation of Western Ghats.
  • The Committee had recommended that identified geographical areas falling in the six States of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu be declared ass ESA.
  • The Committee recommended bringing just 37% of the Western Ghats under the ESA, down from the 64% suggested by the Gadgil Committee report.
  • All the involved States recognised a need to protect the Western Ghats, however, they expressed their concerns related to the allowed activities and extent of the area mentioned in the draft notification.
  • These states argue for the rationalisation of ESAs to facilitate development works.
  • Karnataka opposed the K Kasturirangan panel report which proposed 20,668 km2 as ESA, citing adverse effects on local livelihoods.
  • Goa also requested a reduction of about 370 km2 from the proposed 1,461 km2 of ESAs.