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WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011

WGEEP Report: Executive Summary

Western Ghats constitute a practicay un!ro"en hi chain #$ith the exception o% the
Paa""a& Gap' or escarpment running roughy in a north(south &irection, %or a!out 1)00 "m
parae to the Ara!ian sea coast, %rom the river *api #a!out 21
1+, -' &o$n to .ust short o%
/anya"umari #a!out 0
19, -' at the tip o% the 1n&ian peninsua2 a hi chain that is extremey rich
in !io&iversity an& crucia %or the security o% $ater resources o% Peninsuar 1n&ia3
1n vie$ o% the environmenta sensitivity an& ecoogica signi%icance o% the Western Ghats
region an& the compex interstate nature o% its geography, as $e as possi!e impacts o% cimate
change on this region, the 4inistry o% Environment 5 6orests Government o% 1n&ia has
constitute&, !y an or&er &ate& 7 4arch 2010, a Western Ghats Ecoogy Expert Pane #WGEEP'3
*he Pane has !een as"e& to per%orm the %oo$ing %unctions:
#i' *o assess the current status o% ecoogy o% the Western Ghats region3
#ii' *o &emarcate areas $ithin the Western Ghats Region $hich nee& to !e noti%ie&
as ecoogicay sensitive an& to recommen& %or noti%ication o% such areas as ecoogicay
sensitive 8ones un&er the Environment #Protection' Act, 190+3 1n &oing so, the Pane sha
revie$ the existing reports such as the 4ohan Ram 9ommittee Report, :on,!e Supreme
9ourt,s &ecisions, recommen&ations o% the -ationa ;oar& %or Wi&i%e an& consut a concerne&
State Governments3
#iii' *o ma"e recommen&ations %or the conservation, protection an& re.uvenation o%
the Western Ghats Region %oo$ing a comprehensive consutation process invoving peope
an& Governments o% a the concerne& States3
#iv' *o suggest measures %or e%%ective impementation o% the noti%ications issue& !y
the Government o% 1n&ia in the 4inistry o% Environment an& 6orests &ecaring speci%ic areas in
the Western Ghats Region as eco(sensitive 8ones un&er the Environment #Protection' Act,
#v' *o recommen& the mo&aities %or the esta!ishment o% Western Ghats Ecoogy
Authority un&er the Environment #Protection' Act, 190+ $hich $i !e a pro%essiona !o&y to
manage the ecoogy o% the region an& to ensure its sustaina!e &eveopment $ith the support o%
a concerne& states3
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
#vi' *o &ea $ith any other reevant environment an& ecoogica issues pertaining to
Western Ghats Region, incu&ing those $hich may !e re%erre& to it !y the 9entra Government
in the 4inistry o% Environment an& 6orests3
*he 4inistry has su!se<uenty as"e& the Pane to incu&e in its man&ate the entire
stretch o% Ratnagiri an& Sin&hu&urg &istricts, incu&ing the coasta region, an& to speci%icay
examine the Gun&ia an& Athirappiy :y&roeectric pro.ects3
6or the purpose o% &e%ining the !oun&ary o% the Western Ghats, WGEEP has use&
atitu&e an& %orest area or vegetation as &rivers &e%ining the !oun&aries3 =ur operationa
&e%inition %or the >Ghats, there%ore is %orest area a!ove a certain atitu&e3 Accor&ingy $e
&emarcate& the eastern e&ge !y i&enti%ying the %oreste& areas that are a!ove )00 m2 the
rationae %or this cuto%% %oo$e& %rom the &igita &ata $hich sho$e& that, in genera, )00m
constitutes the eevation at $hich the Western Ghats rise &iscretey %rom the pains o% the
?eccan pateau3 6or the $estern e&ge, $e use& a cuto%% o% %oreste& areas at 1)0 m an& a!ove
as the ghats %a more steepy &o$n to the coastine as compare& to the eastern si&e o% the
ghats3 We aso %oun& that $henever the %oreste& areas at eevations o% more than 1)0m &rop
&irecty into the ocean or $ithin a &istance o% 1"m o% the coastine, it $as &i%%icut to &e%ine the
coast3 :ence, in such situations #as in parts o% 4aharashtra', the coastine itse% $as consi&ere&
as the $estern e&ge o% the ghats3 =ne %urther issue that has to !e resove& is the eastern
!oun&ary o% the Western Ghats at the region o% its geographica connection $ith the Eastern
Ghats3 1t is generay agree& upon in the scienti%ic iterature that the southern(most an& $estern(
most extent o% the Eastern Ghats is the hi range in /arnata"a an& *amina&u "no$n as the
;iigirirangans3 *he region !et$een the -igiris an& the ;iigirirangans thus constitutes important
ha!itat contiguity %or severa %ora an& %auna eements an&, hence, it $ou& !e pru&ent to
incu&e the atter hi range $ithin the am!it o% the propose& Western Ghats Authority that aims
to conserve the ecoogy o% the ghats3
As per the ne$ !oun&aries, the WG stretches to a ength o% 1@90 "m %rom *api Aaey in
the north to /anya"umari in south3 With an area o% 1B@,B00 "m
, it stretches to a $i&th o% 210
"m in *amina&u an& narro$s to as o$ as @0 "m in 4aharashtra #eaving the Paghat gap'3
*hus &e%ine&, Western Ghats &o not correspon& exacty to particuar a&ministrative units such
as &istricts an& tau"as3 *he &istrict !oun&aries &o not, !y an& arge, coinci&e $ith imits o%
Western Ghats, except in a %e$ cases such as /o&agu, -igiris, Wynaa& an& 1&i""i3 *he
ma.ority o% &istricts incu&e either West 9oast or Western Peninsuar tract regions aong $ith
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
Western Ghats areas3 Western Ghats as an a&ministrative entity $as there%ore %irst visuai8e&
ony in the context o% Regiona Panning exercises, !eginning $ith a report prepare& !y the
*o$n an& 9ountry Panning =rgani8ation, ?ehi in 19+0,s7#Re%'3 *his report &eineate& Western
Ghats at *au"a eve, an& !ecame the !asis o% the Panning 9ommission,s Western Ghats
?eveopment Programme initiate& in 73 *his serves as the !asis o% &is!ursement o% 9entra
Government assistance, !ut has no impications in terms o% environmenta reguation3 Since
tau"as &o constitute a reasona!e a&ministrative unit %or &e%ining the Western Ghats, WGEEP
proposes that the tau"as $i !e the %ocus o% our recommen&ations3
Western Ghats are a treasure trove o% !io&iversity, surpasse& ony !y the Eastern
:imaayas3 :o$ever, they score over the atter region in har!ouring a arger num!er o% species
con%ine& $ithin 1n&ian imits3 *he Western Ghats aso constitute the $ater to$er o% Peninsuar
1n&ia3 *he region has some o% the highest eves o% iteracy in the country, an& a high eve o%
environmenta a$areness3 *he &emocratic institutions are $e entrenche&, an& /eraa ea&s
the country in capacity !ui&ing an& empo$ering o% Panchayat Ra. 1nstitutions3 Goa has recenty
concu&e& a very interesting exercise, Regiona Pan 2021, o% ta"ing inputs %rom Gram Sa!has
in &eci&ing on the an& use poicies3 Evi&enty, Western Ghats are an appropriate region o% the
country to attempt to ma"e the transition to$ar&s an incusive, caring an& environment %rien&y
mo&e o% &eveopment3
Develop thoughtfully - conserve thoughtfully
4any sta"eho&ers have suggeste& that, apart %rom the context o% provision o% 9entra
%inancia assistance %or pan schemes, &e%inition o% Western Ghats shou& have a reguatory
content o% a go( no go nature2 that certain activities $ou& !e !anne& $ithin imits o% Western
Ghats, !ut %uy permitte& outsi&e these imits3 WGEEP $ou& i"e to su!mit that $e shou&
move a$ay %rom such %ormuas that impart in%exi!iity to &eveopment processes3 WGEEP
$ou& i"e to stress that &eveopment pans shou& not !e cast in a rigi& %rame$or", !ut ought to
!e taiore& to prevaent ocaity an& time speci%ic con&itions $ith %u participation o% oca
communities2 a process that has !een terme& adaptive co-management3 What shou& !e Cgo,
an& $hat shou& !e Cno go, ought then to !e &eci&e& on a case !y case !asis, in tune $ith the
speci%ic environmenta an& socio(economic context, an& aspirations o% the oca communities3
Such a system o% a&aptive co(management $ou& marry conservation to &eveopment, an& not
treat them as separate, incompati!e o!.ectives3
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
Eet $e are to&ay stuc" in a system that %orci!y &ivorces conservation %rom
&eveopment3 1t en&s up creating a &ichotomy so that our poicies at once promote rec"ess
&eveopment in certain areas, an& thoughtess conservation in other areas3 1n the process $e
constitute isan&s o% !io&iversity #an& socia excusion' ( the so(cae& Protecte& Areas( in an
ocean o% ecoogica &evastation outsi&e o% these PA,s3 WGEEP !eieves that the insistence on
Fnot a !a&e o% grass sha !e remove& %rom PA,sG is as inappropriate as the on(going
comprehensive vioation o% poution contro a$s outsi&e o% PA,s3 *his has e& to a situation
such that the ma.ority o% peope are excu&e& %rom %ruits o%, an& &ecisions reating to, !oth
&eveopment an& conservation3 1n&ee&, !oth &eveopment an& conservation programmes are
!eing impose& on them against their $ishes3 WGEEP $ou& i"e to propose that $e shou&
instea& attempt to &eveop a mo&e o% conservation an& &eveopment compati!e $ith each
other encompassing the $hoe o% the Western Ghats region, to repace the prevaiing F?eveop
rec"essy H conserve thoughtessyG pattern $ith one o% F?eveop thought%uy ( conserve
thought%uyG3 *he %ine(tuning o% &eveopment( conservation practices to oca context that this
cas %or $ou& re<uire %u invovement o% oca communities3 *o sum up, WGEEP a&vocates a
ayere&, nuance&, participatory approach, so that !oun&aries $i not !e &iscontinuities an&
there%ore $i not !e o% un&ue signi%icance3 :ence, $hie $e $i, o% course, ta" o% the
!oun&aries o% Western Ghats, $e pea& that the pattern o% a&aptive co(management that $e
propose may aso !e appie& to regions !eyon& these !oun&aries3
Ecologically Sensitive Zones
Section D o% the Environment #Protection' Act 190+ #EPA' gives po$er to the Inion
4inistry o% Environment an& 6orests to ta"e a measures that it %ees are necessary %or
protecting an& improving the <uaity o% the environment an& to prevent an& contro
environmenta poution3 *o meet this o!.ective the 9entra Government can restrict areas in
$hich any in&ustries, operations or processes or cass o% in&ustries, operations or processes
sha not !e carrie& out or sha !e carrie& out su!.ect to certain sa%eguar&s3 JSec3 D#2' #v'K
Section )#1' o% the Environment #Protection' Rues 190+ #EPR' states that the 9entra
Government can prohi!it or restrict the ocation o% in&ustries an& carrying on certain operations
or processes on the !asis o% consi&erations i"e the !ioogica &iversity o% an area #cause v',
maximum ao$a!e imits o% concentration o% poutants %or an area #cause ii', environmentay
compati!e an& use #cause vi', or proximity to Protecte& Areas #cause viii'3
*hese provisions $ere invo"e& in 1909 in the context o% 4uru&(Lan.ira, a coasta viage
o% 4aharashtra3 Su!se<uenty, the term CEcoogicay 6ragie Area, $as use& %or the %irst time in
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
1991 in the context o% ?ahanu *au"a in coasta 4aharashtra3 *his has !een %oo$e& !y
&ecaration o% a num!er o% other areas such as the 4aha!aesh$ar( Panchgani an& 4atheran
his in 4aharashtra Western Ghats as Ecoogicay Sensitive Mones N Areas3 So %ar, these
Ecoogicay Sensitive Mones N Areas have !een esta!ishe& either as a resut o% initiatives o%
some civi society organi8ations $ishing to protect a particuary vunera!e an& signi%icant area,
or as a conse<uence o% a resoution o% 1n&ian ;oar& %or Wi&i%e in 2002 to protect areas up to
ten "iometers %rom the !oun&aries o% Protecte& Areas, namey, Wi&i%e Sanctuaries an&
-ationa Par"s3
=ver the years, a variety o% terms such as Ecoogicay SensitiveN Ecoogicay %ragieN
EcosensitiveN Eco%ragie MonesN Areas have !een use& in the context o% programmes reating to
Ecoogicay Sensitive Mones an& Areas3 1t is o!viousy use%u to intro&uce some stan&ar&
terminoogy an& &e%initions3 WGEEP $i there%ore use the term CEcoogicay Sensitive Area,
$hie re%erring to extensive tracts an& CEcoogicay Sensitive Mone, $hie re%erring to speci%ic
8ones $ithin the exten&e& CEcoogicay Sensitive Area, %or $hich a particuar set o% reguatoryN
promotiona activities have !een propose&3 6oo$ing the Prano! Sen committee,s criteria,
WGEEP proposes that the entire Western Ghats region !e &ecare& as an Ecoogicay
Sensitive Area #ESA'3 Within this Western Ghats ESA, WGEEP proposes to assign &i%%erent
regions, other than those covere& !y Wi&i%e Sanctuaries or -ationa Par"s to one o% the
%oo$ing three 8ones2 Ecoogicay Sensitive Mone 1 #ESM1', Ecoogicay Sensitive Mone 2
#ESM2', an& Ecoogicay Sensitive Mone D #ESMD'3 *hus, WGEEP has come up $ith %our coour
maps spanning the entire Western Ghats &epicting PAs, an& ESM1, ESM2 an& ESMD3
*he 4inistry o% Environment 5 6orests ha& set up a committee un&er the chairmanship
o% Shri Prona! Sen in 2000 to i&enti%y parameters %or &esignating ecoogicay sensitive areas in
1n&ia3 *his committee propose& a series o% species, ecosystem an& geo(morphoogy !ase&
parameters3 Sen 9ommittee,s %oremost criterion %or i&enti%ication o% ESA is en&emism, an& the
9ommittee proposes that the area o% occurrence o% every en&emic species nee&s to !e
protecte& in its entirety3 Western Ghats har!ours $e over a thousan& en&emic species o%
%o$ering pants, %ish, %rogs, !ir&s an& mammas amongst the !etter "no$n groups o% organisms,
an& no &ou!t thousan&s more amongst ess stu&ie& groups incu&ing insects3 Amongst
themseves these $ou& cover the entire geographica extent o% the Western Ghats an& a
conceiva!e ha!itats, incu&ing many &istur!e& ones such as roa&si&es3 *he Western Ghats
region aso <uai%ies as an ESA un&er severa other, primary as aso auxiiary, criteria propose&
!y the Prano! Sen committee3 WGEEP %uy en&orses the concusion that %oo$s that the entire
Western Ghats tract shou& !e consi&ere& as an Ecoogicay Sensitive Area3
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
:o$ever, a uni%orm set o% reguations cannot, o!viousy, !e promugate& un&er EPA %or
this entire region3 :ence, WGEEP recommen&s the a&option o% a gra&e& or ayere& approach,
an& suggests that entire Western Ghats !e characteri8e& as comprising #1' Regions o% highest
sensitivity or Ecoogicay Sensitive Mone 1 #ESM1', #2' Regions o% high sensitivity or ESM2, an&
the remaining #D' Regions o% mo&erate sensitivity or ESMD3 Such a characteri8ation can !e &one
on t$o !ases2 namey #1' Existing Protecte& Area net$or" an& #2' systematic mapping an&
recor&ing o% !ase(ine &ata as recommen&e& !y Sen 9ommittee3
WGEEP Western Ghats Database
WGEEP has ma&e consi&era!e progress in the exercise o% &eveopment o% a spatia
&ata!ase, %or over 2200 7Jexact num!er nee&e&K gri&s o% ),x), or roughy 9 "m x 9 "m through
compiation o% a rea&iy avaia!e in%ormation on topography, an& cover an& occurrence o%
!io&iversity eements3 *he rationae an& metho&oogy %oo$e& has !een $i&ey expose& to
scienti%ic scrutiny through pu!ication o% a &etaie& exposition in 9urrent Science, 1n&ia,s ea&ing
scienti%ic .ourna, in Lanuary 2011#Ga&gi, 43 et a 2011'3 *he WGEEP &ata!ase is
compemente& !y &eveopment o% simiar, more &etaie&, in%ormation !ases !y ;A1EER, Pune
an& ?EARAA1, /ohapur #7 speci%ic re%erences nee&e&'3
A&mitte&y there sti are serious acunae3 1n particuar, our &ata!ase is yet to incorporate
consi&erations o% ha!itat continuity3 1t is aso $ea" in terms o% in%ormation on streams, rivers an&
other $etan&s, as $e as groun& $ater an& %urther care%u $or" is nee&e& to i&enti%y, protect
an& sustaina!y manage a<uatic ha!itats an& $ater resources3 Since our %ocus is on hi areas,
this &ata!ase aso eaves out o% consi&eration issues o% signi%icance %or the West 9oast an&
coasta pains, such as mangrove %orests an& " an&s3 -evertheess, $e no$ have, %or the
%irst time in the country, a comprehensive, spatiay re%erence& &ata!ase on a series o%
important ecoogica parameters, transparenty avaia!e in the pu!ic &omain that can serve as
the !asis o% a systematic &eineation o% &i%%erent eves o% ecoogica signi%icanceN sensitivity %or a
si8ea!e region3
WGEEP, o% course, reai8es that ecoogica sensitivity is not merey a scienti%ic, !ut very
much a human concern3 1n particuar, a great &ea o% ocaity speci%ic un&erstan&ing o% $hat has
!een happening an& $hat is &esira!e, is simpy not part o% any scienti%ic &ata!ases an& resi&es
$ith oca communities3 WGEEP there%ore invite& a concerne& peope an& institutions to share
their o$n perceptions as to $hat speci%ic areas on the Western Ghats shou& !e i&enti%ie& as
!eing CEcoogicay Sensitive Areas,, $hy they %ee so, an& $hat set o% reguations taiore& to the
nee&s o% the ocaity shou& !e put in pace i% the area $ere to !e %ormay &ecare& as !eing
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
ecoogicay sensitive3 1n response, $e have receive& a num!er o% speci%ic proposas %rom
in&ivi&ua Gram Panchayats as $e as -G=s %rom &i%%erent parts o% the Western Ghats3 *$o o%
these are particuary note$orthy, #a' Gramsa!ha resoutions %rom a singe custer o% 2) viages
%rom Savant$a&i an& ?o&amarg tau"as o% Sin&hu&urg &istrict that they $ish their areas to !e
constitute& as ESAs, an& #!' care%u proposa %or a F4aharashtra Sahya&ri Ecoogicay
Sensitive AreaG !y ?EARAA1, an -G= %rom /ohapur &ra$ing on extensive research con&ucte&
at Shiva.i Iniversity3
ESZ assignment
WGEEP proposes that the 2200 o&& gri&s spanning the entire Western Ghats !e
assigne& to #1' Protecte& Areas, namey, Wi& Oi%e Sanctuaries an& -ationa Par"s, an& #2'
ESM1 #D' ESM2 an& #@' ESMD on the !asis o% composite scores o% ecoogica signi%icance
&erive& %rom the &ata!ase generate& !y WGEEP3 Since a ong stan&ing e%%ort has gone into
i&enti%ication o% Protecte& Areas an& they represent !oth socia an& ecoogica vaues, $e
propose that gri&s $ith scores at the eve o% Protecte& Areas an& a!ove $ithin the same state
!e assigne& to ESM1 category, $ith the proviso that the tota area un&er PAs an& ESM1 $i !e
imite& to P+0Q3 We propose that P2)Q o% gri&s $ith scores at the o$er en& !e assigne& to
ESMD category, an& the !aance to ESM23 *his impies a &ecision to treat PB)Q o% the gri&s as
!eonging to PAs, ESM1 or ESM23 =ur nationa goa is to maintain ++Q o% area un&er %orest
cover in a hi tracts3 Given that Western Ghats are a hi region o% specia signi%icance, $e
&eci&e& that it $as appropriate to aim at B)Q !eing treate& as areas o% high or highest
signi%icance3 1n vie$ o% the strong north( south ecoogica gra&ient over Western Ghats, one
cannot reay treat Gu.arath ?angs an& /eraa Asham!u his on the same %ooting3 :ence, this
exercise has !een un&erta"en separatey %or each state3 1n states $here the !oun&ary o% the
Western Ghats coinci&es or is very cose to coasta areas, the Pane has e%t out a $i&th o% 13)
"m %rom the coast %rom the &eimitation exercise to ac"no$e&ge the %act that the scoring
exercise &i& not re%ect coasta ecoogica vaues an& sensitivities3
*o sum up:
13 We $i treat Western Ghats regions o% each state separatey
23 Existing Protecte& Areas $i !e treate& as a %ourth separate category
D3 We $i !e assigning ESM1, ESM2 an& ESMD status ony to gri&s outsi&e existing
Protecte& Areas
@3 ESM1 status $i !e assigne& ony to such gri&s as have a score at east e<uaing, or
higher than the o$est scoring gri&s %aing $ithin existing Protecte& Areas
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
)3 1n a&&ition, other &etaie& in%ormation such as ocaities o% origin o% rivers, aterite
pateaus, ocaities critica %or maintenance o% ha!itat continuity, an& ocaities $here
oca communities have expresse& a strong interest in conservation $i !e use& to
&eci&e on &emarcation o% ESM1 an& ESM23
+3 *he extent o% existing Protecte& Areas pus ESM1$i not normay excee& +0Q o% the
tota area
B3 Extent o% area covere& !y existing Protecte& Areas pus ESM1 an& ESM2 together
$i !e aroun& B)Q3
03 *he extent o% ESMD $i normay !e aroun& 2)Q o% the tota area
*he &ata!ase empoys s<uare gri&s o% P9"m x 9 "m that &o not correspon& either to
natura %eatures such as $atershe&s, or a&ministrative units such as viage or tau"a
!oun&aries3 1t $i ceary !e &esira!e to put in pace a system o% 8onation that .ointy consi&ers
micro($atershe&s an& viage !oun&aries to &eci&e on speci%ic imits o% ESM1, ESM2 an& ESMD,
as $e as to arrive at ocaity speci%ic management pans3 *his $ou& !e a tas" that $i have to
!e initiate& !y the Western Ghats Ecoogy Authority $hen it is put in pace3 :o$ever, as a %irst
step, $e suggest that the 4inistry o% Environment an& 6orests provisionay noti%y the initia
imits o% ESM1, ESM2 an& ESMD !ase& on WGEEP anaysis3 *his may !e most appropriatey
&one at *au"aN ;oc" eve3 With this in vie$, $e have gone ahea& an& assigne& ESM1, ESM2
an& ESMD eves to a the 77 tau"as o% Western Ghats3
*a!e : Propose& assignment o% various Western Ghats &istricts to ESM1, ESM2 an& ESMD
State ?istrict *au"as assigne& to
*au"as assigne& to
*au"as assigne& to
4aharashtra Pune Wa&aon, Pau&, ;hor Sasva&
Satara Patan, 4aha!aesh$ar,
/oregaon Aa&u.
?r S - Prasa& is re<ueste& to provi&e the compete ta!e aong these ines
ESZ management
*he Prona! Sen 9ommittee &i& not evove any metho&oogy %or reguating the nature
an& extent o% human activity that can !e permitte& in &esignate& Ecoogicay Sensitive MonesN
Areas, a tas" that $as a&&resse& ater !y the 4inistry o% Environment 5 6orests itse%3 6or this
purpose, the 4oE6 has put in pace a centrai8e& system groun&e& in reguating an& use
empoying the provisions o% Section ) o% the Environment Protection Act 190+3 *he 4oE6
prepares the noti%ication an& cas %or responses %rom the pu!ic an& the concerne& state
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
Government3 Since an& is a state su!.ect, the state government is then as"e& to prepare a
Regiona ?eveopment Pan that $i provi&e %or appropriate use o% an& as visuai8e& in the
Ecoogicay Sensitive MoneN Area noti%ication3 *he state governments, in turn, %inai8e the
Regiona ?eveopment Pan a%ter caing %or pu!ic inputs3 *o oversee the impementation,
4oE6 constitutes a :igh Oeve 4onitoring 9ommittee, in most cases $ithout any oca
Whie the constitution o% such ESM NESAs has ha& many positive conse<uences, there
are aso serious %a$s in the system3 *he most serious pro!em is that the system &epen&s
heaviy on !ureaucratic reguation3 With no meaning%u participation !y oca community, an&
given the a!sence o% !ureaucratic transparency an& ac" o% accounta!iity, this !ree&s
corruption3 *he resut is that the $ea"er sections su%%er harassment an& extortion, $hie the
$eathy an& the po$er%u success%uy %out the reguations, ea&ing to tremen&ous oca
resentment3 Peope at 4aha!aesh$ar have compaine& in $riting o% very o& roa&s to their
viages !eing &isrupte& !y trenches &ug !y 6orest ?epartment, an& 4a&hav Ga&gi has
personay inspecte& some o% these3 *hey aege that the trenches are then %ie& on payment o%
!ri!es, to !e &ug again some time ater3 *hey aso aege that %armers have pay revenue
o%%icias a !ri!e o% Rs 20,000 i% they are to !e permitte& to &ig a !ore $e on their %arman&3
Oarge scae iega tree cutting seems to !e ta"ing pace in some hotes such as ;rightan&, an&
in a num!er o% construction sites un&er cover o% very ta meta sheets erecte& a aong the
compoun& $as3 6urthermore, no e%%ective mechanisms have !een &eveope& to promote goo&
natura resource management, such as protection o% streams or conservation o% ha!itats rich in
!io&iversity, %or instance, the aterite pateaus o% northern Western Ghats3
ESZs surrounding Protected Areas
A 2002 resoution o% 1n&ian ;oar& %or Wi&i%e has cae& %or constitution o% Ecoogicay
Sensitive Mones up to a &istance o% 10 "m surroun&ing a -ationa Par"s an& Wi&i%e
Sanctuaries3 *he impementation !y state 6orest ?epartments has !een very tar&y, $ith some
action !eing ta"en ony $hen pro&&e& !y t$o court &ecisions, one in 200) an& the secon& in
20103 WGEEP cou& o!tain no cear in%ormation on %oo$ up in any state other than
4aharashtra2 $hie some %ragmentary in%ormation $as o!taine& in 4harashtra ony a%ter much
e%%ort3 -ota!y, most o% the in%ormation o!taine& %or 4aharashtra, too, &erives %rom &ocuments
o!taine& un&er R*1 !y activists opposing a $in& energy pro.ect cose to ;himashan"ar Wi&i%e
Sanctuary3 1n contrast, ;harati Ai&yapeeth 1nstitute o% Environmenta Research an& E&ucation
prompty sponsore& a 4aster,s thesis on possi!e pro!ems that might arise in impementation
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
in case o% PAs in 4aharashtra, a thesis that $as compete& in 200@ #/urne, 777'3 Athough the
4aharashtra P996 re%erre& to this thesis in a etter &ate& 77 to his su!or&inate o%%icers, the
thesis has !een competey ignore& in the unsatis%actory %oo$ up that has ta"en pace on
4aharashtra Western Ghats3 As an exampe, minutes o% meetings reating to potentia ESMs
surroun&ing Ra&hanagari, 777 WOS recor& that some 6orest =%%icias expresse& the vie$ that
the steep escarpments o% Western Ghats shou& not !e consi&ere& ecoogicay sensitive, in
star" contra&iction to Prano! Sen 9ommittee recommen&ations3 As o% no$ no maps or
compete recor&s have !een ma&e avaia!e pertaining to these PAs3
*he hi range o% ;himashan"ar is the origin o% /rishna,s ma.or tri!utary, ;hima, an& .ust
i"e 4aha!aesh$ar( Panchgani ESM region, site o% origin o% /rishna river to the south, is an
area o% high rain%a an& !io&iversity(rich evergreen %orest3 :o$ever, no steps have !een ta"en
to constitute this ;himashan"ar Ecoogicay Sensitive Mone, &espite repeate& re<uests !oth
%rom 9entre an& !y hea& o% 6orest ?epartment in 4aharashtra3 ?uring visits to areas a&.oining
;himashan"ar Wi&i%e Sanctuary, WGEEP came across severa instances o% grave
J1K A ma.or $in& mi pro.ect has !een ceare& cose to ;himashan"ar WOS an& a arge
num!er o% $in& mis have come up $ithin the stipuate& ten "m 8one on the periphery3 *his
pro.ect shou& not have !een ceare& at a $ithout competing the constitution o% the
Ecoogicay Sensitive Mone3
J2K *his region has arge popuations o% Sche&ue& *ri!es an& tra&itiona %orest &$eers3
:ence, it $as imperative that 6orest Rights Act shou& have !een impemente& in this area in its
true spirit %ive years ago3 -othing is &one, an& oca peope caim that this resuts in continue&
harassment o% an& extortion %rom oca peope3
JDK WGEEP 9hairman 4a&hav Ga&gi an& mem!er Pro% Renee ;orges visite& this area
aroun& ;himashan"ar3 1n %act, Pro% Renee ;orges has !een engage& in scienti%ic stu&ies in this
area %or over t$o &eca&es3 1t is cear that the his $here $in& mis have come up are tracts o%
high rain%a an& !io&iversity(rich evergreen %orest, contiguous $ith that in the ;himashan"ar
WOS, an& home to 4aharashtra,s state anima, Giant S<uirre3 *he oca Range 6orest =%%icer
ha& aso ceary recor&e& these %acts an& recommen&e& that the $in& mi pro.ect shou& not !e
sanctione&3 :e $as overrue& !y his superior o%%icers $ho have ceare& the pro.ect !y patenty
misrepresenting the %acts on groun&3
J@K Apart %rom su!stantive %orest &estruction, incu&ing !y arge roa&s cutting huge
s$athes through Reserve 6orest, the $in& mi pro.ect has triggere& arge scae erosion an&
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
an&si&es through poor construction o% roa&s $ith steep gra&ients, an& a this ru!!e is en&ing
up on %ertie %arman& an& in reservoirs o% tri!utaries o% /rishna3
J)K *he 6orest ?epartment is cou&ing $ith $in& mi pro.ect operators in iegay
&enying citi8ens access to these his3 ;oar&s an& chec"(post have !een put up !y the
company, %asey caiming to !e authori8e& !y 6orest ?epartment3 *here are many tra&itiona
%orest &$eers on these his3 -ot ony are their rights un&er 6RA not !eing recogni8e&, they are
!eing iegay restraine& in their movements on his they have inha!ite& %or centuries3
Grass-roots involvement
WGEEP there%ore !eieves that it is inappropriate to &epen& excusivey on Government
machinery %or constitution an& management o% ESMs3 1nstea&, WGEEP suggests that the %ina
&emarcation o% the Mones #incu&ing those surroun&ing PAs, as aso in context o% the I-ES9=
:eritage Site proposa', an& %ine tuning o% reguatory, as $e as promotiona regime, must !e
!ase& on extensive inputs %rom oca communities an& oca !o&ies, namey, Gram Panchayats,
*au" Panchayats, Mi Parishats, an& -agar Pai"as, un&er the overa supervision o% the
Western Ghats Ecoogy Authority #WGEA', State eve Ecoogy Authorities an& the ?istrict
Ecoogy 9ommittees3 An interesting prece&ent %or this process has !een esta!ishe& &uring the
preparation o% Goa Regiona Pan 20213 *he %irst step in this GRP21 panning $as compiation
o% a comprehensive, spatiay re%erence&, &ata!ase on an&, $ater an& other natura resources
o% Goa state2 athough, regretta!y, uni"e our Western Ghats &ata!ase, this has not !een, as
yet, ma&e avaia!e in the pu!ic &omain3 :o$ever, this in%ormation $as seectivey share& $ith
a Gram Sa!has an& their suggestions as to &esire& pattern o% an& use o!taine&, consoi&ate&
an& use& as one important !asis %or preparation o% the %ina pan3 Again, regretta!y, the
Government o% Goa has not continue& $ith the &iaogue, %aiing to go !ac" to the Gram Sa!has
$hen it %et it appropriate to &iverge %rom the Gram Sa!ha suggestions3 -evertheess, this is an
exceent mo&e that shou& !e impemente& in its true spirit, an& WGEEP proposes that WGEA
shou& %oo$ it3
Another exceent mo&e %or WGEA is the %ormuation o% C9onservation o% !io&iversity rich
areas o% I&um!anchoa tau", pro.ect !y /eraa State ;io&iversity ;oar&3 *he proce&ure
%oo$e& has !een groun&e& in the po$ers an& %unctioning o% ;io&iversity 4anagement
9ommittees#;49' in a oca !o&ies, namey Gram Panchayats, *au" Panchayats an& Mia
Panchayats, as aso -agarpai"as an& 4ahanagarpai"as, in"e& to state eve ;io&iversity
;oar&s an& -ationa ;io&iversity Authority3 *his institutiona structure o% ;49s , man&ate& !y
1n&ia,s ;ioogica ?iversity Act 2002 %or the country as a $hoe, is avaia!e throughout the
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
Western Ghats region an& provi&es a soun& !asis %or &esigning a transparent, participatory
system %or arriving at %ina &ecisions regar&ing #1' &eineation o% ESM1, ESM2 an& ESMD, an&
#2' the management regime to !e %oo$e& in ESM1, ESM2 an& ESMD, %ine(tune& to oca
ecoogica an& socia context $herever necessary3 *his highy &esira!e participatory process
$i o!viousy ta"e some time3 -evertheess, WGEEP strongy commen&s its a&option3
:o$ever, the 4inistry o% Environment an& 6orests, Go1 must aso ta"e some imme&iate steps,
to sa%eguar& the precious natura heritage o% the Western Ghats3 :ence WGEEP strongy
recommen&s that 4in o% En 5 6 imme&iatey noti%ies un&er EPA the imits o% ESM1, ESM2 an&
ESMD as propose& !y WGEEP at tau"a eve, aong $ith an appropriate reguatory regime as
suggeste& in *a!e 23
Sectoral guidelines
*a!e 2: Propose& sector($ise gui&eines
Oan& use -o Specia Economic Mones2 no ne$ hi stations
-o ne$ non(
agricutura an& use to
!e permitte&, except
extension o% existing
viage settement
areas to
increase in popuation
o% oca resi&ents, 6SA
ratio o% RRR
Water use Decentralied !ater resources management plans at Ooca Se%
Government eve are to !e &eveope& at east %or the next 20 years
"eschedule reservoir operations in such a $ay as to improve
&o$nstream %o$s an& aso act as con%ict resoution strategy
"evive traditional !ater harvesting systems such as recharging
$es an& surangams
Protect high altitude valley s!amps
Participatory sand auditing an& strict reguations to !e put in pace
to contro san& mining
Declare #sand holidays$ !ase& on assessments an& san& au&it %or
mine& river stretches3
"ehabilitation of mined areas to !e ta"en up !y the companies N
agencies $ith specia %ocus on reviving the $ater resources
Eco % restoration of the forest fragments !et$een the
teaNco%%eeNcar&amom estates an& reviving the hi streams shou&
!e ta"en up as a ma.or $e coor&inate& initiatives among Panters,
Ooca Se% Governments an& 6orest ?epartments in high atitu&e
&atchment area treatment plans o% hy&roeectric an& ma.or
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
irrigation pro.ects shou& !e ta"en up to improve their i%e span3
'mprove river flo!s and !ater (uality !y scienti%ic riparian
management programmes invoving community participation
Water conservation measures shou& !e a&opte& through suita!e
technoogy up(gra&ation an& pu!ic a$areness programmes
'nter-basin diversions of rivers in the Western Ghats shou& not !e
ao$e& any more
"iver Basin Planning shou& !e supporte& !y suita!e ega
institutions that are capa!e o% integrating &i%%erent &epartments
$hich are presenty &eaing $ith or impacting the rivers in a
compartmentai8e& manner3
Decommissioning of dams that have outive& their utiity !eing
un&erper%orming, site& up !eyon& accepta!e stan&ar&s is to !e
Agricuture Promote organic agricutura practices, intro&uce incentive payments
%or se<uestration o% car!on in sois, intro&uce incentive payments %or
maintenance o% seect tra&itiona cutivars, encourage participatory
!ree&ing programmes to improve pro&uctivity o% tra&itiona cutivars,
encourage precision agricutura practices, -o G4=s
Phase out a use o%
chemica pestici&esN
$ee&ici&es an&
chemica %ertii8ers
$ithin %ive years
Phase out a use o%
chemica pestici&esN
$ee&ici&es an&
chemica %ertii8ers
$ithin eight years
Phase out a use o%
$ee&ici&es an&
chemica %ertii8ers
$ithin ten years
1ntro&uce incentive payments as Fconservation service chargesG %or
maintenance o% an& races o% ivestoc", Re&epoy su!si&ies %or
chemica %ertii8ers to$ar&s maintenance o% ivestoc" an& pro&uction
o% !iogas an& generation o% organic manure
6ishery Stricty contro use o% &ynamite an& other exposives to "i %ish,
Provi&e %ish a&&ers at a reservoirs, 1ntro&uce incentive payments as
Fconservation service chargesG %or maintenance o% in&igenous %ish
species in tan"s un&er contro o% ;io&iversity 4anagement
9ommittees or 6ishermen,s co(operatives, monitor an& contro tra&e
in a<uarium %ishes $ith the hep o% ;io&iversity 4anagement
6orest Rights Act to !e impemente& in its true spirit !y reaching out
to peope to %aciitate their caims, 9ommunity 6orest Resource
provisions un&er 6RA to repace a current Loint 6orest 4anagement
-o monocuture
pantation o% exotics
i"e eucayptus2
-o <uarrying2
-o pestici&eN
$ee&ici&e appication2
-o monocuture
pantation o% exotics
i"e eucayptus2
Encourage panting o%
en&emic species2
Suarrying $ith strict
-o monocuture
pantation o% exotics
i"e eucayptus2
Encourage panting
o% en&emic species2
Suarrying $ith strict
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
Extraction o% me&icina
pants $ith strict
Phase out pestici&eN
$ee&ici&e appication2
Extraction o%
me&icina pants $ith
strict reguations
Phase out
Extraction o%
me&icina pants
$ith strict
private an&s
Recogni8e rights o% a sma(scae, tra&itiona private an& ho&ers
un&er 6RA, 1ntro&uce incentive payments as Fconservation service
chargesG %or maintenance o% natura vegetation %or sma an& ho&ers2
1ntro&uce incentives such as tax !rea"s or rene$a o% eases as
Fconservation service chargesG %or maintenance o% natura vegetation
%or arge an& ho&ersN pantation o$ners2
private an&s
-o monocuture
pantation o% exotics
i"e eucayptus2
-o <uarrying2
-o pestici&eN
$ee&ici&e appication2
Extraction o% me&icina
pants $ith strict
reguations 2
Encourage panting o%
en&emic species
-o monocuture
pantation o% exotics
i"e eucayptus2
Encourage panting o%
en&emic species2
Suarrying $ith strict
Phase out pestici&eN
$ee&ici&e appication2
-o monocuture
pantation o% exotics
i"e eucayptus2
Encourage panting
o% en&emic species
in private %orests2
Suarrying $ith strict
Phase out
;io&iversity 1ntro&uce incentive payments as Fconservation service chargesG %or
maintenance o% sacre& groves2 1ntro&uce incentive payments as
Fconservation service chargesG %or maintenance o% !io&iversity
eements on private an&s, an&s un&er contro o% ;io&iversity
4anagement 9ommittees, L64 an&s, an&s assigne& as 9ommunity
6orest Resources2 4a"e specia %un&s avaia!e to ;io&iversity
4anagement 9ommittees %or &is!ursa in reation to $i&i%e reate&
4ining -o mining in areas
&emarcate& as ESM1
Where mining exists, it
shou& !e phase& out
in ) years, !y 201+2
1ega mining to !e
stoppe& imme&iatey
-o ne$ mining2
Existing mining un&er
strict reguation an&
socia au&it
-e$ mining may !e
ta"en up un&er
strict reguation an&
socia au&it
#Re& N=range'
-o ne$ re& an&
orange category
-o ne$ re& an&
orange category
-e$ in&ustries may
!e set up un&er
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
in&ustries2 %or existing
in&ustries s$itch to
8ero poution !y 201+
an& !e su!.ect to strict
reguation an& socia
in&ustries2 %or existing
in&ustries s$itch to
8ero poution !y 201+
an& !e su!.ect to
strict reguation an&
socia au&it
strict reguation an&
socia au&it
#GreenN ;ue' With strict reguation
an& socia au&it3
Ooca !ioresource
!ase& in&ustry shou&
!e promote&3 A
shou& !e stricty
reguate& an& !e
su!.ect to socia au&it3
Promote GreenN ;ue
in&ustries3 Ooca
!ioresource !ase&
in&ustry shou& !e
promote&3 A shou&
!e stricty reguate&
an& !e su!.ect to
socia au&it3
Promote GreenN
;ue in&ustries3
Ooca !ioresource
!ase& in&ustry
shou& !e
promote&3 A
shou& !e stricty
reguate& an& !e
su!.ect to socia
Po$erNEnergy -o arge storage
&ams, sma
!an&haras are
-o ne$ arge $in&
pro.ects or therma
po$er pants2
Promote !iomass
!ase& an& soar
sources %or
&ecentrai8e& energy
Promote sma scae,
micro an& pico
hy&ropo$er systems,
that are peope o$ne&
5 manage& an& are
o%% gri&2
Strict reguation o%
existing therma po$er
the existing therma
pants shou& !e
o!ige& to activey
promote aternate
uses o% %y ash ( such
as in roa& ma"ing in
a&&ition to the existing
practices o%
manu%acture o% %y
ash !ric"s
Promote run o% the
river schemes3
Promote !iomass
-o arge storage
&ams, sma
!an&haras are
Promote run o% the
river hy&ropo$er
pro.ects !ut a%ter
cumuative impact
stu&y o% the river
!asin is &one2
Reguate& $in&
po$er pro.ects !ut
a%ter cumuative
impact stu&y2
Mero poution to !e
re<uire& o% existing
*herma Po$er
Promote !iomass
!ase& Nsoar sources
%or &ecentrai8e&
energy nee&s3 A
shou& !e stricty
reguate& an& !e
su!.ect to socia au&it3
Po$er pants are
ao$e& su!.ect to
strict environmenta
reguations an&
monitoring an&
a%ter cumuative
assessments are
?ams su!.ect to
strict reguation an&
socia au&it3
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
!ase& Nsoar sources
%or &ecentrai8e&
energy nee&s3 A
shou& !e stricty
reguate& an& !e
su!.ect to socia au&it3
*ransport -o ne$ rai$ay ine3
-o nationa

su!.ect to strict
reguation an& socia
au&it2 -e$ roa&s
su!.ect to strict
reguation an& socia
Essentia ne$
roa&s may !e
ao$e& su!.ect to
strict reguation an&
socia au&it3
*ourism -o ecotourism 8ones2
6oo$ Ecotourism
poicy o% 4oE62
Strict reguation
Strict reguation on
!asis o% a *ourism
master pan an&
socia au&it
Strict reguation
an& socia au&it
=rgani8e e%%ective treatment o% se$age un&er strict reguation an&
socia au&it
Soi& $aste
;an a use o% pastics2 En%orce proper separation o% &egra&a!e an&
non(&egra&a!e soi& $aste2 4anage care%u &isposa o% soi& $astes
su!.ect to strict reguation an& socia au&it2 1ntro&uce incentive
payments %or agreeing to host soi& $aste &isposa sites $ithin
.uris&iction o% any Panchayat
Stricty !an a
activities pro&ucing
ha8ar&ous $astes
Stricty !an a
activities pro&ucing
ha8ar&ous $astes
4anage care%u
&isposa o%
ha8ar&ous $astes
su!.ect to strict
reguation an&
socia au&it
E&ucation "econnect children and youth to local environment through
e&ucation programmes %ocusing on oca environmenta issues3
*o achieve this, stu&ents, FRiver 9u!sG shou& !e encourage& in
schoos situate& aong the course o% the respective river
)ailor Environmental Education pro.ects to serve as an instrument
o% participatory environmenta monitoring invoving oca community
mem!ers2 connect such exercises to preparation o% FPeoe,s
;io&iversity RegistersG !y the oca ;io&iversity 4anagement
Science an&
&umulative impact assessment %or a ne$ pro.ects such as &ams,
mines, tourism, an& housing shou& !e con&ucte& an& permission
given ony i% they %a $ithin the carrying capacity
Environment river flo! assessments * indicators shou& !e
$or"e& out !y Research institutions, -G=s aong $ith oca
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
Build on the Western Ghats database of WGEEP to create an
open, transparent, participatory system of environmental monitoring
involving all citizens, in particular the student community
+pdate and upgrade hydrological data base o% rivers an&
consoi&ate the ecoogica &ata !ase an& in%ormation at river !asin
,ssess do!nstream impacts of dams on river ecoogy, %oo&
pains, %ishing ha!itats, iveihoo&s, !io&iversity an& reate& aspects
Map salinity intrusion so as to suggest improve& %o$s in %uture
Monitor reservoir operations invoving &o$nstream oca se%
governments an& &epartments
Western Ghats Ecology ,uthority
*he Western Ghats Ecoogy Authority #WGEA' shou& !e a statutory authority appointe&
!y the 4inistry o% Environment an& 6orest, Government o% 1n&ia en.oying po$ers un&er Section
D o% the Environment #Protection' Act 190+3 =% course, the Western Ghats is an extensive
region spanning over six states an& @0 o&& 77 &istricts, an& WGEA $ou& nee& to %unction in a
net$or"e& %ashion $ith six constituent State Western Ghats Ecoogy Authorities, appointe&
.ointy !y the State Governments an& the 9entra 4inistry o% Environment an& 6orest3 *he State
Western Ghats Ecoogy Authorities shou& interact cosey $ith the State ;io&iversity ;oar&s
an& Poution 9ontro ;oar&s, as $e as State Panning ?epartments a&ministering the Western
Ghats ?eveopment Programmes %un&e& through 6ive Eear Pans !y the Panning 9ommission3
1t $ou& !e appropriate that a the Western Ghats ?eveopment Pan schemes are $or"e& out
!y the State Governments $ith the hep o% the State Western Ghats Ecoogy Authorities an&
use& to support sustaina!e &eveopment oriente& schemes &eveope& un&er gui&ance o%
Western Ghats Ecoogy Authority3
9urrenty, the Ecoogicay Sensitive Areas are a&ministere& $ith the hep o% :igh Oeve
4onitoring 9ommittees appointe& !y the 9entra 4inistry o% Environment an& 6orest3 *hese are
hampere& !y ac" o% reguatory po$ers, except in the case o% ?ahanu *au"a Ecoogy Authority
esta!ishe& through a .u&gment o% the Supreme 9ourt3 *hey are aso hampere& !y ac" o%
%inancia an& human resources3 1n some cases no :O49 has !een in pace %or severa years at
a stretch3 WGEEP proposes that they shou& !e repace& !y ?istrict Ecoogy 9ommittees in a
Western Ghats &istricts3 *hese ?istrict Ecoogy 9ommittees shou& $or" in coa!oration $ith
the &istrict eve Mia Parisha&N Mia Panchayat ;io&iversity 4anagement 9ommittees, as $e
as ?istrict Panning 9ommittees3 1n&ee&, it may !e appropriate that the &istrict eve ;io&iversity
4anagement 9ommittees, $hich are statutory !o&ies esta!ishe& un&er ;ioogica ?iversity Act,
an& not a&(hoc committees $hich may cease to %unction %or years at a stretch as has happene&
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
$ith :O49s, may !e as"e& to &ischarge the %unctions o% WGEA ?istrict Ecoogy 9ommittees !y
augmenting their mem!ership !y some experts appointe& !y 9entra 4inistry o% Environment
an& 6orest an& State Western Ghats Ecoogy Authorities3
WGEA shou& %ocus on promoting transparency, openness an& participation in every
$ay3 An exceent too %or this cou& !e the reviva o% the scheme o% Paryavaran Aahinis, or
committees o% concerne& citi8ens to serve as environmenta $atch&ogs an& un&erta"e seective
%irst han& monitoring o% the environmenta situation in the &istrict3 *hese Paryavaran Aahini
vounteers cou& pay a signi%icant roe in !ui&ing capacity o% peope at the grass(roots %or
conservation, sustaina!e &eveopment an& ecorestoration3 WGEA cou& aso un&erta"e to
appoint Environmenta =m!u&smen in a &istricts3 1t shou& vigorousy promote institution o% a
socia au&it process %or a environmenta issues on the mo&e o% that %or 4ahatma Gan&hi
-ationa Rura Empoyment Guarantee Act in An&hra Pra&esh3
WGEEP has ma&e exceent progress in the &eveopment o% a spatia &ata!ase, %or over
2200 gri&s o% ),x), or roughy 9 "m x 9 "m through compiation o% a rea&iy avaia!e
in%ormation on topography, an& cover an& occurrence o% !io&iversity eements %or the Western
Ghats3 WGEA shou& pursue vigorousy %urther &eveopment o% this &ata!ase !y !ringing on
!oar& many avaia!e &ata!ases such as that prepare& in connection $ith Mona Atases %or
Siting o% 1n&ustries, !y sponsoring %urther scienti%ic inputs, as aso !y in"ing Environmenta
E&ucation activities at schoo an& coege eve an& the Peope,s ;io&iversity Register exercises
to augment the &ata!ase3 WGEA shou& encourage citi8en invovement in continua
&eveopment o% the Western Ghats &ata!ase on the pattern o% Austraian River Watch schemes3
1n this context, WGEA shou& hep overcome the entirey un.usti%ia!e &i%%icuties that
researchers encounter to&ay in $or"ing in %orest areas3 WGEA shou& pursue concerne&
Government agencies to ma"e avaia!e a pertinent in%ormation pro(activey as provi&e& in the
Right to 1n%ormation Act, an& not $ait %or appications !y citi8ens3 6or exampe the 4inistry o%
Environment an& 6orests shou& imme&iatey ma"e pu!ic a &istrict eve Mona Atases %or
Siting o% 1n&ustries in a searcha!e %orm on the 4inistry,s $e!site, $hich may then !e in"e& to
the Western Ghats &ata!ase3
WGEA shou& ea& a ra&ica re%orm o% Environmenta 1mpact Anaysis an& 9earance
process3 1t shou& revisit the ist o% pro.ects that re<uire Environmenta 1mpact Anaysis an&
9earance an& incu&e certain items such as Win& 4is an& sma scae hy&roeectric pro.ects
that are excu&e& to&ay3 1t shou& as" a pro.ect proponents to &eposit an appropriate %ee $ith
the Authority an& then seect competent agencies to carry out the E1As in a transparent %ashion3
6urthermore, it shou& in" the Environmenta E&ucation activities at schoo an& coege eve
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
an& the Peope,s ;io&iversity Register exercises to the E1A process3 E<uay urgent is the nee&
to promote a more hoistic perspective an& organi8e a process o% 9umuative 1mpact Anaysis in
pace o% the current pro.ect(!y(pro.ect cearances3
WGEA shou& strive to promote a participatory, !ottom(up approach to conservation,
sustaina!e &eveopment an& ecorestoration o% the Western Ghats3 With this in vie$, it shou&
encourage &evoution o% &emocratic processes as visuai8e& in BD
an& B@
Amen&ments to the
1n&ian 9onstitution3 /eraa, one o% the Western Ghats states has ma&e su!stantia progress in
this &irection, an& WGEA shou& promote the emuation o% /eraa exampe in a the Western
Ghats &istricts3 /eraa has aso ta"en the ea& in meaning%u impementation o% ;ioogica
?iversity Act through ;io&iversity 4anagement 9ommittees, an& WGEA shou& ta"e imme&iate
steps to ensure esta!ishment o% ;io&iversity 4anagement 9ommittees at a eves, namey,
Gram Panchayats, *au"a Panchayats, Mia Panchayats, as aso -agarpai"as an&
4ahanagarpai"as in a the Western Ghats &istricts3 6urthermore, WGEA shou& ensure that
;49s are motivate& through empo$erment to evy Tcoection chargesT as provi&e& in the
;ioogica ?iversity Act3 *hese institutions may !e invove& in &eveoping programmes on the
mo&e o% C9onservation o% !io&iversity rich areas o% I&um!anchoa tau", in /eraa3 *hese
;io&iversity 4anagement 9ommittees are expecte& to ta"e care o% agro(!io&iversity as $e,
an& in this context the provisions o% Protection o% Pant Aarieties an& 6armers, Rights Act
2001are highy reevant3 A -ationa Gene 6un& has !een esta!ishe& un&er PPA6RA an& has
su!stantia amounts avaia!e3 *hese %un&s can !e utii8e& to !ui& capacity at Panchayat eve
%or in situ conservation o% genetic &iversity o% in&igenous crop varieties3
*he 4ahatma Gan&hi -ationa Rura Empoyment Guarantee Act has much potentia %or
the tas" o% ecorestoration3 1t aso has the a&vantage that Gram Sa!has are expecte& to !e
invove& in panning o% the $or"s to !e un&erta"en3 =ther opportunities exist %or capacity
!ui&ing an& empo$erment o% Gram Sa!has through Extension o% Panchayat Ra. to Sche&ue&
Areas Act #PESA' an& 6orest Rights Act, an& WGEA shou& promote pro(active an&
sympathetic impementation o% PESA an& o% the provision o% 9ommunity 6orest Resources
un&er the 6orest Rights Act3
6inay, WGEA shou& strive to ma"e a transition %rom reguations an& negative
incentives to promote nature conservation oriente& activities to a system o% use o% positive
incentives to encourage continue& conservation(oriente& action in the context o% tra&itiona
practices such as sacre& groves an& to initiate other action in mo&ern contexts3 An exampe o%
the atter is the payment o% conservation service charges !y /eraa ;io&iversity ;oar& to a
%armer $ho has maintaine& mangrove gro$th on his private an&3 WGEA shou& un&erta"e a
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
critica assessment o% the e%%icacy o% %un&s !eing &epoye& to$ar&s conservation e%%orts to&ay in the
%orm o% saaries an& per"s o% !ureaucrats an& technocrats, incu&ing their .eeps an& guns an&
!ui&ings to house them3 1t $ou& un&ou!te&y !e %oun& to !e excee&ingy o$3 *hese %un&s
shou& then !e re&epoye& over a perio& o% time to provi&e positive incentives to oca
communities to maintain !io&iversity eements o% high vaue to conservation3
*echnica inputs $ou& !e re<uire& to &eci&e on a common system o% assigning
conservation vaue to speci%ic eements o% !io&iversity an& to organi8e a reia!e, transparent
system o% monitoring !io&iversity eves $ithin the territories assigne& to various oca
communities, in %orm o% either 9ommunity 6orest Resources assigne& un&er 6RA, or Panchayat
areas assigne& to ;io&iversity 4anagement 9ommittees3 E&ucationa institutions at a eves,
%rom viage primary schoos to universities, cou& pay an important roe in this e%%ort3 1n&ee&,
these exercises cou& !ecome very vaua!e components o% environmenta e&ucation curricua3 1n
the ong run, ony a very ean !ureaucratic apparatus shou& !e retaine& to pay a coor&inating,
%aciitative roe an& to ensure that oca communities can e%%ectivey en%orce a &esire& system o%
protection an& management o% the natura resource !ase3 Such a system $ou& create a very
e%%icient mar"et %or conservation per%ormance so that %un&s earmar"e& to promote !io&iversity
$ou& %o$ to ocaities an& oca communities en&o$e& $ith capa!iities o% conserving high
eves o% !io&iversity3 *his system $ou& aso channe re$ar&s %or conservation action to reativey
poorer communities iving cose to the earth, there!y serving en&s o% socia .ustice, an& creating
in the ong range a situation %ar more %avora!e to the maintenance o% !io&iversity on the earth3
"atnagiri and Sindhudurg
*he Pane has !een as"e& to suggest an appropriate course o% %urther &eveopment o%
mining, po$er pro&uction an& pouting in&ustries in Ratnagiri an& Sin&hu&urg &istricts o%
4aharashtra3 *his entire region has !een seriousy impacte&, !oth environmentay an& sociay
!y a num!er o% mining an& po$er pro.ects, an& pouting in&ustries3 *he impacts are mani%o&2
&epetion an& poution o% groun& $ater, sitation o% $ater !o&ies, increase& %oo& %re<uencies,
oss o% %ertie agricutura an&, &epetion o% %isheries, &e%orestation, oss o% uni<ue !io&iversity
eements such as her!aceous pants o% ateritic pateaus, air poution, noise poution, tra%%ic
congestion an& acci&ents, increase in respiratory aiments, an& so on3 *he situation ceary
$arrants a care%u assessment an& mi&(course correction3
*he pro!em is not .ust ega, !ut su!stantia eves o% iega activities3 6or instance,
many %armers compain o% miners muscing their $ay onto private an& an& &igging pits3
Poution %rom many in&ustries is aso $e a!ove egay permissi!e imits3 9onse<uenty, there
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
is much socia &iscor&, especiay !ecause peope %irmy !eieve that a$ an& or&er machinery
is !eing misuse& to protect iega activities3
*he Pane has !een as"e& to suggest an appropriate course o% %urther &eveopment o%
mining, po$er pro&uction an& pouting in&ustries in Ratnagiri an& Sin&hu&urg &istricts o%
4aharashtra3 Given the many pro!ems %acing these ecoogicay rich yet %ragie &istricts, it is
cear that $e must procee& $ith great care3 =ny eastern portions o% these &istricts are covere&
!y the Western Ghats %or $hich WGEEP has compete& assignment o% Ecoogicay Sensitive
Mones an& gui&eines %or %urther &eveopment pro.ects3 6or these Western Ghats regions o% the
&istrict, the Pane recommen&s:
#a' An in&e%inite moratorium on ne$ environmenta cearances %or mining in
Ecoogicay Sensitive Mones 1 an& 2,
#!' A phasing out o% mining %rom ESM1 !y 201)
#c' 9ontinuation o% existing mining in Ecoogicay Sensitive Mone 2 un&er strict
reguation $ith an e%%ective system o% socia au&it3
#&' -o ne$ re& an& orange category in&ustries, $hich $ou& incu&e coa !ase&
po$er pants, shou& !e permitte& to !e esta!ishe& in Ecoogicay Sensitive
Mones 1 an& 22
#e' *he existing re& an& orange category in&ustries shou& !e as"e& to s$itch to
8ero poution in Ecoogicay Sensitive Mones 1 an& 2 !y 201), an& operate& ony
un&er an e%%ective system o% socia au&it3
Cumulative impact analysis
WGEEP has not un&erta"en any extensive compiation o% pertinent in%ormation an&
assignment o% eves o% ecoogica sensitivity to pains an& coasta portions o% the Ratnagiri an&
Sin&hu&urg &istricts %aing outsi&e the Western Ghats3 -evertheess, the imite& investigations
o% the Pane in these pains an& coasta tracts suggest that these are un&er severe
environmenta an& socia stress, an& it is essentia that a care%u 9umuative 1mpact Anaysis o%
various &eveopment activities in these tracts, i&eay in con.unction $ith Raiga& &istrict o%
4aharashtra an& the state o% Goa, must !e imme&iatey un&erta"en, pre%era!y un&er the
ea&ership o% -ationa 1nstitute o% =ceanography, Goa3
*his shou& not !e a techno(centric stu&y aone, !ut ensure that peope,s &eep ocaity
speci%ic "no$e&ge o% environmenta issues an& their &eveopment aspirations are ta"en on
!oar&3 *o this en& the 4inistry o% Environment an& 6orests shou& as" the state 6orest
?epartments to proactivey assist the *ri!a We%are ?epartments in impementation o% the
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
Sche&ue& *ri!es an& =ther *ra&itiona 6orest ?$eers #Rights over 6orests' Act3
*he impementation o% the 9ommunity 6orest Resources provisions o% this act $ou& greaty
hep create !roa& !ase& sta"e %or peope in sa%eguar&ing the environment o% the region3
6urthermore, 4inistry o% Environment an& 6orests shou& ensure the esta!ishment o% ;ioogica
?iversity 4anagement 9ommittees in a oca !o&ies in this region, motivate them through
empo$erment to evy Tcoection chargesT as provi&e& in the ;ioogica ?iversity Act an& %un&
the ;49s to &ocument the oca ecoogica setting an& !io&iversity resources in coa!oration
$ith oca e&ucationa institutions3 *his $ou& not ony %urther encourage oca community
mem!ers to engage in ta"ing goo& care o% their o$n environment, !ut generate much &etaie&
in%ormation o% "ey reevance %or the propose& cumuative environmenta impact anaysis3
=% course a strong scienti%ic institution nee&s to ta"e overa responsi!iity o% such an
exercise an& ensure soun& scienti%ic an& technica inputs3 *here%ore, WGEEP recommen&s that
-1=, Goa !e as"e& to pay such a roe3 *he Pane recommen&s that the current moratorium on
ne$ environmenta cearances %or mining, an& re& an& orange category pouting in&ustries an&
po$er pants in pains an& coasta tracts o% Ratnagiri an& Sin&hu&urg &istricts shou& !e
exten&e& ti satis%actory competion o% such an anaysis o% 9arrying 9apacity o% these &istricts3
*he moratorium may then !e revie$e& in ight o% the %in&ings o% the stu&y3
Gundia -ydroelectric pro.ect
*he Gun&ia river !asin is a Chot hotspot, o% !io&iversity $ith a repository o% !ioogica
$eath o% rare "in&s, !oth in its a<uatic an& terrestria ecosystems3 *he premium shou& !e on
conservation o% the remaining evergreen an& semi(evergreen %orests, $hich are vita %or the
$ater security #perenniay o% streams' an& %oo& security #sustenance o% !io&iversity'3
*he propose& pro.ect #G:EP' is ecoogicay unsoun& an& economicay unvia!e
!ecause o% the %oo$ing reasons
1. *he construction o% this pro.ect $i cause arge scae an& cover changes in Gun&ia
2. *he propose& pro.ect $ou& have negative impacts on the !io&iversity o% the region
3. *he propose& region is a part o% an Eephant Reserve an& %orms a vita in" !et$een t$o
Eephant 9orri&ors3
4. *he propose& pro.ect $ou& cause ha!itat %ragmentation an& shrin"age resuting in
enhance& humanH$i&i%ie con%icts3
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
5. *he %orests are ecoogicay an& economicay !ene%icia to humans3
6. *he pro.ect $ou& ater the hy&roogica regime3 /umara&hara River, a perennia source o%
$ater to the important Su!ramanya tempe, $i ose $ater &ue to its &iversion to the ;etta"umri
&am3 *his $i a%%ect the tempe an& revenue %rom ecotourism3 Aso, &ue to arge scae an&
cover changes, the catchment yie& $i &$in&e an& current perennia streams $i !ecome
seasona #as in the Sharavathi river !asin'3 *his $ou& a%%ect oca peope3
9onsi&ering the a!ove, the propose& hy&ro(eectric pro.ect at Gun&ia river !asin $ou&
!e ecoogicay an& economicay unvia!e as it $ou& $ea"en the %oo& an& $ater security o% the
region apart %rom enhancing humanH$i&i%e con%icts3 *his pro.ect shou& not !e grante&
Environmenta 9earance3
,thirappilly -ydroelectric pro.ect
9onsi&ering the: #1' bio&iversity richness, the high conservation vaue, highy
signi%icant %ish %auna $ith type ocaity o% %ive ne$ species an& as many as 22 en&emic an& 9
criticay en&angere& species, the !ir& %auna $ith B)Q o% the en&emics o% the Western Ghats,
an& the uni<ue riverine ecosystem not seen in other areas in the State, #2' the impact o% the
pro.ect on the !io&iversity an& the ecosystem, some o% $hich may !e irrepara!e, #D' the impact
on &o$nstream irrigation an& &rin"ing $ater, #@' the <uestiona!e technica %easi!iity o% the
pro.ect, #)' the meager amount o% po$er that cou& !e generate& %rom the pro.ect, #+' impact on
the ha!itats o% the primitive tri!es o% the area, #B' the high cost o% construction even $ithout
consi&ering the ecosystem services an& environmenta cost, an& #0' the .u&gment o% the
honoura!e :igh 9ourt o% /eraa ma&e on 1B =cto!er 2001 &irecting the /SE; to F #ta/e all
necessary steps to repair and restore to full capacity 0 all the e1isting -ydro Electric
Pro.ects to ensure that the generation of po!er as envisaged is obtained and also to ta/e
steps to ensure that transmission losses are minimied and that theft of energy is
prevented and to the e1tent possible eliminated altogether$0 the WGEEP recommen&s to
the 4oE6 that the Athirapiy ( Aa8hacha area shou& !e protecte& as such an& the permission
%or the propose& hy&ro(eectric pro.ect at Athirappiy shou& not !e given3 *he WGEEP %urther
recommen&s that the 9haa"u&y River shou& !e &ecare& as a %ish &iversity rich area, to !e
manage& on the pattern o% C9onservation o% !io&iversity rich areas o% I&um!anchoa tau", in