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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 #$ith the exception o% the
Paa""a& Gap' or escarpment running roughy in a north(south &irection, %or a!out 1)00 "m
parae to the Ara!ian sea coast, %rom the river *api #a!out 21
0
1+, -' &o$n to .ust short o%
/anya"umari #a!out 0
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% $ater resources o% Peninsuar 1n&ia3
Mandate
1n vie$ 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,
190+3
#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
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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
Boundaries
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
2
, 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
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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 $i !e the %ocus o% our recommen&ations3
Strengths
Western Ghats are a treasure trove o% !io&iversity, surpasse& ony !y the Eastern
:imaayas3 :o$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
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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, $as use& %or the %irst time in
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WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
1991 in the context o% ?ahanu *au"a in coasta 4aharashtra3 *his has !een %oo$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
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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& "ha.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
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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
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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, $e suggest that the 4inistry o% Environment an& 6orests provisionay noti%y the initia
imits o% ESM1, ESM2 an& ESMD !ase& on WGEEP anaysis3 *his may !e most appropriatey
&one at *au"aN ;oc" eve3 With this in vie$, $e have gone ahea& an& assigne& ESM1, ESM2
an& ESMD eves to a the 77 tau"as o% Western Ghats3
*a!e : Propose& assignment o% various Western Ghats &istricts to ESM1, ESM2 an& ESMD
State ?istrict *au"as assigne& to
ESM1
*au"as assigne& to
ESM2
*au"as assigne& to
ESMD
4aharashtra Pune Wa&aon, Pau&, ;hor Sasva&
Satara Patan, 4aha!aesh$ar,
4e&ha
/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
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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 $ithout any oca
representation3
Whie the constitution o% such ESM NESAs has ha& many positive conse<uences, there
are aso serious %a$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
9
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
misgovernance:
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&
10
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 $hoe, is avaia!e throughout the
11
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
Western Ghats region an& provi&es a soun& !asis %or &esigning a transparent, participatory
system %or arriving at %ina &ecisions regar&ing #1' &eineation o% ESM1, ESM2 an& ESMD, an&
#2' the management regime to !e %oo$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
Sector ESM1 ESM2 ESMD
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
accommo&ate
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 $e coor&inate& initiatives among Panters,
Ooca Se% Governments an& 6orest ?epartments in high atitu&e
areas
&atchment area treatment plans o% hy&roeectric an& ma.or
12
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
irrigation pro.ects shou& !e ta"en up to improve their i%e span3
'mprove river flo!s and !ater (uality !y scienti%ic riparian
management programmes invoving community participation
Water conservation measures shou& !e a&opte& through suita!e
technoogy up(gra&ation an& pu!ic a$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
consi&ere&3
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%
chemica
pestici&esN
$ee&ici&es an&
chemica %ertii8ers
$ithin ten years
Anima
:us!an&ry
1ntro&uce incentive payments as Fconservation service chargesG %or
maintenance o% an& races o% ivestoc", Re&epoy su!si&ies %or
chemica %ertii8ers to$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
9ommittees
6orestry:
Government
an&s
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
programmes
-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
1D
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
Extraction o% me&icina
pants $ith strict
reguations
reguations2
Phase out pestici&eN
$ee&ici&e appication2
Extraction o%
me&icina pants $ith
strict reguations
reguations2
Phase out
pestici&eN
$ee&ici&e
appication2
Extraction o%
me&icina pants
$ith strict
reguations
6orestry:
private an&s
Recogni8e rights o% a sma(scae, tra&itiona private an& ho&ers
un&er 6RA, 1ntro&uce incentive payments as Fconservation service
chargesG %or maintenance o% natura vegetation %or sma an& ho&ers2
1ntro&uce incentives such as tax !rea"s or rene$a o% eases as
Fconservation service chargesG %or maintenance o% natura vegetation
%or arge an& ho&ersN pantation o$ners2
6orestry:
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
reguations2
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
reguations2
Phase out
pestici&eN
$ee&ici&e
appication2
;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 $i&i%e reate&
&amage
4ining -o mining in areas
&emarcate& as ESM1
Where mining exists, it
shou& !e phase& out
in ) years, !y 201+2
1ega mining to !e
stoppe& imme&iatey
-o ne$ 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
1n&ustry
#Re& N=range'
-o ne$ re& an&
orange category
-o ne$ re& an&
orange category
-e$ in&ustries may
!e set up un&er
1@
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
in&ustries2 %or existing
in&ustries s$itch to
8ero poution !y 201+
an& !e su!.ect to strict
reguation an& socia
au&it
in&ustries2 %or existing
in&ustries s$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
au&it3
Po$erNEnergy -o arge storage
&ams, sma
!an&haras are
permissi!e2
-o ne$ arge $in&
pro.ects or therma
po$er pants2
Promote !iomass
!ase& an& soar
sources %or
&ecentrai8e& energy
nee&s2
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$er
pants2
the existing therma
pants shou& !e
o!ige& to activey
promote aternate
uses o% %y ash ( such
as in roa& ma"ing in
a&&ition to the existing
practices o%
manu%acture o% %y
ash !ric"s
Promote run o% the
river schemes3
Promote !iomass
-o arge storage
&ams, sma
!an&haras are
permissi!e2
Promote run o% the
river hy&ropo$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$er
Pants2
Promote !iomass
!ase& Nsoar sources
%or &ecentrai8e&
energy nee&s3 A
shou& !e stricty
reguate& an& !e
su!.ect to socia au&it3
Po$er pants are
ao$e& su!.ect to
strict environmenta
reguations an&
monitoring an&
a%ter cumuative
impact
assessments are
un&erta"en2
?ams su!.ect to
strict reguation an&
socia au&it3
1)
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
!ase& Nsoar sources
%or &ecentrai8e&
energy nee&s3 A
shou& !e stricty
reguate& an& !e
su!.ect to socia au&it3
*ransport -o ne$ rai$ay ine3
-o nationa
high$ayNstate
high$ayNexpress$ays3

Ipgra&ation
possi!eNpermitte&
su!.ect to strict
reguation an& socia
au&it2 -e$ roa&s
su!.ect to strict
reguation an& socia
au&it3
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
Se$age
&isposa
=rgani8e e%%ective treatment o% se$age un&er strict reguation an&
socia au&it
Soi& $aste
management
;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
:a8ar&ous
$aste
management
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 $astes
su!.ect to strict
reguation an&
socia au&it
E&ucation "econnect children and youth to local environment through
e&ucation programmes %ocusing on oca environmenta issues3
*o achieve this, stu&ents, FRiver 9u!sG shou& !e encourage& in
schoos situate& aong the course o% the respective river
)ailor Environmental Education pro.ects to serve as an instrument
o% participatory environmenta monitoring invoving oca community
mem!ers2 connect such exercises to preparation o% FPeoe,s
;io&iversity RegistersG !y the oca ;io&iversity 4anagement
9ommittees
Science an&
*echnoogy
&umulative impact assessment %or a ne$ 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 $ith oca
communities
1+
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
1n%ormation
management
Build on the Western Ghats database of WGEEP to create an
open, transparent, participatory system of environmental monitoring
involving all citizens, in particular the student community
+pdate and upgrade hydrological data base o% rivers an&
consoi&ate the ecoogica &ata !ase an& in%ormation at river !asin
eve
,ssess do!nstream impacts of dams on river ecoogy, %oo&
pains, %ishing ha!itats, iveihoo&s, !io&iversity an& reate& aspects
Map salinity intrusion so as to suggest improve& %o$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&
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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 $ith
the Authority an& then seect competent agencies to carry out the E1As in a transparent %ashion3
6urthermore, it shou& in" the Environmenta E&ucation activities at schoo an& coege eve
10
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
an& the Peope,s ;io&iversity Register exercises to the E1A process3 E<uay urgent is the nee&
to promote a more hoistic perspective an& organi8e a process o% 9umuative 1mpact Anaysis in
pace o% the current pro.ect(!y(pro.ect cearances3
WGEA shou& strive to promote a participatory, !ottom(up approach to conservation,
sustaina!e &eveopment an& ecorestoration o% the Western Ghats3 With this in vie$, it shou&
encourage &evoution o% &emocratic processes as visuai8e& in BD
r&
an& B@
th
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
19
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 $e a!ove egay permissi!e imits3 9onse<uenty, there
20
WGEEP Report Executive Summary August 9, 2011
is much socia &iscor&, especiay !ecause peope %irmy !eieve that a$ 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
21
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
$ater security #perenniay o% streams' an& %oo& security #sustenance o% !io&iversity'3
Recommendations
*he propose& pro.ect #G:EP' is ecoogicay unsoun& an& economicay unvia!e
!ecause o% the %oo$ing reasons
1
:
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
22
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
/eraa3
2D