Western Ghats in danger; conserve it immediately, warns UNESCO
Kochi: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has pointed out in an environmental report that the Western Ghats which is the lifeline of six states including Kerala in in a dangerous condition. It is noted that if immediate action is not taken to conserve the biodiversity in the Ghats, the people who depend on the mountain will be in crisis.
The Western Ghats is one of the most important natural heritage sites of the world. UNESCO is expressing concern over the conservation of the biodiversity in the Ghats for the first time. The assessment report was prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the official advisory committee of the UNESCO.
The Western Ghats is included in the places which faces huge threat. Another site from India included in the list is Manas wildlife sanctuary in Assam. The report noted that the atmosphere in the Western Ghats is under threat due to immense exploitation.
Climate change, intense rain and summer, water and air pollution, tourist activities, deforestation, hunting, road and rail projects inside forest, dams, mine and quarry industries, wild fire and similar factors destroy the mountain range. The IUCN evaluated that long term projects are required to overcome the challenges.
Madhav Gadgil, the chairman of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), had said in the 2011 report that the Western Ghats is not an ordinary habitat. It provides water to over 245 million people in the country. A special guideline should be prepared to protect the Ghats by dividing into three. A new system should be implemented in the village level, he added.