Planters picket international team in Madikeri

Protestors consisting of zilla panchayath president Vijaya and members of Planters Association let the team leave the place only after their assurance that they would consider the views put forward by the planters.

Earlier, protestors barged into the forest inspection bunglow just as Additional Principal Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) M H Swaminathan, the coordinator for the tour began, to address press. The protestors did not allow officials to speak and questioned as to how a proposal of this kind had been formulated.

They alleged that life of Kodagu people would be crippled if such a project took off.
Swaminathan tried to explain that the proposal was signed by Central government seven years ago and the UNESCO (of which IUCN is a part) was finalising the issue after final consultations.

IUCN team member Wendy Strahm also assured protestors that they were "not one sided" and would definitely submit an impartial report to UNESCO.However, the protestors did not allow officials to hold any meeting and asked them to leave the place along with the team.
The IUCN team comprising Wendy Strahm and Brian Furze is visiting five districts in the Western Ghats region to look into the possibility of declaring nine locations as World Heritage sites.

The IUCN is the independent evaluator for World Heritage Sites in its capacity as formal advisory body to the World Heritage Convention.

Of the 39 proposed World Heritage sites, nine are in the Western Ghats region of Karnataka. The proposal to include these sites in the list of World Heritage sites has been submitted to UNESCO, through Union Ministry for Environment and Forests.

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