'23 medicinal plants conservation regions in State'

Speaking to media persons during his visit to Talacauvery, he said 13 places including Talacauvery have been identified in the first phase as medicinal plants conservation regions. Ten more places will be identified and included in the list soon and the declaration will be made this year itself, he informed.

Stating that 75 per cent of the pharmacies and Ayurveda medicine preparation units in the State produce medicines using the medicinal plants through illegal transportation, he said the forest staff in the lower level must be educated well in advance to stop illegal transportation of plants from the forest. All attempts are on to bring amendment to the law related to the above issue, he told.

No permission for mining
Informing the victory of Western Ghats Task Force with regard to the large scale mining in Westen Ghats, he said the government has positively responded to the request of the Task Force and has decided not to give permission to mine in the Western Ghat regions. “The Task Force has submitted 23 point recommendations to the Government aiming at the comprehensive and sustainable development of Western Ghats and Malnad region. The recommendations were submitted to the government on February 23. The State and Central Government’s stand of allotting grant to the districts based on the population is unfair and has curbed Malnad region from obtaining several benefits. So we demand the government to provide special grant for the development of Malnad villages. We have urged the State and the Central governments to reserve 20 per cent of the irrigation funds for preserving the water bodies and water sources,” he informed.

Explaining the preservation of medicinal plants in various parts of State, he said Hogarekaigiri of Chikmagalur district, Ambaragudda of Kodachadri, Bhimghat of Belgaum, Bedthi in North Canara and Aghanashini valleys will be declared as bio-diversity zones where the medicinal plants will be preserved, said Hegde.

Informing about announcing Talacauvery, Brahmagiri and Pushpagiri as world heritage sites, he clarified that no proposal has been submitted in this regard by the State government to the Central government after B S Yeddyurappa came to power. Until and unless the State government agrees for the proposal, it is not possible to announce them as world heritage places.

“We are trying our best to draw the attention of the Central government, as some of the localities are expressing opposition towards the announcement of world heritage sites,” he said.

He also informed that the conference regarding village forest rights will be held in Madikeri within a month, where the issues related to the preservation of bio-diversity in the Western Ghats will be discussed, said Ashisara.

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