Centre to provide more inputs on W Ghats to panel

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Union Minister for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh said that his ministry would submit additional information as sought by the WHC before its next meting to be held at Bangkok in June-July, 2012.

The minister clarified that the world body had not rejected India’s request to grant heritage tag to Westen Ghats, instead it sought more information pertaining to governance, coordination mechanisms to synergise management activities of 39 sites.

Jairam said that the Centre need not submit revised dossier to the WHC. He said the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) technical team would not undertake spot visit again in the Western Ghats.

The Minister said as all the states had already given their consent for approach to the Unesco seeking heritage tag, the Centre would not seek their approval on this issue again.

Taking a dig at the Karnataka Government, he said “the BJP led government celebrating the set back in the Unesco without having full knowledge of the issue. The world body just sought more information, we would submit it, he said.

The minister said MOEF had submitted the nomination dossier for inscription of 39 serial sites in the Western Ghats, spread across four southern states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra,  to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre based in Paris in February 2010. But in the meeting held on June 29 at Paris, the world body decided to “defer” the issue and sought more information.

However, India requested the IUCN to consider “referral” than “deferral” which was also backed by 11 member countries-Egypt, Brazil, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Cambodia, China, Jordan, Nigeria, Russia and South Africa.

Finally the WHC agreed to change its draft from deferral to referral and sought just additional information. Terming the amendment by WHC from deferral to referral as a victory to the India's case, the minister said this itself indicated that Western Ghats would get heritage tag in the next meeting.

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