W-Ghat study to be a guide for sustainable development

W-Ghat study to be a guide for sustainable development

The study will take into account at least 14 themes to come out with a comprehensive document on various aspects of ecological parameters and biodiversity in the region besides a developmental plan for sustainable productivity of the district.

The two-year study project with a budget of Rs 40 lakh and launched by Chief Minister Yeddyurappa recently is planned to serve as a guide and tool for policy makers to “choose development and income generating projects which are in tune with the ecology of the district”. The implementing agency is the Biodiversity Board in association with the Western Ghats Task Force. The study, dubbed to the first of its kind on sustainable development strategies, is being conducted by the Centre for Ecological Science, Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

Nestling in central Western Ghats, Uttara Kannada district is spread over some 20,000 sq kms of one the biologically richest places of South India.

Dr T V Ramachandra, Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Science, IISc will be the principal investigator for the study. Dr N V Joshi and Dr M D Subhash Chandran, also from IISc, are co-principal investigators.

The main themes include land use and land cover changes, inventorisation and mapping of biodiversity (terrestrial, aquatic-flora and fauna), inventorisation and mapping of agricultural, horticultural and livestock in the region, besides understanding the ecology, biodiversity and hydrology relationships.

Importantly, the study will also make an effort to understand the cultural diversity in relation to conservation such “sacred groves”, “sacred animals,” traditional resource utilisation and management, traditional skills, besides identification of heritage and cultural sites.