Centre forms panel on Western Ghats

The panel will recommend measures for preservation, conservation and rejuvenation of region. It will submit its report to the Ministry of Environment and Forests within six months, a notification said. Based on the committee report the government will demark areas within the Western Ghats region to protect the ecological hot spots from any destruction.

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday convened a meeting of 43 MPs representing of 51 districts of the Western Ghat region here to explain the reasons behind the formation of the committee. These MPs will meet regularly to take stock of the issues regarding ecology and sustainable development of the region.

The government has already announced the plan to establish the Sahyadri Ecological Authority which will make recommendations for conservation and protection of the Western Ghats after elaborate and comprehensive consultation process involving the six states concerned.

One of the 34 global hot-spots of biodiversity, the Western Ghats covers about 1.6 lakh sq km. The panel consists of 14 members, including Dr K N Ganeshaiah of Ashok Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, Bangalore; Prof Renee Borges of Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, Bangalore; Prof R Sukumar, Chairman, Centre for Ecological Science, IISc, Bangalore; Vidya S Nayak of Nagarika Seva Trust, Belthangadi Taluk, Dakshina Kannada district; and Dr D K Subramanian, retired Professor of Computer Science and Automation, IISc, Bangalore.

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