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Updated: July 2, 2012 03:52 IST

Western Ghats makes it to World Heritage List

K. S. Sudhi
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17 nations favour India at World Heritage Committee meeting

The Western Ghats has made it to the coveted list of World Heritage Sites. The World Heritage Committee, meeting at St. Petersburg in Russia, decided to inscribe 39 serial sites of the Western Ghats on the World Heritage List on Sunday night.

“The Western Ghats was inscribed under criteria 9 and 10 of the Operational Guidelines of the World Heritage Convention,” Vinod B. Mathur, Dean of the Wildlife Institute of India, told The Hindu from Russia.

Criterion nine of the guidelines deals with properties which are “outstanding examples representing significant ongoing ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals.” Criterion 10 is relevant for “those properties which contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.”

“The discussion on the Ghats witnessed representatives from 17 nations — Algeria,  Cambodia, Columbia, Estonia,, Ethiopia, Iraq, Japan, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, the UAE and Thailand —coming out strongly in favour of India. The Indian delegation aptly responded to a range of questions, clarification and amplifications sought by the members of the World Heritage Committee,” Dr. Mathur said in a communication.

“The positive decision on the Western Ghats is a reflection of India’s concerted efforts to inscribe the world’s hottest hotspot on the World Heritage List, thus plugging an important and long-standing gap on the list,” he said.

The nomination processes thus successfully ended a six-year-long campaign of the country for getting the sites inscribed on the list. India had been campaigning for the inscription since 2006. Recounting the process of campaign, Dr. Mathur said that India had submitted a dossier for nomination of 39 sites in the Western Ghats spread over Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris in 2010.

Under the Operational Guidelines of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, India’s nomination dossier was peer-reviewed by IUCN experts and subsequently an IUCN Technical Evaluation Mission that visited India for field evaluation. Based on the inputs received through desk reviews and field evaluation, the IUCN recommended to the World Heritage Committee to ‘defer’ the consideration of the Western Ghats dossier at the Paris session held last year, he pointed out in a communication.

The Indian delegation met the members of the 21-nation World Heritage Committee to highlight the merits of India’s proposal for inscription of the Western Ghats on the list.

The Russian delegation moved a proposal to recommend amendments to the ‘inscription’ against the IUCN recommendation of ‘deferral,’ he said.

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests delegation to the 36th session comprised Jagdish Kishwan, Additional Director General (Wildlife), Dr. Mathur, and S.K. Khanduri, Inspector-General of Forests (Wildlife).

It is wonderful some one is active.
It is shame on the local and state authorities to neglect this

from:  Datta
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 20:28 IST

It is good to hear, but governments-Central as well as state governments
should implement strict measures to preserve our natural wealth. Forests
are being cleared, ecosystem is disrupted by many ways, mostly in the
name of religion, culture, agriculture, industry, livelihood. Government
should also think over the matter of river linking also. It is high time
to protest against river linking projects, since these delicate ecosystems, may be suffered by slightest human influence. It is not only
scenic beauty,it is our life.

from:  Reema George
Posted on: Jul 3, 2012 at 09:47 IST

Everyone is crowing about how we finally made it to the list.But the crux of the matter is whether we have the will and wherewithal to retain our name on the list given the lackadaisical attitude of our state and central governments towards fighting poaching on the one hand and indiscriminately granting mining licences besides protecting our politicians who are illegally carrying out mining and other nefarious activities.I guarantee that the name will be removed from the list much before the issue comes up for review.Let
the government announce forthwith the stern measures proposed to be adopted and set in train to stop even one animal from being slaughtered and one pail of ore or sand is illegally removed from the mines and river beds etc.

from:  Raj Kumar
Posted on: Jul 3, 2012 at 03:13 IST

Very good more details about other sites (39) will highlight the importance of being in the list

from:  Subhash babu
Posted on: Jul 2, 2012 at 16:07 IST

Unfortunately Goa's bit of the Western Ghats is not yet part of the areas that got the UNESCO World Heritage Tag. The mining lobby that dominates the state government in Goa (no matter which party is in power) has insured the process of applying for the UNESCO nomination was blocked . For the moment Goa missed the boat. Perhaps we will make it in the next round of assessment meetings. We can only keep trying!

from:  Carmen Miranda
Posted on: Jul 2, 2012 at 13:51 IST

The List of 30 sites:
Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve
Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
Kulathupuzha Range
Palode Range
Periyar Tiger Reserve
Ranni Forest Division
Konni Forest Division
Achankovil Forest Division
Srivilliputtur Wildlife Sanctuary
Tirunelveli (North) Forest Division
Eravikulam National Park (and proposed extension)
Grass Hills National Park
Karian Shola National Park
Karian Shola (part of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary)
Mankulam Range
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Mannavan Shola
Silent Valley National Park
New Amarambalam Reserved Forest
Mukurti National Park
Kalikavu Range
Attapadi Reserved Forest
Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
Talacauvery Wildlife Sanctuary
Padinalknad Reserved Forest
Kerti Reserved Forest
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
Kudremukh National Park
Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary
Someshwara Reserved Forest
Agumbe Reserved Forest
Balahalli Reserved Forest
Kas Plateau
Koyna Wildlife Sanc

from:  Prem
Posted on: Jul 2, 2012 at 12:59 IST

It is time that we people of India should take this news seriously,
because few of us are educated about this place. it is true if ask to
100 peoples that What is Western Ghats? i think 1-2 will tell exactly
what it is. It is time that we should awake ourselves about
environment protection & conservation in schools , colleges ,
Universities. There should be unique and dedicated course on
environment in all Govt. Universities. Students should be sent to
Jungles and various Eco-systems to do research and training. Now days
youth is only running after engineering courses and then going into IT
sector. This trend has overshadowed research and development in many academic Fields. Environment is one of them.
AS india's stand in many Environment forums been not to take
leadership and show world even a developing nation dare to clean-up
mess created by Developed Nations.
We cry for our poverty and other issues, and want to stick to ways
that developed nations adopted. It's time to change.

from:  Sanjay Vishindasani
Posted on: Jul 2, 2012 at 11:50 IST

After a long time western ghats one of the most developed place in
biological means is added to this prestigious list of world heritage
sites. This part of the world was connected to Madagascar and african
continent millions of years back in the time of earth evolution. Being a
World heritage site western ghats will get extensive publicity and it
makes it vulnerable to visits by more people around the world.
Authorities should take necessary steps to protect this invaluable hot
spot .

from:  Ranjith Shetty
Posted on: Jul 2, 2012 at 11:05 IST

This is really good news that it has made it to the list. this beautiful
scenic section of our country deserves this

from:  sharifa
Posted on: Jul 2, 2012 at 10:17 IST

Good. Please let us know those 39 sites.

from:  Raja Pamarthi
Posted on: Jul 2, 2012 at 09:49 IST

Tamil Nadu is not getting sufficient rains from South West Monsoon
because of Western Ghats.Rain clouds are stooped entering Tamil Nadu
by these high rise mountains.If the height of the mountains are
reduced by about 100 feet or as required at strategic places the
monsoon clouds will enter into Tamil Nadu and we will get sufficient
rains.By getting rains both from South West and North East Monsoons
Tamil Nadu Will become water surplus state and we need not depend for
water from other nearby states.This project will be more beneficial
than Sethu Samuthiram project cost wise and benefit wise.

from:  SRIHARAN
Posted on: Jul 2, 2012 at 09:31 IST

So now we are counting on UNESCO to fund and fight problems that we created and
so miserably failed to solve ?- water problem in Ooty ?!. Mullaiperiyar Dam ?.
Lavasa ?. Goa - drug capital of India ?.

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Jul 2, 2012 at 06:17 IST
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