Preparations are nearing completion for the Ecological Festival of Western Ghats, to be held from February 1 in Coimbatore. The three-day national conference aims at building grass root responses for conservation of the Western Ghats, .
Anthropologist K.C. Malhotra and vertebrate ecologist A.J.T. Johnsingh will take part in the inauguration of the conference at Sri Krishna Arts and Science College in the city.
Organised by the Save Western Ghats Movement (SWGM) and supported by conservation groups and individual enthusiasts, the conference will see participation by around 1,500 delegates from the six Western Ghats States --Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharastra and Gujarat -- and also from rest of the country.
The participants include organisations involved in the conservation of Western Ghats, biologists, researchers, academicians, social welfare organisations, artists, authors, poets, agricultural and tribal societies, business and industrial community, students, Government officials and politicians and scholars who have worked in Western Ghats.
K. Kalidasan, a member of the organising committee, said the conference would also have debates, documentaries, exhibitions, music and drama on the Western Ghats other than scientific elaborations and discussions. It would also draw farmers working for the protection and conservation of the Western Ghats ecosystems and other ecosystems in India.
The conference will revisit and highlight the present status of the Western Ghats with reference to the reports of Kasturirangan Commission and Madhav Gadgil Commission. It will also be a platform to continue discussions with the Government and political parties and youth organisations to bring them into the conservation movement.
Mr. Kalidasan said the organising committee was trying for a video conference with Prof. Gadgil at the conference.