Shillong: The threat looming over the state’s rich natural resources, documented and non-documented, being wiped out from the face of the earth can be attributed to urbanization and other forms of development thereby paving the way for the depletion of biodiversity in the state, says the Head of Botanical Survey of India (Shillong and Gangtok) Dr TM Hynniewta.

“North East is considered as an ecological hotspot but a large section of the people in the region are not aware that the region’s reservoirs of biodiversity are under constant threat”, Dr Hynniewta opined.

Report of Madhav Gadgil-headed Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel

The report of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) headed by Madhav Gadgil has generated much heat and dust in Kerala, with environmental activists and pro-development experts adopting diametrically opposing views. But meaningful debate on the issue has been hampered by the difficulty in comprehending the voluminous report and the lack of data analysis and interpretation. The Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) has taken the initiative to address this lacuna by bringing out a handy document on the aspects of the WGEEP report relevant to the State.

Supreme Court’s interim order banning tourism in core tiger areas raises debate whether there are any guidelines for it and how harmful it can be to the wildlife and its habitat in protected areas.

What exactly constitutes ecotourism is the question thrown up by the Supreme Court’s interim order banning tourism in core tiger areas. Critical to the debate is whether there are any guidelines for it and how harmful it can be to the wildlife and its habitat in protected areas.

The Western Ghats have been labeled a world heritage site, but scientists from the city-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology have found that biodiversity is not well conserved in the reg

Rlys game for 2 of 3 proposals to minimise green damage

The Hubli-Ankola railway project has cleared another hurdle with the Railways accepting two of the three recommendations of a committee comprising engineers of the Indian Institute of Science. The committee had been set up to suggest alternative routes for the project in the wake of severe opposition from greens to the construction of the key railway line as it would harm the biodiversity of the Western Ghats. It had submitted its report on December 9, 2011 to the central empowered committee.

The ministry of environment’s decision to get Prof. Madhav Gadgil’s report reviewed by a separate panel has drawn up criticism from unexpected quarters.

Tim Badman, heading the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) World Heritage Programme, has issued a statement that international monitoring took place to ensure that the 39 bio-diversity hot spots in the Western Ghats be preserved in their entirety.

The State government is in no mood to give the Western Ghats-Unesco tag matter a rest.

It has raised serious contentions against the Centre for taking the matter into its own hands and renominating the Ghats in this year’s Unesco Convention at St Petersberg, Russia, ignoring the ‘stiff opposition’ by the State government. Forest Minister C P Yogeeshwara said on Wednesday the State government would oppose the tag conferred on the Western Ghats by the Unesco’s World Heritage Committee.

Commission a report and when it is ready, place it on a high shelf so that no one can reach it or read it. This seems to be the time-worn norm followed by successive governments in this country. So it comes as no surprise that after having asked the distinguished scientist Madhav Gadgil to head a committee to evaluate the ecological sensitivity of what is one of the world’s important biodiversity hotspots, the Western Ghats, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (EF) has received the final report without “accepting it”.

The National Green Tribunal has sought the reply of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on a plea against grant of any clearance to any new project in ecologically sensitive Western Ghats.

The Tribunal also issued notices to the state governments of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu seeking their replies on the plea for implementation of the report by Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) on the protection and preservation of Western Ghats.

SHILLONG: The bio-diversity hotspots in the State are vanishing at a faster rate, cautioned State Principal Secretary of the Department of Forest and Environment MS Rao.

Giving an overview of the bio-diversity of the State during an official programme to mark the International Bio-diversity Day in Shillong, Rao said today, “Our State has bio-diversity hotspots to talk about but their richness is under threat.”

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