Kamaljith Singh Bawa, founder and president of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), and winner of this year’s Gunnerus Sustainability Award (a Norwegian research prize awarded biannually), said the heritage status granted to the Western Ghats pointed to the importance of conservation and management of our natural resources.

The civil society should be deeply involved in such efforts so that conflicts or future conflicts could be avoided, he added.