Constitution of High Level Working Group to study the preservation ...

Constitution of High Level Working Group to study the preservation ...

Constitution of High Level Working Group to study the preservation ...


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No.1/1/2010- RE (ESZ) Pt.Government of IndiaMinistry of Environment & Forests(RE Division)****OFFICE ORDERParyavaran Bhavan,CGO Complex, Lodi Road,New Delhi – 110 003Dated: 17 th August 2012Sub:Constitution of High Level Working Group to study the preservation of the ecology,environmental integrity and holistic development of the Western Ghats in view oftheir rich and unique biodiversityPreambleWestern Ghats are an important geological landform of peninsular India. It is the originof Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri and a myriad of rivers which are life line for the people ofsouthern India. On its ecological health depends livelihoods of millions of peoplebelonging to the six Western Ghats states of Gujarat, Maharastra, Goa, Karnataka, TamilNadu and Kerala.Western Ghats is one of the identified hotspots of biological diversity globally and is atreasure trove of biological diversity. Western Ghats harbour many endemic species offlowering plants, endemic fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and invertebrates.It is also notable center of evolution of economically important domesticated plantspecies such as pepper, cardamom, cinnamom, mango and jackfruit. The forestsharboured by the Western Ghats play a significant and important ecological function insequestration of atmospheric CO 2 and hence have an important role in climate change.Western Ghats have many unique habitats which are home to a variety of endemicspecies of flora and fauna. The lower elevations of the southern Western Ghats harbourremarkable relic habitat termed as Myristica swamps. Myristica swamps are the onlyremaining habitat for Myristicaceae which is one of the most primitive plant familyamong the flowering plants. Apart from southern Western ghats, these swamps arereported from New Guinea, Venezula and Amazon basin only. Similarly, the flat-toppedlateritic plateaus of northern Western ghats harbour unique and rich endemic herbaceousflora which comes to bloom in the post-monsoon season. Southern Western Ghats featurea unique tropical vegetation type, viz. stunted montane evergreen forests interspersedwith grasslands – the shola vegetation. Approximately 80 % of all endemic frog speciesare restricted to evergreen forests of Western Ghats. The wetland and aquatic habitats ofWestern Ghats are also unique in terms the rich diversity of species they support.It is because of this rich biodiversity which is endemic to the region and the fact thatWestern Ghats are a Centre of origin of many species and hence a cradle for biological

S.No. Name of Expert Status1 Dr. K. KasturiranganChairmanMember (Science), Planning Commission, New Delhi2 Professor C.R. BabuMemberProfessor Emeritus, University of Delhi &Ex Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi, Delhi3 Shri J.M. MauskarMemberEx-Special SecretaryMinistry of Environment and ForestsGovernment of India, New Delhi4 Professor Kanchan ChopraMemberEx-Director, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi5 Dr. Jagdish KishwanMemberIn his personal capacity and posted at present asAdditional Director General of Forests (Wildlife)Ministry of Environment and ForestsGovernment of India, New Delhi6 Shri Darshan ShankarMemberChairman, Institute of Ayurveda and IntegrativeMedicine, Bengaluru7 Ms. Sunita NarainMemberDirector GeneralCentre for Science and Environment, New Delhi8 Dr. P.S. RoyMemberDirectorIndian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun9 Shri Ajay Tyagi, Joint Secretary,Ministry of Environment and ForestsGovernment of India, New DelhiMember ConvenorSpecial InviteeDr. Indrani Chandrasekhran, Advisor (E&F)Planning Commission, New Delhi1. Terms of ReferenceI. To examine the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel Report in a holistic andmultidisciplinary fashion in the light of the comments received from the concerned StateGovernments/Central Ministries/Stakeholders considering the following importantaspects:a) the imperatives of equitable economic and social growth of the region in the mostsustainable manner with special attention and importance to the preservation of theprecious biodiversity, wildlife, flora and fauna of the Western Ghats and to preventfurther degradation of the same;b) the rights, needs and development aspirations of local and indigenous people, tribals,forest dwellers and the most disadvantaged sections of the local community recognizing

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