O slideshow foi denunciado.
Utilizamos seu perfil e dados de atividades no LinkedIn para personalizar e exibir anúncios mais relevantes. Altere suas preferências de anúncios quando desejar.

Critical Comparison b/w WGEEP Report & HLWG Report on Western Ghats

Critical Comparison b/w WGEEP Report & HLWG Report on Western Ghats

  • Entre para ver os comentários

Critical Comparison b/w WGEEP Report & HLWG Report on Western Ghats

  1. 1. Critical Comparison between Report of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel and Report Of The High Level Working Group On Western Ghats MEMBERS • AJAY RAM AYANA BYJU BRIGIT DOMINIC SAMARTH MISHRA SARANYA S THUHINA J CHANDRAN
  2. 2. Introduction  Western Ghats also known as Sahyadri.  UNESCO World Heritage Site. One among 8 hottest hotspots of biodiversity  Home to thousands of plants and animals.  Location:- Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu  Includes Sahyadri, Nilgiri and Anamalai mountain ranges and also 34 peaks.
  3. 3. Introduction Gadgil & his Report  Madhav Gadgil, an eminent ecologist.  Assigned to prepare a report on Western Ghats.  Head of Western Ghats Ecological Expert Panel(WGEEP).  Commission submitted the report to the Government of India on 31 August 2011.  “The Western Ghats is a biological treasure trove that is endangered, and it needs to be protected and regenerated, indeed celebrated for its enormous wealth of endemic species and natural beauty”
  4. 4. Introduction Kasturirangan & his Report  Dr. Kasturi Rangan is the former ISRO Chairman.  An expert in Nuclear Sciences and one of scientific advisers to the PM of India.  Assigned to analyse the WGEEP Report and to give guidelines to the govt. to formulate an implementable action plan.  The HLWG (High Level Working Group commonly known as Kasturirangan Committee) Report.
  5. 5. GADGIL REPORT…….. • 2010 Government appointed Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel(WGEEP) - Headed by Madhav Gadgil • Commission submitted the report to the Government of India on 31 August 2011 • They divided WG into 3 zones based on ecological sensitivity(ESZ1, ESZ2 , ESZ3). • Gadgil report considers 1370000 sq. km as ecologically sensitive area
  6. 6. RECOMMENDATIONS…… • Establishment of Western Ghats Authority • Water resource conservation plans • No new power plants in the sensitive zones • Organic agricultural practices • Ban plastic within 3 years • Roads and constructions only after study of environmental consequences • To stop illegal mining in the western ghats area immediately & not to give permissions for new mine zones in Z1 &Z2 • Red and orange industries not to be allowed in Z1 and Z2
  7. 7. KASTURIRANGAN REPORT…… • Dr. Kasturi Rangan is the former ISRO Chairman. • expert in Nuclear Sciences and one of scientific advisers to the PM of India • assigned to analyze the WGEEP Report and to give guidelines to the govt. and to formulate an implementable action plan. • Removed cash crop plantations & agricultural fields from ESZ • Remarked 37% (60000sq km) as ESZ
  8. 8. RECOMMENDATIONS……  Banned development of any township or construction over 20000 sq. km in ESZ  Complete ban of mining and quarrying activities  banned red category industries (including thermal power plants)  Hydroelectric projects can be initiated obeying terms and conditions
  9. 9. Key differences between Gadgil and Kasthurirangan Report  The extend of area of ESZ Gadgil Report Kasthurirangan Report Entire WG should be considered as ESZ Removed cash crops,agricultural lands and settlements from ESZ Created three categories of protection regimes and listed activities Made the distinction between what it called cultural landscape and natural landscape. 137,000 hectares should be awarded the status of ESZ 60,000 hectares should be awarded as ESZ
  10. 10.  List of activities permissible in the protected regime Gadgil Report Kasthurirangan Report Ban pesticide use and genetically modified crops Impose restrictions on what it called highly interventionist and environmentally damaging activities in the ESZ Decommissioning of Hydro Power Projects All mining and red-category industry (including thermal power), and buildings over 20,000 square metres would be completely banned. Gradual shift from agricultural land to natural forests hydropower projects, the panel set tough conditions to ensure adequate flow in rivers and distance between projects.
  11. 11.  Concerns on governance frame work  The Gadgil panel had recommended a national-level authority, with counterparts at the state and district levels.  The Kasturirangan panel argued for strengthening the existing framework of environmental clearances and setting up of a state-of-the-art monitoring agency.
  12. 12. Arguments in favour of WGEEP  Extend of area fixed as natural area by HLWG does not conform to the National Forest Policy according to which the minimum forest cover required to be maintained in hilly areas is 66%.  WGEEP considers the recommendations of Government bodies and the Pronab Sen Committee specify several criteria on the basis of which the entire Western Ghats qualifies as Ecologically Sensitive.  Pronab Sen Committee recommends to declare an area as ESA, is presence of endemic species which would cover the entire geographical extent of the Western Ghats.  WGEEP has divided ESA based on  Biodiversity  Cultural, Geological, Historical, Climatic conditions especially quantum of rainfall and the number of rainy days, risk of landslide, and stakeholders' views
  13. 13.  The ESA proposed by the HLWG is based mainly on the distribution of flora. WGEEP has taken on board both flora and fauna, with details such as their rarity, endemism, abundance. Note: Fig.A: ESA proposed by the HLWG (yellow) is superimposed on the ESZ 1 (red), ESZ 2 (grey) and ESZ 3 (green) proposed by WGEEP for Mudigere taluka in Chickamangalore
  14. 14.  ESA proposed by the HLWG does not reflect the landscape approach for conservation and development. It does not serve the purpose of biodiversity conservation.  WGEEP considered two main parameters  Altitude  Vegetation  Even with this scientific approach, WGEEP concludes that further discussion is required to fix the borders of Western Ghats .But for HLWG,its decision is final!
  15. 15.  Protection of the ecological integrity of the Western Ghats is a must for the life of the people in six States who are depending on its resources.  The resolution used by the WGEEP for coarse grid zoning is 30 meter and that by the HLWG is 24 meter which is not substantially different.  It is our culture and tradition to preserve the sacred groves which are present in the cultural land area. HLWG has not even cared about the protection of these culturally important remnant forest patches within the Cultural landscape.
  16. 16.  Activities that could be undertaken in each are given separately in WGEEP with controls and limitations  Freshwater biodiversity is even under greater threat than forest biodiversity. WGEEP perspective considers this properly, including in its specific consideration of riverine forests, whereas the HLWG just ignores it.  HLWG has failed to understand that WGEEP recommendations are tentative and that the final decision on demarcating the zones and, the activities to be undertaken in each of them has to be taken by Grama Sabhas.  WGEEP recommends that even sites for construction should avoid canals, wetlands, biodiversity pockets. HLWG does not mention these at all, thereby appears to have attached no importance to these life support systems.
  17. 17.  HLWG allows mining and quarrying in 63% of the Western Ghats and the restrictions come only for 37% of the area.  WGEEP emphasises more on solar power which, certainly, is the most environment – friendly alternative for power  WGEEP has suggested measures for water conservation and, how decentralized the water distribution system should be.  WGEEP restricts roads and railway lines to areas where they are very essential, whereas HLWG does not propose any restrictions.  Anybody could, according to HLWG, construct buildings up to but below 20,000 m2 (2, 15,000 sq feet) inside the ESA and there are no restrictions outside the ESA, apart from the existing guidelines
  18. 18. Argument in Favor of HLWG  This report suggested that 37% of land should come under natural landscape need to be protected rest should be open to the development.  Clearly WGEEP ignores the factors like livelihood and potential economic options.  HLWG approach is more practical and will avoid future unnecessary issues. 
  19. 19. Continued  It’s a hand in hand approach considering Environmental development and economic growth.  HLWG also emphasized on strong regulatory authority.  They also said, rather than avoiding economic option we can reinforce to move them towards more greener and sustainable practices.  This report was also concerned about already modified and privately owned areas.
  20. 20. Conclusion BRIEF SUMMARY
  21. 21. Gadgil Committee Recommendations: Gadgil committee had eminent ecologists and their report too reflected that. The report was labelled favorable to environment and environmentalists and not development.  The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) designated the entire hill range as an Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA).  The panel, in its report, has classified the 142 taluks in the Western Ghats boundary into Ecologically Sensitive Zones (ESZ) 1, 2 and 3. ESZ-1 being of high priority, almost all developmental activities (mining, thermal power plants etc) were restricted in it.  Gadgil report recommended that “no new dams based on large-scale storage be permitted in Ecologically Sensitive Zone 1. Since both the Athirappilly of Kerala and Gundia of Karnataka hydel project sites fall in Ecologically Sensitive Zone 1, these projects should not be accorded environmental clearance,” it said.  Gadgil Committee report specifies that the present system of governance of the environment should be changed. It asked for bottom to top approach (right from Gram sabhas) rather than a top to bottom approach. It also asked for decentralization and more powers to local authorities.  The commission recommended constitution of a Western Ghats Ecology Authority (WGEA), as a statutory authority under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, with the powers under Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  22. 22. Criticism of Gadgil Report  The major criticism faced by Gadgil Committee report was that it was more environment-friendly and not in tune with the ground realities.  Recommendations were sited as impractical to implement.  Gadgil report has asked for complete eco-sensitive cover for Western Ghats which hamper different states on energy and development fronts.  There was criticism against the constitution of a new body called WGEA. States insist that protection can be given under existing laws.  Gadgil report doesn’t give solution for revenue losses due to implementation of its recommendations.  Gadgil report is against dams in Western Ghats, which is a crucial blow on the ailing power sector. Considering the growing energy needs of India, critics argue that this recommendation cannot be taken.
  23. 23. Kasturirangan committee Report Recommendations  Instead of the total area of Western Ghats, only 37% (i.e. 60,000 sq. km.) of the total area be brought under ESA under Kasturirangan report.  Complete ban on mining, quarrying and sand mining in ESA.  Distinguished between cultural (58% occupied in Western Ghats by it like human settlements, agricultural fields and plantations) and natural landscape (90% of it should come under ESA according to committee).  Current mining areas in the ESA should be phased out within the next five years, or at the time of expiry of mining lease, whichever is earlier.  No thermal power be allowed and hydropower projects be allowed only after detailed study.  Red industries i.e. which are highly polluting be strictly banned in these areas.  Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats has made several pro-farmer recommendations, including the exclusion of inhabited regions and plantations from the purview of ecologically sensitive areas (ESAs).  The Kasturirangan report had said 123 villages fall under the ESA purview.
  24. 24. CRITICISM OF THE KASTURIRANGAN RREPORT  The Kasturirangan panel used remote sensing and aerial survey methods for zonal demarcation of land in Western Ghats. The usage of such techniques, without examining the ground reality, has caused many errors in the report.  The power is vested with the bureaucrats and forest officials and not with gram sabhas.  Many fear that the farmers would get evicted if the Kasturirangan Committee report is implemented. Under this report, the mining and quarrying lobbies is expected to flourish. When these lobbies and tourism flourish, it will be disastrous for the environment. There will be water shortage, there will be pollution. Finally, farmers will have to quit the area. They will not be able to do farming there.  The use of “erroneous method” had caused inclusion of many villages under Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA) though there were only rubber plantations and no forest land!  Kasturirangan report included ecologically non-sensitive areas under ESA, and left out many ecologically sensitive areas!
  25. 25. DIFFERENCE  There is a never-ending debate between environment and development; it’s tough to balance both without compromising the other.  The same happened with both these reports. If Gadgil report laid too much importance to environment, Kasturirangan report was biased towards development. Kasturi rangan report was criticized by many as that it provided loopholes for mining, which if allowed would turn detrimental for environment, in long term will affect development too. Kasturirangan report got the tag as anti-environmental soon after its release. But this report was tagged anti-development too by many who fear that their livelihood and interests will be affected.
  26. 26.  Gadgil’s Western Ghats (Western Ghats landscape across 1,29,037 sq km.) is smaller than that of Kasturirangan’s (Western Ghats landscape, according to Kasturirangan is 1,64,280 sq km). Gadgil report marked out 60 percent of the Western Ghats as the highest-priority Ecologically Sensitive Zone (ESZ -1). Kasturirangan report marks only 37 percent area (but considers wider Western Ghat boundaries) as ESA. Gadgil’s report proposed to declare this entire landscape as ESA, creating three ESZs within it. He prescribed that the existing sanctuaries and ESZ-1 would together cover 60 percent of this landscape. The 25 percent lowest priority areas would be marked as ESZ-3 to allow all developmental activities with precautions. The remaining 15 percent area would become ESZ-2. For example, while no mining would be allowed within ESZ- 1, existing mines could continue in ESZ-2 with a moratorium on new licences. In ESZ-3, new mines could come up. The Kasturirangan panel, on the other hand, adopted the criteria followed by the Western Ghats Development Programme of the Planning Commission and identified 188 talukas as its Western Ghats landscape, which worked out to 1,64,280 sq km. He marked 37 percent of this stretch as ESA where hazardous industries, thermal plants or mines would not be allowed. In effect, the restriction level of Kasturirangan’s ESA corresponds to that of Gadgil’s ESZ-1. Now, according to the Gadgil report, the ESZ-1 areas add up to approximately 77,000 sq km (60 percent of 1,29,037 sq km). Kasturirangan’s ESA, on the other hand, accounts for around 60,000 sq km (37 percent of 1,64,280 sq km). That is a reduction of 17,000 sq km in the top priority segment.
  27. 27.  The Gadgil panel had recommended a national-level authority, with counterparts at the state and district levels. The Kasturirangan panel argued for strengthening the existing framework of environmental clearances and setting up of a state-of-the-art monitoring agency.  The main concern in the Gadgil report is water. Most of the river lies outside the 37% described by the Kasturirangan report, leaving them unprotected from pollution and sand mining.  The Gadgil Committee report adversely affects the various mafia. When the Gadgil Committee report was first made public, there were a lot of protests against it from the sand mining and quarrying lobbies in Goa. Many mafias created fear among farmers in Kerala that the Gadgil report is against them, and that they will lose livelihood if its recommendations are implemented.
  28. 28. Course of Action  Going with the recommendations of the high-level panel that was headed by Mr. Kasturirangan, the Ministry has decided to declare the ESA over 37% of the Western Ghats under the Environment Protection Act, 1986. With the central government deciding to implement the Kasturirangan Committee report on the Western Ghats, there were several protests in Kerala. Even those who opposed the Gadgil Committee report now want it in place of the Kasturirangan Committee report. People now fear that due to illegal mining they would get evicted indirectly. Going against the recommendation of the Environment Secretary, the Minister retained the criteria to leave areas with high-density of population out of this regulated zone’s ambit. The high-level panel had recommended that the hill tracts with high population densities be kept out of the ESA ambit. The MoEF recently came out with the order, and according to directions under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, bars mining in ecologically fragile areas (EFA not to be confused with ESA), setting up of thermal plants and restricts buildings to less than 20,000 sq ft in 123 villages mentioned in the K. Kasturirangan report of the state.
  29. 29. COURSE OF ACTION  MoEF faced intense pressure from state governments. State governments argued that the adoption of the Gadgil committee report would curb all development activities.  Ministry of Environment had enough reports (Gadgil and Kasturirangan; Ooman committee was state-level), but still they didn’t take any action. The reports were neither available in the public domain nor the opinion of states were asked. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the ministry for failing to file its final report on recommendations of two panels set up to study environmental sensitivity and ecological significance of theWestern Ghats, saying better standards were expected from it. [Oct1, 2013]  The Kasturirangan panel had submitted its report to the Ministry on April 15, 2013. It was put in public domain and also disseminated to all stakeholders including the six Western Ghats states including Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu for feedback and comments.
  30. 30. THE IMPACT  Farmers worried that the implementation of the Gadgil report will lead to their eviction. They fear the same of Kasturirangan report too. Though there are many who treat Kasturirangan report as a more practical report, the truth is that Gadgil report was not anti-farmer. Also people had misconceptions on Ecologically Fragile Lands (EFL) and Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA). Both of them were different concepts under different laws–the first under forest department and the latter under the district administration and pollution control board.  Protests often are not due to love towards environment, but often because of fear of eviction or loss of livelihood. Centre issued an office order in November 2013 directing immediate implementation of five proposals in the Kasturirangan report. This was the immediate provocation for the agitation. Later, the central government sought the opinion of the five states in implementing the report. Dialogues were still on and the government had asked the state governments to submit their views on the report.
  31. 31.  On November 13, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) directed six states, including Kerala, spanning the Western Ghats, to ban environment-damaging activities in villages identified as ecologically-sensitive areas by the Kasturiangan Committee. These environment-damaging activities include mining, quarrying, construction of thermal plants and red-category (highly-polluting) industries and construction of buildings spread over more than 2,000 sq metre and townships spanning more than 50 hectares.

×