Working Group to Assess WGEEP Report
A working group headed by Planning Commission member K. Kasturirangan will assess the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) report and submit an action plan for its effective implementation to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
The Ministry has asked the group to evaluate the report of the Madhav Gadgil panel in a “holistic and multidisciplinary fashion in the light of the comments” received from various stakeholders, including State governments and Central Ministries.
The group will also study the effects and challenges of climate change in the ecologically significant Western Ghats region, the implications of the UNESCO heritage site recognition of some parts of the Western Ghats and the constitutional implications of Centre-State relations regarding the conservation and sustainable development of the region. It is also expected to recommend further course of action regarding the report within two months.
- It will look into the imperatives of equitable economic and social growth of the region in the most sustainable manner with special attention to the preservation of the precious biodiversity of the Western Ghats and to prevent further degradation of the same.
- It will also focus on the rights, needs and development aspirations of local and indigenous people, tribals, forest dwellers and the most disadvantaged sections of the local community recognising the importance of equitable economic and social growth being harmoniously balanced with sustainable development and environmental integrity. The Gadgil panel report was re‑
leased nine months after it was submit‑
ted last year. The Ministry had sought
the views of six State governments and
11 Central Ministries on the report. It
had also given time for the public to
respond to the findings of the panel.