Activists to muster support from people on Gadgil report

PANAJI: Activists at the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Save Western Ghats Movement (SWGM) resolved to take the findings and recommendations of the Gadgil committee report to the people, aiming to get the gram sabhas to adopt resolutions in support of the report that calls for protecting biodiversity hotspots.

An expert committee is presently studying the report (also known as the Western Ghats ecology expert panel report) which is facing challenges from various states that are resisting its implementation.

Speaking at the SWGM session, leader of the Appiko movement, Mr Pandurang Hegde emphasised the need for reinventing the movement and its strategies to keep up with the changing political and economic environment in the country. "The geo-politics of development need to be understood in right earnest to evolve strategies for the future," he stated.

The activists resolved to sustain the struggle to save the Western Ghats by engaging in talks with those driving the political economy in the entire region.

They also resolved to revive the historic march across the Western Ghats to re-ignite peoples’ involvement in preserving the ecosystem.

Around 100 activists drawn from Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, also took a stand to support the ongoing anti-nuclear movements in Kundakulum and Jaitapur and to oppose any future attempt at bringing nuclear power in the Western Ghats region.

The SWGM, expressing satisfaction over suspension of mining in Goa, seized the opportunity to project Goa as the world heritage site and extended support to the ongoing campaign aimed at according the World Heritage Status to the smallest of states in the Western Ghats region.

The two-day event, in support of the recommendations of the Gadgil committee report, has drawn plans to persist with the findings of the report in its work with diverse stakeholders
in the region. [NT]