SWGM assembly in Goa this weekend

 PANAJI: Activists lobbying for protection of western ghats for more than two decades will re-assemble at Marcaim on Saturday to chalk out strategies to continue their movement to save one of the world's top biodiversity hotspots.

"It was on February 2, 1988, that the famous march of the 'save western ghats movement' (SWGM) had culminated in Ramnathi, Goa," Kalanand Mani, then chief co-ordinator of the SWGM march. said.

The march had started in 1987. Rechristened as 'movement of the movements', the silver jubilee congregation will focus on sharing the experiences of ongoing movements in the Western Ghats and evolve a common strategy to enforce eco-friendly policy decisions.

Around 100 delegates from Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, will take part in the event, which will be inaugurated by Justice Kolse Patil, an active member of the Jaitapur Nuclear Movement. The activists of the Koodankulam movement, among others, will also join the two-day conference at peaceful society, Marcaim on November 17-18, 2012.

"The event will mark the silver jubilee celebrations for recommitment to save the pristine Western Ghats," a statement issued by Mani, Pandurang Hegde and Carmen Miranda stated.

Hailed as one of the finest environmental movements, the SWGM had successfully lobbied with state and central governments to change policies towards the protection of the Western Ghats, notably the establishment of the Western ghats task force in Karnataka and the WGEEP at the Centre. It aims to engage with representatives of local institutions like Gram Panchayats and Zilla Panchayats to spruce up its efforts in ensuring that the WGEEP report is adopted in letter and spirit. [TOI]