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Western Ghats Committees

Mains-GS3-Environment, Prelims-Ecology

1. The Union Ministry of Environment held a conference with the ministers of six states relating to notification of the Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) in the Western Ghats.

a) Kerala

b) Karnataka

c) Goa

d) Maharashtra

e) Gujarat

f) Tamil Nadu

2. As per the recommendation of Kasturirangan committee, a draft notification was issued in 2018 mentioning the areas to be notified in the ESA.

Ecological Sensitive Area (ESA)

1.  ESA aims to create the "shock absorbers or buffers" around the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas.

2. They also act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to areas involving lesser protection.

3. ESAs have been identified and notified by the Union Indian Ministry of Environment & Forests since 1989.

4. They are regulated by the central government.

Western Ghats

1. It is a chain of mountains running parallel to India’s western coast and traverses through the States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

2. They are internationally recognized as a region of global importance for the conservation of biological diversity, besides containing areas of geological, cultural, and aesthetic values.

3. Older than the great Himalayan mountain chain, the Western Ghats of India is a geomorphic feature of immense global importance.

4. The mountains of the Western Ghats and their characteristic montane forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather patterns.

5. The Ghats act as a barrier and intercept the rain-laden south-west monsoon winds during late summer.

Kasturirangan Committee

1. It aims to balance the concerns of development and environment protection in the Western Ghats.

2. Its report seeks to bring 37% of the Western Ghats under the ESA zones instead of the 64% suggested by the Gadgil report.

3. It recommended a prohibition on development activities in 60,000 km2 ecologically sensitive area spread over the 6 states.

Gadgil committee

1. It is an environmental research commission appointed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests of India.

2. It submitted the report to the Government of India in August 2011.

3. The panel recommended a National-level authority, Western Ghats Ecology Authority (WGEA).

4. It had recommended a blanket approach consisting of guidelines for sector-wise activities, which could be permitted in the ecologically sensitive zones.

Source-PIB and The Hindu